A British soldier captured fighting for Ukraine by Russian forces and sentenced to death has been told his execution will go ahead, his family have said.
Aiden Aslin, 28, was captured while battling Kremlin troops in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
Earlier this month, he along with fellow British fighter Shaun Pinner were sentenced to death by the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), which is not internationally recognised.
Aiden told his family in a phone call that his captors told him “time is running out”.
Grandmother Pamela Hall told the BBC: “There are no words, just no words, it’s got to be everyone’s worst nightmare to have a member of your family threatened in this way.
“Aiden was extremely upset when he called his mother this morning. The bottom line is Aiden has said the DPR has told him nobody from the UK has made contact, and that he will be executed.
“I have to believe what Aiden has said to us, that if the DPR don’t get some response then they will execute him. Obviously I hope that isn’t true.”
Ms Hall said she’s “cried buckets over this” and thinks that “contact should be made between the UK and Russia“.
Aiden and Shaun both moved to Ukraine in 2018. They both had previously served as part of Ukraine’s armed forces before the Russian invasion.
Both men had made Ukraine their home. When they were captured they were branded “mercenaries” – which accused them of being sent to fight for money.
Both had Ukrainian partners and had made the country their home. They were captured after spending weeks defending the besieged city of Mariupol.
Their families and the UK government have insisted they should be treated as prisoners of war.
Both men were charged by a Russian proxy court with crimes including the violent seizure of power, and undergoing training to carry out terrorist activities, according to Russian media.
It comes after Brennan Phillips, an American former soldier who worked alongside Aiden in Ukraine, said the judgement is a “provocation”.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight earlier this month, Mr Phillips said: “I think it will invigorate people more than anything.
“Whatever effect they thought they would have in this provocation, I don’t think that and I don’t think it’s going to be well-received. And they did this as a provocation.”
Earlier this month, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss discussed efforts to secure the release of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner with her Ukrainian counterpart, after the judgment by a Russian proxy court.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered ministers to do “everything in their power” to secure the release of the two Brits after they were condemned to death for fighting Russian forces.