The fiancé of one of the two American military veterans feared to have been captured by Russia while fighting to defend Ukraine told Inside Edition she has to believe the men are going to come home safe.
“I don’t know where he is, I don’t know what’s happening to him, but I really have this feeling in my heart that he’s OK,” said Joy Black, who said her fiancé, Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, told her on June 8 that he would be unavailable for a few days.
Huynh, a Marine veteran, and Alexander Drueke were serving in the Marines when they disappeared. They were volunteering as foreign fighters with the Ukrainian army.
When they last saw them, the pair was engaged in a fierce battle close to the Russian border.
“I think he tried to not really tell me when he was doing really dangerous stuff so as not to worry me, but I later found out they were doing an operation in the Kharkiv region,”Inside Edition: Black told.
Black has not heard back from Huynh in June 8.
“He really had a burden on his heart to go help these people. He, as soon as the news broke out about the war, he was so touched by it, he had to go help these people in need any way he could,”She spoke.
Black claimed that the U.S. government had been helpful since Huynh’s and Drueke’s last encounter.
“I know they are definitely trying to get Andy and Alex home safely,”She spoke.
Black won’t let herself think of the worst possible outcome, instead remaining focused on finding out what happened to her fiancé and where he could be.
“It’s the unknown and it’s so scary, I just I don’t even want to think about my big fears,”She spoke. “I’m just trying to stay positive and try and keep the hope going.
Drueke and Huynh went missing during a battle on June 9 near the town of Izbytske, a man acting as the team’s sergeant told CNN. Subsequent search missions failed to find any remains of the missing pair, the man, who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons, told CNN.
A post on a Russian propaganda channel on Telegram the following day claimed that two Americans had been captured near Kharkiv. “It was absolute chaos,” the man told CNN. “There was about a hundred plus infantry advancing on our positions. We had a T72 firing on people from 30, 40 meters away.”
A U.S. State Department spokesperson told CNN they are aware of unconfirmed reports of two U.S. citizens captured in Ukraine and are monitoring the situation. Drueke’s mother, Bunny Drueke, who told CBS News her son fell in love with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, said she has not received any official confirmation that her son was captured.
“As a mother you want to keep your children safe but as an American, I am so darn proud of him for being willing to risk his safety to help democracy around the world, to keep Americans safe eventually, and to help the Ukrainian people,”She spoke to CBS News. “I’m not worried about him being in the Russian hands, not because of Russia, but because I know Alex’s character.”