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Aiden Aslin’s mum just wants her ‘hero’ son back home after he was captured by Russians

todayApril 20, 2022 4

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A devastated mum whose son was taken prisoner while serving with the Ukrainian Marines said that she wants “her hero back” after seeing him paraded in front of cameras by his Russian captors. Ang Wood, the mum of Aiden Aslin, has spoken exclusively to Nottinghamshire Live’s Olimpia Zagnat inside the solemn St Mary Magdalene Church in Newark, Nottinghamshire.

“I came here a few times since his capture and it is the only place that is like a shelter to me apart from my home,” said the heartbroken mum. It has been just over a week now since Ms Wood had direct contact with her son.

“Two weeks ago I got a phone call from him saying ‘I think we are surrendering, we have no ammunition, no food, we have no water'”, the 50-year-old recalls. “And then last Tuesday, early hours, I got to speak to Aiden again. It was a very short message that he was surrendering.”

Mr Aslin had been fighting with his unit in the besieged south eastern city of Mariupol. Russia claimed more than 1,000 Ukrainian troops from the Ukrainian 36th Marine Brigade had surrendered in Mariupol, which is in ruins. Mariupol’s mayor had said about 21,000 civilians had been killed.

READ MORE: Nottinghamshire Russian reveals shame as ‘monster and murderer’ Putin causes rampage across Ukraine

The 28-year-old left his hometown in Nottinghamshire to move to Ukraine in 2018, where he joined the military shortly after. He was born in Nottingham, and grew up in Newark, where “everyone loved him”.




His mum described him as a “charismatic individual, very loveable, who was a man of the world and loved travelling”. It was his passion for exploring the world that took him to Ukraine, where he found the “love of his life” that he was going to marry. Mr Aslin previously fought two tours with the Kurdish YPG group in Syria against so-called Islamic State between 2015 and 2016.

His dream of finally settling down and starting a family was cut short, said Ms Wood. “When the war was declared, their wedding plans had to be put back. They were due to get married last month, and obviously he could not.

“He is a family man and this was supposed to be his last year in the army. He was in the midst of getting his dual citizenship but, because he was called to go to Putin’s war, as I call it, it was never finalised.”

But now, Ms Wood can only hope that she will see her son again. Most recently, images of Aslin in handcuffs appeared last week shortly after he had indicated via his social media accounts, which are controlled by a third party, that he had no choice but to surrender because the unit he was serving with inside the besieged city of Mariupol had run out of food and ammunition.

This week, a 45-minute film was released online, during which he was questioned by Graham William Phillips, a man believed to be from Nottingham who has previously worked for the Kremlin-backed television channel RT and been accused of spreading Moscow’s propaganda. Speaking of her immense heartbreak, Ms Wood said: “I am disgusted. My son is being humiliated and used as a tool to spread Russian propaganda. It is horrendous. It is a breach of the Geneva convention.”



Aiden Aslin was born in Nottingham and grew up in Newark with his two other siblings.
Aiden Aslin was born in Nottingham and grew up in Newark with his two other siblings.

She said that the pain is even deeper as the man behind this interview is believed to be originally from Nottingham. During the film, Aslin answers no when asked several times if he is speaking under duress. Questioned by Phillips, he recounts his time with the Ukrainian military and repeats several of Moscow’s propaganda lines, including that he is a mercenary and not a legitimate combatant.

Ms Wood added: “This was a scripted interview, it is absolutely disgusting. Seeing my son handcuffed saying those things that he does not believe in. People are dying, my son is being beaten up and all he cares about is doing his manipulative interviews.

“Aiden is a hero, he is our nation’s hero who fought for Ukraine. He is a human being who fought for other human beings.”

Asked if she thinks that Aiden will manage to escape, Ms Wood took a deep breath and said: “I hope so. I am worried but also very proud.”

She said that if she could turn the clock back she would “not change a thing”. “I will always support his decisions”, she added. “I think he did the right thing to surrender. He is a true hero.”

But with everyday that is passing by, Ms Wood’s sadness transforms into anger – and all she truly wants now is justice for her son. “Aiden deserves justice. I am so angry and disgusted. As a mum, to see your son like this is just horrific.”



Ms Wood talked exclusively to Nottinghamshire Live's Olimpia Zagnat from the Parish Church in Newark.
Ms Wood talked exclusively to Nottinghamshire Live’s Olimpia Zagnat from the Parish Church in Newark.

Ms Wood says her life now resembles a movie. “I am just waiting for a hero from movies to save my son,” she said while sipping from a mug of coffee inside the Parish Church in the Newark town market. “I only get two to three hours of sleep at night, and my life is not the same without Aiden.”

Newark’s Conservative MP Robert Jenrick expressed concern about the plight of Mr Aslin after he was captured in Ukraine and then interviewed on YouTube by filmmaker Philips. Mr Jenrick was highlighting Aiden’s situation during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, April 20.

Responding to Mr Jenrick, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I think everybody will want to urge the Russian state to treat his constituent humanely and compassionately because in my view, although we do not encourage people to, in fact we actively dissuade people from going to that theatre of conflict, I understand he had been serving in the Ukrainian forces for some time and his situation was very different from that of a mercenary.

“I hope that he is treated with care and compassion and I thoroughly echo the sentiments that my Right Honourable friend expresses about those who broadcast propaganda messages.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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