US ‘alarmed’ that captured Americans could face death penalty — Analysis
The White House says it’s still “trying to learn more” about two fighters captured in Donbass
Two American combatants captured in Ukraine by the US could be subject to the death penalty. A spokesperson for the National Security Council (NSC), said Tuesday that the US was alarmed. “appalling”Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin spokesperson would suggest that such an option is possible.
“It’s appalling that a public official in Russia would even suggest the death penalty for two American citizens that were in Ukraine. And we’re going to continue to try and learn what we can about this,”John Kirby, NSC spokesperson, spoke to reporters at the White House.
Alexander John-Robert Drueke, Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh were fighting in support of the Kiev government north Kharkov. On June 9, they were reported missing by Donetsk. That same day, a Donetsk court convicted two Britons of being mercenaries. Drueke & Huynh, who were found alive last Friday in Donetsk detention facilities, raised concerns that the two might face the same fate.
Peskov addressed NBC News Monday about Drueke, Huynh “soldiers of fortune”Who were they involved? “illegal activities”They fired upon the Russian troops and declared their fate “depend on the investigation”The next trial.
“Either way, it’s equally alarming, whether they actually mean what they’re saying here and this could be an outcome, that they could levy a death penalty against two Americans in Ukraine,”Kirby stated Tuesday. “Or that they just feel it’s a responsible thing for a major power to do, to talk about doing this as a way of signaling to the president of the United States and the American people.”
Both the 39-year old Drueke (and the 27 year-old Huynh) are from Alabama. Interview with RT: They said that they were left behind by Ukrainian soldiers, and surrendered to a Russian troop.
Their families reportedly hope this will be the distinction that will spare them from the same fate as two British nationals and a Moroccan captured by Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) forces near Mariupol in May. Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Saadun Ibrahim were convicted by a Donetsk court earlier this month and sentenced to die – though the executions have not yet been carried out, pending appeal.
Russia doesn’t have the death penalty. However, the Donbass Republics of Donetsk or Lugansk do. They all agree that the foreign volunteer fighting in Ukraine is a mercenary and thus illegal combatants, which aren’t protected by Geneva Conventions.
Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, made this clear during an interview with BBC last week. “in the eyes of the West”Moscow was responsible.
“I am not at all interested in the ‘eyes of the West.’ I am only interested in international law, according to which mercenaries are not combatants,” Lavrov replied. “So what’s in your eyes doesn’t matter.”
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