Brit sentenced to death for fighting in Ukraine will be executed, family say

22 June 2022, 22:03

Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, have been sentenced to death by 'firing squad'.
Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, have been sentenced to death by 'firing squad'. Picture: Sky News/Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A British man sentenced to death by Russia for fighting in Ukraine has been told his execution will go ahead.

Aiden Aslin, 28, from Nottinghamshire, Shaun Pinner, 48, from Bedfordshire, and a third man, Moroccan national Saaudun Brahim were all sentenced to death in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine.

They were found guilty of "committing actions aimed at seizing power and overthrowing the constitutional order of the Donetsk People's Republic" in a court that is not internationally recognised, and all three are set to face a firing squad.

Today, Mr Aslin's family have spoken about their "worst nightmare" as they revealed they have recently spoken to Aiden who is "extremely upset" after he was told his "time is running out" by his captors.

Mr Aslin's grandmother Pamela Hall told the BBC: "The bottom line is Aiden has said the DPR has told him nobody from the UK has made contact, and that he will be executed.

Read more: 'I pray our warriors can endure this': Wife of captured Brit facing death penalty slams 'absurd trial'

Aiden Aslin's family say his execution is set to go ahead
Aiden Aslin's family say his execution is set to go ahead. Picture: Twitter @cossackgundi

"I have to believe what Aiden has said to us, that if the DPR don't get some response then they will execute him. Obviously I hope that isn't true."

Mr Aslin moved to Ukraine in 2018, became engaged to a Ukrainian and joined the military.

A number of photos and videos of him have been released on Russian TV since his capture, in which he appears injured.

Mr Pinner was in the British Army before he moved to Ukraine four years ago. He is married to a Ukrainian.

It comes after a Kremlin spokesman said Moscow would be willing to listen to London regarding the cases of two Britons sentenced to death for fighting Russian forces in Ukraine.

Read more: First photo of battered Brit captured by Russians in Mariupol's last stand emerges

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she will do "whatever is necessary" to secure the release of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, saying on Tuesday the Government is "working flat out" to secure their release after their "sham" trial by a pro-Moscow proxy.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said neither Moscow nor the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine who passed the sentence had heard from London on the issue.

Downing Street said the UK Government was "deeply concerned" following the sentences.

A No 10 spokesman said: "The Prime Minister was appalled at the sentencing of these men. He has been following the case closely and has asked ministers to do everything in their power to try and reunite them with their families as soon as we can.

Read more: Ukraine aims to free captured Brits sentenced to death in prisoner swap deal

"We completely condemn the sham sentencing of these men to death. There's no justification at all for this breach of the protection they're entitled to."

Russian attacks have laid down a curtain of fire across areas of eastern Ukraine where pockets of resistance are denying Moscow full military control of the region, almost four months after the Kremlin unleashed its invasion.

The Russian military currently controls about 95 per cent of the Luhansk region. But Moscow has struggled for weeks to overrun it completely, despite deploying additional troops and possessing a massive advantage in military assets.

The neighbouring Lysychansk, the only city in the Luhansk region that is still fully under Ukrainian control, is also the target of multiple air strikes.