THE family of captured British hero Aiden Aslin have furiously dismissed Russian claims he is a spy and urged the Foreign Office to take action.
It comes after the Kremlin vowed to ignore the Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War and insisted he was “a mercenary”.
The 28-year-old, from Newark, Nottinghamshire, surrendered after his unit ran out of food and ammunition in the besieged town of Mariupol.
The former carer was humiliated on Russian television after being captured by Putin’s forces while handcuffed, beaten and covered in bruises.
Aiden, who served in Ukraine’s 39th Marine Brigade and previously fought ISIS in Syria, is likely to be used for Russian propaganda but could potentially be freed in a prisoner swap.
And now his brother Nathan Wood has urged the Foreign Office to act amid fears his brother is being treated as a spy.
Nathan, 25, told The Sunday People: “They claim that Aidan is a mercenary and a spy, but that is absolutely not the case. You have no proof. These are just lies.
“You have no evidence. They try to make an example of him.
He added: “We have serious concerns and apprehensions, particularly if he is being treated as a mercenary rather than a prisoner of war.
“The Russian authorities will have had his papers when they seized him, they will know he is a legitimately fighting Ukrainian soldier. »
Aiden’s family has called on the government to help Aiden return home and Nathan said: ‘You cannot stand by and leave this to the Ukrainians. It is also the responsibility of Britain.”
As a sign that Aiden was being tortured into saying things, the soldier was asked if his unit had killed “peaceful people” during a TV interview.
He replied, “I think you’re right.
“From the first day in Mariupol I always said that we have to go because … Donbass is recognized as independent, Luhansk too.
“If Ukraine really wanted to avoid this conflict, it could easily have said, ‘okay, let’s go’ and recognized its independence – and Crimea. »
Aiden had previously warned that he was being used for “bullying propaganda”.
Earlier tonight, another British volunteer fighter was brought in by Russians after being captured in Mariupol and was also described as a mercenary.
The chilling video shows ex-Squad Shaun Pinner, 48, explaining he was captured in Ukraine.
SECOND BRIT CAPTIVE
In the clip shared by axiomThe brave soldier wears a blue hoodie and looks tired.
He says: “Hi, I’m Shaun Pinner, I’m a British citizen.
“I was captured in Mariupol, I am part of the 36th brigade of the 1st Ukrainian naval battalion.
“I fought in Mariupol for five to six weeks and now I’m in the Donetsk People’s Republic. »
The clip was posted to Twitter with the caption: “Another mercenary captured in Mariupol.
“Shaun Pinner is an English mercenary. He says he doesn’t need the war anymore and he wants to go home. He won’t go home.
“Captured Ukrainian soldiers testify to atrocities committed by foreign mercenaries. And after the trial, they face the death penalty. »
Meanwhile Viktor Medvedchuk’s wife, 67, has demanded that he be trafficked with Aidan.
Oxana Marchenko explains in her video address: “I, Oxana Marchenko, wife of opposition politician, People’s Deputy of Ukraine Viktor Medvedchyuk, speak with relatives of captured British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner,” she says.
“You have the power to ask your country’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to influence the Ukrainian leadership and secure the release of Aiden and Shaun through their exchange for … my husband Viktor Medvedchyuk. »
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