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Russia releases 2 Americans captured while fighting in Ukraine

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Posted at 2:09 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 15:42:23-04

Two Americans who were captured by Russian forces while fighting in Ukraine were released on Wednesday.

According to NBC News, Alexander John-Robert Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh were part of a prisoner swap.

Saudia Arabia took credit for brokering the deal, which included the return of citizens from the U.S., Morocco, Croatia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

"Based on the priority given by HRH Crown Prince and in continuation of HRH’s commitment to the humanitarian initiatives towards the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, HRH’s mediation succeeded in releasing ten prisoners from five countries as part of exchange of POWs," Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry said in a tweet.

In a statement obtained by CNN, Druek's family thanks Saudi Arabia and U.S. officials for their help in securing his release.

"We deeply appreciate everyone's prayers and especially the close communication and support of our elected officials, Ukrainian Ambassador Markarova, and our members of the US embassies in Ukraine and Saudi Arabia and the US Department of State," said Dreuke's aunt, Diana Shaw.

CNN reports that Drueke and Huynh, who are both from Alabama, were captured in June.