TAP – I am not sure I believe every word of this interview, or at least would need to see evidence of many of the facts stated. The interviewee is facing a possible death sentence, the penalty for mercenary fighters in the DPR (DNR in Russian). He admits to being a mercenary, and as he was also fighting in Syria for the Kurds, you wonder if he might also be an asset of British Intelligence planted into Ukraine’s armed forces in 2018/9. I am sure British money is as good as Syrian/Ukrainian.
That aside what are his chances with the DNR? I would say that he has enormous propaganda value. He undercuts the main media narrative where he is portrayed as anti-Russian, and pro-war with Russia, a hero fighting a victorious war against the villains.
The more believable parts of the interview were that he’s not impressed with Ukraine at all. If he will keep talking, I am sure there will be a lot more to come. He says his Ukrainian wife has fled to the UK, and he wants to be with her. Why not get her to move over to the DPR, work for reconstruction and rebuilding, and for Russian propaganda ahem PR, which is losing hands down to western media propaganda? That way he would be worth keeping alive. He follows alternative media and asked to be interviewed by Graham Philips. I am sure main media would regret making him into a cause celebre if he does as it were, flip sides. Russians have money as far as I know.
Q. How come you were on the Ukrainian side?
A. I was on the wrong side. I only found out the reality of Ukraine after I came out.
Is he credible? Does he really care?
Was he misled as he claims.
He renounces his acts, accepts responsibility for what he did…..as you would expect.
He served for years in the Ukrainian Army. Yet says he only worked closely with the Azov and Right Sector when he came to Mariupol.
He saw them using civilians as human shields. Nazi regalia. And realised what they were.
‘This war happened because Ukraine doesn’t want peace’.
Graham poses tough questions.
Q. Were you involved in shelling civilians?
A. I wanted to desert the first day of the operation. I couldn’t find any transport to get out.
TAP – He’s very well spoken for a squaddie using longer words to describe political events.
a. I’m not a hero. I tried to desert. My treatment has been better than I thought it would be, as a prisoner. I was given access to journalists.
I did believe in Ukraine. A lot of the people seem nice, but they are, prompted, evil.
I now have no care for Ukraine.
Graham – In the media the Russians are the bad guys. The Ukrainians are the good guys. Is that correct?
Now Mariupol has shown me the opposite. (paraphrase)
Don’t do it. You’ll be used. If you go, you’re an idiot. We were easily tossed aside and forgotten about.
The British government needs to stop supporting citizens to go alongside fighting with the Ukrainians.
Mercenaries in DNR are liable to be executed. What do you say to that?
To people in Donbass, what would you say? I know you hate me. My true apologies. If I could take it back I would have left a long time ago. What’s done is done. I ask you to forgive me. Could I be exchanged for a Russian so a Russian can go home.
Propaganda? 70% media persuaded me. And my wife is Ukrainian. Don’t trust the media.
Morale? most were ignorant with normal morale. Only when the airstrikes started in the last week, did soldiers start realising they had been abandoned, realising they were going to lose.
Look at Mariupol as it was, and look at it now. Now it’s graves. If Zelensky had done a deal none of this would have happened.
If an exchange doesn’t go through, I could help rebuild Donbas. Civilians have no homes.
If exchanged I’d leave Ukraine with my wife. After this, I don’t want to be in Ukraine.
Ukraine means disloyalty to me. To the BBC I say don’t promote war by supporting war.
I’m eternally grateful that I’m still alive – compared to others who don’t have that opportunity.
Boris Johnson, if you are watching, help end this war. Achieve that with peace.
President Putin presented a reasonable settlement. Why wouldn’t that be accepted?
I asked that Graham interview me as I know his some of his work.
The DNR authorities have asked for me, and Shaun Pinner to be exchanged for Medvedchuk and another Russian prisoner who can be returned to his family.
TAP – I would say Aiden you would have a better future where you are. In the UK you will be persona non grata giving interviews to alternative media like Graham Philips (Graham did well). You’ve started going down a different track now, so follow it. You narrative would start to make more sense of you did. Use your intelligence elsewhere, and stop working for the British who sent you on this mad mission in the first place.
The Russians are clearly looking to get Medvedchuk out and see the value of these two Aslin and Pinner as tradeable items. That’s their current approach. As time pans out, foreign mercenaries might find they are better off staying where they are, in the DNR and doing media ongoing. They would have value and would be far less likely to face a firing squad from the Russians. Obviously they would then become British targets after that, as they know so much, probably being intelligtence assets. I would think they would be an embarrassment to the UK in Britain, and not safe there. In fact they will be safer in Russia for quite a while.