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July 9, 2022 Press Release


Tuscaloosa, Alabama

July 9, 2022

Contact: Dianna Shaw, 205-764-3434,

Alex Drueke Makes July 8 Call from Captivity in Russian-controlled Area of Ukraine

Alex Drueke, former U.S. soldier being held captive by Russian-backed forces in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, telephoned his mother Bunny Drueke on July 8 immediately after he spoke with a case manager at the U.S. Department of State.

Drueke and fellow captive American Andy Huynh have been declared Prisoners of War by Ukrainian government spokespeople, and U.S. and Ukrainian diplomats are working to get them on a list of captives for potential action, like negotiated release.

“I don’t know why Alex keeps getting to make these calls,” Mrs. Drueke said, “but I am very grateful. It’s wonderful to hear his voice and get confirmation that he is alive and staying strong. Our family hopes that Andy will be able to call soon too.”

The following is a partial transcript of the July 8 call between Drueke and his mother. Discussion of personal family details have been removed for privacy.

The connection was not very good, and some words were not captured by the recording Mrs. Drueke made. These are indicated with “[garbled]”.

Alex: I’m doing fine, no real danger currently. Um, I saw Andy [Huynh] yesterday, we met with our lawyer, he seemed [garbled] well.

Bunny: Good. Is [Huynh] going to call the State Department?

A: I…I don’t know. I talked to [S.D. case manager], he gave me Joy [Black]’s number and I got of his sisters’ numbers so I’ll pass them along.

B: Good.

A: [garbled] he’ll be able to call. I saw, I saw a little bit of you and Joy on CNN…

B: [over Alex] Did you?

A: Yeah! I, I think one of the early [garbled], looking good.

B: Thank you! Well, um, so you can see I’ve been doing lots of interviews and trying to get the word out and everybody’s calling their senators and representatives. Yesterday Joy had two interviews and I had five.

A: Wow!

B: Yeah, it was a busy day.

A: That’s, that’s a lot, yeah, I appreciate it [garbled].

B: Well, we’re just doing all we can, mmm hmm.

A: Yeah, I appreciate it. It’s, um, it’s [garbled] so we’re, um, over here the DPR [garbled] things are happening over here too.

B: Yes. Are you still in solitary confinement?

A; Yes ma’am, I’m still in the same location.

B: Is your room big enough for you to exercise in?

A: Uh, yeah, that’s, you know, yeah, a little bit, yeah, it’s really just, yeah, finding little things to think about, just, you know, fill in the boredom. But, um, [S.D. case manager] and I spoke, and he and I spoke about my conditions and everything, and everything’s pretty…good so…

B: [over Alex] OK, good.

A:…if you have questions [garbled] him too.

B: OK I’ll be glad to do that. Is it hot there?

A: It’s, it’s, yeah, it’s pretty warm…Has, has, uh, [S.D. case manager] didn’t really have any concrete news for me, do you have any new steps or progress that, um, that you can relate?

B: I just know that he said this week and next week they were meeting with ambassadors and teams from Ukraine and also from the UK to discuss the British prisoners and all of y’all, and you, you and Andy were on the agenda. And that’s about all that I know, because when they’re working on something they can’t tell us. So if they aren’t working on it then he’ll chat about a lot of things, and so I think this is very good, it means they are working hard on your case.

A: Yeah, yeah, I agree.

B: It just might be a while.

A: Yeah, yeah, he mentioned that.

B: Well, I told him that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and we were going to keep your names in the news, we were going to keep pressuring people to contact their senators and representatives and try to, you know, get something going all the time, and he said he would be the grease on his end and I could be the grease on my end and we would get that squeaky wheel taken care of quickly.

A: There we go, that sounds good. I do appreciate it.

A recording of this transcripted part of the call is available upon request.