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Nonprofit rescues Michigan native detained by Russia in Ukraine

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Posted at 2:47 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 16:22:00-04

(WXYZ) — A nonprofit organization that helps evacuate Americans from dangerous areas around the world says they have reunited a 27-year-old Michigan native with his family after a trek across Ukraine following a month of being held by Russian forces.

Project DYNAMO says Kirillo Alexandrov was being held after being accused of espionage. He was detained, along with his wife, who is Ukrainian, grandmother -in law. The organization says they were able to help Alexandrov and his family escape captivity, pass through more than 20 Russian checkpoints and escape the country.

They were detained in late March while attempting to evacuate from their home near Kherson, which is more than 100 kilometers behind the front lines and under Russian control.

Alexandrov says Russian soldiers violently assaulted his wife, handcuffed him, beat him on multiple occasions, and conducted mock executions. He spoke with CNN about his experience.

Project DYNAMO says they were made aware of the situation by Alexandrov's mother, who lives in Jackson County. After speaking with her, they notified the government, including the FBI, of their efforts. They were able to rescue him on Russian Victory Day, after receiving intelligence he was scheduled to be extradited to Moscow.

Project DYNAMO is a Rydonor-funded nonprofit organization based in Tampa, Florida that was established by the U.S. servicemembers during the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan in 2021. The name comes from “Operation Dynamo,” the codename used during the Dunkirk evacuation operation of World War II.