British prisoner of war freed from Russian captivity says he was ‘expecting to be killed’

‘I was expecting I’d be killed or spending years there,’ says Aiden Aslin

Liam James
Monday 26 September 2022 20:31 BST
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'I was expecting to be killed': British prisoners held captive by Russia describe ordeal

One of five Britons released from captivity by Russian-backed forces in Ukraine after being sentenced to death said it “still hasn’t set in” that he is back home in the UK.

Aiden Aslin, 28, was freed last week after months in detention at the hands of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), where he said he was subjected to beatings, a stabbing and psychological torment.

He appeared this morning on GMB with Shaun Pinner, who was sentenced to death alongside Mr Aslin at a Donetsk court, in their first joint live interview since being released as part of a Saudi-brokered prisoner swap on Wednesday.

Asked by host Susanna Reid how it felt to have returned home, Mr Aslin said: “It’s still a bit surreal ... literally this time last week I was in solitary confinement we were treated in some horrendous conditions there and I was expecting I’d either be killed or I’d be spending at least 10 years minimum there, so it still hasn’t fully set in.”

The two British men had both lived in Ukraine for a number of years and were serving with its regular forces when Russia invaded.

Asked about supportive comments made by Liz Truss when she was foreign secretary about Britons fighting in Ukraine, Mr Pinner said: “Obviously we’ve got a lot of thanks to give Liz Truss … the Foreign Office have been great, but when we saw this we were aware that you get all sorts of people turn up in Ukraine who then want to be a part of the war.

Mr Aslin’s fellow ex-captive Shaun Pinner (centre) said he was ‘looking forward to steak and a glass of red wine’ after arriving in the UK (FCDO/PA)
Mr Aslin’s fellow ex-captive Shaun Pinner (centre) said he was ‘looking forward to steak and a glass of red wine’ after arriving in the UK (FCDO/PA) (PA Media)

He said in their case Ukraine wanted their help as they knew the language and had military training in the country.

Mr Pinner also thanked “whoever decided to let us go in Russia and the DPR. Thank you that someone saw common sense.”

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