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2 US military vets captured in Ukraine released by Russian-backed forces

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Two U.S. military veterans who disappeared three months ago while fighting Russia with Ukrainian forces were among 10 prisoners, including five British nationals, released by Russian-backed separatists as part of a prisoner exchange mediated by Saudi Arabia, officials said Wednesday.Alex Drueke, 40, and Andy Huynh, 27, went missing in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border June 9.

They had traveled to Ukraine on their own and became friends because both are from Alabama.Their families announced their release in a joint statement from Dianna Shaw, an aunt of Drueke."They are safely in the custody of the U.S.

embassy in Saudi Arabia and after medical checks and debriefing they will return to the states," the statement said.Shaw said both men have spoken with relatives and are in "pretty good shape," according to an official with the U.S.

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