A Russian official said that the two U.S. military veterans captured by Moscow authorities should be “held responsible” for the crimes they committed in Ukraine as Russia’s invasion of the country continues.
In an interview with NBC News, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that U.S. military veterans Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh were involved in illegal activities in the Russian-controlled territory of Ukraine, which included participating in the firing and shelling of Russian military forces.
“They should be held responsible for those crimes that they have committed,” Peskov told NBC News Senior International Correspondent Kier Simmons in an interview set to air on “NBC Nightly News” on Monday.
Peskov also told Simmons that an investigation has to be conducted to determine if both veterans will face a potential death penalty sentence, according to NBC News.
Russian state-controlled media outlet RT reported on Friday that Drueke, 39, and Huynh, 27, are still alive but are being held captive by Russian authorities in the Donbas region of Ukraine.
President Biden recently said he has been briefed about the veterans, who were first reported missing by U.S. officials. Biden has called on American citizens to not travel to Ukraine during the ongoing conflict.
Drueke and Huynh are among a number of Americans in Russian captivity. The list also includes WNBA star Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, who is being held on espionage charges.
Updated at 6:47 p.m.