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Two Americans captured in Ukraine are currently in the Russian-backed separatist region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday citing an unidentified source.

If the Interfax report is confirmed, the arrival of U.S. citizens Andy Huynh and Alexander Drueke in the separatist region will raise fears that the pair, both from Alabama, could face charges in the separatist region.

Britons Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin and Morroccan citizen Brahim Saadoun were sentenced to death by a Donetsk separatist court earlier this month, after being captured fighting with the Ukrainian army.

Reuters could not immediately verify the Interfax report on the location of the Americans. A spokeswoman in Donetsk declined immediate comment.

The Kremlin said on Monday that the two were mercenaries not covered by the Geneva convention who should face responsibility for their actions.

Though Russia does not carry out the death penalty, its proxies in the self-styled Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics do.

Huynh and Drueke arrived in Ukraine in April, according to family members who spoke to Reuters.

The two men told relatives on June 8 that they were going on a mission and would be out of contact. Family members said they later found out that the men had been in Kharkiv region, which borders Donetsk to the north.

Lois Drueke, mother of Alexander Drueke, said: "Alex did not go in a military capacity. He went as a civilian with military training."

Source: Reuters

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