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Fiancée of American fighter missing in Ukraine says she “just wants him back”

Cnn staff

The fiancée of an American fighter missing in Ukraine says she is still waiting on “concrete evidence” of his whereabouts, adding the US State Department has told her his case is a “top priority.”

Joy Black got engaged to volunteer fighter Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh shortly before he left for Ukraine. She hasn’t spoken to him for two weeks.

“He’s always been so full of love and compassion. We have such a close bond. He’s always been so kind to me,” she said.
“Anytime I would feel down or self-conscious he would bring me back up. Whenever we would get ready to go out and I would be feeling bad about myself, he would tell me I’m beautiful to him. He was always the best. I just want him back.”

Huynh, 27, from Hartselle, Alabama and fellow US fighter Alexander John-Robert Drueke, 39, from Tuscaloosa, Alabama were taken into detention by Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk after being captured last week, according to Russian state media.

Russia’s reaction: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov previously said the Geneva Convention — the charter which sets out how soldiers and civilians are treated in wartime — does not apply to the two detained US citizens and the death penalty could not be ruled out.

However, the Biden administration disagrees “vigorously” with that assertion, according to a a senior State Department official.

“We obviously disagree vigorously. And we have made our position clear to the Russian government,” the official said. “We have made our position clear recently to the Russian Foreign Ministry that we expect the Russian government to treat any American detained in Ukraine consistent with the Geneva Conventions and their obligations.”

Black said it was “good that they made that clear.”

She said the State Department told her they are contact with the Russians but, “I just have to put my faith in and trust in the process with our government. So that’s what I’m doing to try to stay positive.”

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