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Lured into the country by media propaganda – American mercenaries describe their Ukrainian war catastrophe

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In an RT interview (banned in the West), two American mercenaries captured in Ukraine accuse the Ukrainian army of disorganization and incompetence. They explain the motivation to fight for Ukraine by the action of Western propaganda, which addresses veterans like them.

The two American soldiers of fortune allegedly working for the Ukrainian army were captured by Russian forces in the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine. The news, which was broadcast this week by numerous telegram channels, was officially confirmed by the American side on Thursday. RT spoke with Alexander Druek and Andy Huynh at the Donetsk Detention Centre.

Drueke served on two tours of the US military in Iraq, while Huynh served in the Marines’ logistics branch in Okinawa, Japan, and surrendered to the Russian army after losing the battle. It happened only a few hours after they were sent to the Kharkiv front last week. Huynh said the two were under the command of the Ukrainian secret service SBU and were to cover the retreating Ukrainian soldiers. 

‘We were told to take a small lookout point,’ Huynh recalled, describing that he was armed with a Czech CZ rifle and a bazooka. The columns of Ukrainians retreated to their positions, pursued by Russian armoured vehicles and a tank. 

‘When [the tank] fired for the first time, I was preparing a bazooka,’ Huynh said. He claimed that the tank fired at another position shortly after, and Huynh thought he was firing at him, took the gun on his shoulder and fired a rocket at the vehicle, but missed. When Ukrainian troops disappeared, Huynh and Drueke took to their heels and hid in a ditch as Russian vehicles and infantry patrol passed.

‘We were originally supposed to be exploring with drones,’ Drueke told RT correspondent Roman Kosyrew, ‘but before we got to our place, there was already a battle going on. Our plans have changed and my teammate and I stayed in the woods. ‘

When the Russian soldiers moved on, the Americans set out and walked through the woods for several hours. They disappeared and arrived in a village controlled by the Russian armed forces. ’We were approached by a Russian patrol and we surrendered to them immediately.’

Both men said that Russian soldiers treated them well and gave them food, drink, warm blankets and cigarettes. However, Drueke said he had heard rumours that the two could face the death penalty, as happened to two Britons and one Moroccan. However, the two American mercenaries were captured in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and not in the Donetsk People’s Republic,  which has the death penalty . In Russia, on the other hand, the death penalty has been abolished. 

Former fighters told how they got to Ukraine. Drueke, who left the US military in 2014, initially had no clear plan for what to do in Ukraine. According to him, he flew to Poland with the intention of carrying out humanitarian work, but nevertheless, he brought military equipment with him and said that he was ready to fight, even though the military service was ‘not the main and final’. Although he is suspicious of US media reports, he believes the fight in Ukraine is portrayed in a way that ‘looks like veterans like me are needed.’

Now that the Ukrainian grenades hit civilian targets in the city of Donetsk, he has realized that ‘this story has two sides. ‘Huynh also argued similarly. 

‘In the beginning, when the conflict started on February 24, I saw a lot of news. ‘Again, I think this is Western propaganda, not only from the United States but from the West as a whole. Western media reported that Russian forces were indiscriminately killing civilians. I’ve never seen anything like it in my posts [in the country].’

Huynh said he travelled to Ukraine in April and came into contact with a Polish priest who organized humanitarian aid for the country but soon established contacts with the Ukrainian International Legion. After joining the Legion, he left shortly afterwards due to corruption and disorganization in the army.

‘The commanders were very corrupt and the soldiers were very ill-prepared and supplied,’ says Huynh. Drueke also began his service in Ukraine with the Legion. But the staff there was a disappointment.

Both men travelled the country looking for a more capable unit to join, and eventually ended up in eastern Ukraine with the so-called Task Force Baguette, a unit of foreign mercenaries composed mostly of American and French veterans. The unit confirmed on Wednesday that Drueke and Huynh, known as ‘Bama’ and ‘Hate’, had been captured.

‘When I see propaganda from the West, it says that the whole of Ukraine is famous, and when I came here, I saw that it was not true,’ Huynh told RT. ‘Ukrainians say they are the best, but what I have seen is big corruption.’ Drueke ended his conversation with a warning: ‘Veterans like me who are considering coming here should not come here. Think about it for a really long time and why you are doing it and what can happen and if it is really your fight,’ he said. ‘When I get out of this situation, I have a lot of things to think about.’

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According to Russian data, 6956 foreigners from 64 countries came to Ukraine to fight for Kyiv in February. About 1956 of them were killed while 1779 fled the country,  the  Russian Ministry of Defense said on Friday. Source

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Donate: It is the generosity of our supporters and members that makes our vital work possible. As the storm clouds of crisis and the pain of injustice and persecution loom over our people, the potential and importance of our work grows day-by-day. There is no George Soros figure out there for nationalists, so we can only do what good people like you help us to do. Thank you for your faith and your generous commitment: contact Michael Walsh euroman_uk@yahoo.co.uk

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