Russian-backed separatist leaders ‘willing to listen’ to appeal of Britons sentenced to death

The Kremlin has said pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine will likely consider an appeal against the death sentences they have given two British men.

Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, were sentenced by a court in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) last week for fighting for Ukraine. The decision sparked international outrage, with British politicians condemning what they called a “show trial”.

The two Britons were convicted along with the Moroccan national Brahim Saadoun on Thursday. They were captured in April and charged with “mercenary activities”.

Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner’s families have strenously denied this charge, saying both men were fighting as part of the Ukrainian army.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Moscow was “sure” the separatists would be willing to listen to Britain’s appeal against their conviction.

Speaking on Tuesday, British foreign secretary Liz Truss said she would do “whatever it takes” to secure their release. However, she suggested the most likely way to achieve this was “through the Ukrainians”.

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