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British POW was stunned by Russian soldiers with cattle prod for being West Ham fan

Poppy Bilderbeck

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British POW was stunned by Russian soldiers with cattle prod for being West Ham fan

A British prisoner of war has spoken out about his experiences while imprisoned by Russian forces after being released last week.

Content warning: contains descriptions of torture.

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On 24 February, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops across the border into Ukraine.

In support of Ukraine, some Brits travelled to the war-torn county to help battle against Russia. Some were already there, like Shaun Pinner, who had been fighting alongside Ukrainians against pro-Russian rebels in the region of Donbas.

However, five British nationals ended up being taken prisoner by the Kremlin's forces. Pinner was one of the five, who were released last Wednesday (21 September).

He has since opened up about his experiences while imprisoned, such as being punished for supporting West Ham football team.

Shaun Pinner was stunned with a cattle prod for supporting West Ham. Credit: Action Plus Sports Images/ Alamy Stock Photo
Shaun Pinner was stunned with a cattle prod for supporting West Ham. Credit: Action Plus Sports Images/ Alamy Stock Photo

In an interview with ITV's Good Morning Britain, Pinner revealed what his experience with the Russian guards was like.

He recalled: "We developed a comedic rapport with some of the guards.

"It was a strange feeling because we were told we were the enemy, but sometimes we would actually have some dialogue with them.

"They were interested in who we are, why we came, what London's like."

Pinner said he built up a 'comedic rapport' with the guards. Credit: ITV/ Good Morning Britain/ YouTube
Pinner said he built up a 'comedic rapport' with the guards. Credit: ITV/ Good Morning Britain/ YouTube

However, the dialogue didn't prevent the guards from inflicting pain upon their prisoners.

Pinner reflected on a time where he was in the prosecutor's office and the guards were 'asking randomly' what football teams they supported.

"They had a cattle prod and kept buzzing it with us and they said, 'What team do you support?'

"I got to West, before they just, 'Bzzz'."

Pinner then quickly shouted out the name of a local Ukrainian football team, Shaktar Donetsk, to which the guards responded by 'laughing' - which is how the British national built his 'rapport' with them.

"After that, we became, 'You're sort of the comedian guy,' so they laid off a lot at that time as well," Pinner added.

Aidan Aslin, was also a prisoner of war alongside Pinner.

Aslin experienced 'psychological torment' and was 'beaten' and questioned by Russian guards as to whether he wanted a 'beautiful' death or 'quick' one after having been 'stabbed'.

Both Pinner and Aslin kept going in the hope of being reunited with their partners. Credit: ITV/ Good Morning Britain/ YouTube
Both Pinner and Aslin kept going in the hope of being reunited with their partners. Credit: ITV/ Good Morning Britain/ YouTube

Pinner was captured in May and only released back home last week.

He noted how the only thing which kept him going was a call from his Ukrainian wife.

Pinner said: "She said: 'What you're doing is amazing, you're warriors' and then she said 'Just survive' on the phone. She screamed at me.

"It kept us going all the way through."

Aslin echoed a similar sentiment: "I had told myself that no matter what happens, I will see my fiancé again. I remember when I was being beaten, I thought I have to get through this because I will see Diane."

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can speak in confidence about where to get help from Mind free on 0300 123 3393, 9am–6pm Monday to Friday 

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information 

Featured Image Credit: ITV/Shutterstock

Topics: Russia, Ukraine, UK News, Football, Sport

Poppy Bilderbeck
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