Plymouth man captured by Russians in Ukraine could face death penalty

Credit: PA images.

A Plymouth man who was captured by Russian forces in Ukraine could face the death penalty after he was charged with being a mercenary by Russian authorities.

According to Russian state media Tass, Andrew Hill, aged 35, was charged by officials in Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic.

The outlet reported that he and another man, Dylan Healy, were refusing to co-operate with investigators.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is understood to be actively investigating and is providing support to the men’s families.

An FCDO spokeswoman said: “We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes and have raised this with Russia.

“We are in constant contact with the government of Ukraine on their cases and are fully supportive of Ukraine in its efforts to get them released.”

It comes after a video shown on Russian television in April featured a man speaking with an English accent. He appeared to give his name as Andrew Hill from Plymouth, saying that he had four children and that he had travelled to Ukraine of his own accord.

Aiden Aslin was sentenced alongside Mr Brahim in the Russian court Credit: right

A pro-Kremlin website said Mr Healy and Mr Hill would face the same mercenary charges as Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, two British military volunteers captured in Mariupol who have been condemned to death in Donetsk.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Thursday intervened in the case of Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner.

The Strasbourg-based court indicated to Moscow that it should ensure the death penalty imposed on Mr Aslin, 28, originally from Newark in Nottinghamshire, and Mr Pinner, 48, from Bedfordshire, is not carried out.

Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner were living in Ukraine before the invasion and the UK government has insisted that, as legitimate members of the Ukrainian armed forces, they should be treated as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.