Former British Soldier Forced to Make Russian Propaganda Video After Being Captured While Fighting for Ukraine

Shaun Pinner appeared on Russian television asking the British government to broker an exchange for politician Viktor Medvedchuk, a Vladimir Putin ally detained in Ukraine.

A former British soldier fighting for Ukraine has been captured by Russian forces and forced to make a propaganda video.

Shaun Pinner appeared on Russian television asking the British government to broker an exchange for politician Viktor Medvedchuk. a Vladimir Putin ally detained in Ukraine. He was placed under house arrest last year after being charged with treason and terrorism financing, which he denies. He escaped days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began but was eventually captured by Ukraine.

“Mr. Boris Johnson. Obviously, I’m Shaun Pinner,” Pinner said in the video. “I am part of the 36 Brigade First Battalion Ukrainian Marines. A lot’s gone on over the last five or six weeks that I’m not fully aware of. Obviously I understand that Mr. Medvedchuk has been detained and we look to exchange myself and Aiden Aslin for Mr. Medvedchuk,” he said. Aslin is another British man who was captured by Russian forces while fighting for Ukraine.

Pinner, 48, was captured in Mariupol, which has been all but destroyed in the fighting and where bodies lie unburied in the streets.

“Obviously I would really appreciate your help in this matter and pushing this agenda. Myself I’ve been treated well. Fully understand the situation that I’m in. We’ve been fed, watered and that’s all I can really say but I beg on my behalf and Aiden Aslin’s behalf for help us in an exchange for Mr. Medvedchuk,” he said.

Pinner is originally from Bedfordshire, England, but was living in the Ukrainian city of Donbas.

Aslin, 28, was the UK’s first known prisoner of the war and was also filmed for a propaganda video released last week on Russian television.

Pinner previously expressed concerns about the possibility of being captured by Russia, telling the Mail on Sunday in January, “I fear for my life. The Russians will treat us differently if we are captured because we are British. This is always on my mind, that I will be captured.”

He said he felt obligated to defend the place he now calls home.

“I am here defending my family and adopted city,” he said. “Russia started this war. It’s funded by Russia and driven by Russia, but we will fight them, make no mistake about that.”

Meanwhile, dramatic just-released images show a Russian warship that Ukraine has claimed responsibility for sinking with two sea-skimming Neptune missiles. Russia claimed the ship was damaged in a fire and then sank in a storm.

Many of the 510 crew members are believed killed, but the Russian navy posted a video on Facebook at the weekend with the caption, “the commander-in-chief of the navy meets with the crew of the missile cruiser ‘Moskva.'”

The video may be part of a Russian coverup, as some believe it was shot before the ship was sunk. Other video shows relatives of lost crew members creating a makeshift memorial in a Crimean port.

The loss of the ship is a blow to Putin's pride and prestige. He used to like to show the vessel off to foreign officials.  

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