Russia may accuse British POWs captured in Mariupol of espionage
LONDON, ($1=0.77 British Pounds) — A second British fighter was captured by the Russian armed forces at the Battle of Mariupol. This is 28-year-old Aiden Aslin – part of the Ukrainian Marines, who joined them nearly four years ago. BulgarianMilitary.com has learned that Aiden Aslin has dual citizenship [British-Ukrainian] and a Ukrainian fiancée.
Aiden Aslin’s family fears he will be accused of espionage. Russian law treats prisoners of war [POW] and soldiers accused of espionage in radically different ways. Aiden Aslin faces a life sentence in a Russian prison if Moscow decides he is a spy. His family categorically stated that he was not a spy, had never been, and asked the British government to intervene diplomatically to resolve the case. If Aiden Aslin is not charged with espionage and is treated only as espionage, he must be returned to the United Kingdom after the end of the war [or before].
Aiden Aslin is the second British mercenary captured by the Russians in a matter of days. The first had been captured just hours before. His name is Shaun Pinner and he is 48 years old, a former British soldier. “I am Shaun Pinner. I am a citizen of the United Kingdom. I was captured in Mariupol. I am part of the 36th Brigade, 1st Battalion Ukrainian Marine. I was fighting in Mariupol for five to six weeks and now I’m in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” says Pinner in a video, broadcasted by the Russian state media. He is known to have been a “contract soldier” who was part of the defense of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
British authorities are aware of the cases of captured British citizens fighting in the war against Russia. The Ministry of Defense announced yesterday [April 16th] that “we are aware of the detention of a British citizen and are in contact with their family to support them.” BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that long before the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, London warned British citizens not to volunteer for the Lads Army.
Aiden Aslin’s family fears he will be accused of spying without Moscow having evidence, and that the Russians could distort the facts if they want to, even cover them up. Last night [April 16] Mr. Aslin’s brother Nathan Wood said: “People should not believe anything the Russians say or are making my brother say. He is being held against his will and forced to say whatever they tell him to. Anything that comes out of my brother’s mouth now, and the mouths of his Russian captors, are lies.”
The Ukrainian city of Mariupol is the worst affected by the war in Ukraine. Under constant Russian bombardment, the city sank into destruction, ruins, and lunar landscapes. Before the war, the city was home to 400,000 citizens.
For the past 72 hours, however, Mariupol has come under heavy rocket fire and aerial bombardment. The Russians have made progress, and Moscow officially announced on Wednesday [April 13th] that it has full control of the city. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that nearly 1,000 soldiers are planned in the Azovstal industrial complex. At the same time, the Ukrainian regiment Azov, which defended Mariupol, refuted the Russians’ claims of complete control over the city. They said they would do “what is necessary” to protect the city.
SAS unit in Ukraine
As we reported yesterday [April 16] soldiers from the Special Forces of the British Army [Special Air Service – SAS] have trained Ukrainian soldiers in the last two weeks. According to released information, the training of the Ukrainian soldiers was aimed at working with more than 800 anti-tank guided missiles NLAW delivered from London.
The British Ministry of Defense declined to comment on reports of the involvement of British special forces in the training process of Ukrainian troops. The British Ministry of Defense has had a convention for many years, which forbids commenting on the activities of the country’s special forces.
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
On 21 February 2022, the Russian government claimed that Ukrainian shelling had destroyed an FSB border facility on the Russia Ukraine border, and claimed that it had killed 5 Ukrainian soldiers who tried to cross into Russian territory. Ukraine denied being involved in both incidents and called them a false flag.
On the same day, the Russian government formally recognized the self-proclaimed DPR and LPR as independent states, according to Putin not only in their de-facto controlled areas, but the Ukrainian Oblasts as a whole, and Putin ordered Russian troops, including tanks, to enter the regions.
On 24 February 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine by Russian Armed Forces previously concentrated along the border. The invasion followed by targeted airstrikes of military buildings in the country, as well as tanks entering via the Belarus border.
Russia has so far not recognized the invasion of Ukraine as a “war”, although that is exactly what it is, claiming that it is a “special military operation”. According to the UN, in which Russia has its permanent representation, for military action to be defined as a “special military operation”, it must have a resolution issued by the UN. There is no such resolution, which automatically defines the military actions of the Russians as an invasion and war against the citizens of Ukraine.
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