Kremlin says American veterans captured in Ukraine ‘should be punished’ and may face execution

Two American military veterans who were captured while volunteering with the Ukrainian army could face death sentences at the hands of pro-Russia separatists, according to the Kremlin.

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told NBC News on Monday the Russian government couldn’t guarantee what would happen to the “soliders of fortune.”

“They should be punished,” he said, adding, “It depends on the investigation.”

US veterans Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh, who traveled to Ukraine to battle against Russian forces, were reported misisng by their families last week.

Recently aired videos on Russian state TV suggest the pair is alive and in captivity.

The two were separated from their contingent of Ukrainian troops and ended up in a village, where they were found by a Russian patrol and surrendered, according to Russian broadcaster RT. Mr Drueke, who served in the US Army, and Mr Huynh, who served in the Marines, are now in the custody of Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, RT said.

“Mom, I just want to let you know that I’m alive and I hope to be back home as soon as I can be,” Mr Drueke reportedly says in one of the videos.

Two British citizens and a Moroccan man found fighting with the Ukrainians in their war against Russia were given a death sentence earlier this month, in what one observer called a “disgusting Soviet-era show trial.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information.

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