After being sentenced to death, a British man was captured in Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s troops and filmed singing the Russian national song.
Aiden Aslin, who is not shaven, has short hair while he sings “The State Anthem Of The Russian Federation” from a small room with bars above the windows and a table in middle.
As he sings the anthem, the 28-year old from Newark, Nottinghamshire is wearing a blue tracksuit bottom and a red shirt over a T-shirt.
He is standing next to John Dougan, a former US police officer who moved to Russia in 2016. Dougan is now believed to be a prominent conspiracist who helps spread pro-Moscow misinformation online.
The video was posted by Roman Kosarev, Russia Today journalist, on Friday via Telegram messaging app. Mr Dougan smiles and nods throughout the rendition.
After Mr Aslin’s singing has ceased, he applauds and tells him that the performance was “amazing”.
A post accompanying the video by Mr Kosarev states that Mr Aslin’s cellmates told him that he had a talent singing after seeing his rendition.
The rumor goes that Mr Dougan asked Mr Aslin to perform the anthem for him on camera.
“He agreed to that, and that’s exactly what happened,” Mr Kosarev says.
Sky News chose not to broadcast the video.
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A former care worker joined the Ukrainian armed forces in 2018.
After fighting in Ukraine, Mr Aslin was one of two British soldiers who were sentenced to death in June by a Russian-backed court.
Former care home worker Shaun Pinner (48) and he were accused of being mercenaries.
Aslin, a Marine in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, joined in 2018 and applied for citizenship.
He is also engaged to a Ukrainian woman.
After being sentenced to death, the British fighter declared that “God will be my judge when it comes”.
Foreign Office condemns’sham judgments’
In April, Mr Aslin was captured in Mariupol. He and Mr Pinner then appeared in court in Donetsk People’s Republic. DPR is a pro-Russian separatist region in east Ukraine.
According to Russian Interfax news agency, they were found guilty of “mercenary actions and committing actions aimed towards seizing power and overthrowing constitutional order of DPR”.
The UK Foreign Office believes the verdicts are “sham judgments” and supports Mr Aslin’s and Mr Pinners families.
They claim they served in regular military units in Mariupol and should therefore be considered prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.
In a statement, Mr Aslin’s family stated that the couple were not mercenaries. They needed to take in everything.
It continued: “We love Aiden with our whole hearts. As members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Shaun and Aiden should be treated with respect, just as any other prisoner of war.
They expressed hope that the sentence would be overturned and called on the British government and the Ukrainian government to “do all they can to have them back to us safely and quickly”.
The statement continued: “We cannot imagine what they are going through right at this moment. This is an extremely disturbing development.