A Minnesota man who was kidnapped by the Russian military in Ukraine earlier this month has been released, and his wife and daughter have been reunited safely, according to his relieved mother.
Tina Hauser said she finally spoke with her son, 28-year-old Tyler Jacob, on Friday after nearly two weeks of waiting for information on his status.
“It was like angels singing in my ears to be able to hear his voice again,” Hauser said.
She described the phone conversation as “extremely emotional” because it was the day she had been anticipating for over two weeks.
On March 12, Hauser’s son was apprehended by Russian authorities while riding in a bus destined for Turkey with his Ukrainian wife and her 11-year-old daughter.
He was released by Russian officials after being imprisoned in what his mother described as a jail, and he is working to reunite with his family in the United States.
Hauser expressed her joy at learning that her son is now secure and able to resume his life.
“When he got to the safe country that he’s in, he called me. He was with an ambassador at the time so she called and he got on the phone and was telling us where he was and I said ‘get yourself situated, do what you need to do and then we’ll get in contact later when everything settles down later today or tomorrow.’”
For security concerns, Hauser said she couldn’t say exactly where her son was.
Jacob was treated very well while incarcerated, according to his mother, although he was extremely bored.
Jacob moved to Ukraine in November to teach English and was living with his wife and daughter in the southern city of Kherson.
He and his family made the agonizing decision to evacuate the besieged city to Turkey, but were apprehended by Russian troops at a checkpoint in northern Crimea’s Armiansk.
Hauser’s son is the second US citizen detained by the Russian military during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the US Embassy in Moscow.