A British man taken as a prisoner of war by Russian soldiers has been pictured for the first time since his capture.
A pro-Donetsk People’s Republic Telegram account has shared a snap of heroic Aiden Aslin, who risked his life to defend Ukraine from Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Aiden, who goes by the name “Johnny”, first quit his job as a caseworker in Newark, Nottinghamshire to join the Ukrainian marines in 2018.
A new photograph of the 27-year-old in an unknown location shows 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 appears to have suffered a swollen right eye.
Aiden’s condition is a far cry from that described by his forearm tattoo which reads: “Happy days” beside a target.
When Putin’s forces invaded his new home, Aiden who had previously volunteered to fight against ISIS in Syria, took up arms once again.
Earlier this week however he contacted his friends and family back in Blighty to reveal that his unit had run out of food and ammo and were on the brink of surrender.
He said: “It’s been 48 days. We tried our best to defend Mariupol but we have no choice but to surrender to Russian forces.”
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Aiden’s mum Ang added: “I love my son, he is my hero – they put up one hell of a fight.”
He is expected to be used by the Russians for propaganda purposes, but there is some hope Aiden may eventually be released as part of a prisoner exchange.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian fighters are putting up a hellish last stand in tunnels under an abandoned steel plant in Mariupol as Russian forces close in on the besieged port city.
Experts say the fall of Mariupol is inevitable but holdouts in their underground bases hope to make conquering the Sea of Azov port as hard as possible for the attackers.
This comes as Russia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday that more than a thousand Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered in the city.