Three foreign fighters sentenced to death by separatist authorities in Donetsk
Two Britons and a Moroccan captured in eastern Ukraine where they were fighting for Kyiv were sentenced to death on mercenary charges by the judiciary of the separatist authorities in Donetsk on Thursday, according to Russian news agencies.
“The Supreme Court of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ has sentenced the British Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner and the Moroccan Brahim Saadoun to death for taking part in the fighting as mercenaries,” reported the official Russian news agency TASS. The three accused will appeal, Pavel Kossovan, the lawyer for one of the three men, told TASS. According to TASS, Mr. Pinner and Mr. Saadoun pleaded not guilty to charges of “mercenary activity” on Wednesday, but admitted their involvement in the fighting “with the aim of violent seizure of power”.
Aiden Aslin’s family said in late April that he moved to Ukraine in 2018, where he met his girlfriend and eventually settled in Mykolaiv. He had decided to join the Ukrainian Marines and served in that unit for almost four years. “Contrary to Kremlin propaganda, he is not a volunteer, mercenary or spy. Aiden made plans for his future outside the army, but like all Ukrainians, his life was turned upside down by Putin’s barbaric invasion,” his family said.
Shaun Pinner’s family also stated that he was “neither a volunteer nor a mercenary, but… [qu’il servait] officially in the Ukrainian army, in accordance with Ukrainian legislation”. He moved to Ukraine in 2018 and married a Ukrainian.