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Statement on Ukraine Counter-Offensive, Biden Meeting with Griner and Whelan Families (9/16/22)


Tuscaloosa, Alabama

September 16, 2022

Contact: Dianna Shaw, 205-764-3434, didigayle@dianna-shaw

Statement on Ukraine Counter-Offensive, Biden Meeting with Griner and Whelan Families 
The families of Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh, U.S. volunteers in the Ukrainian Army being held captive by Russian-backed forces, issued the following joint statement on Friday:

As the Ukrainian Army advances into the Donetsk region, we anxiously await further news of Alex and Andy. It has been a month since Alex was last allowed to make a phone call, and we still do not have confirmation of their exact location. The Department of State has advised us that the current situation is a delicate one, and we should be prepared for all possible outcomes. We continue to pray and hold hope for their safety and swift release, and for the return of all of Ukraine’s prisoners of war and missing persons.

We are glad for the families of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan to have the comfort and support of a personal conversation with President Joe Biden. We remain in constant contact with members of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s staff, as well as officials of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and the Ukraine Embassy in the U.S. These are the appropriate channels of communication for prisoners of war, and while we would welcome a conversation with President Biden, we do not expect it at this time. We hold Griner’s and Whelan’s families in our constant thoughts and wish a positive outcome for them soon.

People can learn more about Alex and Andy at