Brit fighters Russian captors tell his mum to press Boris for prisoner swap

The British soldier captured by Russian forces in Ukraine has spoken to his mum over a Facebook messenger video call.

Aiden Aslin's captors called his mother Ang Wood to expect a video call yesterday morning (Thursday, April 21) in which she was told to "press Boris Johnson for a swap deal".

Aslin, 28, who joined the Ukrainian army four years ago, was taken from Mariupol as a prisoner of war earlier this month.

For the first time since his capture, the soldier was able to chat to his mum to tell her to personally pressure the Prime Minister for him to be freed in exchange for pro-Kremlin politician Viktor Medvedchuk.

Ang also said her son appeared to be being treated well and was being fed, watered and had even been given a e-cigarette.

Ang, of Balderton, Nottinghamshire, said: "First the Russians said he'd call at 10, then 11.30, then 12, before Aiden eventually came on the phone.

"What they wanted was for me to to press Boris Johnson for this swap deal involving Viktor Medvedchuk.

"I had to say that, with the greatest of respect, I didn't have the Prime Minister on speed dial.

"I could hear his Russian captors talking in the background. There were pauses where Aiden was being told what to say, that he had to do this, had to do that.

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"They want Viktor and are willing to swap Aiden for his release.

"I told them that they will need to start talking to the Ukrainians. It is them that hold Viktor Medvedchuk.

"Obviously our guys can't release him because we don't have him.

"Maybe the Ukrainians will act as some small return for all of the military equipment and support Britain is giving them."

Ang said the Russians seemed to want her to know that Aiden was now being treated well.

She added: "He said that he had now had some sleep, had eaten, and had been given a vape.

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"I told them that I expected them to treat him humanely and adhere to the terms of the Geneva Convention because he is a prisoner of war — a soldier in the Ukrainian army and has been for nearly four years.

"He is not a mercenary, not a spy, as they have claimed before.

"Aiden said he knew nothing of what was happening in the outside world.

"I described what was happening in Ukraine to him — that Ukraine was in bits — said that we were all well and told him that he was on every front page and on the TV news. His story was being told.

"He knows now that his situation hasn't been overlooked and that he and Shaun Pinner [the second Brit soldier captured at Mariupol] are cared about, and they are cared about.

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"Today I received a lovely card from a lady whose son was held a prisoner of war which was simply addressed to 'Angela Wood, mother of Aiden Aslin — a prisoner of war in Russia — Newark' and somehow Royal Mail got it to me.

"He seemed OK. He seemed better in the video I was sent yesterday, he wasn't handcuffed.

"Far better than he did in that first video of his interrogation or the second by that pro-Kremlin from Nottingham, Graham Phillips. I was left thinking 'what is their game?'

"After the phone call, it became clear. Their demands seem set. I just hope something can be done, and soon.

"It's a waiting game, just as every day has been a waiting game."

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