US fighters captured by Russian troops after tank ambush during battle in Ukraine
The two men were involved in a battle outside Kharkiv last week with a Ukrainian army unit who they had been volunteering with
A pair of former US servicemen fighting against Russian forces in Ukraine have reportedly been captured.
The two men Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, were involved in a battle outside Kharkiv last week with a Ukrainian army unit who they had been volunteering with.
It is believed they encountered a large Russian force when they were captured.
A comrade of the men said: “"We were out on a mission and the whole thing went absolutely crazy, with bad intel… We were told the town was clear when it turned out the Russians were already assaulting it.
“They came down the road with two T-72 tanks and multiple BMP3s and about 100 infantry.
"The only thing that was there was our ten man squad.”
The men then fired a grenade at a Russian fighting vehicle and destroyed it, the blast however attracted the attention of a tank which fired at them and missed.
The same tank was later destroyed by an anti-tank mine left by the Ukrainians and the men were not seen after the debris settled.
The comrade told The Telegraph: "We suspect that they were knocked unconscious by either the anti-tank mine, or by the tank shooting at them, because later search missions found not sign of them, nothing.
"Afterwards we sent drones up and had a Ukrainian search team on the ground but we found nothing: if they had been hit by the tank shell there would have been remains of their bodies or equipment at the scene."
He added that later in the evening a post on a Russian Telegram channel claimed two American prisoners of war had been taken near Kharkiv.
"It is too much of a coincidence for that to have happened otherwise, we are the only Americans fighting in this area."
Concerns are growing that Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin could claim the men’s involvement shows that the US is now directly involved in Russia’s war with Ukraine.
It comes as two British men, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, were convicted of taking action towards violent seizure of power at a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she utterly condemned the sentencing and was doing everything she could to support them.