Two American veterans from Alabama who went to Ukraine to help fight against the Russian invasion are missing and feared to have been captured by Russian-backed separatists, their family members said.
The US State Department is looking into reports that Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, of Trinity, Alabama, and Alexander Drueke, 39, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, haven’t been heard from for days after being in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine, near the Russian border.
The news comes as Russia has advanced in its attempts to overtake Sievierodonetsk in the Donbas region, stepping up its attempts to take out Ukraine’s supplies.
On Wednesday, Russia said its forces destroyed a depot where NATO-supplied weapons were stored in Ukraine in the Lviv region. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said high-precision missiles were used to target the depot, where weapons including US-supplied shells for M777 howitzers were being kept.
Ukraine officials didn’t immediately comment on the strike near the town of Zolochiv.
The governor of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidia, also told The Associated Press that the situation in Sievierodonetsk is getting worse, because Russian forces have more manpower and weapons, “but our military is holding back the enemy from three sides at eleven.”
►NHL officials decided they will not the Stanley Cup to travel to Russia or Belarus this summer, foregoing the unofficial tradition for players from those countries of allowing them to travel there while spending a day with the cup. Officials informed both the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche of the decision.
►President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked oil producers to reduce the cost of gas, telling them in a letter that “amid a war that has raised gasoline prices more than $1.70 per gallon, historically high refinery profit margins are worsening that pain.”
Allies pledging further Ukraine support, US military leaders say
Dozens of countries are joining the US in boosting their commitment to supporting Ukraine’s efforts to fight off the Russian invasion, US military leaders said Wednesday after meeting with 50 allies in Brussels.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, appearing with Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced the Pentagon will send $1 billion in weapons to help Ukraine’s effort to blunt Russia’s offensive in the eastern Donbas region.
The package, the 12th approved by Biden since August, includes long-range, rocket-assisted artillery, Harpoon anti-ship missiles and more conventional howitzer cannons and ammunition. US allies also pledged to continue backing the Ukrainian military.
“The international community is not allowing this unambiguous act of aggression by Russia to go unanswered,” Milley said.
The Ukrainians have said they need more long-range and conventional artillery, armored vehicles and anti-aircraft systems, Austin said.
“It’s never enough,” Austin said. “And so we’re going to continue to work hard to move as much capability as we can, as fast as we can.”
– Tom Vanden Brook
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism