2 More Captured Britons Charged With Being Mercenaries: Russian State Media

By Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.
July 2, 2022 Updated: July 2, 2022

Two more Britons captured in Ukraine have been charged over alleged “mercenary activities” in the pro-Russia separatist region of Donetsk, according to Russian state media.

Dylan Healy, a 22-year-old aid worker, and Andrew Hill, 35, are reportedly facing the same charges that led to the death sentences of Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner last month.

According to the TASS news agency, Healy and Andrew Hill were charged with being mercenaries. The Friday report cited an unnamed official from the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), saying investigators are looking for evidence because the pair “do not want to testify and refuse to cooperate on their criminal cases.”

TASS said it was not able to obtain official comments.

Also citing an unnamed source, a news agency connected to the DPR said Healy and Hill were “charged under the same articles as the three mercenaries who were convicted earlier,” referring to Aslin, Pinner, and a Moroccan national.

The Epoch Times can not independently verify the information.

In an email to The Epoch Times, the UK’s Foreign Office said: “We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes and have raised this with Russia. We are in constant contact with the government of Ukraine on their cases and are fully supportive of Ukraine in its efforts to get them released.”

It is understood the FCDO is actively investigating and is providing support to the men’s families.

Dominik Byrne, a co-founder of British charity Presidium Network, previously told BBC Breakfast that Healy and fellow British volunteer Paul Urey were captured on April 25 at a checkpoint in Zaporizhzhia, southern Ukraine, when they were trying to help evacuate a woman and two children.

Russian officials previously said Hill was captured by Russian troops in Mykolaiv.

On June 9, Aslin, 28, and Pinner, 48, both soldiers in Ukraine’s armed forces, were given death sentences for being “mercenaries” trying to overthrow the DPR, which is only recognised by Russia and Syria and was designated a terrorist organisation by Ukraine’s prosecutor general in 2014.

Both Aslin and Pinner settled in Ukraine and joined the military before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Aslin also holds Ukrainian citizenship.

British ministers said the sentencing was a “sham” and “an egregious breach of the Geneva convention” which affords protection to prisoners of war.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) told Russia on Thursday to ensure the two men are not executed, but Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia “no longer complies with the requirements of the ECHR” and that it’s up to the DPR to decide the men’s fate.

Morrocan student Saadoun Brahima was also sentenced to death alongside Aslin and Pinner.

Lily Zhou
Lily Zhou is a freelance writer mostly covering UK news for The Epoch Times.