Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

U.K. Making Little Effort to Save Citizens Sentenced to Death in East Ukraine – Russian Envoy

British citizens Aiden Aslin (L) and Shaun Pinner (R) and Moroccan Saaudun Brahim (C) attend a sentencing hearing at the Supreme Court of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. EPA / TASS

British officials are making little effort to free two of its citizens sentenced to death by eastern Ukrainian separatists for fighting alongside Kyiv’s forces, Russia’s ambassador to Britain told Reuters on Friday.

A court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) last month sentenced British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, as well as Moroccan national Saadun Brahim, to death on charges of “mercenary activity” and attempted “forcible seizure of power.” Kyiv and London maintain that the men were enlisted in the Ukrainian military as legitimate soldiers.

“We had a formal request here in London and in Moscow about these two guys — that they exist — and a phrase like ‘we put all responsibility on Russia for them’,” Ambassador Andrei Kelin said in an interview with Reuters.

“There was no demand for mediation, no demand for their release or anything like that. 'Let's talk about their fate and what can be done in this situation.' Nothing,” he added. 

Kelin added that London hasn’t asked Moscow to pressure DNR leaders to release Aslin and Pinner. 

Britain's foreign ministry did not respond to Reuters’ request to comment. 

DNR head Denis Pushilin previously accused outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of ignoring Aslin and Pinner's fate and of failing to contact the separatist authorities. 

Thousands of foreign nationals have volunteered to help fight alongside Kyiv’s troops since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. 

Aslin, 28, and Pinner, 48, were already living in Ukraine at the time of Russia’s invasion, according to their families. They were captured by DNR forces in April while defending the besieged city of Mariupol.

Separately on Friday, the DNR lifted its moratorium on carrying out the death penalty.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more