- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Videos of two American military veterans who went missing in Ukraine appeared on Russian television on Friday.
NBC News reported Thursday that the two men, who volunteered to join the Ukrainian army in efforts against the Russian onslaught that began in February, had disappeared after complications on a mission.
Russian network RT reported that Andy Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, were still alive but held captive by Russian forces in the Donbas.
“Mom, I just want to let you know that I’m alive and I hope to be back home as soon as I can be. So, love Diesel for me. Love you,” Drueke said in a video shown on RT, referring to his pet mastiff, according to NBC News.
The State Department said Friday after the videos were shown that officials had “seen the photos and videos of these two U.S. citizens reportedly captured by Russia’s military forces in Ukraine” and “are closely monitoring the situation.”
“We are in contact with Ukrainian authorities, the International Committee of the Red Cross and with the families themselves,” said a spokesperson for the department, adding a warning for Americans not to travel to Ukraine during the war.
A third American veteran, Grady Kurpasi, 49, has also gone missing, but video content including him did not appear over Russian media.
News about the captured Americans comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and the U.S. The United States and its Western allies have worked together to sanction Russia and cripple the country’s economy as a consequence for its invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. has also supplied billions of dollars of military aid to Ukrainian forces, including weapons.
Russia has extended its detention of American basketball star Brittney Griner after she was taken into custody earlier this year. Russian officials allegedly found hashish oil in her luggage at an airport in the country.
Former marine Trevor Reed was also detained in Russia but was released earlier this year through a prisoner exchange with Russia. Griner’s fellow players, Reed and others continued to call for her release.