Russian public television broadcast calls from two prisoners, identified as British nationals, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, on Monday April 18. Both were captured in fighting in Ukraine and are calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to negotiate their release.
The two men, who appear with drawn features, are asking to be exchanged for Viktor Medvedchuk, a wealthy Ukrainian businessman close to Vladimir Putin. The latter was arrested in Ukraine.
BREAKING: Two British fighters captured by Moscow’s forces in Ukraine have appeared on Russian state TV and asked to be exchanged for a pro-Russian politician.
It was unclear how freely the two men, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, were able to talk.
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—Sky News (@SkyNews) April 18, 2022
However, no information has been given regarding who is currently holding the two British soldiers, Russian forces or their separatist allies in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.
Captured in Mariupol
The two recordings are presented as interviews with journalist Andreï Roudenko, of the Russian public television (VGTRK). The latter shows the two men a video published last week by Oksana Marchenko, the wife of Viktor Medvedchuk, who asks for the exchange of her husband against the two Britons.
The detainees then take the floor in English to ask for an exchange. The place of their detention is also not specified.
According to Russian media, the two men were captured after fighting on the Ukrainian side in Mariupol. They are believed to be from a unit that surrendered last week to Russian forces.