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The Guardian is reporting that another American has been detained by pro-Russian forces in the Donetsk People’s Republic. This makes three Americans who are now being held.
This individual, 35-year-old Suedi Murekezi, was reportedly apprehended in June in the city of Kherson. His brother Sele Murekezi told journalists that Suedi had been living in Kherson since 2020.
This news comes after it was revealed that two other American citizens are also being held by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine. Alexander Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh were captured earlier this year. The situation for all three Americans is currently unknown.
The newspaper reported that Sele was able to reach his brother by phone last Thursday. Suedi reportedly said that he was being held in the DPR city of Donetsk in the same prison as Drueke and Tai Ngoc Huynh. The DPR insists that Drueke and Tai Ngoc Huynh are mercenaries and should be treated as such.
The US Department of State has confirmed that it is aware of the reports but has declined to provide any further details. Russian and Donetsk People’s Republic authorities have not responded to requests for comment.
It is believed that Murekezi was born in Rwanda but fled to the US with his family after the 1994 genocide. He apparently was a member of the US Air Force from 2009 to 2017.
Murekezi is thought to have become interested in cryptocurrencies after he left the Air Force, which eventually led him to Ukraine. He was living in Kherson when Russian forces took over the town in early March.