Brothers hope for captured British soldier Aiden Aslin as Russian forces demand an exchange


Nathan Wood said he had “hope” after a video this week showed Aiden Aslin and fellow countryman Shaun Pinner, 48, asking to be swapped with a pro-Russian politician being held in Ukraine

Aiden Aslin was serving in the Ukrainian Navy when he was captured in Mariupol
Aiden Aslin was serving in the Ukrainian Navy when he was captured in Mariupol

Prisoner of war Aiden Aslin’s brother is optimistic Russia will release him after he appeared on video asking to be on a prisoner exchange.

Nathan Wood said the fact that the Brit appeared unharmed shows Moscow is keen to swap him out for pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, who is being held by Ukraine.

Nathan, 25, said: “The Prime Minister is aware that Aiden has been taken prisoner of war. It gives us a bit of hope, but it’s a waiting game now.

“There has to be a positive outcome and now the Russians are talking about him possibly being freed in a prisoner swap, hopefully he’s with humanity.

“They made their demands clear. Hopefully they treat him like a prince, they don’t want to show him with scratches and bruises because that could hurt their chances.

Nathan Wood has shared his hope for his brother Aiden Aslin


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“It could all take days, weeks, months but the Ukrainian and Russian governments seem to be talking and now we need the UK to offer some support.”

An earlier clip showing an interview with an injured and handcuffed Aiden was removed from YouTube after it was claimed he was being interviewed under duress for propaganda purposes.

Social worker Nathan added, “We must be patient, but we are now more confident that Aiden will be released.”

Both Britons had lived in Ukraine before the invasion and were serving in the Ukrainian Navy when captured at Mariupol. They have since appeared in separate videos asking to be swapped out for pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk.

Aiden was heard saying, “Diane, my wife, I want you to know I love you. I hope the British Government can enforce this prisoner exchange so that I can return to you and we can rebuild our lives in Britain.”

Nathan confirmed that the couple are not yet married but were hoping to marry this summer. His future sister-in-law fled Ukraine and is now safe in another country, presumably Hungary.

“We’re in touch with her, but we’re trying to keep her out of the spotlight for her safety,” Nathan said. “She’s trying to get to England but we have no idea when that will be.”

And Aidan is likely “to settle in the UK as it is doubtful he could return to Ukraine,” he said.

His mother, Ang Wood, is in regular contact with Shaun’s family and the Foreign Office, he said.

She previously revealed that she was called by the Russian kidnappers, who told her to be available for a video call via Facebook Messenger on Thursday morning.

It was back-and-forth leading her to believe it was a cruel hoax before it came through at lunchtime.

She said they urged Aiden, 28, to tell her to personally put pressure on the prime minister to be released in exchange for pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk.

Ang also said her son appeared to have been treated well as he was fed and watered and even given an e-cigarette to vape with.

She said: “They wanted me to press Boris Johnson into this swap deal with Viktor Medvedchuk.

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“With all due respect, I have to say I didn’t have the PM on speed dial.

“I could hear his Russian captors talking in the background. There were pauses as Aiden was told what to say, that he had to do this, that he had to do that.

Ang said the Russians apparently wanted her to know that Aiden is now being treated well.

She added, “He said he’s had some sleep, eaten and got a vape now.”

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