'A huge honour': Brit POW tortured in Ukraine to join veterans at Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service

12 November 2022, 07:26

Shaun Pinner will join veterans at the Remembrance Sunday service in Whitehall
Shaun Pinner will join veterans at the Remembrance Sunday service in Whitehall. Picture: Social media/Alamy

By Will Taylor

A British prisoner of war held by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine will be among fellow veterans for the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph.

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Shaun Pinner, who served in the Ukrainian marines, was captured during the bloody siege of Mariupol in April.

The 49-year-old ex-Royal Anglian endured torture and was sentenced to death during his five months in captivity before former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich helped arrange a prisoner swap.

And having been released from his ordeal, Mr Pinner is now set to join other military veterans at Sunday's service in Whitehall.

"I'm hugely honoured and proud to be a part of it," he told The Sun.

"It is about the people who have fallen in the defence of freedom. We remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the face of tyranny so that we could have our tomorrows.

"A lot of my friends are still PoWs and it's them that I think of, as well as those who gave their lives.

"For a long time this year, it felt like history was repeating itself. The same atrocities cannot be allowed to happen again."

Mr Pinner was beaten during his detention
Mr Pinner was beaten during his detention. Picture: Social media

Mr Pinner fought in the battle of Mariupol, a devastating siege that reduced the southern coastal city to rubble and bogged down the invaders for months.

"I knew it was bad so I called my wife and I gave her my death message. But she didn't even cry," Mr Pinner previously said.

“She just screamed at me that I was a warrior and that I would survive. Those were the last words I heard from her and they kept me going.

Read more: Putin 'offered surrender terms by the West' as his troops retreat from Kherson

"It turned into carnage as the Russians ambushed us with mortar bombs and artillery. There were so many bodies, it looked like something out of a zombie apocalypse.

"I was surrounded by Russian separatists. They stripped me and put a knife in my thigh for no reason. They beat the daylights out of me for 20 minutes."

Mr Pinner will join veterans at Sunday's Cenotaph service
Mr Pinner will join veterans at Sunday's Cenotaph service. Picture: Alamy

Mr Pinner, who lived in Ukraine with his wife Larysa for five years, was sentenced to death by separatists ruling Donetsk.

At the time, the eastern Ukrainian region was run by pro-Russian forces who had waged a civil war against Ukraine with help from Moscow since 2014.

Read more: 'Real life hero': Family pays tribute to Brit ex special forces soldier killed fighting Russians in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has since signed an order to annex the region, which has not been internationally recognised.

The death sentence, which was also made against fellow captured Brit Aiden Aslin, sparked international fury.

During his detention, Mr Pinner - whose family home is in Potton, Bedfordshire - was stabbed, electrocuted and forced to go through a mock execution.

The Brits were eventually freed along side eight others – including three other British nationals – before being flown to Saudi Arabia.