National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby (file photo) US finds «disgusting» Kremlin's words about the possible execution of Alexander Dryuk and Andy Hyun
Two Americans from Alabama fell into the hands of separatists in the puppet DNR
As a White House spokesman stressed on Tuesday, it is disgusting that an official in Russia is proposing to execute Americans captured in Ukraine.
Earlier Tuesday, a Kremlin spokesman said the US citizens in question should be tried , and did not rule out that they could face the death penalty.
“It's disgusting that a government official in Russia has even proposed (implementing) the death penalty on American citizens … in Ukraine,” said John Kirby, National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications.
The Kremlin said on Tuesday that he does not know the whereabouts of the two Americans captured in the fighting in eastern Ukraine, but that they were mercenaries and could be sentenced to death in territories controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
Americans Alexander Dryuk (39) , and Andy Hyun (27) disappeared earlier this month during the fighting near Kharkov.
Russian state media later aired a video interview with them, claiming that the two Americans had been captured by pro-Russian forces.
Interfax, citing an unnamed source, said the men were in the self-proclaimed DNR.
Earlier, the authorities of the puppet DPR sentenced to death the British Sean Pinner and Aiden Eslin, as well as the Moroccan Saadoun, who fell into the hands of the separatists while fighting in the ranks of the Ukrainian armed forces.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow does not rule out that the captured Americans, both from Alabama, will also be sentenced to death.
The Kremlin says that, being “mercenaries”, these individuals are not protected by the Geneva Conventions , which outline how prisoners of war should be treated.
“Obviously, we strongly disagree, and we have made our position clear to the Russian government,” a senior president told reporters. State Department spokesman when asked about Peskov's statement.