Russia state TV parades beaten British soldier in disturbing interview after capture

Aiden Aslin is forcibly interviewed on Russian State TV

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A disturbing propaganda video on Russian state TV has paraded the captured British soldier who was seized during the fight in Mariupol this week. Aiden Aslin, who officially enlisted as a Ukrainian marine, was forced to surrender to Russian forces in besieged Ukrainian city after his unit ran out of food and ammunition. In a video aired on Russian television news, Mr Aslin is shown being led around in handcuffs with a cut on his forehead.

Another photo posted on social media showed the Briton bruised and beaten with what appears to be a swollen eyelid.

During the interview, Mr Aslin is questioned on his experience of the war.

He is first asked in Russian whether he understands the language, to which the Briton replies: “50-50”.

Mr Aslin is then pressed on whether he killed anyone or if he saw others killing people.

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

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During the interview, Mr Aslin is forced to back up Kremlin propaganda claims that Russian state media has been spreading since the start of the invasion.

The 28-year-old had previously warned he would be exploited in “bull***t Russian propaganda” if he was ever captured. 

In a lengthy TV news segment, the Briton is described as “a mercenary” and a “head cutter”, even though he joined the Ukrainian military in 2018.

Rossiya 1 TV news presenter Andrey Rudenko tells viewers: “He fought on the side of the Nazis in Ukraine.”

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PBS’ Simon Ostrovsky said that Mr Aslin “has indeed been captured by Russian forces and judging by this photo, badly mistreated”.

He added: “Many pro-Russia accounts are claiming he is a mercenary. He is not. He officially enlisted with the Ukrainian Marines.”

BBC News’ Emma Vardy echoed this, writing: “Aiden Aslin is clearly being used to maximum advantage as a tool for Russian propaganda, interviewed by a Russian TV reporter while being held captive.

“We cannot know under what duress Aiden may have been prior to this interview, but one thing is very clear.

“These are not the words of the Aiden Aslin from a few weeks ago when he was speaking to family from the conflict and regularly posting social media updates.”


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For weeks, Mr Aslin had been defending Mariupol which remains under heavy siege from Russian forces.

His mother Angela Wood has urged Moscow to treat her son humanely under the terms of the Geneva Convention.

She said: “I’m in bits. I now hold Vladimir Putin to the terms of the Geneva Convention.

“Aiden is a serving member of the Ukrainian armed forces and as such is a prisoner of war and must be treated with humanity.”

The British national from Newark-on-Trent previously fought with the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria and Iraq against Islamic State militants.

After moving to Ukraine in 2018, he had been due to get married last week to his Ukrainian fiancée.

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