A British man who was captured by a pro-Putin army after he went to fight in Ukraine has been dragged in front of a court and accused of being a mercenary.
Aiden Aslin from Newark, Nottinghamshire, was captured in the city of Mariupol back in April by forces from the separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), which is supported by Russia.
The 28-year-old who goes by the name "Johnny" quit his job as a caseworker back home to volunteer with Ukrainian marines back in 2018.
Following his capture earlier this year, horrifying images emerged showing him in a beaten state, raising his arms to reveal the handcuffs keeping his wrists tied.
With a nasty looking bruise on his forehead, Aiden also appeared to have suffered a swollen right eye.
Now, a DPR court says Mr Aslin has been charged with operating as a mercenary and could potentially face the death penalty.
A statement from their Telegram published in Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti read: "Taking into account wartime, based on the provisions of the current criminal law, as a result of the trial, the mercenary may be given an exceptional measure of punishment – the death penalty"
The report also suggested that a long prison sentence could also be likely.
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Following the capture of Aiden and other foreign volunteer fighters, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov commented that "foreign mercenaries" do not have the status of combatants under international humanitarian law.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has threatened to strike new targets if the US supplies longer-range missiles to Ukraine.
The Russian president issued the chilling warning on Sunday (June 5), and said the US should be fearful if they handed the besieged country weapons to use in high-precision mobile rocket systems.
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