British mercenary says he was ‘duped’ into Ukraine conflict by Western media

British mercenary says he was ‘duped’ into Ukraine conflict by Western media

A UK citizen who fought for Ukrainian forces in Mariupol before surrendering in mid-April has told RT that he regrets his decision to fight for Kiev.

Aiden Aslin said 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 was speaking to RT in an interview before a court in Donetsk sentenced him and two other foreigners to death on charges of acting as mercenaries and seeking 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 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 the 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 Ukrainians with whom he had fought.

I was kind of duped.

The Briton said he even received threats from fighters of the infamous Azov Battalion, known for its neo-Nazi ideology. Aslin said he believed Azov had changed since being incorporated in the Ukrainian National Guard but eventually saw firsthand that “they have not changed much.”

The UK national had previously fought Islamic State (IS, former ISIS) terrorists in Syria together with the Kurdish YPG militia and has a YPG insignia as a tattoo 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 also skeptical about the level of training in the Ukrainian Army. “They are not as professional as they would like to be,” he said, calling their artillery training “substandard” to the extent that they can miss military targets and hit civilian infrastructure instead.

“Another factor you have to consider [in case of the Ukrainian] Army is that there is a lot of alcohol involved,” he added.

Looking back, Aslin said he should have avoided the Ukrainian forces and sought a civilian job instead. “I wish I had done things differently and not chosen to be a political pawn in the military system,” he stated, blaming Kiev for its failure to end the conflict.

“They [the Ukrainian government] could have easily ended the war. They had the opportunity but they chose not to, mainly because I think money was involved,” Aslin said. He now feels 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 “even once” since the Briton surrendered, he said. Meanwhile, UK officials who he and his lawyers have contacted just keep saying he is “of utmost priority” for Ukraine.

“I have to ask the Ukrainian government, ‘If you consider us, as you say, heroes, why do you act as if we do not exist?'” Aslin said.

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.”

Source: www.rt.com

The last notes - Политика

most read news

#Политика

The Ukrainian government has published a blacklist of politicians, pundits and intellectuals whom it accuses of promoting “narratives consonant with Russian propaganda.” Some of those on the list –
подробнее...

Traffic on the Antonovsky Bridge over the Dnepr River in Russia-controlled Kherson Region has been halted after Ukrainian attacks, according to local authorities.The 1366-meter bridge has been bombed
подробнее...

Military-technical cooperation will be on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meet in Sochi. This was the response by Kremlin spokesman
подробнее...

Russia’s armed forces destroyed an ‘elite assault battalion’ of the Ukrainian president and dozens of fighters from the notorious Kraken neo-Nazi formation, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General
подробнее...

The Latvian embassy in Russia announced on Thursday that it had stopped accepting visa applications from Russian citizens “for an indefinite period.” The diplomatic mission said in a tweet that the
подробнее...

The US is considering the matter of recognizing Russia as “a state sponsor of terrorism,” US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink has said, emphasizing that the issue must be carefully analyzed from a
подробнее...

Ukrainian recruits fighting in Donbass are undergoing ten-day intensive training courses led by a group of Western ex-military personnel calling themselves the Mozart Group, The Guardian reported on
подробнее...

In late June, the North Dakota Attorney General approved the purchase of 2,100 acres of farmland by a company tied to Bill Gates. Red River Trust bought it from potato growers Campbell Farms for about
подробнее...

Ukraine has apparently renewed its attempts to destroy the strategically important Antonovsky Bridge over the Dnepr River, according to sources on both sides of the conflict.The latest overnight
подробнее...

Russia says it hit a military target during a Saturday strike on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. The attack came a day after the signing of a UN-brokered deal to unblock grain exports from
подробнее...

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to Russia’s southern city of Sochi on Friday. The two leaders spent over four hours discussing a broad range of
подробнее...

Ukrainian combat drones have destroyed cars that were part of a humanitarian convoy in the Russian-held southern city of Energodar early Saturday morning, a local official has said.“The cars had the
подробнее...

Ukraine will soon receive a new batch of military aid, this time from North Macedonia, President Vladimir Zelensky’s aide, Mikhail Podoliak, confirmed on Saturday. According to Macedonian media, the
подробнее...

The date of Russia’s withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) depends on the technical state of the project and could come at any time after 2024, a high-ranking official of the Russian
подробнее...

Amnesty International said on Friday that it stands by a report in which it accused Kiev of endangering civilians by placing its military assets in schools and residential areas. The investigation
подробнее...

Russia is celebrating Navy Day with a warship parade on the Neva River in St. Petersburg.A total of 40 vessels of different types and more than 3,000 servicemen are slated to participate in the main
подробнее...

CBS News has pulled a documentary and amended a story featuring claims that 70% of foreign weapons never make it to the front lines in Ukraine. The changes were made amid an outcry from the Ukrainian
подробнее...

A Russian crypto entrepreneur accused by the US of laundering billions of dollars has apparently been handed over to American custody by Greece, days after Athens secured his extradition from France.
подробнее...