Britons Arrested by Russians Ask for Exchange for Putin Ally

On Monday, the Russian public broadcaster broadcast the appeal of two British detainees in Ukraine who call on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to negotiate their release.


They are asking for an exchange for Ukrainian businessman and Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk, who himself is asking to be traded for soldiers and civilians in Mariupol.

The two British prisoners are identified as Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin. The duo, who looks tired, ask to be exchanged for Medvedchuk. The latter was arrested in Ukraine last week. On the day of his arrest, Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky proposed to exchange Medvedchuk for Ukrainian detainees in Russia.

On Monday, the Ukrainian intelligence service SBU published a video in which Medvedchuk calls for exchanges for soldiers and civilians in the besieged port city of Mariupol. “I would like to address Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky, asking them to trade me between the Mariupol defenders and residents of the city,” it said in an undated video.

Pinner, 48, who formerly served in the British army, says he was captured while fighting with the Ukrainian army in Mariupol. He says he is in Donetsk.

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