Russia has released footage of two British men, one a former soldier in the British Army, appearing in court following their capture while fighting alongside Ukrainian soldiers in Mariupol.
Former Royal Anglian soldier Shaun Pinner, 48, and Nottinghamshire’s Aiden Aslin, 28, were filmed being brought before what is said to be a court in territory held by pro-Russian rebels.
Both are reported to have appeared in the dock in the region of Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk People’s Republic.
It comes after the president of Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk People’s Republic said the region’s supreme court is opening the trial of three Britons - accused of being mercenaries for Ukrainian forces.
If the men are convicted of the charges, which include trying to "seize power", it is feared the court, which is not internationally recognised, could pass the death penalty.
Aslin and Pinner were both members of regular Ukrainian military units in Mariupol. The affiliation of a third British man, Andrew Hill, who was captured in the Mykolaiv area, is unclear.
The footage shows three men, reported to be Mr Aslin, Mr Pinner and Saaudun Brahim, a Moroccan national.
Mr Aslin’s family said in a statement released through the Foreign Office on Tuesday: "We, the family of Aiden Aslin, wish to ask for privacy at this time from the media.
"This is a very sensitive and emotional time for our family, and we would like to say thank you to all that have supported us.
"We are currently working with the Ukrainian government and the Foreign Office to try and bring Aiden home.
"Aiden is a much-loved man and very much missed, and we hope that he will be released very soon."
Cover image: [From left to right] Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Saaudun Brahim in what appears to be a court (Picture: Zvezda News).