Russian State TV debates execution of British prisoners

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The Russian TV hosts and guests passionately discuss whether to “hang, shoot, or quarter” Britons Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, who are both standing trial in court in the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for fighting with Ukrainian Armed Forces. Political scientist Yaakov Kedmi harkened the group back to post-WW2 by suggesting they replicated the “hangings in Kyiv Square”, while Malek Dudakov, another political scientist, took pride in saying the cases of these two soldiers would cause “a crisis” in Britain. 

Vladimir Solovyov, a state TV host, said: “What can the British Empire respond with if two of its subjects are shot or hanged? Just wipe off their face? What can they do? They can threaten us with a seventh wave of sanctions.” 

Kedmi said: “In 1945, they hung [war captives] in Kyiv’s public square! So will they shoot them or hang them?” 

Solovyov responded: “No, quarter them! We’re in the 21st Century, in the centre of Europe, holding discussions about how to execute mercenaries.” 

Laughing to himself, the TV host then said: “To hang them, shoot them or quarter them? This is chaos. We’re descending into chaos.” 

Dudakov said: “The question about the mercenaries, whether to shoot them or execute them in some other way, we have plenty of time to answer that. 

“But why can’t we use the current situation to offer them to Britain as part of an exchange for Russia’s frozen holdings. 

“This will cause a storm in British society, particularly through the parents of these mercenaries.

“They’ll be in every tabloid yelling about it, that [the British Government] won’t release the money frozen in those accounts to save the lives of their fellow Brits. This will cause a crisis. It could cause a crisis for their establishment.” 

Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner are on trial for “training in order to carry out terrorist activities”, a crime for which Russian media Ria Novosti claimed yesterday the pair had admitted guilt. 

The charge could lead to 15 to 20 years imprisonment with restriction of freedom for a term of one to two years or life imprisonment, according to the media outlet. 

The elder Mr Pinner, however, is believed to facing a longer-term and even the death penalty after reportedly admitting to “seizing power by force”. 

Some members of the Russian state media have demanded Mr Pinner receive the most severe punishment of death. 

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Tory Minister Robert Jenrick described the trial as a “completely outrageous breach of international law” and demanded the pair be returned to Ukraine. 

Mr Jenrick, speaking first about Mr Aslin, said: “This is a British citizen, but who also holds Ukrainian nationality, is married to a Ukrainian, joined the Ukrainian armed forces in the normal way prior to Putin’s illegal invasion, and has been serving in the armed forces.

“He was taken prisoner by Russian forces and in accordance with international law and the Geneva Convention, he should be being held appropriately and returned to Ukraine at the earliest possible opportunity, possibly through a prisoner exchange.

“Instead of that Putin’s regime has chosen to put him and another British national, Shaun Pinner, on trial on trumped-up charges, no evidence whatsoever. 

“This is, I’m afraid, a completely outrageous breach of international law and it should be condemned.”

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