Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman wouldn’t assure that two U.S. navy veterans captured in Ukraine received’t face the dying penalty in an unique interview Monday.
“It depends upon the investigation,” Dmitry Peskov informed NBC Information senior worldwide correspondent Keir Simmons when he was requested whether or not Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh would “face the identical destiny” as two British residents and a Moroccan who have been sentenced to dying by Moscow-backed separatists in japanese Ukraine this month.
The households of Drueke, 39, and Huynh, 27, reported them lacking final week.
Simmons interviewed Peskov in Moscow, the place the federal government is cracking down on journalists and limiting what reporters can say below risk of imprisonment.
Peskov stated Drueke and Huynh have been “concerned in unlawful actions” in Ukraine, firing on Russian troops.
“These guys on the battlefield have been firing at our navy guys. They have been endangering their lives,” he stated.
“There shall be a courtroom, and there shall be a courtroom resolution,” Peskov stated.
“They need to be punished,” he added, calling Drueke and Huynh “troopers of fortune.”
The Ukrainian authorities stated in early March that 20,000 people from 52 nations volunteered to battle with the Worldwide Legion of Ukraine after the federal government put out a name for foreigners to hitch its battle towards Russia. It isn’t identified what number of are within the nation now.
Damien Magrou, a spokesman for the international legion, stated he couldn’t “verify or deny” whether or not Drueke and Huynh have been with the pressure.
Peskov additionally didn’t say whether or not the lads have been being held in Russia or by pro-Russian forces preventing the Ukrainians within the east of the nation. He added that they weren’t prone to be lined by Geneva Conventions that afford protections to prisoners of battle as a result of they weren’t a part of Ukraine’s common military.
Drueke’s mom stated in an interview final week that her son wasn’t in Ukraine to battle and that he was there in additional of an advisory capability, whereas Huynh’s fiancée stated they’d talked about his going to battle earlier than they bought engaged in late March.
On Friday, movies of Huynh and Drueke have been broadcast by RT, a Russian state-controlled worldwide tv community, which reported that the 2 have been being held captive by separatists.
Peskov, who spoke with NBC Information as Russia made positive aspects in Ukraine’s east, stated he had no details about Grady Kurpasi, the third former U.S. service member who has additionally been reported lacking in Ukraine by his household.
Peskov additionally denied that American WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was detained at a Russian airport in February after authorities there stated she was carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, was being held as a “hostage.”
He repeated the Kremlin’s declare that aggressive Western sanctions are having little impact on the Russian economic system as Moscow refocuses on changing restricted imports with home manufacturing.
He additionally reiterated that NATO and the U.S. left Russia with “no alternative” however to launch its operation in Ukraine after its safety considerations concerning the navy bloc’s perceived encroachment on its borders weren’t heard.
Laura Saravia and Natasha Lebedeva contributed.