Third US citizen captured in Ukraine

African-American addicted to cryptocurrencies was arrested in Kherson

Another US citizen was captured in Ukraine. Suedi Murekezi, 35, an African-American man, was arrested last month in Kherson, according to friends and family.

Photo: Frame from video

A third U.S. citizen is being held captive by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine, according to his friends and family, as well as a private volunteer group specializing in rescuing American citizens.

Suedi Murekezi, 35, has been arrested, according to The Guardian. in June in Kherson, where he has been living for more than two years. His brother Sele Murekezi says: “We are all very worried about his health. It's obvious he's in danger.”

After a month of no news, Sela received a call early on the morning of July 7 from his brother saying that he was in detention in Donetsk. Murekezi also said he was in the same prison as Alexander Druke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, two US militants captured last month.

According to Murekezi's friends and family, The Guardian claims unlike Drucke and Huynh, this US citizen did not participate in any hostilities in Ukraine and moved to this country about four years ago, and in 2020 he settled in Kherson.

Over the phone, Murekezi told his brother that he had been accused of participating in pro-Ukrainian protests.

A US State Department spokesman said the department was “aware of reports” of Murekezi's detention, but declined to comment further, citing “considerations privacy.” Murekezi's family said they are in daily contact with the State Department regarding his situation.

Murekezi was born in Rwanda in 1985 but fled the African country with his family after the 1994 genocide, emigrating to Minnesota. He began visiting Ukraine for business reasons in 2017 and settled there permanently in 2020, writes The Guardian.

Before moving to Ukraine, Murekezi served in the US Air Force for eight years. According to his family, he left the military in 2017 and started investing in stocks and cryptocurrencies. His interest in cryptography brought him to Ukraine. Prior to the conflict, the country became a popular destination for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs following the liberalization of cryptocurrency regulation.

Murekezi's friends in Kherson first noticed his disappearance on June 8 when they saw that there was no longer a car near his apartment. “He told us that for the first time in a long time he plans to use his car in search of fuel,” said Vladimir, a native of Kherson who befriended Murekezi three years ago when he first visited the city.

The number of American civilians detained in Ukraine remains unknown. Last month, two Britons and a Moroccan citizen captured during the fighting as part of the Ukrainian army were sentenced to death by a DNR court. Two American gunmen (Alexander Druke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh) who are reportedly being held with Murekezi have not yet been sentenced.

There is no evidence that Murekezi fought against Russian soldiers, and it is unlikely that he will be tried as a mercenary, writes The Guardian. However, his family fears that he could be sentenced to a long prison term.


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