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Thursday, September 29, 2022

War prisoner Aiden Aslin returns home to UK

Aiden Aslin arrives home in Balderton (Picture: SWNS)

British prisoner of war Aiden Aslin thanked President Zelensky as he returned home after being held captive in Russia.

Aslin, 28, who was sentenced to death by a court in the self-proclaimed Dontesk Peoples Republic, returned back to his home in Nottinghamshire after landing at Heathrow last night.

He was among a group who were captured in April for their voluntary fighting in Ukraine.

Speaking on his doorstep in Balderton, Newark, Aiden said: ‘I won’t say a short statement or anything, but I want to thank everyone who helped secure our release.

‘Especially President Zelensky.

‘I want to go in my house, I just want to thank President Zelensky and the Saudi authorities and everyone else who was involved in our release.

‘We want to be in privacy after the traumatic experience we’ve just been through.

‘When I’m ready to talk I will be ready to talk.’

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The Brit was held captive in Russia for nearly six months (Picture: SWNS)
He thanked Ukrainian president Zelensky for helping secure his release (Picture: SWNS)

The group of 10 foreign detainees – who also included Brit Shaun Pinner – freed after Saudi Arabia brokered a deal between Russia and Ukraine.

The Presidium Network confirmed they were back on British soil.

Dominik Byrne, the co-founder of the non-profit who has been supporting Mr Healy’s family, said they were all ‘looking forward to normality with their families after this horrific ordeal’.

Earlier today Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner thanked those who worked to free them and the public for supporting them since their capture in April in a video message recorded on a plane.

Two American prisoners named Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh have been released, family representatives have confirmed.

Croatian, Moroccan and Swedish nationals are also among the group, it emerged on Wednesday evening.

The move comes following mediation by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Prime Minister Liz Truss announced the news yesterday, saying it ended ‘months of uncertainty and suffering for them and their families’.

She thanked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ‘for his efforts to secure the release of detainees, and Saudi Arabia for their assistance’.

The British leader also warned that Russia ‘must end the ruthless exploitation of prisoners of war and civilian detainees for political ends’.

Mr Aslin, originally from Newark in Nottinghamshire, moved to Ukraine in 2018 after he fell in love with a woman from Mykolaiv.

He was enlisted in the Ukrainian army and had been fighting in Mariupol when his military unit ran out of food and ammunition.

They were left with ‘no choice’ but to surrender to Kremlin troops earlier this year.

He and Mr Pinner were sentenced to death for ‘mercenary activities’ and ‘undergoing training to carry out terrorist activities’ by a court that is not internationally recognised in July.

Their return was part of one of the most significant prisoner swaps of the war so far, with 215 Ukrainian soldiers released – including commanders of the Azov regiment, which defended Mariupol – by Russia.

In exchange, Ukraine handed over 55 Russian soldiers, as well as the pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician and oligarch Victor Medvechuk, who was facing charges of treason.



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