TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — The mother of a U.S. military veteran who went missing after he traveled to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia has spoken with her son by telephone.

Relatives say Lois “Bunny” Drueke, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, answered a call from what appeared to be a Russian exchange and talked to son Alex Drueke on Tuesday for nearly 10 minutes.

It was their first conversation since he and Andy Huynh, another Alabama veteran, were captured after a fight earlier this month in Ukraine.

Bunny Dureke says her son sounded tired and stressed and seemed prompted by his captors that they were anxious to begin negotiations about a release.