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The family of a British prisoner of war captured in Mariupol have pleaded with the Kremlin to ensure their rights after a Russian television reporter saw him taunt him.
Former British Army soldier Shaun Pinner, 48, who is a Royal Anglian veteran, was paraded on propaganda television in Russia today in a heavily edited clip and was told his Ukrainian commanders wanted him killed as he fled from a factory hideout in Mariupol. .
Now his family has issued a statement in response to his capture, explaining how he became involved in defending Ukraine against Russian invasion while calling on Shaun’s Russian captors to adhere to the Geneva Convention’s standards regarding treatment. of prisoners of war.
‘Shaun was a highly respected soldier in the British Army who served in the Royal Anglian Regiment for many years. He served on many tours, including Northern Ireland and with the United Nations in Bosnia,” the statement read.
‘In 2018, Shaun decided to move to Ukraine to utilize his previous experience and training within the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
‘Shaun enjoyed the Ukrainian way of life and considered Ukraine as his adopted country for the last four years. During this time, he met his Ukrainian wife, who is very focused on the humanitarian needs of the country.
He ‘he progressed to the Ukrainian Marine Corps as a proud member of his unit. At the end of 2022, his 3-year contract will end and he was planning to play a humanitarian role inside Ukraine.”
The statement continued: ‘We would like to make it clear that he is not a volunteer or a mercenary, but he officially serves with the Ukrainian army according to Ukrainian law.
“Our family is currently working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the family of Aiden Aslin, who is also detained by the Russian military to ensure that his rights as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention are respected.
‘Shaun is a fun, much-loved and well-intentioned husband, son, father, brother and friend to many. We hope for a speedy resolution to allow Shaun and Aiden to return safely to their families and ask for privacy at this difficult time.
“Our hearts go out to all those caught up in this horrible conflict.”
Pinner, who enlisted in the Marines in Ukraine after marrying his wife Larysa who is from the country, was told he could now be seen as an anti-Putin hero by the outside world.
He is heard saying there was ‘panic’ as he was held after ending their siege in an industrial area of the blitzed city.
His capture of him comes after Russia seized 28-year-old former care worker Aiden Aslin on Tuesday. He had also been fighting in Ukraine in the same trenches outside Mariupol as Pinner.
‘We were in the factory area of Mariupol,’ he said in a newly released clip of an interview made in captivity.
‘It was Tuesday morning. It was decided we move from the factory, but we did not know exactly where. At about 4am we left the factory.’
There was ‘not much time to think,’ said Pinner.
After this, his words from him were subtitled in Russian but his original speech from him was not audible.
According to the captions, Pinner said
According to the captions, Pinner said: “It was very dark. We take the wounded with us.
‘The mortar and artillery bombardment began, the military aviation worked. The panic started. They all started running in different directions.
It seems that my commander has disappeared. I still don’t know what happened to those who were there with me.
Interviewer Andrey Rudenko, a well-known Russian war reporter on pro-Kremlin state television, claimed without citing direct evidence that his Ukrainian commanders wanted Vladimir Putin’s forces to kill him and others so they could be hailed as heroes in the war. propaganda battle against Moscow.
“The 36th Brigade servicemen say their command sent them specially to be killed to make them heroes later,” Pinner was told.
Rudenko told a Pinner that he looked exhausted: “You didn’t have a single chance to get to this Zachatovka settlement, as Russian and DPR troops were everywhere.”
In the event, he and other defenders were captured.
Pinner is heard responding to the claim that his Ukrainian commanders wanted him and others to flee the factory to die: “I had no idea. You know more than I do. I personally don’t know anything…’
The report also quoted Pinner as saying, although his words were not audible on this broadcast: “I had no idea, we were abandoned.”
‘I don’t know who made such a decision. I know nothing of the fate of the wounded, who remained there.
I don’t know what happened to the bodies.
In an earlier interview, Pinner identified himself and said: ‘I am a UK citizen.
I was captured in Mariupol. I am part of the 36th brigade, 1st Ukrainian Marine Battalion…
“I fought in Mariupol for five or six weeks and now I am in the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
Russia gave Ukrainian soldiers a ‘surrender or die’ ultimatum, urging them to lay down their arms at 6:00 a.m. m. Moscow time (03:00 GMT) and to evacuate before 13:00 p.m. m., on Sunday after the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that its troops had cleared the urban area of the city, leaving only a small unit of Ukrainian fighters at the giant Azovstal steelworks in the southeastern port.
In a statement, the Defense Ministry said: “The Russian Armed Forces offer the militants of the nationalist battalions and foreign mercenaries from 6 a.m. (Moscow time) on April 17, 2022, to stop any hostilities and lay down the weapons”. All who lay down their arms are guaranteed that their lives will be spared.
But with the last Ukrainian fighters in Mariupol refusing to surrender and accepting Russia’s now-expired ultimatum, Odessa’s Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko told BBC News the last defenders “will fight to the end”.
He said: ‘I spoke to them yesterday and I know they are going to fight to the end.’
It comes as a deadly shelling took place in Kharkiv over the weekend, killing five people and injuring 13, according to regional health officials.
Shaun Pinner Quick and Facts
- Shaun Pinner told by Kremlin his Ukrainian commanders wanted him to be killed
- 48-year-old Royal Anglian veteran spoke in a new interview, made in captivity
- He said there was ‘panic’ as he was held after ending siege in area of Mariupol
- Pinner will face further interrogation by the Russian Investigative Committee
- His family released a statement imploring Shaun’s Russian captors to ensure he is afforded all of his rights as a prisoner of war