Russian army is 'full of mercenaries' says De Bretton-Gordon

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The treatment of captured British fighters Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner has angered Hamish De Bretton-Gordon amid reports the pair could be sentenced to death by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. The former British army officer has called out the “outrageous” hypocrisy of Vladimir Putin given that the Russian army is itself “full of mercenaries.” Mr De Bretton-Gordon also believes Putin holds the power to influence the fate of the Britons who are currently being held by Pro-Kremlin Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. 

Mr De Bretton-Gordon told GB News: “I’m sure if Putin flexes his muscles in that area, he can make anything happen, [the seperatists] are entirely reliant on the Russian forces to support their activities in the Donbas and everything else.

“But I think it is, what the Russians are allowing to do, the way that they are fighting this illegal war, which is why, I would hope that Liz Truss has called the Russian ambassador in London, to her office straight away, to get him to sort this out as soon as possible.

“It is the Russian military that is full of mercenaries.

“The Wagner Group I’ve seen in Syria, who act absolutely outside the laws or the Geneva Convention.”

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“So we must make it very clear,” he added.

“I mean, these are British citizens sentenced to death by the Russians.

“It’s outrageous.”

It came as Mr Aslin, 28, and Mr Pinner, 48, were convicted of taking action toward the violent seizure of power at a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.

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The UK Government insisted the judgment had no legitimacy and the pair should be treated as prisoners of war.

The Foreign Secretary said: “I utterly condemn the sentencing of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner held by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.

“They are prisoners of war. This is a sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy.

“My thoughts are with the families. We continue to do everything we can to support them.”

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A No 10 spokesman said: “We are obviously deeply concerned by this.

“We have said continually that prisoners of war shouldn’t be exploited for political purposes.

“Under the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war are entitled to combatant immunity and they should not be prosecuted for participation in hostilities.

“So we will continue to work with the Ukrainian authorities to try to secure the release of any British nationals who were serving in the Ukrainian armed forces and who are being held as prisoners of war.”

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