The head of the separatist region which sentenced two Brits to death for fighting for Ukraine has said there’s “no reason” to reverse the decision.
Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner – and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun – are facing the ultimate price for opposing Russia, after a “sham” trial found them guilty of “mercenary activities” last week.
UK foreign secretary Liz Truss last week condemned the decision by the judge in the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’, a region of Ukraine occupied by Russian separatists.
This week, amid a call for a reprieve, Denis Pushilin, the leader of the breakaway republic, said according to Russian agencies: “I don’t see any grounds, prerequisites, for me to come out with such a decision on a pardon”.
Last week Aslin’s family insisted the captured Brits are “not, and never were, mercenaries”.
Truss last week said “I utterly condemn” the sentencing of the two prisoners, who are “held by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.
“They are prisoners of war. This is a sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy.”
Ukraine’s foreign affairs minister Dmytro Kuleba, said: “As combatants, they are protected by international humanitarian law and must be treated accordingly.”
The foreign office said it is working with Ukrainian authorities to solve the situation.