Zelensky says 'death sentences' against foreigners who fought for Ukraine a signal to the world’s ‘conditional pacifists’

11 June, 12:03 PM
President Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo:Office of the President)

President Volodymyr Zelensky (Photo:Office of the President)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on June 10 commented on the so-called "death sentences" by separatists' "courts" against two British citizens who were fighting with the Ukrainian armed forces.

Speaking to students and professors at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London and other leading British educational institutions, Zelensky was asked whether the United Kingdom would be more active in supporting Ukraine in a full-scale war against Russia after the relevant "decision."

"What has been done to British citizens is a tragic habit for these people (the Russians)," the president said.

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"They do (things like) this with absolutely everyone. There can be no justification for such steps and actions."

Zelensky said the United Kingdom and its prime minister, Boris Johnson, had strongly supported Ukraine from the beginning of the war.

"On the contrary, it seems to me that this is a case that emphasizes that Europe, the whole world and those skeptical countries – 'conditional pacifists' in relations with Russia, who are constantly looking for ways to find such a mood in conversation with them so as not to shake business relations – is a very powerful and dangerous signal for such countries that Russia will act in this way against any citizen of any state," he said.

The Ukrainian president added that it was time for European countries to "act powerfully and condemn with actions, not words."

Two UK nationals, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, along with Moroccan citizen Saadun Brahim, were sentenced to death on June 9 by a sham court in the Russian-controlled part of Ukraine's Donetsk Oblast.

Both UK and Ukraine's foreign ministries have condemned the court's decision, saying that two Britons are PoWs and no sentences of the illegitimate court have any legal force.

Ukraine's General Staff said that any foreign nationals who defend Ukraine have signed contracts with the Ukrainian armed forces voluntarily and in accordance with Ukrainian law.

According to the Geneva conventions, all Ukrainian military service members, who are legally combatants, should be treated as PoWs by the enemy if they are captured.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said that Ukraine was investigating the sham "verdict" and was taking steps to bring all those involved in this illegal decision to justice.

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