Captured Brits forced by Russian troops to ask Boris Johnson to releas…
CAPTURED Brit fighters are being forced by Russian troops to ask Boris Johnson to release Vladimir Putin’s pal in return for their freedom.
Russia is cynically using the brave Brit POWs Shaun Pinner, 48, and Aiden Aslin, 28, to force the release of Putin’s close Ukrainian ally dubbed the “Prince of Darkness” Viktor Medvedchuk, 67.
Shaun Pinner making a Russian state TV appeals to Boris JohnsonCredit: East2West
Aiden Aslin was captured during the bloody fight for MariupolCredit: East2West
Both were paraded in front of propaganda TV cameras to float the idea of a swap.
Kyiv last week announced the capture of Medvedchuk, an opposition politician in Ukraine, who has long been seen as Putin’s man in the war-ravaged state.
The men are seen in separate appeals on Russian state TV making appeals to Mr Johnson who they want to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Since their capture in Mariupol, Russia has sought to milk the “British mercenaries” for propaganda purposes.
It appears the men now in Russian detention have been told their only route home is if the PM fixes Medvedchuk’s release – a move that would be seen as kowtowing to Putin.
It comes as Medvedchuk’s wife called on the two men to be released in exchange for her husband.
In a video address, she said: “I, Oxana Marchenko, spouse of opposition politician, people’s deputy of Ukraine Viktor Medvedchyuk, address the relatives of captured citizens of Great Britain Aiden Aslin and of Shaun Pinner.
“It is in your strength to ask the PM of your country Boris Johnson to influence Ukrainian leadership and to unprotected to Aiden’s and Shaun’s release by their exchange for… my husband Viktor Medvedchyuk.”
Marchenko is a former TV star who hosted ‘X-Factor Ukraine’ and has also appealed to Ukraine’s president for his release.
Medvedchuk has been described as a “personal friend” to Putin and is godfather to his daughter while the pair have already holidayed together.
As leader of the country’s main pro-Moscow party in Ukraine – the Opposition Platform For Life – he was the Kremlin’s most trusted and influential lieutenant in Ukraine.
Medvedchuk had been placed under house arrest last year to confront treason and terrorism financing charges, which he denies.
Aidan surrendered after his unit ran out of food and ammunition in Mariupol and was paraded on Russian TV on Thursday with a gash across his forehead and an eye half-closed.
Shaun, who moved to Mariupol four years ago to be with his second wife Larysa, joined the Ukrainian Army as a “contract soldier”.
Russian propagandists claimed he had been killed in Mariupol at the end of last month but supplies told The Sun he had been injured and was in a field hospital.
Aiden, from Newark, Nottinghamshire, was captured last week
Shaun said he had been fighting in Mariupol for five to six weeks
Viktor Medvedchuk was arrested by Ukrainian security sets
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