First Photos of British Soldier Captured By The Russians In Mariupol Have Emerged
The first images of 28-year-old Aiden Aslin, who was fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in the besieged city of Mariupol have emerged after he was captured by Russian soldiers.
The 28-year-old man, known on social media by his alias Cossack Gundi, moved to Ukraine after meeting a woman from Mykolaiv and joined the Ukrainian armed forces.
Aiden had spent weeks defending Mariupol against a heavy onslaught from the invading Russian forces, his unit was forced to surrender two days ago after running out of ammunition and supplies following 48 days of intense fighting in and around the city.
A photograph of the British national has circulated showing him with his arms shackled in handcuffs and his face with a large laceration and heavy bruising.
The second photograph of Aiden, showing him in custody was posted on Telegram by a pro-Russian account from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
Members of Aiden's family have spoken out after receiving news of his capture stating that they are hoping for a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine.
The MP for Aiden's hometown of Newark, Nottinghamshire, Robert Jenrick posted on Twitter yesterday, saying: "I am working with the foreign office to track the whereabouts and secure the release of my constituent. "Aiden chose to risk his life because he believes passionately in the Ukrainian people's right to live in freedom and democracy."
Aiden's official Twitter account, Cossack Gundi, which is being operated by a close friend posted the picture of the British fighter, promising to keep his situation "in the public eye".
The tweet read, "Just got this, it looks as if they have gotten ahold of Aiden."
"F***ing pukes have worked him over too by the looks of it. We're going to keep in the public eye everyday until he's exchanged." The same Twitter account had posted earlier in the week announcing Aiden's surrender in Mariupol.
Aiden's younger brother, Nathan Wood, told MailOnline on Tuesday that their family had received almost no information as to the whereabouts or physical condition of the captured soldier, they also expressed deep concern that he would be treated badly by his Russian captors.
"As a family we don't want to say too much because Aiden's well-being and safety is our prime concern but President Putin has made dire warnings to those Westerners caught fighting for the Ukrainian Army," Nathan said.
"Aiden has been called a mercenary but that isn't true, he enrolled with the Ukrainian Army four years ago and has dual citizenship," he added. Aiden had previously served alongside the Kurdish YPG in Iraq fighting against Islamic State.