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Family of US fighter captured during war believes he is still in Ukraine

Report: US prisoners of war held in Ukraine

A former U.S. soldier who was captured by Russian-backed forces in Ukraine two months ago told his mother over the phone that he and two other American prisoners of war were still in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, Alex Druke spoke with his mother, Lois "Bunny" Druke, and a US State Department case manager Thursday morning, according to the family.

"Some things he said seem to indicate that they are still in the Donetsk region of Ukraine," Bunny Druk said in a press release. "When I got the call two weeks ago, he said they had been transferred to an actual prison, so I don't know if they were transferred to Russia, but now I don't think so.

U.S. military veterans Andy Tay Ngoc Huynh and Alexander Druque were recruited to serve Ukrainian forces on the battlefield. left home in Alabama. They were reportedly captured by Russian forces during fighting in eastern Ukraine in June 2022.  CBS News

In the past few days many people in Donetsk have been given bottled water because there were filtration plants that did not run water. rice field.

According to Bunny Druk, Alex also said, "American news shows that 'people are dying here in Donetsk and Donbass.'

The State Department has not confirmed whether the man is in Donetsk. 

Two months ago,Alex Drueke and Andy Huynhwere volunteering for the Foreign Fighter Corps alongside the Ukrainian Army. Captured by Russian forces. The United States hasa 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army andretired Marine Corps Grady Kurpathi identified as. Americans are also working to determine if they were taken prisoner. According to family friends, he went silent after firing small arms in the Kherson area earlier this summer.

Press Thursday In his release, Bunny Druke said his son's voice was "more powerful and more personal than ever." 

According to Alex's aunt, Diana Shaw, Alex is in solitary confinement with Huynh and an unidentified third American of hers, she said. They were told they were playing "mind games", playing chess, and spending time outside using garbage as game pieces.

He was back on topic throughout the call, and his captors wanted to ask him."

"Alex made some of the statements that were clearly offered and intended to portray Russia as a non-aggressor in the conflict," Shaw added. rice field. The family has not repeated these statements, according to a press release. 

"I would like to remind the public to be skeptical of statements made by prisoners of war in Russian-produced media, as they are often used for propaganda purposes." Shaw said.

Last month,Russian media released unidentified images and videos purported to show prisoners. Bunny Druke said one of her girlfriends in the image is his son.

"It was undeniably under duress, but thank God they were alive," Bunny Druke told CBS News foreign correspondent Chris Livesay at the time.

According to Thursday's press release, both Druk and Huynh's families have been briefed by government officials and have received support from "an NGO that serves the families of hostages and detainees."

Russia's war in Ukraine has been going on since his February. Donetsk

Druk's mother previously told 'CBS Morning' that her son "felt very strongly." Putin said he was not going to be content with any part of Ukraine, or even Ukraine as a whole, so he said Putin needed to be stopped.

Sophie Reardon

Sophie Reardon is a news editor for CBS News and can be reached at

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