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Ukraine struggle: Sister of British man Aiden Aslin held by Russian forces calls footage of him ‘distressful’ | World News

The sister of a British nationwide presently being held by Russian forces has described a video of her brother broadcast on Russian state tv as “distressing and hurtful”.

Aiden Aslin, a former Coldstream Guardsman from Newark in Nottingham, was one of many final Ukrainian troopers to give up within the besieged metropolis of Mariupol.

The 28-year-old joined the Ukrainian armed forces as a marine in 2018.

For greater than 50 days, he fought to defend his adopted homeland, earlier than a scarcity of provides meant his unit was compelled to give up.

“We had an exchange of video messages with Aiden just before the surrender, to tell him of our love and support,” his sister Shannon Tinegate informed Sky News.

Russia ‘digging up graves in Mariupol’ – dwell Ukraine updates

An armoured vehicle of pro-Russian troops drivers along a street during fighting in Ukraine-Russia conflict near a plant of Azovstal Iron and Steel Works company in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine April 12, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko
Mariupol has come underneath a barrage of assaults for the reason that struggle began

“And in those Aiden had no signs of any physical injuries.”

In a video filmed lower than 24 hours later and broadcast on Russian state tv, there seem like cuts and bruises on the previous care employee’s face, as he solutions questions from a Russian interviewer.

“At least we know he’s alive,” says Shannon. “But all we can go on is his physical appearance. So that part is distressing.”

“He looks exhausted and tired,” she provides. “But he has been fighting for over 50 days, so who wouldn’t?”

“We’re proud of him but worried…It’s the not knowing that’s the worst.”

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‘I noticed my house destroyed on social media’

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In the video, Mr Aslin’s interrogators seemingly attempt to blame him for the crimes Russia has allegedly carried out within the port metropolis.

His household says they’re holding on to the truth that he’s an enlisted marine and has been since 2018, and as such he must be handled as a prisoner of struggle underneath the Geneva Convention.

But some Russian media sources are claiming he’s a mercenary, not a soldier.

Shannon says: “Aiden has dual citizenship. His fiancée is Ukrainian, and his life is there.

“He’s a proud Ukrainian citizen, so seeing him referred to as a mercenary is hurtful. We know the reality. We know what he’s, and what his targets are.

“He is a compassionate and loving man who believes in freedom and peace.

“We all love him and are doing what we are able to. We simply hope he stays sturdy and constructive.”

Before the war broke out, Mr Aslin told Sky News that people thought he was crazy for signing up to fight and argued he should not even be Ukraine.

“That’s a real argument from their facet, however I’m right here, my fiancee is Ukrainian, I’ve obtained a home in Ukraine, I’m constructing a household,” he said at the time.

“There will all the time be that one who says I should not be right here, however on the finish of the day if I’m not right here, like my authorities’s not right here, so like that is the very best I can do by doing what my authorities cannot do.”

Shannon says her brother, who returned from fighting as a volunteer in Syria in 2016, is “brave and courageous, however strong-willed as properly”.

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She stated her message to Aiden was easy: “Keep your head up, Aiden. Your family are thinking of you and supporting you.

“We love you and we’re happy with you, it doesn’t matter what is being stated, and the entire of Newark and Nottingham is behind you.”

Mr Aslin’s household have contacted the Foreign Office to ask for assist in securing his launch.

Their different hope is that he might change into a part of a prisoner trade between Ukraine and Russia.

Sky News understands the Foreign Office is conscious of the detention of a British nationwide and has been in contact with their household.

Whatever route he takes, Mr Aslin’s household simply need him to have the ability to return to the hero’s welcome they imagine he deserves.

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