Two British Soldiers Captured In Ukraine Could Face Death Penalty Says Russian Prosecutor
A Moscow-backed prosecutor has said that two British fighters, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, captured in Ukraine, could face the death penalty under Russian Law.
A prosecutor for the Russian state has said that two British men who were captured by Russian troops while fighting for Ukraine could face the death penalty. Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner are both due to be tried under Russian law in an area of Ukraine that is under Russian control, referred to by Moscow as the Donetsk People's Republic.
Both men are said to be facing charges of "a number of crimes against civilians of Donetsk People's Republic."
Moscow-backed prosecutor Andrei Spivak told news reporters that the "maximum punishment for these crimes is the death penalty."
28-year-old Aiden Aslin said that he understood the allegations against him but denies that he killed civilians while fighting in Mariupol alongside the Ukrainian Marines.
Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner are accused of committing acts of terrorism, threatening citizens, and murdering civilians, as well as "being on the territory of Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in a time of war, being armed with firearms, took part in the preparation and military actions against the Armed Forces of the Donetsk People's Republic for the purpose of forcibly seizing and forcibly retaining power on the territory of DPR."
Aslin, who is a dual national, originally from Nottinghamshire, and has been part of the Ukrainian Marines since 2018, admitted using weapons and arms alongside other Ukrainian fighters, he said: "I understand fully what I am accused of and I agree with it fully up to the part about murdering civilians - I don't agree with that.
"I agree with the fact that I fought on the territory of the DPR, and fought against the soldiers of the DPR in peaceful settlements."
Shaun Pinner, a 48-year-old former British soldier who has been living in the Donbas region of Ukraine with his wife for four years was captured last month and was quickly paraded in a Russian propaganda video.
In the video, Pinner said: "Hi, I'm Shaun Pinner. I am a citizen of the UK. I was captured in Mariupol. I am part of the 36 Brigade First Battalion Ukrainian Marines. "I was fighting in Mariupol for five to six weeks and now I'm in Donetsk People's Republic."
Donbas and the area Russians refer to as Donetsk People's Republic are part of Ukraine under international law, however, Russia claims a referendum held in 2014 proved citizens there want to live under Russian rule.
Ukraine claims this is illegal and disputes the referendum. Many other nationals, Britain included, say that the referendum was illegitimate and unconstitutional.