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US Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi is third American to go missing in Ukraine this week

  • Former U.S. Marine Corps officer Grady Kurpasi, 49, who has not been heard from since April 23, is the third American to be reported missing in Ukraine this week.
  • Kurpasi arrived in Ukraine on March 7 after deciding to volunteer as a soldier in the Ukrainian war. Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 20 years, before retiring in November 2021, he felt that his skillset would be valuable to the cause.
  • The other two American soldiers to be reported missing include Andy Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, both from Alabama and both of whom have military experience.
  • Videos of Huynh and Drueke surfaced on Friday on RT, a Russian state-controlled international television network, showing they had been captured by Russian forces.
  • When asked to comment about the captures of American soldier volunteers, Biden reiterated on Friday, “I’ll say it again, Americans should not be going to Ukraine.”

Former U.S. Marine Corps officer Grady Kurpasi, who has not been heard from since April 23, is the third American to be reported missing in Ukraine this week.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price announced during a press conference on Thursday that a third American had gone missing, although the name was not said.

Korean former Navy SEAL Ken Rhee shares video of tense Ukraine mission evacuating wounded soldier

  • Korean ex-Navy SEAL Lieutenant Ken Rhee shared footage on YouTube showing him and other members of the Ukrainian Foreign Legion trying to evacuate a wounded soldier after a reconnaissance mission.
  • The video clip, taken sometime in April, ends with the soldiers abandoning their vehicle due to a flat tire.
  • “These are not a type of offensive operation, but we just go out to scout specific areas,” Rhee tells musician Solnamoo Song in the interview at the end of the video.
  • Rhee, who went to Ukraine in March to fight against the Russian invasion, returned to South Korea on May 27 due to his injuries.
  • The YouTuber-turned-Ukrainian soldier was sent to prosecution without detainment on June 15 by the International Crime Investigation Unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for traveling to Ukraine during a travel ban.
  • He now faces up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won (approximately $7,730) for violating the local passport law.

YouTuber-turned-Ukrainian soldier Ken Rhee recently shared footage of him and other members of the Ukrainian Foreign Legion in a tense moment inside a vehicle while trying to evade Russian forces. 

The Korean ex-Navy SEAL lieutenant, who went to Ukraine in March to fight against the Russian invasion, uploaded a video to his YouTube channel Friday showing him and his team trying to evacuate a wounded soldier after a reconnaissance mission. 

Korean YouTuber-turned-Ukraine fighter Rhee Ken under prosecution for violating passport law

Korean navy seal
  • Korean special forces officer-turned-YouTuber Ken Rhee is now under prosecution for passport law violation after traveling to Ukraine in March to fight against the Russian invasion.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Rhee of violating the passport law as he disregarded a travel ban the Korean government imposed on Ukraine on Feb. 13.
  • Rhee, who returned to South Korea on May 27, said he voluntarily faced police questioning on June 10 and admitted to most of the charges.
  • “I saw what was going on and I said, ‘OK, this can't happen. I wish there was something I could do to help,’” he was quoted as saying. “I'm sure there are many ways to help the war effort [while staying in Korea]. But I was a military officer and I wanted to help in the best capacity that I could.”
  • Rhee now faces up to a year in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won (approximately $7,730). He is hoping endorsements from Ukrainian authorities will help his case.

YouTuber Rhee Ken, the former Korean Navy special forces officer who went to Ukraine in March to fight against the Russian invasion, is now under prosecution for passport law violation.

Rhee, who previously served as a lieutenant in the Korean Navy’s Naval Special Warfare Flotilla, was sent to prosecution without detainment on June 15 by the International Crime Investigation Unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.

Vietnamese American volunteer in Ukraine army believed captured by Russian forces

missing vet
  • Vietnamese American Andy Huynh, who is serving as a volunteer in the Ukrainian army, was reportedly captured along with fellow volunteer soldier Alexander Drueke, 39, by Russian forces last week.
  • "I know it wasn't my problem, but there was that gut feeling that I felt I had to do something,” Huynh said in an earlier interview with his local newspaper The Decatur Daily. "Two weeks after the war began, it kept eating me up inside and it just felt wrong. I was losing sleep ... All I could think about was the situation in Ukraine."
  • Huynh decided to fly to Eastern Europe in April upon learning that young Ukrainians were being drafted into service.
  • Search efforts by a Ukrainian rescue team aided by drones failed to find any trace of the two.
  • “We found nothing,” a source told The Telegraph. “If they had been hit by the tank shell, there would have been remains of their bodies or equipment at the scene."

A Vietnamese American serving as a volunteer in the Ukrainian army was reportedly captured along with another volunteer soldier by Russian forces in Ukraine last week.  

Andy Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, both former U.S. servicemen from Alabama, were taken as prisoners during a firefight in the village of Izbytske outside the city of Kharkiv, soldiers who fought alongside them told The Telegraph.

96-year-old Japanese WWII POW warns Russia-Ukraine is history repeating itself

Akiyoshi Chikada, a 96-year-old Japanese man who was formerly interned in Ukraine during World War II, says that history is repeating itself with the Russia-Ukraine War.

Chikada was tricked into working at an internment camp in 1945 after Soviet troops promised he was returning to Japan while putting him on a freight train, according to The Mainichi.

Korean ex-Navy SEAL and YouTuber Rhee Ken is promoted to leader in Ukraine army

  • Former Korean Navy SEAL lieutenant-turned-YouTuber Ken Rhee, 37, has reportedly been promoted to a leadership position in the Ukrainian military.
  • On Monday, Anton Gerashchenko, the official advisor for the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, posted on his Twitter that Rhee was being placed in a “leadership position” given his “special operations experience.”
  • The new rank would give the former Navy SEAL “a lot of leeway in planning missions against [Russian] forces,” added the official.
  • In an interview on Saturday, Rhee also shared that he had been injured while fighting Russian forces in Irpin, Ukraine, and was currently hospitalized.
  • Korean law forbids its citizens from traveling to Ukraine, and violators of the law, including Rhee, risk prison time and a potential fine of 10 million won ($7,913).

Former Korean Navy SEAL lieutenant-turned-YouTuber Rhee Ken, 37, has reportedly been promoted to a leadership position in the Ukrainian military. 

On Monday, Anton Gerashchenko, the official advisor for and former deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, posted on his Twitter that Rhee, a volunteer fighter for the International Legion, was being placed in a “leadership position” given his “special operations experience.” 

Sen. Rubio introduces bill to speed up weapons sales to Taiwan, boost joint military training

  • U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill Tuesday designed to strengthen Taiwan’s defenses through fast-tracked weapons sales and a joint training program, among other measures.
  • The bill, titled Taiwan Peace through Strength Act of 2022, will essentially require assessments on Taipei’s defensive capabilities and Washington’s readiness to defend the island.
  • The legislation also includes arms-focused amendments to the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.
  • While he believes China could attack Taiwan within the decade, Rubio says his bill “will make Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party think twice before launching a foolish invasion.”

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday introduced a bill designed to strengthen Taiwan’s defensive capabilities through fast-tracked weapons sales and a joint training program, among other measures.

The legislation, titled Taiwan Peace through Strength Act of 2022, is a response to China’s threat of invasion, which observers perceive as a looming reality in relation to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s men’s basketball team hopes possible Taiwan visit will provide mental refresh

Ukraine basketball team
  • Ukrainian men's basketball team manager Andrii Lebediev said at a press conference on Saturday he hopes the team’s time in Taiwan will help them refresh their minds amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, if confirmed.
  • Lebediev, two other national team staff members and a family member arrived in Taiwan on April 5 on a business visa after being invited by the Kaohsiung Steelers, a team under Taiwan’s professional basketball league P. League+.
  • The purpose of the visit, which was welcomed by P. League+ founder and CEO Blackie Chen, was to provide opportunities for professional exchange on management and training.
  • Ukraine’s national basketball team was competing in the FIBA World Cup European qualifiers in Spain on February 24, right around the time when Russia began its invasion of the Eastern European country.

Ukraine’s national men’s basketball team hopes their trip to Taiwan, if confirmed, will give their players peace of mind while they prepare for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 European qualifier next month.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, team manager Andrii Lebediev said he hopes the new training environment will help the team refresh their minds amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

‘Drivers took white people and animals over us’: Indian student recounts racism while fleeing Ukraine

  • A student from India who left his family for Ukraine to attend university and find a better job says he experienced discrimination and robbery during the ongoing war.
  • Mohammad Sajid, 23, arrived in Kyiv in February to study at the National University of Physical Education and Sport and find a part-time job to support his family in India.
  • He and his friends encountered some challenges while trying to escape Ukraine because of the language barrier.
  • Sajid claims that the taxi “drivers took white people and animals over us.”
  • A local Good Samaritan helped Sajid escape to a refugee camp in Poland.

A student from India who left his family for Ukraine to attend university and find a better job says he experienced discrimination and robbery in the midst of an ongoing war.

Mohammad Sajid, 23, arrived in Kyiv in February to study at the National University of Physical Education and Sport and find a part-time job to be able to support his family in India. But they had no idea that a war would erupt in Ukraine a week later.

No Asian countries make Ukraine’s thank-you list

  • Ukraine did not include Asian countries or territories in its thank-you list of “partners,” which was shared by the nation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday. 
  • The list includes 31 countries that have provided lethal weapons to the Eastern European country.
  • A few Asian governments have offered humanitarian aid and nonlethal defense equipment to Ukraine, but the recently shared list emphasizes that the war-torn country wants more help.
  • Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan have sent various forms of aid to Ukraine, but neither of them are expected to provide ammunition.
  • Meanwhile, China remains the world’s largest superpower to refuse to condemn Russia for its actions.

While a few Asian governments have offered humanitarian and defense aid to Ukraine, no Asian country or territory has made it to Kiev’s recent list of “partners” to thank for supporting its fight for freedom against Russia.

The list, which was unveiled in a Ministry of Foreign Affairs video posted on Monday, includes 31 nations that have given lethal weaponry to Kiev amid the ongoing crisis. These nations provided rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers and other forms of ammunition the war-torn country said it desperately needs.

Drone maker DJI becomes first Chinese company to openly halt business with Russia and Ukraine

  • DJI, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, became the first Chinese company to openly cease operations in Russia and Ukraine in light of “current hostilities.”
  • In a statement on Tuesday, the Shenzhen-based firm said it is “internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions,” leading to its decision to temporarily suspend business in both countries.
  • Ahead of the announcement, Ukrainian authorities accused the company of aiding Russia through its products.
  • Ride-sharing firm Didi was reportedly the first Chinese company to announce a Russian exit, but it backpedaled days later without explanation.

Global drone maker DJI has become the first Chinese company to openly cease operations in Russia and Ukraine, citing “current hostilities” as its reason for doing so.

In a statement posted on Tuesday, the Shenzhen-based firm said it is “internally reassessing compliance requirements in various jurisdictions” and would thus “temporarily suspend all business activities” in both countries.