Heads shaved and bowed, the three men are brought one by one into the unrecognised “courtroom” in the unrecognised state: the so-called pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).
They look exhausted. All three men – Aiden Aslin, 28, Shaun Pinner, 48, from Newark and Bedfordshire, and Moroccan citizen Saaudun Brahim – survived some of the fiercest fighting during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Then to be captured and sent to trial.
Aslin, a former care worker who fought with the Kurds against Isis in Syria and then joined the Ukraine marines in 2018, appeared in photos bruised and bloodied. Those images have been paraded all over Russian Telegram channels and state television.
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