Two more British citizens face the death penalty after being captured by Russian forces in a pro-Putin rogue state in eastern Ukraine.
Andrew Hill, 35, and Dylan Healy, 22, are on trial in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic [DPR].
According to the Russian news agency TASS, the two were charged with “mercenary activities”.
Hill has been identified as a father of four from Plymouth and is believed to have previously served in the British Army’s Lancaster Regiment.
Healy, from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, was previously described as a civilian volunteer trying to evacuate people from war-ravaged Ukraine.
Two other Brits, Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, are currently appealing a death sentence in the DPR that would have meant they would be shot by firing squad.
Hill has previously been warned that he is likely to face a death sentence.
This can be appealed, and under DPR laws, those convicted can also seek pardon from the territory’s pro-Putin ruler Denis Pushilin.
But Pushilin has already said he sees no reason to pardon Aslin and Pinner.
Meanwhile, Russian state media are reporting that Hill and Healy are not cooperating with their kidnappers.
A “law enforcement agency” source told TASS: “Criminal proceedings have been initiated and charges have been filed [acting as mercenaries] against British citizens Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill, currently detained in the DPR.
“Investigative operations are underway as investigators seek evidence of crimes committed by the British, who refuse to testify and refuse to cooperate in their criminal cases.”
Healy and Hill were confirmed as being in Russian hands a few weeks ago.
Healy was arrested along with British father-of-two Paul Urey at a checkpoint south of the city of Zaporizhzhia – but he was not mentioned in today’s reports.
The charges against Hill and Healy mean the couple now face the death penalty if found guilty.
Western experts say they cannot expect a fair trial in the DPR.
The prisoners have previously been paraded in Russian propaganda media – and one theory is that Moscow may be trying to use them as bargaining chips in a swap in which its people are now involved in Ukrainian hands.
A video of Hill highlighting the moment of his incarceration was shown last month.
Speaking to his grandmother in the UK, the shaken and tearful prisoner said: “I’m being held here as a suspected mercenary.
‘The penalty here is death.’
He adds: “I want to go home, to my homeland, to my family, to my children.
‘I just want to go home. I will tell you the truth. I’ll tell you what it’s really like here.
“I will tell you about the DPR and how it was formed.
“And I’ll tell you what’s going on here.”
Britain has refused to openly negotiate with Russian proxy authorities in the DPR, which it does not recognize, preferring to ask Kyiv for assistance. Russia has said the men’s fate is a matter for the DPR.
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/01/ukraine-war-two-more-brits-face-death-penalty-after-being-captured-by-russia-16929535/ Ukraine War: Two more Britons face death penalty after being captured by Russia