British prisoner Shaun Pinner back home with family in Bedfordshire after being freed by Russia

Sean Pinner reunited with his family in Bedfordshire

One of the five prisoners of war from the UK has been reunited with his family after returning home from captivity in Ukraine.

It's understood Shaun Pinner, Aiden Aslin John Harding, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill were set free as part of an exchange between Ukraine and Russia.

Richard Fuller the MP for North East Bedfordshire, where Shaun Pinner and his family live, has spoken to them and said: "It's been exceptionally difficult period for Shaun's family. They're so pleased that Shaun is back home."

Mr Fuller has also spoken to Shaun and added: "He has told me to express his thanks, particularly to President Zelensky and also to the ruler of Saudi Arabia for their efforts to secure the release of himself and all the other prisoners that were being held."

Sean Pinner's wife is Ukrainian and she is believed to still be in the war torn country. In a picture taken on Thursday afternoon in Bedfordshire, Shaun can be seen with his son, mum, stepdad and sister.

A statement published on Wednesday by the foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia, which helped broker the deal, said ten prisoners of war - from the UK, US, Morocco, Sweden and Croatia - had been released.

Mr Fuller said: "For months now, they've been put through a really torturous period of a sham trial and then the threat of execution.

"Now to be reunited as a family it's a sense of relief and absolute joy that that is the outcome. And it is has come as a surprise. I don't think this was anticipated to happen so quickly as it has."

Left to right: John Harding, Shaun Pinner, Aiden Aslin Credit: Instagram / Cossackgundi

Mr Fuller added: "It's been great to see photos of them reunited and I'm just happy on their behalf and very grateful for all those involved in this effort."

Prime Minister Liz Truss, who is visiting New York for a UN summit where world leaders are discussing the ongoing war in Ukraine, tweeted: “Hugely welcome news that five British nationals held by Russian-backed proxies in eastern Ukraine are being safely returned, ending months of uncertainty and suffering for them and their families.”

She thanked Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky “for his efforts to secure the release of detainees, and Saudi Arabia for their assistance”.

“Russia must end the ruthless exploitation of prisoners of war and civilian detainees for political ends,” Ms Truss added.

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