Shaun Pinner: Second captured Briton paraded on Russian TV



A second British fighter who had been serving alongside the Ukrainian has been paraded on Russian state TV after his capture in Mariupol.

Shaun Pinner, a 48-year-old former British soldier, had been fighting alongside Ukrainian marines against Russian forces who invaded almost two months ago.

He appeared in a short propaganda video aired by Russian media on Saturday night. In the video, he says: “Hi, I’m Shaun Pinner. I am a citizen of the UK. I was captured in Mariupol. I am part of the 36 Brigade First Battalion Ukrainian Marines.

“I was fighting in Mariupol for five to six weeks and now I’m in Donetsk People’s Republic.”

Mr Pinner, originally from Bedfordshire, was fighting alongside his friend Aiden Aslin, 28, from Nottinghamshire, the first British volunteer who was captured by Russian forces.

Mr Aslin is the first British volunteer who was captured by Russian forces.

(twitter)

Mr Pinner reportedly moved to Ukraine four years ago and lived with his wife in Donbas.

I have told the Mail on Sunday in January, as Putin’s troops massed near the Ukrainian border in preparation for the invasion: “I am here defending my family and adopted city. Russia started this war. It’s funded by Russia and driven by Russia, but we will fight them, make no mistake about that.”

Pinner also spoke of his fear of capture: “I fear for my life. The Russians will treat us differently if we are captured because we are British. This is always on my mind, that I will be captured.”

An image shared on Mr Aslin’s Twitter account, which is currently being run by one of his friends, showed the Briton in handcuffs, with damage to his eyes and forehead.

A caption on the Twitter post said: “Just got this, it looks as if they have gotten a hold of Aiden.”

Mr Aslin moved to Ukraine in 2018 and later joined the nation’s armed forces, but was forced to surrender two days ago after Russian attacks cut off supplies and ammunition to the besieged port city.

This map shows the extent of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

(Press Association Images)

Jayson Pihajlic, who fought against Islamic State alongside Pinner and Aslin in the Syrian Democratic Forces, said the men were “standard bearers for democracy” who were fighting “as volunteers, not mercenaries”.

I have told Guardian: “It’s horrible to see. They’re obviously being beaten up and that’s the least we can say – who knows what else is going on.

“They’re being labeled as mercenaries, but these guys are not mercenaries – they are proper, uniformed, Ukrainian soldiers.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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