“We know they’re talking, they’re breathing, they’re ambulatory, and they sound like themselves,” Darla Black, the mother of Huynh’s fiancee, told CNN on Friday.
“I have your son standing right next to me,” Bunny Drueke recalled a woman from the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia telling her.
The families did not know that the prisoner exchange was underway.
“My mind just couldn’t comprehend it because there had been no warning. It just came out of the blue,” Drueke’s mother told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Huynh’s fiancee, Joy Black, told CNN’s Erin Burnett that Huynh asked for spaghetti with meat — a meal he had been craving since he was in Ukraine — as soon as he returns to Alabama.
Even after being captured, their families say the men had said they did not regret going over to fight the Ukrainians.
“Alex told me emphatically no, no regrets,” his aunt, Dianna Shaw, told CNN. “They really want people to understand that Ukraine needs our support. They need the support of all democratic nations. They need democracies to come together and push (Russian President Vladimir) Putin back.”
“The United States will never recognize Ukrainian territory as anything other than part of Ukraine. Russia’s referendums are a sham — a false pretext to try to annex parts of Ukraine by force in flagrant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Biden said in a declaration.
CNN’s Shawna Mizelle and Sam Fossum contributed to this report.