Two Americans detained in Ukraine while fighting on the Ukrainian side of the war were mercenaries who endangered the lives of Russian servicemen and should face responsibility for their actions, the Kremlin said on Monday.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, interviewed by the U.S. television network NBC news, also said U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner, held in Russia for more than two months, was guilty of drug offences and not a hostage.
Peskov’s comments were the first formal acknowledgment that the two men, identified in U.S. reports as Andy Huynh, 27, of Hartselle, Alabama, and Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, were being held and under investigation.
“They are soldiers of fortune. They were involved in illegal activities on the territory of Ukraine. They were involved in firing at and shelling of our military personnel. They were endangering their lives,” Peskov said.
“And they should be held responsible for those crimes they have committed. Those crimes have to be investigated…The only thing that is clear is that they have committed crimes. They are not in the Ukrainian army. They are not subject to the Geneva convention.”
Image via @NewsfromUkraine Twitter Feed