Shaun Pinner, 48, is a British soldier in the Ukraine Marines after moving to his “country of choice” in 2018 and being taken as a prisoner of war by Russian forces
Image: social media/e2w)
The family of a British soldier who was captured by Russian forces and presented as a prisoner of war say they are desperate for the release of their “jolly and much loved” son.
Shaun Pinner, 48, was captured in Marupil and transferred to Donetsk, where the Russians released video of him confirming who he is.
Now the family of the soldier, who traveled in Northern Ireland and Bosnia before moving to Ukraine in 2018, where he met his wife, has released a statement.
Correcting earlier reports that he was a mercenary and confirming he was serving in the Ukrainian Army, they said: “Shaun was a distinguished soldier in the British Army, having served in the Royal Anglian Regiment for many years.
“Shaun enjoyed the Ukrainian way of life and has considered Ukraine his adopted homeland for the last four years. During this time he met his Ukrainian wife, who cares deeply about the country’s humanitarian needs.
“He joined the Ukrainian Marines as a proud member of his unit. His three-year contract expires at the end of 2022 and he planned to take on a humanitarian role in Ukraine.
“We want to clarify that he is not a volunteer or a mercenary, but officially serves in the Ukrainian army in accordance with Ukrainian legislation.
“Shaun is a fun, well-loved, well-intentioned husband, son, father, brother and friend to many.
“We hope for a quick resolution so Shaun and Aiden can safely return to their families and we ask for privacy at this difficult time.
“Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this terrible conflict.”
They added that they, along with the family of Aiden Aslin, the first Briton to be taken as a prisoner of war by Russia, are working with the Foreign Office to ensure their rights are respected by the Russians.
In a sickening propaganda video released by the Axiom news agency, Shaun can be heard saying: “Hi, I’m Shaun Pinner, I’m a UK citizen, I was captured in Mariupol, I’m part of the 36 Brigade First Battalion Ukrainian Marines.
“I fought in Mariupol for five to six weeks and now I’m in the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
Aiden, from Newark, Notts, can also be seen in a video being mocked by Russians with injuries to his face.
Aiden’s mother, Ang Wood, previously said: “It’s Aiden, I can’t deny it. He is it.
“These are his tattoos. There’s a faint hope that it’s a manipulated image, but I can’t see it.
“I’m stopping now Wladimir Putin the provisions of the Geneva Convention.
“Aiden is a serving member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and as such a prisoner of war and must be treated with humanity.
“It looks like he’s been beaten up.
“It is now time for the UK Government to step in and help secure Aiden’s release as he is still a British citizen.
“There may be hope for a prisoner exchange arranged by the Ukrainians. I’m finished. My son will be just as scared as we are.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/family-much-loved-british-soldier-26733558 Family of 'much loved' British soldier captured desperate for safe return - World News