This week has brought the devastating news for the families of the two British prisoners-of-war who were sentenced to death after they were captured in Mariupol. With the death of Jordan Gatley, who left The Rifles in March to fight in Ukraine, announced yesterday, this is an important moment as the extent of British involvement in Putin’s war comes into focus.
The British prisoners-of-war who were captured in 1920 were never sentenced to death because Lenin wished to use them as hostages. They did have to endure lice-infested prison cells and starvation rations, but they were visited by the French Red Cross, who provided them with a few supplements such as potatoes and the occasional egg. Some of the soldiers were interrogated by the Secret Police, who tried to persuade them to kill their officers and to act as spies, but their loyalty to the group was never compromised.
Here’s hoping that there is similar Red Cross support for Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner and that if there is to be a prisoner exchange it occurs soon.