Russia and Ukraine release dueling videos of inmates seeking to swap prisoners
Around the same time on Monday, Ukrainian intelligence released footage of Medvedchuk, in which he also called on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, to trade him for “defenders of Mariupol”. and “Residents who are there today and do not have the option of leaving safely through a humanitarian corridor.
The duel videos from Russia and Ukraine have raised questions about the treatment of detainees and POWs nearly two months into the conflict. They also hinted that the two parties could set the stage for a potential swap.
It was unclear how freely Medvedchuk, 67, or the two British nationals, Shaun Pinner, 48, and Aiden Aslin, 28, spoke in the videos, which appeared to have been filmed since their detention.
Pinner and Aslin both spoke separately in the videos, in which they asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to work on a swap. At times they appeared to have been instigated by an unidentified man.
“I understand that Mr. Medvechuk has been detained, and we are seeking to trade myself and Aiden Aslin for Mr. Medvechuk,” Pinner said. “Obviously, I would really appreciate your help in this matter and the promotion of this agenda.”
Russia has previously maintained that it is not interested in a swap because Medvedchuk is not a Russian citizen. He previously led the pro-Russian party Opposition Platform – For Life and is one of the richest people in Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities announced last week that he had been apprehended as he tried to flee the country after escaping house arrest. He was arrested last year for treason and terrorist financing, which he denies.
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Rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Ukraine to stop publishing images and videos of captured Russian soldiers, some of which were recorded during interrogations.
Under the Geneva Conventions governing the laws of war, captured prisoners must be treated humanely and may not be subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment.
In a statement on Monday, Pinner’s family said they hoped the pair would return home soon – and that they were working with the UK Foreign Office and relatives of Aslin to ensure their rights were respected.
“We would like to clarify that he is neither a volunteer nor a mercenary, but that he is officially serving in the Ukrainian army in accordance with Ukrainian law,” said the statement, reported by the British newspaper Guardian.
pinner moved to Ukraine in 2018 and considered it his adopted country, according to the family. He married a Ukrainian woman and served as a sailor in the Ukrainian Navy.
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Aslin also joined the Ukrainian marines in 2018 and served with the 36th Marine Brigade in Mariupol, a key battleground in southeastern Ukraine, his friend Brennan Phillips told The Washington Post last week.
The first video of Aslin in captivity emerged last week and was also shown on Russian television, which showed him handcuffed and with a bruise on his head.
His grandmother Pamela Hall told the BBC“I didn’t expect that, I thought if the worst came to the worst Aiden would die fighting. Obviously I didn’t want that, I wanted the war to end and him to go home to his family. fiancee.”