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Russia: Aleksey Zhuravlyov discusses fate of Drueke and Huynh
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Kremlin-affiliated television network Russia One has broadcast a disturbing discussion of how Moscow should treat two imprisoned American soldiers. The two men were captured by Vladimir Puitin’s military forces while fighting alongside defending Ukrainian troops in Kharkiv and have been detained in a Russian-controlled area of the Donbas region since. The television hosts speculated that the pair could be executed for their involvement in the war as a Russian proxy court recently sentenced two British men and one Moroccan man to death for acting as ‘mercenaries’ in the Ukrainian war.
The television pundits also discussed how the Kremlin could use an American basketball player, Brittney Griner, to establish part of a prisoner exchange to free a notorious Russian arms dealer.
Speaking on Rossiya One, host Aleksey Zhuravlyov said: “As expected, Americans are the dumbest ones, their mercenaries are just like their President.”
He referenced pictures of the captured soldiers as he added: “Here they are, Huynh and Drueke, those two weirdos.
“I could care less what happens to them.
“They should either be liquidated or exchanged for Bout.”
He continued: “We need our citizens out of America, thank God, we have such opportunities.”
Another host, Olga Skabeyeva, added: “We also have an American basketball player caught with drugs so we have somewhat of an exchange fund.”
Zhuravlyov replied: “Of course, we have an exchange fund.
“This is what happens to those who come here.”
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The pundits outlined how the Kremlin was planning to strategically release certain international prisoners held in Russia as part of tactical exchange deals.
The two American soldiers, Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh, have been held in a detention centre in the Kremlin-controlled region of the Donetsk People’s republic and labelled as foreign “mercenaries” by Russian media.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the men were not protected by the rights of the Geneva Convention as he described them as “soldiers of fortune” that should not have been involved in the conflict.
In an interview with NBC, Mr Peskov said: “They were involved in illegal activities on the territory of Ukraine, they were involved in firing and shelling our military personnel.”
He added: “They should be held responsible for those crimes that they have committed.”
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The pundits also speculated that American sportswoman Brittney Griner could be used as part of the Kremlin’s “exchange fund.”
Ms Griner has been held in Russia since February after officers at Moscow airport allegedly found cannabis oil in her luggage as she was attempting to return to the US.
The hosts suggested the basketball player could be used to negotiate the release of arms trafficker Viktor Bout from the US where he is currently serving a 25-year sentence for his crimes.
A prisoner exchange deal has not yet been established between the two nations, although in April the US did release a Russian pilot convicted for drug trafficking in exchange for a US citizen, Trevor Reed, who was being held in Russia after being sentenced for assault.
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