Freed Aiden Aslin was "made to say" propaganda lines after he was captured by the Russian troops. The soldier, who is originally from Newark, Nottinghamshire, was already living in Ukraine and joined the army in a joint effort to defend the nation against Vladimir Putin's invasion.
Mr Aslin had been fighting with his unit in the besieged south eastern city of Mariupol. He has finally returned home after being sentenced to death in the so-called Donetsk People's Republic [DPT] for "mercenary activities and committing actions aimed at seizing power and overthrowing the constitutional order of the DPR."
Mr Aslin has now taken back control of his Twitter account and opened up about the horrors he and others endured since their capture in Mariupol on April 12. He said he spoke under duress and was "made to say" that Ukrainians bombard civilian areas on purpose.
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He has now clarified he was pushed to say Russian propaganda lines. In a tweet posted on Thursday morning (September 29), Mr Aslin said: "Always seeing 'Ukraine shelling civilian areas on purpose argument' they made me say this a few times."
He added: "However, what I didn’t get to say was that during my time in Donetsk I heard grad artillery being fired outside our prison everyday, even the prisoners knew what they were doing."
During a 45-minute film released earlier this year, Mr Aslin answered 'no' when asked several times if he was speaking under duress. Questioned by pro Kremlin journalist Graham Phillips, also from Nottinghamshire, he recounted his time with the Ukrainian military and repeated several of Moscow's propaganda lines, including that he was a mercenary and not a legitimate combatant.
Mr Phillips has previously told Nottinghamshire Live that "the interview was requested by Aiden himself". Reacting to the news of Aiden's release, he commented: "I don't have any plans to do another interview with Aiden. Aiden's release is something which has been granted to him by the Donetsk People's Republic, I never attempted to influence that decision in any way, as doing so would have clearly been outwith the journalistic remit.
"The Donetsk People's Republic have arrived at the decision they have arrived at, that is that, I don't have any personal feelings about it. Generally, as a person of ethics, and morals, I support proper legal procedures, adherence to proper legal procedures, and justice."
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