Prisoner of war Aiden Aslin returns to Britain

Aiden Aslin arrives home in Balderton (Image: SWNS)

Aiden Aslin arrives home in Balderton (Image: SWNS)

British prisoner of war Aiden Aslin thanked President Zelenskyy as he returned home after his captivity in Russia.

Aslin, 28, who was sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Dontesk, returned to his home in Nottinghamshire after landing at Heathrow last night.

He was among a group arrested in April for volunteer fighting in Ukraine.

On his doorstep in Balderton, Newark, Aiden said, “I’m not going to give a quick statement or anything, but I want to thank everyone who helped bring about our release.

“Especially President Zelenskyy.

“I want to go to my house, I just want to thank President Zelensky and the Saudi authorities and everyone else involved in our release.

“We want to be at peace after the traumatic experience we just went through.

“When I’m ready to speak, I will be ready to speak.”

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The Brit was held captive in Russia for almost six months (Image: SWNS)


He thanked Ukrainian President Zelenskyy for his help in securing his release (Image: SWNS)

The group of 10 foreign detainees – which included Britain’s Shaun Pinner – were freed after Saudi Arabia brokered a deal between Russia and Ukraine.

The Presidium Network confirmed they were back on UK soil.

Dominik Byrne, the co-founder of the charity that supports Mr Healy’s family, said they were all “looking forward to normalcy with their families after this horrific ordeal”.

In a video message recorded on an airplane today, Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner thanked those who worked to free them and the public who have supported them since their arrest in April.

Two American prisoners named Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh were released, family officials confirmed.

The group also includes Croatian, Moroccan and Swedish nationals, as it became known on Wednesday evening.

The move comes after mediation by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Prime Minister Liz Truss announced the news yesterday and said it ended “months of uncertainty and suffering for them and their families”.

She thanked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “for his efforts to free prisoners and Saudi Arabia for his support”.

The British leader also warned that Russia must “end the ruthless exploitation of prisoners of war and civilian detainees for political ends”.

Mr Aslin, originally from Newark in Nottinghamshire, 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 sentenced to death in July by an unrecognized international court for “mercenary activity” and “training to carry out terrorist activities”.

Their return was part of one of the most significant prisoner swaps of the war so far, in which 215 Ukrainian soldiers – including commanders of the Azov regiment defending Mariupol – were released by Russia.

In exchange, Ukraine handed over 55 Russian soldiers as well as pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician and oligarch Victor Medvechuk, who was accused of treason. Prisoner of war Aiden Aslin returns to Britain

Justin Scacco

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