Aiden Aslin, from Newark, Notts., was captured after his unit ran out of ammunition and food while fighting Russian forces in the besieged city of Mariupol, in eastern Ukraine
The mother of captured British soldier Aiden Aslin says she’s “in bits” after recognizing her son from his distinctive ‘Happy Days’ tattoos.
The 28-year-old, from Newark, Notts., was photographed with a gash on his forehead after being taken prisoner by Russian troops.
Amid fears of torture in Ukraine, his picture has been shared by a pro-Donetsk People’s Republic Telegram account.
It is not yet known where he is being held as his MP in the UK demands answers as fears grew that soldiers were being tortured.
Speaking from her home in Balderton, Notts., Aiden’s mum Ang Wood said: “It’s Aiden I can’t deny it. It’s him.
“They are his tattoos. There is a faint hope it is a doctored image but I can’t see it.
“I now hold Vladimir Putin to the terms of the Geneva Convention.
“Aiden is a serving member of the Ukrainian armed forces and as such is a prisoner of war and must be treated with humanity.
“It already looks like he has been beaten up.
“It is time now for the British Government to get involved. And help secure Aiden’s release because he is still a British citizen.
“Possibly there is hope for a prisoner swap arranged by the Ukrainians.
“I’m in bits. My son will be scared just as we are.”
Aiden, 28, had called his family in the early hours of Tuesday where he told them his unit in Mariupol had run out of ammunition and food and they had been ordered to surrender.
He told them the 36th Marine Brigade had been fighting for 48 days straight and was exhausted.
As many as 1,000 men from the 36th, 300 of them wounded, were said to have been taken prisoner.
Aiden’s brother Nathan previously said he feared his elder sibling could be treated as a trophy prisoner or tortured.
He said: “I’ve read about how the Ukrainian troops on Snake Island were tortured after their capture.
“Aiden is British so maybe the situation will be different, but Putin gave dire warnings as to the fate of any foreigners who fought on the side of Ukraine.
“My thoughts are that he could be used as some sort of propaganda tool, a trophy prisoner. The most difficult thing is not knowing what the end game will be.
“I know that Ukraine will be doing everything it can to get them back and there’s a hope perhaps for a prisoner swap if it is verified that they have now surrendered.
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“I also think that the government has a responsibility to protect a British citizen in any way it is able – a moral obligation to try and do something otherwise they will be as responsible as the Russians for what might happen next.
“The reason he is in Ukraine at all is that he felt betrayed for the way he was treated when he came home from Syria.
“I hope there is something that can be done diplomatically because I face the possibility of never seeing my brother again.
“If he survives this, he may spend the rest of his life locked away in a Russian prison.”