Russians release photo showing Newark’s Aiden Aslin as POW
A photo has emerged of Newark soldier Aiden Aslin which shows him as a prisoner of the Russians.
The image was posted to a Russian propaganda feed and shows Aiden stretching his arms outward so his identifying tattoos are visible.
Aiden’s mother Ang said from her home in Balderton: “It’s Aiden, I can’t deny it. It’s him. It’s his tattoos. There’s a faint hope it’s a picture doctored but I can’t see it.
“I now hold Vladimir Putin under the terms of the Geneva Convention. Aiden is an active member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and as such is a prisoner of war and should be treated humanely.
“It already looks like he’s been beaten.
“Now is the time for the UK Government to step up and help secure Aiden’s release as he is still a UK citizen.
“There may be hope for a Ukrainian-organized prisoner exchange.
“I’m in pieces. My son will be scared just like us.”
Aiden, 28, managed the briefest of conversations with his family in Balderton in the early hours of Tuesday in which he divulged that his unit had run out of ammunition and food and was ordered to surrender.
The 36th Marine Brigade, which had fought for 48 straight days in the beleaguered port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine, was exhausted and said it had done everything humanly possible in defense of its country.
No fewer than 1,000 men of the 36th, including 300 wounded, were reportedly taken prisoner.
Aiden’s brother Nathan previously told the announcer he feared his older brother would be treated like a trophy prisoner or tortured like the defenders of Snake Island who swore at Russian ships demanding their surrender.
He said: “I read how the Ukrainian troops on Snake Island were tortured after they were captured. Aiden is British so maybe the situation will be different, but Putin gave dire warnings about the fate of all foreigners who fought on the Ukrainian side.
“I think he could be used as a sort of propaganda tool, a trophy prisoner. The hardest part is not knowing what the endgame will be.
“I know that Ukraine will do everything in its power to get them back and there may be hope for a prisoner exchange if it is verified that they have now surrendered.
“I also think the government has a responsibility to protect a British citizen in every way possible – a moral obligation to try to do something or else they will be as responsible as the Russians for what might happen next.
“The reason he is in Ukraine is that he felt betrayed for the way he was treated when he returned from Syria.
“I hope there is something that can be done diplomatically because I face the possibility of never seeing my brother again. If he survives this he could spend the rest of his life locked in a prison. Russian prison.”