TWO Brits captured in Ukraine have been told they face the death penalty at the hands of pro-Putin separatists.
Shaun Pinner, 48, and Andrew Hill, 35, face a show trial for conducting “combat operations” in the self-styled breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic.
If convicted, the maximum penalty is a firing squad.
Fellow Brit Aiden Aslin, 28, who has also been held by pro-Russian forces, was not on the list of those facing trial.
Earlier this month Pinner and Aslin had been told by prosecutors that they had committed “a number of crimes against civilians of the DPR”.
All three had been fighting in Mariupol where they were detained by Russian forces.
It’s not known why Aslin was absent from the list of those facing trial.
Prosecutor-General’s official Viktor Gavrilov said in a video: “After detailed testimonies of British citizens Shaun Pinner and Andrew Hill obtained by officers of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the DPR…
“Their involvement in the commission of unlawful acts has been established.
“A criminal case against mercenaries involved in the preparation and conduct of combat operations against the DPR is completed.
“The case materials have been submitted to a court for trial on the merits of the case.
“As a result of which capital punishment (death penalty) can be imposed on the accused in wartime conditions.”
He did not mention Aslin who had been detained earlier and warned the maximum penalty was death.
In April, Pinner appeared drained as he acknowledged he understood the charges against him.
But he was not seen admitting guilt.
Earlier this month Pinner and Aslin had been told by prosecutor Andrei Spivak they had committed “a number of crimes against civilians of the Donetsk People’s Republic”.
He said: “The maximum punishment for these crimes is the death penalty.”
The British men had been fighting in Mariupol when they were captured by Russian forces.
Aslin and Pinner – who fought with Ukraine’s 36th Marines – have lived in Ukraine for some time and are fully-paid members of its military.
Aslin joined the Marines in 2018 while Pinner moved to Mariupol four years ago to be with his second wife Larysa when he joined the Ukrainian Army as a “contract soldier”.
Hill, a dad of four from Plymouth, was paraded by the Russians on national TV last month as appeared wounded with a head bandage and his left arm in a sling.
He looked tired and terrified and kept his head bowed as he looked at the floor, occasionally glancing up nervously as he asked if he would ever get back to England.
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