Two American soldiers freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap

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Two American soldiers who went missing in Ukraine earlier this year were freed in a prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday.

Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Huynh, 27, were released along with eight other foreign fighters, according to multiple reports.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman helped negotiate the prisoner swap, according to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said the other prisoners were from Morocco, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Croatia.

Drueke’s aunt Dianna Shaw and his mother Bunny Drueke told NBC News in a statement the freed American prisoners were “safely in the custody of the US embassy in Saudi Arabia and after medical checks and debriefing they will return to the States.”

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the released prisoners are waiting safely in the country until they can be transported home.

Drueke and Huynh, both U.S. military veterans from Alabama, went missing in June after taking fire in the Kharkiv region in northeastern Ukraine, according to the Associated Press. They were believed to have been taken into the Donetsk region.

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