Aiden Aslin says he has “no words to describe the horror of Russian prisons”.

Released British prisoner Aiden Aslin says there are

Aiden Aslin vowed to work for the release of Ukrainian prisoners of war

A British freedom fighter who was captured in Ukraine and released after a prisoner swap said he had “no words to describe the conditions” under which he was being held.

Aiden Aslin, 28, from Nottinghamshire, spent about five months at the hands of Russian-backed separatists in Donetsk expecting to die at their hands.

He had been sentenced to death along with four other Britons for fighting as part of a volunteer brigade against Putin’s invaders.

Just days ago, their families saw rumors on social media that the execution was going ahead – but were overjoyed on Thursday when they were told the five men were returning home.

In video captured from their plane home, Aiden thanked “everyone who has supported us,” while one of his comrades, Bedfordshire-based British Army veteran Shaun Pinner, said they were “about the skin of ours.” teeth” escaped.

In his first video since returning to the UK, Aiden began campaigning for more to be done to help Ukrainian prisoners [who are] still in prisons in Donetsk and in Russia”.

He added: “The conditions are real…there are no words to describe the conditions they have.

“So we have to keep the people who are still there – who we haven’t left behind – who are still there waiting for us to help them get back to their families.

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LR John Harding, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin (Source Sky News) Saved from a Russian death sentence: British prisoner of war Aiden Aslin, who faced a firing squad after his capture in Ukraine, is being sentenced with four other prisoners

Five British men were released this week in a deal brokered by Saudi Arabia

“The best we can do is continue to speak out about the prisoners who are still in captivity.

“As much as I appreciate the focus on me, the focus should be on the guys who didn’t come home with us because they’re the ones suffering the most right now.”

Aiden’s family say he was tortured in captivity while his captors allegedly played sick psychological “games” on them in order to influence prisoner swap negotiations.

His mother Angela says Russian officials have repeatedly sent her horrific clips showing him tied up on the floor surrounded by screaming guards, hoping she would pressure British officials to push for the release of high-profile Russians.

She told The Sun: “They knew how vulnerable the families were, how worried we were feeling and they were trying to turn the tide to get us to the breaking point.

Angela Wood, Aiden Aslin

Aiden’s mum says she was sent videos of him being tortured (Image: Angela Wood)

“They knew we were suffering and they tried to use it to their advantage.

“It was extremely difficult to deal with – but we refused to play their games. As a mother, you will do everything to prevent harm to your children.

“But I wasn’t intimidated, so I fought back. I told them to fuck off every time.’

Along with five other foreign fighters, some 215 Ukrainian soldiers were released in exchange for 55 Russian soldiers and a pro-Putin Ukrainian oligarch accused of treason.

The British government has not confirmed how the deal to release foreign prisoners of war was arranged, although it is known to have been brokered by Saudi Arabia.

Aiden previously thanked Saudi officials, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy and “everyone who helped secure our release.”

Former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich is also said to have played a “key role” in the negotiations, having used his connections to help open peace talks and humanitarian corridors in the early months of the war.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - DECEMBER 19 (RUSSIA OUT) Russian billionaire businessman Roman Abramovich attends a meeting with representatives of the business community and business associations at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia December 19, 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin has received top Russian businessmen and billionaires in the Kremlin. (Photo by Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images)

Russian billionaire and former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich helped secure the POWs’ release (Image: Getty)

Mr Aslin moved to Ukraine in 2018 after falling in love with a woman from Mykolaiv.

He was drafted into the Ukrainian army and had been fighting in Mariupol when his military unit ran out of food and ammunition.

They had “no choice” but to surrender to Kremlin troops earlier this year.

He and Mr Pinner were convicted of “mercenary activities” and “training to carry out terrorist activities” by a kangaroo court run by Moscow-funded thugs.

To add insult to injury, Aiden was used as a pawn in propaganda filmed with the help of another Nottinghamshire man, former journalist Graham William Phillips.

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Philips, who previously worked for the Kremlin-controlled news agency Russia Today, is now filming YouTube clips in which he claims to be “documenting” the war from areas known to be tightly controlled by pro-Russian forces.

He uploaded a clip of an “interview” with Aiden in April, in which the prisoner of war denied he was under duress but repeatedly parroted lines of Moscow propaganda, including claims of being a “mercenary,” which later became the backbone of his death sentence should.

Philips claims its work is self-funded through donations and revenue from its YouTube profile.

However, YouTube has indefinitely suspended monetization of his channel, and his videos have not received nearly as many views as most content creators who make enough advertising revenue to survive.

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Justin Scacco

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