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No pardon for Brits sentenced to death in Ukraine, separatist leader says

PRO-RUSSIAN separatist leader Denis Pushilin said yesterday  that there were no plans to pardon two British nationals sentenced to death in the Donbass region of Ukraine last week. 

The head of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic said that no contact had been made from the British government regarding Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner. 

Last week the pair were sentenced to death along with Moroccan national Brahim Saadoun for “mercenary and terrorist” activities in a trial labelled a sham by the British government. 

Mr Pushilin was speaking on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum when he explained there had been no discussions regarding the fate of the men so far.

“As for the British and Moroccan authorities, there have been no requests,” he said. “I would like to stress that at this point, I see no reason to use my legal power to pardon them.”

Earlier this week British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would do everything in her power to free Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner including direct talks with the breakaway statelet, which is not recognised except by Russia.

She insists the men, who both joined the Ukrainian armed forces in 2018, should be protected as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention. 

Two former US soldiers are believed to have been captured in Kharkiv during a battle last week, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.  

Alexander Drueke and Andy Huynh have not been heard from since June 8 after telling their families they would be going offline for a while. 

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was unaware if they had been captured while the US State Department said it was making enquiries. 

It is not known how many foreign nationals are fighting in Ukraine. 

Earlier this week, the Morning Star reported on a group of mercenaries posing as humanitarian workers who claimed to have carried out an attack on a Russian tank.

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