Two Britons who were captured in separatist Ukraine will stand trial for ‘mercenary activities’ and face execution after being captured by pro-Russian forces.
Cambridgeshire aid worker Dylan Healy, 22, was charged with being a mercenary after he was held at a Zaporizhzhya checkpoint, Russian state media has reported.
Military volunteer Andrew Hill, 35, was held on suspicion of carrying out ‘mercenary activities’, officials in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic added.
Mr Hill was seen in a video shown on Russian state television as early as April, where he spoke with a strong Plymouth accent and gave his name.
Mr Healy was originally accused of being a spy. Local media has reported both men refused to co-operate with investigators.
The Foreign Office has condemned the latest development, and said it is providing support to the families of the captured men.
It comes just months after Aiden Aslin and Sean Pinner, two Britons who were fighting in Ukraine’s ranks before being captured in Mariupol in April, face execution by firing squad after being sentenced as ‘foreign mercenaries’
British detainee Andrew Hill, 35, a father of four from Plymouth, has also been warned to expect the death penalty when his verdict is handed down.
A pro-Kremlin website said the latest hostages would face the same mercenary charges as Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, two British military volunteers captured in Mariupol who have been condemned to death in Donetsk.
Mr Aslin, 28, originally from Newark, Nottinghamshire, and Mr Pinner, 48, from Bedfordshire, moved to Ukraine in 2018 after marrying native women and signed up to serve in the marines.
Aslin, a former care worker who fought against ISIS in Syria, and Pinner, a British Army veteran, were serving on the frontline in Donbas when Putin ordered his troops to invade on February 24.
They surrendered two months later in the city of Mariupol after their units ran out of ammunition and were surrounded.
Editing by Omotola Oguneye