A UK national captured in Donbass says he has been abandoned by Kiev and London.
A UK citizen who fought for Ukrainian forces in Mariupol before surrendering in mid-April has told RT he regrets his decision to fight for Kiev.
Aiden Aslin said that the Western media had played a major role in convincing him to support the Ukrainian cause and eventually made him a pawn in a political game.
He and two other foreigners were sentenced in an interview before a court in Donetsk on charges of acting as mercenaries and trying to seize power by force in the Donetsk People's Republic. DPR Aslin said he had followed the Ukrainian conflict since 2014 and was originally pro-Russian and pro-Donbass. He supported Crimea's reunification with Russia and believes that the people of Donbass have a right to independence.
My views started to change after I started seeing media reports and stuff that was basically saying that it was not locals but Russian soldiers that were doing everything in Donbass Aslin admitted, adding that he was watching CNN as well as BBC and Fox News. Since surrendering to the DPR militia, he has found that he has more in common with the Donbass soldiers than the Ukrainians with whom he had fought.
The Briton said he even received threats from fighters of the infamous Azov Battalion, known for its Neo-Nazi ideology. Aslin said he believed that Azov had changed since he was incorporated in the Ukrainian National Guard, but he saw firsthand that they have not changed much. The British national had previously fought Islamic State IS, former ISIS terrorists in Syria, together with the Kurdish YPG militia, and has a YPG badge on his arm. When an Azov fighter saw that tattoo two years ago, he told Aslin he wanted to cut it off, the Briton said. I told him I was a leftist and his attitude changed completely, Aslin said, adding that the Azov regiment member began to see him not as a friend, but more like an enemy after that exchange.
He was skeptical about the level of training in the Ukrainian army. He said they are not as professional as they would like to be, calling their artillery training substandard to the extent that they can miss military targets and hit civilian infrastructure instead.
He added that there is a lot of alcohol involved in the case of the Ukrainian army and that there is a lot of alcohol involved.
Aslin said he should have avoided the Ukrainian forces and instead sought a civilian job. He stated that I wish I had done things differently and not chosen to be a political pawn in the military system and blamed Kiev for its failure to end the conflict.
They could have easily ended the war, if the Ukrainian government had done it. They had the opportunity but they chose not to, mainly because I think money was involved, Aslin said. He is now abandoned by both Kiev and London.
All his attempts to contact the Ukrainian side from captivity have been unsuccessful, said the former combatant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has not mentioned Aslin's case once since the Briton surrendered, he said. UK officials who he and his lawyers have contacted keep saying that he is of utmost priority for Ukraine.
I have to ask the Ukrainian government, If you consider us heroes, why do you act as if we do not exist? Aslin said something.
He urged other foreigners who might consider joining Kiev's cause not to be duped into a war that is one you should not be fighting.