Russian prisoner of war Aiden Aslin thanks Zelensky after arriving at home in Newark

  • Aiden Aslin speaks to reporters as he arrives at home

A British man who was sentenced to death after being captured by Russian forces while fighting in Ukraine has thanked President Zelensky as he arrived back at his family home.

Aiden Aslin, who was living in Ukraine with his Ukrainian fiancee before Russia's invasion and was a member of the country's marines, was taken captive in April while fighting with resistance forces.

The 28-year-old was later sentenced to death by a pro-Russian court in a separatist area of Ukraine.

But he was released on Wednesday, 21 September, along with four other British prisoners of war as part of a prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia.

Arriving at his family home in Newark, North Nottinghamshire, on Thursday, Mr Aslin told reporters that he wanted privacy after the "traumatic experience" he had been through, but thanked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for helping to secure his release.

In a brief comment he said he was "good" and added: "I want to thank everyone who helped secure our release, especially President Zelensky and the Saudis and everyone else involved."

A "welcome home" poster could be seen in the window of the property, along with a pro-Ukraine sticker.

Mr Aslin first went to Ukraine in 2018, where he joined the Marine core and later became a Ukrainian citizen. His fiancee still lives in Ukraine.

The Foreign Office had been working for months to release those imprisoned, while it is believed that Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman was involved in helping to free them.

In a video posted to social media following their release, Mr Aslin appeared on a plane alongside fellow former prisoner Sean Pinner.

"We just want to let everyone know we're out of the danger zone," Aslin says in the video.

"By the skin of our teeth," adds Pinner.

Robert Jenrick, the Newark MP, said he was "deeply grateful" to the Ukrainian government, as well as the Saudi Crown Prince and the Foreign Office, for securing Mr Aslin's release.

He added: "Aiden’s return brings to an end months of agonising uncertainty for Aiden’s loving family in Newark who suffered every day of Aiden’s sham trial but never lost hope.

"As they are united as a family once more, they can finally be at peace."

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