American mercenaries Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh, who surrendered to Russian forces in Ukraine, referred to the corruption and disorganization within Ukrainian ranks in statements published by the RT news outlet.
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According to the Russian media, the detainees, Drueke, 39, and Huynh, 27, were seized while on a reconnaissance mission to cover the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops near Kharkov.
“We entered into combat with the Russian troops, the Ukrainians were retreating and they asked us to cover their retreat. When we were covering them, the Russian forces overran our position and we had to withdraw completely”, Huynh explained to the channel who interviewed them at a training detention center. He said they both waited about three hours in a trench to make sure the road was clear and then walked through a forest for about five hours.
Drueke said they made a “wrong turn or misstep” and ended up in a village where a Russian patrol found them.
Drueke is from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, fought in Iraq as a first sergeant after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, while Huynh is from California and served four years in the Marines, though he had no previous combat experience. He indicated that before traveling to Ukraine he was studying Robotics at the university.
Drueke said that while he was wary of U.S. news coverage, he believed the Ukraine struggle was being portrayed in a way that would “appeal to veterans like me.” “To be honest, before February this year I couldn’t even tell where Ukraine was on the map,” he confessed.
Huynh said he went to Ukraine because he saw enough Western media reports that Russian troops were “indiscriminately killing civilians”. However, he considered that such information is propaganda, because, according to what he saw throughout his tour, he did not see this on the ground.
He said he joined the so-called International Legion, but left shortly after, because in his opinion there is corruption and disorganization in the ranks. “Commanders were very corrupt and the troops were very poorly prepared and supplied”, he noted.
Drueke concluded his statement to RT by warning other veterans not to follow in his footsteps. “Fellow veterans who are thinking of coming like me, don’t,” he stressed. “Think very hard about why you’re doing it and what can happen, and if this is really your fight,” he added.