Report # 79. Three foreign mercenaries sentenced to death in the DPR

June 10th, 2022

1. Humanitarian situation

According to the information from the Ukrainian war prisoners the nationalists prepare another sophisticated provocation aimed on accusing Russian units of launching  indiscriminate strikes over important assets of civilian infrastructure. In order to carry out this provocation the AFU units deployed an artillery battery in order to shell Zmejovskaya thermal power plant. In case this power plant is destroyed people in Kharkov, Poltava and Sumy regions and hundreds of vital infrastructure objects will be left without electricity.

In Avdeevka, Ukrainian nationalists mined containers with toxic substances at coke and chemicals plant (Industrialny prospect) and are going to blow them up in case of advance of Russian units and slow their assault with a poisonous cloud. The Ukrainian side plans to use this fact for accusation Russian Armed Forces in usage of chemical weapons.

Russia warned that the above and other similar provocations about alleged "Russian atrocities" are soon to be widely spread by the Ukrainian authorities through the Western media and in various Internet resources.

Moreover, Ukrainian armed formations continue using critical industrial facilities for military purpose while cynically hiding behind the civilian population as a "human shield".

According to the verified information, in Severodonetsk, the LPR, the AFU keep by force hundreds of local residents in underground facilities of Azot chemical plant in the same way they contained civilians at the Azovstal steel mill in Mariupol. Plant`s staff is also kept there without its will. The nationalists also mined containers with chemically hazardous substances (nitric acid, ammonia, ammonium nitrate) and plan to blow them during retreat.

In Kramatorsk, Donetsk People's Republic, AFU units have deployed artillery and MLRS on the territory of Konditsioner plant (Shkolnaya street). Local worker are being kept by force in industrial premises of the plant.

In Druzkovka, Donetsk People's Republic, Ukrainian nationalists set up firing positions and deployed heavy weapons on the territory of the gas equipment plant. Local residents are kept in basement rooms under the pretext of ensuring their safety.

Such actions by Kiev once again demonstrate an inhuman attitude towards the fate of the Ukrainian citizens and show a complete disregard for all norms of morality and international humanitarian law.

2. Situation at the Black Sea and the Azov Sea area

70 foreign merchant vessels with their crews from 16 countries remain blocked in six Ukrainian ports (Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhniy). The threat of shelling and high mine danger posed by official Kiev prevents vessels from entering the high seas unhindered. At the same time, President Zelensky has not issued any order to release them from their artificial detention. The Kiev authorities continue to avoid engaging with representatives of states and ship-owning companies to resolve the issue of ensuring the safe passage of foreign vessels to the assembly area. The danger to navigation from Ukrainian mines drifting off their anchors along the coasts of Black Sea states remains.

Kiev artificially spreads artificial rumors that somebody prevents it to deliver Ukrainian grain abroad by sea.  Nobody prevents it. And never has prevented.

It is Ukrainian Navy that has placed many sea mines in the Black Sea, especially near the international sea ports, like Odessa, Nikolaev, etc. Namely Ukrainian Navy should: (1) deactivate all these mines;

(2) let all 70 foreign merchant vessels with their crews from 16 countries to leave freely Ukrainian territorial waters;

(3) sign the respective agreements with foreign countries to deliver Ukrainian grain abroad by sea.

The situation is completely different at the Azov Sea. As a result of the measures taken by the Russian Navy, the mine threat in the sea port of Mariupol has been eliminated and measures are being taken to restore the port infrastructure.

The Russian Armed Forces have created conditions for the operation of two maritime ‘blue-water’ humanitarian corridors, which are safe lanes for ships:

in the Black Sea - to leave Kherson, Nikolaev, Chernomorsk, Ochakov, Odessa and Yuzhnyi ports in a south-westerly direction from Ukraine's territorial sea, 139 miles long and 3 miles wide;

in the Sea of Azov, to leave Mariupol port 115 miles long and 2 miles wide towards the Black Sea.

Detailed information in English and Russian on the modus operandi of the maritime humanitarian corridor is broadcast daily every 15 minutes on VHF radio on 14 and 16 international channels in English and Russian.

3. Situation on the battlefields

The AFU still aggressively shell Donbass populated areas. In the last 24 h 13 civilians have been killed and 6 injured, many houses destroyed by heavy wepaons.

High-precision air-based missiles at Dnepr military airfield have destroyed Ukrainian air force equipment. Air-based missiles have hit 2 command posts, 27 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration, 5 Ukrainian artillery positions, including 2 multiple rocket launcher batteries near Soledar and Praskovievka in Donetsk People's Republic, as well as 5 missile-artillery weapons and ammunition depots near Bakhmut, Berestovoe in Donetsk People's Republic and Loskutovka in Lugansk People's Republic.

Operational-tactical and army aviation have hit 46 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration. The attacks have resulted in the elimination of more than 150 nationalists, 6 tanks, 4 field artillery mounts and 2 Grad MLRSs.

Russian air defence means have shot down two airplanes of the Ukrainian air force during the day including 1 Su-25 near Dolgenkoe, Kharkov Region, and 1 MiG-29 near Ingulets, Dnepropetrovsk Region. In addition, 4 Tochka-U tactical missiles have been intercepted near Popasnaya, Lugansk People's Republic, Ledovka, and Kalinovo, Kharkov Region and 3 rockets of Uragan MLRS near Malaya Kamyshevakha, Nizhnee Kup'e,  Kharkov Region and Yakovlevka, Donetsk People's Republic.

Missile troops and artillery have hit 62 command posts, 138 firing positions of artillery, as well as 303 areas of AFU manpower and military equipment concentration.

The attacks have resulted in the destruction of more than 350 nationalists, 7 ACVs, 2 Grad MLRSs, 5 field artillery mounts and mortars, 16 special vehicles, and 11 storage facilities for missile and artillery weapons, ammunition and fuel.

In total, 195 Ukrainian airplanes and 130 helicopters, 1,168 unmanned aerial vehicles, 336 anti-aircraft missile systems, 3,484 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 499 multiple launch rocket systems, 1,843 field artillery and mortars, as well as 3,528 special military vehicles were destroyed during the operation.


4. Three foreign mercenaries have been sentenced to death

Three foreign mercenaries have been sentenced to death at the court assembled in the DPR June 9th.

A court in Donetsk has sentenced to death three foreign men, who served in the Ukrainian forces and fought for Kiev in the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR). British citizens Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, as well as Moroccan Saadun Ibrahim, were found guilty of acting as mercenaries and attempting to seize power by force in the DPR.

They were also accused of undergoing training in order to carry out terrorist activities on the territory of the state, which was recognized by Russia in February. Kiev, and most of the world, regards it as a breakaway province of Ukraine.

Under the laws of the DPR, the forcible seizure of power carries a penalty of between 12 and 20 years behind bars, but it can be escalated to capital punishment due to the aggravating circumstances of war time. Acting as a mercenary is punishable by a prison sentence of three to seven years.

The three men were tried on several criminal charges. They pleaded guilty to “undergoing training for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities” and attempting to forcefully topple the government in Donetsk, but denied being mercenaries hired by Kiev.

London has demanded that its citizens be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. However, Britain is not formally at war with the DPR.

Authorities in the DPR have said they consider them to be mercenaries, who are not granted the same privileges as regular combatants and POW under international law.

The convicted men may appeal the decision in court, which they plan to do, or request a pardon from the head of the DPR. If they win the appeal, the capital punishment could be reduced to up to 25 years in prison. According to DPR laws, the death penalty is carried out by firing squad.

Aiden Aslin, a UK citizen, who fought for Ukrainian forces in Mariupol has told newsmen that he regrets his decision to fight for Kiev.

In his words, 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. Aslin said he had followed the Ukrainian conflict since 2014 He supported Crimea’s reunification with Russia and believes the people of Donbass have a right to independence. 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”.

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

Written by Vladimir P. Kozin



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