One of the five Britons who were captured in Ukraine and returned to the UK after a prisoner exchange between Moscow and Kiev said in an interview with the British newspaper The Sun that he was beaten and forced to sing the Russian anthem while in detention.
At the age of twenty-eight, Aydin Aslin was captured in Ukraine, where he was fighting for Kyiv, and was sentenced to death for mercenary charges.
After his surrender at the siege of Mariupol in April, the soldier “asked in Russian ‘Where are you from?” “I told him I was from Britain and he punched me in the face,” he told The Sun.
According to his account, he was then separated from the other prisoners and interrogated in the back of an armored vehicle.
The officer was smoking a cigarette and knelt in front of me asking ‘Do you know who I am?’ I said no and he answered in Russian I am your death.
He said, “Look what I did to you?” Show my back. He showed me his knife and I realized he hit me with it.
Then the officer asked him if he wanted a “quick death or a beautiful death,” the Briton followed, and his Ukrainian partner, to which he replied that he wanted a quick death.
“He smiled and said, ‘No, you’re going to die a wonderful death,'” Eden Aslin told The Sun.
He said he spent the next five months in a 1.20 by 1.80 meter cell full of cockroaches and lice, deprived of daylight except when he was taken to shoot propaganda videos or so he could communicate with the British Foreign Office.
According to the Sun newspaper, the prisoner heard the Russian anthem playing on a loop and was ordered to stand up and sing or be beaten, and also to chant “Glory to Russia”.
“After being forced to sing the Russian anthem every morning for the past six months, I think it’s time to learn something a little better and learn the Ukrainian anthem,” tweeted Sunday Eden Aslin.
In the sun, he also thanked “from the bottom of his heart” Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich – under UK and EU sanctions – for his role in releasing the five Britons, who were able to return home. State after the prisoner exchange favored by Saudi mediation.