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Britons captured in Ukraine and facing a possible death penalty appear in Russian separatist court

Two British men were captured by Russian forces and charged with being mercenaries. They have been brought before a court to face the death penalty.

Aiden Aslin, a Newark resident, was seen with Shaun Pinner (Bedfordshire) and Saaudun Branhim (Morocco).

They are being held in Donetsk People’s Republic (a separatist region in Ukraine’s east).

They claim they served in regular military units in Mariupol and should therefore be considered prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.


Andrew Hill, a third Briton, faces additional charges after he was captured in the Mykolaiv region. His affiliation is not known.

Denis Pushilin (the president of Donetsk People’s Republic) has accused the men in the “monstrous crime” of trying to seize power, and of crimes against large groups of people.

He stated that their trial would begin at the regional supreme court.

Learn more about Ukraine

On Tuesday, Mr Aslin’s family stated that it was a very sensitive and emotional time and that they were working together with the Ukrainian government as well as the UK Foreign Office to help the 28-year old.

They released a statement saying that Aiden was a beloved man who is greatly missed.

Former care home worker joined the Ukrainian armed forces in 2018 as a marine. He has since applied for citizenship and has a Ukrainian bride.

In April, Mr Pinner was captured saying that he had been taken while defending Mariupol.

His family stated that he was not a mercenary or a volunteer, but that he was officially serving with the Ukrainian military.

Sky News was told by the 48-year-old , a few months prior, that he was on his fourth tour in Ukraine following nine years of service in the British Army.

He is a Ukrainian national who has been living in the country since 2018.

Dominic Raab, Deputy Prime Minister, stated Monday that the British government expected the laws of armed conflicts to be represented and that the Foreign Office would make all representations.

Russia’s main focus is on the eastern Donbas, which includes Luhansk (and Donetsk) and Donetsk.

Ukraine has yet to recognize the two separatist republics that were created in 2014 by separatists.

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