Pinner defended Mariupol: British fighter exhibited by Russian media

Pinner defended Mariupol
British fighter paraded by Russian media

A Briton defending Mariupol was captured. Like one of his comrades before. He is shown on a Russian military station, looking weak and emaciated. What do we know about Shaun Pinner?

A Briton fighting for Ukraine has been featured on Russian television after being captured in the besieged city of Mariupol. This is reported by several British media, including the “Guardian”. In a video where he appears weakened and beaten, Shaun Pinner, 48, says: “Hi, my name is Shaun Pinner, I am a British citizen. I was captured in Mariupol. I belong to the 1st battalion of the Ukrainian Marines of the 36th Brigade I fought in Mariupol for five to six weeks and am now in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

A section of the video can be seen in the “Sun”. It was part of an interview with Andrey Rudenko, who works closely with Russian state television, he said. A check by revealed that the interview was broadcast on the Russian Defense Ministry’s “Zvezda” channel.

Pinner, from Bedfordshire, reportedly moved to Ukraine four years ago and lived with his wife in Donbass, according to the Guardian. The former Royal Anglian Regiment soldier said in January he was stationed in trenches ten miles from Mariupol. “I am here to defend my family and my adopted country. Russia started this war. It is financed by Russia and directed by Russia, but we will fight them, have no illusions,” said Pinner at the time.

Another Briton likely in captivity

Pro-Russian channels on social media shared the video with words like: “Shaun Pinner is an English mercenary. He says he doesn’t need the war anymore and he wants to go home. He doesn’t won’t go home.” How the Russians or pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine will treat international prisoners is uncertain. The date the video was taken and the exact circumstances of its capture also remain unclear.

According to The Guardian, Pinner is the second British soldier fighting for Ukraine to be captured. According to the report, Pinner was fighting alongside his friend Aiden Aslin, a 28-year-old man from Nottinghamshire who reportedly surrendered to the Russian army last week after his battalion ran out of ammunition.

The UK Foreign Office has contacted Aslin’s family to offer support, according to the report. However, the UK’s ability to provide consular assistance or obtain information on British citizens in Ukraine is severely limited due to the war.

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