(Fwrd Axis) — The three Americans detained in a Russian prison may still face the death penalty, a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said in an exclusive interview on Monday.
Speaking to NBC News, Dmitry Peskov said the three Americans would “face the same fate” as two British citizens and a Moroccan who were sentenced to death after they were detained by Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine this month.
“It depends on the investigation,” Peskov said. “There will be a court, and there will be a court decision. They should be punished.”
The Ukrainian government said back in March that 20,000 people in 52 countries volunteered to fight with the International Legion of Ukraine. Damien Magrou, a spokesman for the foreign legion, said he couldn’t “confirm or deny” whether Drueke and Huynh are a part of that group of 20,000.
On Friday, videos of the men started appearing on pro-Russian channels and social media showing what looks to be Drueke and Huynh being held in an unknown location. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States has been in contact with the Ukrainian government as they monitor the situation.
WNBA star Brittney Griner has been in a Russian prison since February after she was arrested when cannabis oil was allegedly found in her luggage.
Peskov also denied Griner is being held as a “hostage.”
Instead, he repeated the Kremlin’s claim that aggressive Western sanctions are having little effect on the Russian economy.
“Those guys on the battlefield were firing at our military guys. They were endangering their lives,” he said.
President Joe Biden said Friday that the government is aware of the men’s capture but had no idea of their exact whereabouts.
“I have been briefed. We don’t know where they are,” Biden told reporters Friday before leaving the White House. “I want to reiterate, Americans should not be going to Ukraine now. I’ll say it again, Americans should not be going to Ukraine now.”