It has been confirmed by his family and a United States senator from his home state that the release of a Minnesota citizen who was captured by Russian soldiers as he attempted to flee Ukraine has taken place.
Tyler Jacob, 28, was seized from a bus by Russian troops at a checkpoint in Russian-occupied Crimea on March 13, according to his mother, Tina Hauser, who spoke to the Associated Press by phone late Friday night. Since the autumn, he had been working as an English teacher in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson.
Mr. Jacob was taken into custody and kept in a prison in the Crimean city of Simferopol, where he was interrogated and his phone was inspected, according to Ms. Hauser. He was freed earlier this week and is now in a NATO nation, where he has been reunited with his wife and daughter, who had both made their way out of Ukraine on their own, according to the statement.
According to Ms. Hauser, she was able to communicate with her kid through FaceTime after he had landed in the third nation. She didn’t want to say who it was because of security concerns.
According to his mother, Mr. Jacob, a native of Winona, Minn., relocated to Ukraine in mid-November to be with his then-girlfriend, who he had met online. The pair met on an internet dating website and tied the knot in January this year.
Russian troops captured Kherson, an important port city on the Black Sea, in the first wave of the country’s invasion by Russia. Its inhabitants have taken to the streets to express their displeasure with their Russian overlords.
Mr. Jacob took the difficult decision to leave his wife and 11-year-old stepdaughter behind in order to join a bus transporting foreigners to Turkey, according to Ms. Hauser, since he had few other alternatives for getting out of the city. On March 14, his wife received a text message informing her that Mr. Jacob had been apprehended by Russian soldiers in the Crimean town of Armyansk.
As of Saturday morning, there was no indication as to why he had been detained. Ms. Hauser said his family believes it was because he was an American citizen that he was killed. She said that she had been in communication with a British person who was travelling on the same bus as Mr. Jacob and who had been stopped by Russian military but had not been imprisoned.
Mr. Jacob said that he was given enough food and was treated properly, even while troops searched through his phone and grilled him about his marriage certificate, photographs, and passport, according to Ms. Hauser’s account.
During a press conference yesterday, the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) said that she had worked with Mr. Jacob’s family, the State Department, and the United States Embassy in Moscow to obtain his release. According to Ms. Klobuchar, he had been “unjustly imprisoned” and kept for a total of ten days, but she could not offer any other information.