Mariupol, the former soldier and the anti-Isis fighter: who are the captured British

Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin are the two British citizens who were captured in Mariupol, southern Ukraine, and asked to be swapped with Ukrainian pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk, in custody of the Kiev forces. Pinner is a former soldier of the Royal Anglian and it was he who spoke, in the video message, also on behalf of Aslin. He explained on Russian television that he was captured in Mariupol while fighting with the Ukrainian marines. His family, in a note released by the British Foreign Office, described him as “funny, much loved, well-meaning” and considers Ukraine “his adopted country”. “Shaun has been a respected soldier within the British Army serving in the Royal Anglian Regiment for many years. He has served in many areas, including Northern Ireland and with the United Nations in Bosnia,” they said. family members. “In 2018 Shaun decided to move to Ukraine to use his experience and training within the Ukrainian army,” the note reads. “For the past four years, Shaun has enjoyed the Ukrainian lifestyle and considered the ‘Ukraine as his adopted country. During this time he met his Ukrainian wife who is very focused on the country’s humanitarian needs. ” In Ukraine, the British citizen has become “a proud member of the Ukrainian marines.” The statement released by the family living in Great Britain states: “we would like to clarify that he is neither a volunteer nor a mercenary, but he officially serves in the Ukrainian army in accordance with Ukrainian legislation “. The 48-year-old, originally from Bedfordshire, told The Mail on Sunday: “I fear for my life. The Russians will treat us differently if we are captured because we are British. I always have in mind, that I will be captured.” Nottinghamshire and had defended Mariupol with his unit in recent weeks before having to surrender after 48 days. A post on his Twitter account, managed by a friend while fighting with the Ukrainian marines, read: “We have no food or ammunition.” The 28-year-old was filmed being carried around in handcuffs with a cut on his forehead after he surrendered last week. Before going to fight the Russians in the Donbass, Aslin had sided with the Kurdish militias of the Ypg in Rovaja, in northern Syria, against the jihadists of the Islamic State (Isis).