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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Will Stewart & Matthew Dresch

Russia publishes list of 100 Brit 'mercenaries' supposedly fighting in Ukraine

Russian sources have published a list of what they claim are 100 British “ mercenaries ” fighting in Ukraine.

A pro-war Telegram channel called Rybar with almost 400,000 subscribers claimed the 99 men and one woman were part of the “International Legion of Territorial Defence of Ukraine”.

It is also known as the Ukrainian Foreign Legion.

“On April 5 we said that there were less than 700 people there, excluding employees of PMCs [private military companies],” said a report from the pro-Putin Russian channel.

“Now you know their names, dates of birth and ID numbers.”

It is unclear where the list came from but Rybar suggests it was obtained via the offices of the governor of Mykolaiv region, Vitaliy Kim.

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It is also unclear how authentic it is.

The names do not include British fighters Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, recently detained by the Russians in Mariupol.

Nor does the list include Scott Sibley, named today as killed in Ukraine.

Stooges for the Russian Government have previously insisted Aslin and Pinner were 'mercenaries', however claim has been widely rejected.

Former defence minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk, who is now chairman of the Centre for Defence Strategies think tank, said the pair were legitimate members of Ukraine's armed forces.

Brit Scott Sibley has been killed in Ukraine (Facebook)

Mr Zagorodnyuk added that there is no “legal mechanism” in Ukraine allowing mercenaries to be recruited.

Meanwhile, Russia has used its own mercenaries in the invasion, with 3,000 members of the Wagner Group private military company thought to have died in the conflict, according to Bellingcat.

Aslin's brother said he is optimistic Russia will free him after he appeared in a video asking to be part of a prisoner swap.

Nathan Wood said the fact the Brit looked unhurt showed Moscow was keen to exchange him for pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, held by Ukraine.

Ukraine has pushed Russian forces back from Kyiv and the surrounding areas (via REUTERS)

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

“There needs to be a positive outcome and now the Russians are talking about him potentially being freed in a prisoner swap, he is hopefully being with humanity.

“They have made their demands clear. Hopefully they are treating him like a prince, they don’t want to show him with scratches and bruises because it could harm their chances.

“This could all takes, days, weeks, months but the Ukrainian and Russian governments appear to be talking and now we need Britain to offer some support.”

An earlier clip showing a bruised and handcuffed Aiden being interviewed has been removed from YouTube following claims he was being interviewed under duress for propaganda.

Social care worker Nathan added: “We have to be patient but we feel more confident now that Aiden will be released.”

Both Britons had been living in Ukraine before it was invaded and were serving in the Ukrainian marines when they were captured in Mariupol. They have since appeared in separate videos pleading to be swapped 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 is able to push this prisoner exchange through so I can return to you and we can build our life in Britain.”

Nathan confirmed that the couple are not yet wed but had hoped to marry this summer. His future sister-in-law fled Ukraine and is now safe in another country, thought to be Hungary.

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