There is an unholy and inverse relationship between military progress and military behavior, in which any giving fighting force will turn to abhorrent actions the more they suffer in conventional warfare.
We are witnessing this in real time in Ukraine these days, as the already-unscrupulous Russian army continues to engage in blatant war crimes and literal genocide as their soldiers continue to surrender and be killed at an alarming rate.
Now, two Americans who were captured by Russian forces while fighting in Ukraine are describing the unbelievable and gruesome torture that Russian forces subjected them to.
Andy Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, who volunteered in the Ukrainian army, entered Ukraine in early April. They were taken as prisoners in June during a firefight in the village of Izbytske and held captive in the Donbas region.
In September, they were released to the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia as part of a prisoner exchange.
The soldiers from Alabama, who spent 105 days in Russian captivity, told ABC News they were held in a “black site,” where the had to endure daily torture. According to the pair, they lived on dirty water and spoiled bread and were interrogated, beaten, deprived of sleep and forced to stand or sit on their knees while blindfolded for hours.
The experience was harrowing.
During their captivity, Huynh and Drueke were also forced to make propaganda videos and partake in interviews, wherein they were forced to praise Russia. If they had not followed the script, they were to be raped or killed.
Drueke, 40, retired from the U.S. Army after 12 years. He was chosen as the duo’s spokesperson and was allowed to make calls to his family in Tuscaloosa under duress. According to Drueke, the captors had cracked four of his ribs.
The captors believed Huynh and Drueke were CIA operatives, and they demanded information from them.
Huynh said at one point that the men were “praying for death”.
The European Union has already called for a war crimes tribunal to examine Russia’s behavior in Ukraine.