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Russia: No Geneva Conventions For 2 US Vets

The Russian government signaled on Monday that it would not apply the Geneva Conventions — which govern wartime conduct like the treatment of prisoners of war — to the two U.S. veterans who were captured in the fighting in Ukraine earlier this month. In an interview with NBC journalist Keir Simmons on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described captured U.S. Army veteran Alexander Drueke, 39, and U.S. Marine veteran Andy Huynh, 27, as “soldiers of fortune” and said they were “involved in illegal activities” when they were captured during fighting near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kherson. [embedded content] Peskov said Drueke and Huynh are not considered legitimate military combatants and his description of the pair as “soldiers of fortune” implies they are to be considered mercenaries. He insisted Drueke and Huynh “are not Ukrainian Army” and “are not subject to the Geneva Convention.” “You’re certain that they weren’t enlisted, you believe they weren’t enlisted in the Ukrainian Army?” Simmons asked. “It will be in due course,” Peskov replied. Under the Geneva Conventions, mercenaries are not subject to protections afforded to prisoners of war serving in a regular military capacity. The Geneva Conventions do state that foreign volunteers in another nation’s forces are not necessarily acting as mercenaries. For instance, the famous Nepalese Ghurka units of the British armed forces and the members of the French Foreign Legion are not considered mercenaries under the Geneva Conventions and could expect to the rules and practices of the conventions to apply. Many U.S. …

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