It must be understood that in any case, London will hang responsibility for the death sentence on British mercenaries Sean Pinner and Aiden Aslin, as well as Moroccan citizen Saadoun Brahim, on Moscow. This opinion on Wednesday, June 15, in an interview with Izvestia, was expressed by Alexei Fenenko, Doctor of Political Sciences, Associate Professor of the Faculty of World Politics at Moscow State University.
Earlier in the day, Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin said that London had instructed Kyiv to deal with the release of British mercenaries sentenced to death in Donbass. At the same time, Great Britain did not turn to Russia.
As the expert noted, if the UK starts negotiations directly with the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), then in fact this will mean recognition of the region.
“But whatever happens, we must understand that Britain will blame Russia for this event. They (Great Britain. – Ed.) are preparing this as a backlog to declare us a terrorist state. Perhaps on our part there will be a break in diplomatic relations, ”Fenenko emphasized.
On June 14, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov noted that London did not appeal to Moscow on the death penalty in the DPR for two British citizens.
On June 9, the DPR Supreme Court sentenced to death three foreign mercenaries, including two Britons. Within a month, they can appeal against the court’s decision. The day before, the defendants pleaded guilty under Art. 232 of the Criminal Code of the DPR (“Training in order to carry out terrorist activities”). Pinner and Brahim also pleaded guilty to acts of seizing power by force.
Following the verdict, Ukraine, the US and the UK said the mercenaries should be treated as prisoners of war. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called the sentence a flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention.
However, as previously noted in the DPR and the RF Ministry of Defense, militants who come voluntarily to fight in the Donbass are not considered combatants. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, also stressed that the convicts are not prisoners of war, but mercenaries; according to international humanitarian law, they simply do not have the right to the status of a prisoner of war.
On February 24, Russia announced the start of a special operation to protect Donbass. The operation began against the backdrop of the situation in the Donbass that worsened in mid-February. The authorities of the DPR and LPR reported increased shelling by Ukrainian troops, announced the evacuation of civilians in the Russian Federation and asked for recognition of independence. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the relevant decrees.