Captured British militants Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner face 20 years behind bars after they “pled guilty” in a pro-Russian court.
The two volunteers, who have been fighting alongside the Ukrainian army since the war began in February, have been accused by Russian forces of being mercenaries.
Aslin and Pinner pleaded guilty to “training to conduct terrorist activities,” Russian state media report, according to a video released by the DPR Supreme Court.
If convicted, they face 15 to 20 years with one to two years in prison or life imprisonment, reports Ria Novosti.
In addition, Pinner faces a long-term and even the death penalty, as he has also pleaded guilty to violent seizure of power.
Aiden Aslin, 28, of Nottinghamshire, and Shaun Pinner, 48, of Bedfordshire, are being held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic – a breakaway region in eastern Ukraine.
Both men, who have been living in the country since 2018, say they served with regular military units in Mariupol and should therefore be protected as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.
They were seen in court in a video shared by the messaging app Telegram in a metal cage with Sauudun Brahim of Morocco.
In the video, Aslin, who appeared to have lost a lot of weight, responded in Russian with “Yes, I do” when asked by the judge if he understood the charges against him.
Pinner, who also appeared haggard and thin, answered “yes” to the same question.
A third Briton, Andrew Hill, is also being charged after being arrested in the Mykolaiv area, although his affiliation is unclear.
The trial took place before the region’s highest court.
Denis Pushilin, President of the Donetsk People’s Republic, had accused the men of “egregious” crimes, including attempts to seize power and crimes against groups of people.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5518338/aiden-aslin-shaun-pinner-trial-ukraine-russia/ British fighters Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner face 20 YEARS in prison after pleading “guilty” in a pro-Russia mock court