Two British men detained by Kremlin forces in separatist-occupied eastern Ukraine have been charged with “mercenary activities” according to Russian state media.
Dylan Healy, 22, and Andrew Hill, 35, were both reportedly captured in April†
Healy, from Cambridgeshire, was in Ukraine as an aid worker for the British nonprofit Presidium Network when he was arrested at a checkpoint south of the city of Zaporizhzhya.
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He was taken alongside another British subject, Paul Urey, 45, who is described as a family man with children.
Mr Hill, a military volunteer, was filmed with a bandaged left arm and a makeshift bandage on his head in footage broadcast on Russian television in April.
Healy and Hill have reportedly refused to cooperate after being charged, officials in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said, according to TASS news agency.
A DPR source told TASS: “Criminal cases have been opened and charges have been filed for (mercenarism) against British citizens Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill, who are currently in detention in the DPR.
“Investigative operations are underway as investigators look for evidence of the crimes committed by the British because they are unwilling to testify and refuse to cooperate in their criminal cases.”
A video broadcast on Russian television in April showed a man speaking with an English accent giving his name as Andrew Hill of Plymouth.
According to a pro-Kremlin website, Mr Healy and Mr Hill will face the same mercenary charges as British military volunteers Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner.
Mr Aslin, 28, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, and Mr. Pinner, 48, of Bedfordshire, were sentenced to death at a DPR court in June.
But on Thursday, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) intervened in their cases and warned Moscow that it must ensure that the death penalty is not carried out.
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Mr Aslin and Mr Pinner have lived in Ukraine since 2018 and claim they lawfully served in the country’s military – meaning they should be entitled to protections given to prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention.
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