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Family of Tuscaloosa-native captured soldier says Russia makes erroneous claim

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 10:10 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) - Major new developments in the Russian-Ukrainian war that involves a Tuscaloosa man. You may recall the story; Alex Drueke of Tuscaloosa and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh of Hartselle, Alabama, left the United States to help train the Ukrainians to fight the war with Russia. Both men were captured by Russia and now reports are that Russia alleges the Geneva Convention does not apply to Drueke and Huynh.

The Geneva Convention is a charter, a set of guidelines on how soldiers and civilians should be treated during war time. Russia claims the convention does not apply in this case. Drueke’s family vehemently disagrees.

Dianna Shaw has lost count of the number of interviews she’s given since her nephew chose to leave the country and help train Ukrainians to fight Russia.

Drueke, a military veteran, was reportedly captured last week by the Russians, according to Russian state media.

“The family is doing as well as to be expected,” said Shaw, who is Drueke’s aunt.

As for Russia’s claim the Geneva Convention doesn’t apply to Drueke. That claim is non-sense, according to Shaw.

“The Geneva Convention absolutely does apply. Alex was there as a volunteer and even though he was from a third country, as they say, he is a prisoner of war, a POW and he should be afforded all of the protections and humane treatment the convention requires,” she said.

The family says it’s very pleased with the American government working to get more information about the details of how the two were captured and where they might be.

“How we function is we’ve been kept informed. We have constant with the State Department that stays in touch with us and anytime there is new information that can be shared, they share and we know there is a lot going on behind the scenes,” Shaw said.

Meantime, the Drueke family continues to hope and pray he will be found safe. The waiting, they admit, is the toughest battle of all on this side of the war.

Drueke is 39 years old. He will turn 40 on Friday, June 24, 2022.

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