Two captured British fighters in Ukraine face the DEATH PENALTY

Two captured British fighters in Ukraine face the DEATH PENALTY for conducting ‘combat operations’ against Russia, Donetsk prosecutor warns

  • Royal Anglian veteran Shaun Pinner, 48, and father-of-four Andrew Hill, 35, are to be put on trial in self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR)
  • It is feared pro-Russians will stage a show trial aimed at maximising concessions from Britain
  • If convicted, the maximum penalty is execution – believed to be by gunshot – for conducting ‘combat operations’ against pro-Putin region, said local official
  • Absent for unexplained reasons from the list of those to be tried was British ‘mercenary’ Aiden Aslin, 28, who had also been detained by pro-Russian forces 

Two British ‘mercenaries’ who fought for Ukraine were told today they face the death penalty at the hands of pro-Putin separatists.

Captives Shaun Pinner, 48, and Andrew Hill, 35, are to be put on trial in self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

A fear is that the pro-Russians will stage a show trial aimed at maximising concessions from Britain.

If convicted, the maximum penalty is execution – believed to be by gunshot – for conducting ‘combat operations’ against the pro-Putin region, said a local law enforcement official.

Absent for unexplained reasons from the list of those to be tried was British ‘mercenary’ Aiden Aslin, 28, who had also been detained by pro-Russian forces.


Two British ‘mercenaries’ who fought for Ukraine were told today they face the death penalty at the hands of pro-Putin separatists. Captives Shaun Pinner (left), 48, and Andrew Hill (right), 35, are to be put on trial in self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic

Prosecutor-General’s official Viktor Gavrilov said in a video: ‘After detailed testimonies of British citizens Shaun Pinner and Andrew Hill obtained by officers of the Prosecutor-General’s Office of the DPR…. their involvement in the commission of unlawful acts has been established.

‘A criminal case against mercenaries involved in the preparation and conduct of combat operations against the DPR is completed.

‘The case materials have been submitted to a court for trial on the merits of the case – as a result of which capital punishment (death penalty) can be imposed on the accused in wartime conditions.’

He did not mention Aslin, who earlier had been detained and warned the maximum penalty was death.

In April, Pinner – a Royal Anglian veteran – appeared drained as he acknowledged he understood charges against him. Yet like Pinner, he was not seen admitting guilt.

Absent for unexplained reasons from the list of those to be tried was British ‘mercenary’ Aiden Aslin (above), 28, who had also been detained by pro-Russian forces.

Prosecutor-General’s official Viktor Gavrilov (above) said in a video: ‘After detailed testimonies of British citizens Shaun Pinner and Andrew Hill obtained by officers of the Prosecutor-General’s Office of the DPR…. their involvement in the commission of unlawful acts has been established’

Bearded Hill, a father-of-four from Plymouth who earlier this month confessed in a video broadcast by pro-Putin media, admitted to ‘unwittingly’ being involved in ‘war crimes’ – and pleaded for leniency.

Speaking as his British partner Candice Morgan was making frantic efforts to bring him home, he appeared to compromise other foreign fighters as his confession echoed the Russian playbook .

They ‘shoot [civilians], kill them and injure them indiscriminately,’ he said.

‘They stole valuable things from these people without any shame at all.

‘Mercenaries also tortured Russian soldiers and Russian fight activists. They cut off their fingers and they torture them.

‘Prisoners were severely beaten and they were deprived of food and a drink. I’ve never seen such cruelty on this scale before. ‘

His words matched exactly the Russian propaganda version of the war, even though until last week he was apparently voluntarily fighting on the Ukrainian side.

‘Supporters of the neo-Nazi and the nationalist ideology prevail in this camp,’ he said.

‘They are proud of the tattoos of the swastikas and the double-S’s emblems. It was awful.

‘Unfortunately I found myself among these terrible people and unwittingly became involved in these war crimes.

‘I understand everything has been done wrong and I hope for leniency from the Donetsk People’s Republic.’

Aslin said: ‘I understand fully what I am accused of and I agree with it fully up to the part about murdering civilians – I don’t agree with [this].’

Earlier this month, Pinner and Aslin had been told by prosecutor Andrei Spivak that they had committed ‘a number of crimes against civilians of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

‘The maximum punishment for these crimes is the death penalty.’

The British men had been fighting in Mariupol where they were detained by Russian forces.

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