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Two British soldiers captured in Ukraine have appeared on Russian state TV and asked to be exchanged for pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.
Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin appeared to be prompted by an unidentified man while speaking in footage shown on the Rossiya 24 channel.
They asked Boris Johnson to do what he could to have Medvedchuk - nicknamed the Prince of Darkness - released by Ukraine.
Two captured Britons, Shaun Pinner & Aiden Aslin on the air of the Russia 1 TV channel, turned to Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a request to assist in their exchange for opposition Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk. #UK#UkraineRussiaWar #Ukraine #Russia#moj_podsetnik pic.twitter.com/WNr7ed4hMv— Hordearii (@Hordearii_72) April 18, 2022
Aslin has dual British-Ukrainian citizenship and was fighting alongside Ukrainian forces in the eastern city of Mariupol, which has been a focal point of Russian aggression since the war began in February.
Last week, the first image of Aslin since he was captured was shared on social media.
He was handcuffed and had a badly swollen eye, with cuts across his head.
The picture was shared by a pro-Donetsk People's Republic Telegram account on Twitter.
Ex-British Army soldier Pinner had been serving as a ‘contract soldier’ in Kyiv alongside Ukrainian forces.
In a video shared by Russian media over the weekend, the 48-year-old was seen testifying on camera about his role in the conflict.
Speaking directly to the camera, he said: "Hi I'm Shaun Pinner, I am a citizen of the UK.
"I was captured in Mariupol. I am part of the 36 Brigade First Battalion Ukrainian Marines.
"I was fighting in Mariupol for five-six weeks and now I'm in Donetsk People's Republic."
Medvedchuk also appeared in a video released earlier today by Ukraine's SBU intelligence service, in which he too asked to be exchanged.
A close friend and ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin, Medvedchuk was arrested by Ukrainian authorities last week.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a photo of the pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician looking extremely tired and disheveled while handcuffed.
He added to the post with the caption: "A special operation was carried out thanks to the SBU. Well done! Glory to Ukraine!"
The ABC reports Medvedchuk is Putin's 'closest and most influential ally in Ukraine'.
Featured Image Credit: East2West News/EarlGrey/YouTube
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