Less than two months ago, the United States won the return of former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed from Russia, where he was sentenced to nine years on charges related to assault disputes, by substituting him for an imprisoned Russian drug trafficker.
Now, top Ukrainian officials say that the country’s trying to swap prisoners to free two U.S. military veterans who were captured by Russian forces while volunteering to fight in Ukraine.
But while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he would fight for his release, some experts and former U.S. ambassadors said efforts to negotiate awful more men face more stiff winds, citing Russia’s desire to curb war volunteers by punishing men and U.S.-Russian diplomatic relations . being at an all-time low.
“If (Russia’s) goal is to prevent people from doing this, if its goal is to punish people who do this, they don’t want to release these people at any time,” said William Pomeranz, acting director of the Wilson Center Kennan. Institute, which focuses on Russian and Ukrainian research.
ON THE MAP: Tracking the Russian invasion of Ukraine
If the Russians were going to negotiate, he thinks, they would demand “higher prices on potential swaps.”
That could mean a more prolonged effort to free U.S. Army veterans Alexander John-Robert Drueke, 39, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, who were captured by Russian forces after being attacked in the northeastern Kharkiv area on June 9.
“We’ve told all our family members that this is a marathon,” Drueke’s aunt, Dianna Shaw, told USA TODAY.
Shaw, 55, said the U.S. State Department told his family that “every communication route works” to reach Russia in an effort to negotiate his release.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price said last week that officials had contacted authorities in Ukraine and Russia, but did not give details about where the man was. A spokesman declined to comment further when reached by USA TODAY.
Will Russia agree to a prisoner swap?
The Russian military said that it considers foreigners who are fighting with Ukraine to be mercenaries not protected as fighters under the Geneva Convention.
Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the man a “soldier of fortune” whose fate will be decided by the court, but he did not issue the death penalty, he told NBC News. On the same subject : Analysis: Banning food exports, from India to Argentina, threatens inflation. “They should be punished,” Peskov said.
When two British people and a Moroccan were recently sentenced to death by Russian -backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, some experts told the USA TODAY that Russia can be reluctant to escalate tensions by allowing execution.
In an interview with USA TODAY last week in Kyiv, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence, confirmed Russian media reports that stated U.S. citizens were detained in prisons in the Donbas and said, “We’re working there.”
“The solution is not easy,” he said. “It’s complicated, but we’re looking at ways to solve that. It will have to do with the prisoner swap.
“It also won’t happen in a week or two. It will take months.”
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Budanov declined to comment on how Americans were treated, for fear of endangering efforts to secure his release.
Meanwhile, on Friday, Zelenskyy told NBC that he would fight to release them, calling them “heroes.”
In an interview as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival, he said that he believed that they would be awful back to his family, adding that “it is a great honor in the world there are some soldiers who are not afraid, and they came to support us. And our sovereignty and independence. , “NBC reports.
‘Uncharted territory’ amid distrust between US and Russia
While the U.S. State Department and its embassies in Kyiv and Moscow seem to be working to free him, efforts were ruined by the poor state of U.S.-Russian diplomatic relations, said William Tayor, former U. To see also : What to see from Joe Biden’s journey to the G7.S. ambassador to Ukraine and Russian vice president. and Europe at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
The US has provided billions of weapons to Ukraine and undertook efforts to impose financial sanctions on Russia after its invasion.
“Diplomatic interaction between the United States and Russia is at an extraordinary level. Almost no talks have taken place,” he said.
In Pomeranz’s view, “There is no reservoir of goodwill on the Russian side that wants to negotiate,” he said.
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Melvyn Levitsky, a retired U.S. ambassador and professor of international policy at the University of Michigan, said prisoner -of -war swaps tend to be easier to work on conflict resolution. For now, the war in Ukraine shows no sign of the end.
And Levitsky said the presence of war volunteers on the battlefield means a more complex set of negotiations in contrast to attempts to reinstate figures detained under the Russian legal system, such as Reed or WNBA star Brittney Griner, who were arrested at Russian airports on Feb. 17 after authorities said that The bag search found a vape cartridge that contained cannabis oil.
Drueke and Huynh are believed to be the first Americans captured by Russian troops since the war began on 24 February.
“This is an area that is not found,” Levitsky said. “My guess is that we will try something in some time. But remember, the Russian people will have these prisoners as a kind of leverage.
Captured Americans wanted to help repel Russian invasion
Drueke, an Iraqi Army veteran, and Huynh, who served in the Marines, are both from Alabama, but did not know each other before they decided to leave for Ukraine in April to help the Russian invasion, according to his family. To see also : The US is urging countries to reach out if they have problems with Russian food, exporting fertilizer. Drueke wants to use his military experience to train Ukrainians about weapons, his family said.
Both families denied the Russian character that they were “mercenaries”, stating that they paid their own way to reach Ukraine to become volunteers.
The two men disappeared around June 9 after the unit they were on heavy fire, relatives of the two families told USA TODAY, stating that they were told by unit members that they were accompanied by men.
The next day, Russian state television showed a video of the two men, confirming that they were captured. Russian media reports, Drueke said, stated that the Americans became isolated and surrendered to Russian patrols.
Drueke, speaking to the camera of what appears to be the office, sends a message to his mother, concluding with a quick blink:
“Mom, I just want to tell you that I’m living with you and I hope to be back as soon as I can.”
War volunteers warned of risks: US government ‘not coming for you’
U.S. citizens have volunteered to fight in foreign conflicts before, including the Spanish Civil War, the First Arab-Israeli War and the Syrian civil war, said Nir Arielli, a professor of international history at the University of Leeds, who studies transnational war volunteers.
“Here in the UK, the Foreign Minister called on the Russian government not to execute two British foreign volunteers who were imprisoned in Ukraine,” he said. “I expect Britain to use diplomatic channels to secure its secretion (but) Russia’s playing football.”
Jason Fritz, a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University who interviewed some of the approximately 100 U.S. citizens who went to Syria to fight ISIS, did not know anyone who was arrested and then returned to the U.S..
But he said some were warned before they left that rescues were unlikely when they were captured.
“The U.S. government is pretty clear that they didn’t come to you,” he said. “There’s no special forces team that will come to free you. It’s not illegal, but they always try to stop people to do it.
And while such volunteers can be medics or trainers, as opposed to infantry soldiers, opposing forces don’t seem to recognize that difference without strong evidence, Fritz said.
Shaw, Drueke’s aunt, said despite harsh words from Russian officials, he believed that it showed “they know that the world is watching. And it gave me more confidence that they would treat them as prisoners of war as they should.
Joy Black, 21, Huynh’s fiance, stated that he hopes they are treated according to the Geneva Convention, but until now he has not had a word about the situation. For now, he and his mother, Darla, say that they will continue to press to take the man safely on earth to Alabama.
“Obviously, we want it to happen as soon as possible,” Darla Black said. “We understand that there is a process and it is not immediate. We only need to take a day at a time.”
Contributions: The Associated Press.
Kim Hjelmgaard reports from Kiev, Ukraine. Chris Kenning reported from Louisville, Kentucky. Kenning is a national news writer. Reach him at email@example.com and on Twitter @chris_kenning.
Why can’t you use the red cross symbol?
Such recognition in Canadian and international law prohibits unauthorized use. The misuse of these honored symbols disrupts the meaning and value of protection for victims of conflict and the aid officers who assist them.
Can I use a red cross in my game? End. Prison architect video developers have found themselves in violation of international and British law to display a red cross on a white background.
Who can legally display the red cross symbol?
Under the Geneva Convention, the regulation of the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Movement, and national legislation in nearly 200 countries, the only organization allowed to use the emblem, or name of the Red Cross or Red Crescent, is the International Committee of the Red Cross. (ICRC), International …
Can we use the red cross logo?
The use of the symbol or name of a red cross or red crescent by “individuals, communities, firms or companies whether public or private” is prohibited by international humanitarian law (First Geneva Convention, Article 53).
Why do red crosses violate the Geneva Convention?
(For example, the Red Cross in a building conveys a potentially false and dangerous picture of a military presence in the area to enemy aircraft, even if the building itself will not be attacked; thus U.S. reservations to the 1949 Geneva Convention, as noted below, effectively prohibit that use.)
What is Geneva Convention in simple words?
The Geneva Convention is a series of agreements regarding the treatment of civilians, prisoners of war (POWs) and soldiers who are otherwise hors de combat (French, meaning “outside the fight”), or incapable of fighting.
What does the Geneva Convention say? The Geneva Convention is a rule that applies only at times of armed conflict and seeks to protect those who do not or no longer take part in the war; these include the sick and wounded of armed forces in the field, wounded, sick, and shipwrecked members of the armed forces at sea, prisoners of war, and civilians.
What was the Geneva Convention simple definition?
Definition of the Geneva Convention: a series of agreements concerning the treatment of prisoners of war and the sick, wounded, and dead in the first war made in Geneva, Switzerland in 1864 and subsequently accepted in later revisions by most nations.
What is the purpose of the Geneva Convention and what does it do?
The Geneva Convention and the Supplementary Protocols form the core of international humanitarian law, which governs the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its influence. They protect those who do not participate in hostilities and who no longer do so.
What was the Geneva Convention quizlet?
The Geneva Convention is a rule that applies at the time of armed conflict. The Geneva Convention exists to protect those who do not or no longer accompany such conflicts: The sick and wounded of the armed forces on the ground. Members of the armed forces were wounded, sick, and shipwrecked at sea.
What was the significance of the 1929 Geneva Convention? 06-04-1998. The Geneva Convention of 27 July 1929 on the treatment of prisoners of war contained 97 articles. It establishes a general principle where prisoners should be treated humanely at all times.
What was the goal of the Geneva conference quizlet?
Who set up this conference and why? The major political powers (Britain, France, the US and Russia) set up conferences to decide the future of Korea and Indochina for the next 20 years.
What was the focus of the Geneva Conventions?
The Geneva Convention, a series of international treaties concluded in Geneva between 1864 and 1949 for the purpose of ameliorating the effects of war on soldiers and civilians.