British soldiers in Russia ‘pled guilty to terrorist activities’

British soldiers captured in Russia'pled guilty to terrorist activities'

Sham court sentences range from 20 years in prison to the death penalty (Image: Reuters)

Two British soldiers captured by Russian forces have reportedly pleaded guilty to carrying out “terrorist activities”.

Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner face up to 20 years in prison.

The men were arrested in April while fighting in Ukraine and have now appeared in court in the separatist region of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner have admitted to being “trained to conduct terrorist activities”.

In footage shared by Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency on Wednesday, a translator asks Mr Aslin if he would “plead guilty” to a crime, to which he replies “yes”.

The video then appears to show the two Britons in the dock alongside a third man believed to be Moroccan national Saaudun Brahim.

According to Ria Novosti, Mr Aslin faces a prison sentence of 15 to 20 years.

Mr Pinner is also said to face a lengthy prison sentence and even the death penalty after he allegedly admitted to “seizing power by force”.

Shaun Pinner, left, and Aiden Aslin, right, before being captured by Russian forces Grab from Sky News

Shaun Pinner, left, and Aiden Aslin, right, before being captured by Russian forces (Image: Sky)

A still from footage of the Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic shows Britons Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun captured by Russian forces in a courtroom cage in a location designated as Donetsk during a military conflict in Ukraine , Ukraine, in a still from video released June 7, 2022. Video released June 7, 2022. Supreme Court of the Donetsk People's Republic/Handout via REUTERS TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALE. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT. RUSSIA OFF. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALE IN RUSSIA

The men are being held in the breakaway region of Donetsk People’s Republic of Ukraine (Image: Reuters)

Mr Aslin had been fighting in Mariupol when his military unit ran out of food and ammunition.

The 28-year-old, originally from Nottinghamshire, moved to Ukraine in 2018 after falling in love with a Mykolaiv woman.

In Mariupol, his unit had “no choice” but to surrender to Russia.

Meanwhile Mr. Pinner had been fighting in the town for five or six weeks before his capture.

He reportedly told Russians that “he doesn’t want war and wants to go home” after being arrested.

Mr Pinner, who previously served in the Royal Anglian Regiment, is originally from Bedfordshire but moved to Mariupol four years ago to be with his wife Larysa.

A still from footage released by Russian state television shows Aiden Aslin, a British fighter captured in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol by Russian forces at an undisclosed location, in a still from video released April 18, 2022. RURTR /RUSSIAN STATE TELEVISION CHANNEL ROSSYIA 1/Handout via REUTERS TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALE. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT. RUSSIA OFF. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALE IN RUSSIA.

Mr Aslin, 28, has appeared in propaganda videos following his arrest (Image: Reuters)

Shaun Pinner (Image: Russian State TV)

Mr Pinner previously asked his captors to let him return to the UK (Image: Russian State TV)

Former Tory minister Robert Jenrick said today Britons should be brought back home as soon as possible, possibly through a prisoner exchange.

The MP denounced the “fabricated allegations” the men faced and accused Russia of a “completely outrageous violation of international law”.

Mr Jenrick told BBC Radio 4’s World At One program: “This is a British citizen but also has Ukrainian citizenship, is married to a Ukrainian, joined and served in the Ukrainian armed forces in the normal way prior to Putin’s illegal invasion has in the armed forces.

“He was captured by Russian forces and should be appropriately detained in accordance with international law and the Geneva Convention and returned to Ukraine at the earliest opportunity, possibly through a prisoner exchange.

“Instead, Putin’s regime has decided to try him and another British citizen, Shaun Pinner, on trumped-up charges, without any evidence.

“This is, I fear, a totally egregious violation of international law and should be condemned.”

On Monday, Dominic Raab added the Foreign Office would make “all representations” on Mr Aslin’s behalf.

On the same day, the captured soldier’s family said: “This is a very sensitive and emotional time for our family and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us.

“Aiden is a very loved man and will be greatly missed and we hope he will be released very soon.”

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Justin Scacco

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