A British man fighting for Ukraine was forced to surrender Tuesday in the besieged city of Mariupol – reports say, as his unit ran out of ammunition, making him the first British prisoner of war in Russia.
Aidan Aslin, a 27-year-old member of the Ukrainian navy, surrendered with his unit during a fierce offensive from Russia that is feared to contain phosphorus bombs or chemical weapons.
“He called me and told me they had no weapons to fight,” his mother, Ang Wood, told the BBC.
“I love my son. He is my hero. They had a hell of a fight, “he said.” Take British leader Boris Johnson. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin down.
Aslin, a former maintenance worker in Nottinghamshire, moved to Ukraine with his fiance in 2018, telling friends that his unit had run out of food, ammunition and other supplies, the BBC reported.
“They can not come out. They can not fight. So they have no choice,” said a friend.
“If they had a bullet left, I hope they would have fired it.”
British War correspondent Jake Hanrahan also confirmed Aslin – also known as Kozak Kundi or Johnny – surrendered with his faction “after they fought like hell for 48 days”.
“Aidan will become a prisoner of war for the Russians,” the reporter said.
This makes him the first known British prisoner of war in the conflict in Ukraine, and the Telegraph reports that his family is already awaiting the transfer of prisoners.
Before surrendering, Aslin released a message to his friends saying, “Everyone was happy and I hope this war will end soon.”
The British fighter was a member of the 39th Regiment of the Ukrainian Navy, according to the Sun – one of the units in Mariupol admits desperate conditions and defeat.
“For more than a month, we fought without refueling, without food, without water,” the 39th Regiment wrote in a dangerous Facebook post, saying its heroic troops were “bombed from planes and fired upon by artillery and tanks.”
At least half the unit was wounded – but immediately returned to battle, including cooks and band members, the unit said.
“Dying but fighting … Gradually we come to an end,” the unit said.
“This is death for some of us, imprisonment for others. Do not speak ill of the Marines because we are loyal forever!”
Recent devastating reports from Mariupol between Russian-controlled areas in the west and east have come after alarming reports that Russia may have used chemical weapons in an almost completely devastated city where tens of thousands of people are feared dead.
However, Deputy Defense Minister Hannah Mallya said on Tuesday that “there is a theory that these could be phosphorus explosives” which are not classified as chemical warfare.
The Mariupol City Council said it was not possible to inspect the area due to enemy fire. Citizens of the city had minimal contact with unspecified poison, but Ukrainian soldiers have come into close contact and are now being looked for for possible symptoms.
President Volodymyr Zhelensky said Monday night that Russia could seek chemical weapons because it has concentrated troops in the eastern Donbass region for a new attack on Mariupol. He did not say whether they were actually used.
The United States and Britain have said they will try to verify the reports.
If Russia had used chemical weapons, “all options were on the table,” British Junior Secretary of Defense James Heppy said in London.
The manufacture, use and stockpiling of chemical weapons was banned under the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. Despite being condemned by human rights groups, white phosphorus was not banned under the Convention.
Russia has not yet commented on the allegations. However, pro-Russian separatist forces in the east have refused to use chemical weapons in Mariupol, according to the Interfax news agency.
With post wires