In the video, the two men appeal separately, and they appeal to the British prime minister to negotiate his replacement with Viktor Medvedchuk, a 67-year-old Ukrainian businessman with strong ties to Vladimir Putin who was imprisoned. trying to escape from Ukraine.
The first citizen arrested is Aiden Aslin, also known as Johnny. He is a British man who appears in the pictures with handcuffs and faded on his forehead. The Guardian, who is from Nottinghamshire, said Aslin was believed to have surrendered when the battalion ran out of ammunition.
Aslin enlisted in the Ukrainian Navy in 2018 and bought a house in the country to start a family with his bride after fighting alongside Kurdish forces against Fathers in Syria, according to the British Daily Telegraph.
His mother, Ang Wood, told the same media that he identified the 28-year-old man based on the tattoo he saw in the pictures.
“Aiden is an active member of the Ukrainian armed forces” and “he must be treated humanely as a prisoner of war” and “in accordance with the terms of the Geneva Convention,” the mother defended.
“It already seems to have been beaten, it’s time for the British government to intervene to ensure Aiden’s release because he is still a British citizen,” he added.
The other is Shaun Pinner, 48, a native of Bedfordshire and a veteran of the British Army, who joined the Ukrainian Defense Forces. “Hey, I’m Shaun Pinner, I’m a UK citizen. I was imprisoned in Mariupol,” he says in a video broadcast on Russian television, adding that after defending the city for five to six weeks, he was transported to the “Donetsk People’s Republic.”
According to the family, Pinner was a member of the Royal Anglican Regiment and moved to Ukraine four years ago to support the country’s armed forces with his experience. It characterizes him as a respected soldier in the British army and a “fun, loved and well-meaning person”, as can be read Caretaker.
“Shaun likes the Ukrainian way of life and considers Ukraine her country of adoption. During these four years, he met his Ukrainian wife, who works on the country’s humanitarian affairs.
He progressed in the Ukrainian Marines as a proud member of that force, ”the family continues to defend, stressing that Pinner“ is not a volunteer or mercenary who officially serves in the Ukrainian army under Ukrainian law ”.
The Pinner family said they are working with the Aslin family and the British Foreign Office to ensure that the two imprisoned soldiers are treated humanely.
In addition, Pinner had already publicly expressed his fear of being taken prisoner by the Russians. In an interview with Mail on Sunday in January, the soldier said he “feared for his life.” – The Russians treat us differently because we are British. “It always means to me that we will be caught,” he said, stressing, however, that he is fighting to protect his family and his city of adoption. stressed.
In a video sent by Russian TV, two Britons call for an exchange for Medvedchuk, without specifying whether they were arrested by Russian forces or by Moscow separatist allies in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. The episode marks the escalation of the propaganda war between Kiev and the Kremlin.
“A lot has happened in the last five or six weeks that I am not aware of. Apparently I know Mr Medvedchuk has been arrested and we want us, Aiden Aslin and me, to be replaced, “Pinner says, looking exhausted. Speaking of Boris Johnson and speaking on their behalf, Pinner thanks him for his help and assures him that he was treated well by Russian forces. “I was fed and given water, that’s all I can say,” he says.
The recordings were presented in interviews with Russian journalist Andrei Rudenko, who, speaking with Aiden Aslin, shows that he is wearing a t-shirt from the Azov Battalion, the nationalist and far-right Ukrainian Defense Forces. However, it was not possible to confirm when the videos were recorded and whether Aslin was forced to wear such an outfit.
The reporter showed two men a video released last week by Medvedchuk’s wife, Oksana Marchenko, demanding that her husband be changed to two Britons. The duo then ask for an exchange in English.
The British Foreign Office has already announced that it will support the families of the two men. However, the war has limited the UK’s ability to provide assistance, negotiate or obtain information about British citizens.