April 18, 2022 6.28 pm

Captured Newark man appears on Kremlin TV in plea for help

He asked to be exchanged for a politician reportedly being held in Ukraine

A man from the Lincolnshire border reportedly captured while fighting in Ukraine has appeared in a Russsian state TV broadcast asking for help from British PM Boris Johnson.

Footage has been released of Aiden Aslin, 28, a former care worker from Newark, and fellow Brit Shaun Pinner, 48, asking to be exchanged for pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk reportedly being held in Ukraine.

The men – who had been serving as Ukrainian marines after moving to the country four years ago – spoke separately on the Rossiya 24 channel, after their capture in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Aiden Aslin when he was in Syria. | Photo: Facebook

Mr Aslin, who has dual citizenship and a Ukrainian fiancé, speaks while an unidentified man stands over him – it isn’t clear whether or not he was under duress during filming.

Mr Medvedchuk has also appeared in a video, released by Ukraine’s intelligence service, asking to be swapped.

Fighting has continued in Mariupol despite an ultimatum from President Putin for the remaining fighters to surrender, with the city seen as a major strategic prize for Russia.

Shaun Pinner, reportedly captured in Mariupol, was paraded on Russian state TV. | Photo: YouTube

The latest video is the second time in the past week Mr Aslin has appeared on camera after footage appeared to show him restrained in handcuffs with a cut on his forehead.

The Kremlin TV video released last week shows an interviewer ask in Russian whether Mr Aslin understands the language.

Mr Aslin replies in Russian saying “50/50” and is then asked whether he killed anyone or saw others killing anyone.

Mr Aslin replies in English: “I didn’t do any fighting.”

Following the release of the first video, his mother, Ang Wood, told the BBC: “I believe it is him in the photographs. We just want him to be treated according to the Geneva Conventions.

“We are just hoping that maybe there can be some sort of prisoner exchange. We don’t know what else to do right now except keep pressing the Foreign Office.”

Mr Aslin previously fought with Kurdish armed units in Syria against so-called Islamic State.

A Foreign Office source said it was aware of the detention of two British nationals and had been in touch with their families to support them.