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Americans missing in Ukraine

Grim Reaper 6

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A third former U.S. serviceman who has gone missing in Ukraine has been identified, however, his whereabouts remain unknown. 

Family of friends of Grady Kurpasi, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, last heard from the veteran on April 24, according to a report. Kurpasi arrived in Ukraine to volunteer alongside Ukrainian forces on March 7. His last known location was in the Kherson region, in southeastern Ukraine, where he manned an observation post in late April, according to the report. Kherson is currently occupied by Russian forces.

For him personally, he has a skillset that he feels he can give back,” George Heath, a family friend of Kurpasi’s, told CNN on Thursday. “He wanted to go and help the Ukrainian people. He wasn’t really planning on fighting.”  State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Thursday that the department is aware of the third missing American in Ukraine and is "in touch with the family."

On Wednesday, reports emerged that two other former U.S. servicemen had been captured by Russian forces in Ukraine. A photo purportedly of the two volunteers, Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh, was posted on the social media platform Telegram on Thursday by a Russian blogger. The image purported to show the two Americans in the back of a Russian military truck with their hands apparently tied behind their backs.


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Two American veterans who were captured by Russian-backed separatist forces in a battle near Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, earlier this month may face the death penalty, Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov told NBC News. Peskov said the fates of Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, and Army Sgt. Alexander Drueke, 39, will be decided by a Russian court. They were "involved in illegal activities'' and "should be punished," he said. Russian state television on Friday showed a video of the two men, confirming that they were taken captive and raising fears about their fate. “We’re just hoping for good news,” Huynh’s fiancée, Joy Black, 21, told USA TODAY. “He’s got such a big heart and a lot of compassion for people in need.

Last week, two Britons and a Moroccan were sentenced to death by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Prosecutors claimed they were mercenaries and not entitled to protections afforded prisoners of war.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Drueke, 39, and Huynh, 27, were captured by Russian forces outside the city of Kharkiv, near Ukraine’s northeastern border. Drueke’s family maintains that he went overseas to train Ukrainian troops on U.S. weapons, not to engage in combat. Huynh did take up arms, according to his fiancee’s family, in addition to training Ukrainian troops and bringing in medical supplies.


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  • The title was changed to Americans missing in Ukraine

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