September 21, 2022 Russia-Ukraine News

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday welcomed the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia which led to the release of 10 people, including two Americans.

“The United States appreciates that Ukraine includes all prisoners of war, regardless of nationality, in its negotiations, and we look forward to seeing these American citizens reunited with their families,” Blinken said in a statement.

He also thanked Saudi Arabia for spearheading the initiative. “I expressed my gratitude to Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan during a call this morning,” Blinken said.

Family members of Americans Alexander John-Robert Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh – captured in June while fighting for Ukraine north of Kharkiv – confirmed to CNN on Wednesday that they had been released.

Five Britons were also released, the UK government said. In addition, three other people – Moroccan, Swedish and Croatian nationals – were released in the exchange, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said.

In his statement, Blinken reiterated that US citizens should not travel to Ukraine.

“Americans traveling to Ukraine to participate in the fighting there are at significant risk, and the United States cannot guarantee their safety,” he said. “We encourage American citizens to devote their energies to the many other opportunities that exist to help the country of Ukraine and its people.”