Russian condemns UK's 'arrogant' message to Kremlin over two Britons sentenced to death

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Russian condemns UK's 'arrogant' message to Kremlin over two Britons sentenced to death

The UK has sent a message to the Kremlin over two British nationals sentenced to death in Donbass.

Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom Andrey Kelin condemned a note sent by London to the Kremlin about two British nationals recently sentenced to death by a Donetsk People's Republic court. Kelin said that Moscow's cooperation is unlikely because of the arrogant message.

Sean Pinner and Aiden Aslin, as well as Moroccan Saaudun Brahim, were sentenced to death by authorities in the Donetsk People's Republic DPR earlier this month. The three had been captured while fighting for Ukraine and were convicted of terrorism offenses and attempting to overthrow the government of the republic.

Russia and the DPR insist that the men are not lawful combatants and are fighting as mercenaries. Pinner and Aslin claim to be active members of the Ukrainian military.

According to the TV channel Rossiya 24 on Tuesday, Kelin confirmed that UK officials have been in touch with the Kremlin about the two British combatants.

They sent a note written in extremely arrogant, instructive terms. Kelin stated that it does not make us want to cooperate on these issues.

The note was sent to Moscow because Britain does not recognize the independence of the DPR. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called Pinner and Aslin a sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy, and in her official response to the sentence referred to by the DPR authorities as Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine. Moscow has previously told London to communicate directly with the DPR, instead of trying to solve problems with loud statements, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

In 2014 the DPR declared independence from Ukraine together with the Lugansk People's Republic LPR. Russia recognized the independence of the two republics in February, days before it launched a military operation in Ukraine, which the Kremlin insists is necessary to put an end to Kiev's eight-year legal, cultural and military persecution of the two breakaway states.

Under DPR law, Aslin and Pinner may appeal their death sentence or plead for clemency. If they fail in either of these endeavors, they will be executed by the firing squad.