Aiden Aslin, one of the five British men captured and finally freed by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, has been promised a hero’s welcome back home.
Aiden, who has lived in Ukraine since 2018, had been sentenced to death in the so-called Donetsk People's Republic [DPT] for "mercenary activities and committing actions aimed at seizing power and overthrowing the constitutional order of the DPR."
However the former care worker has this week been freed as part of a prisoner exchange and was reunited with his Ukrainian fiancé Diana Okovyta at Heathrow yesterday.
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Locals in his home town of Newark, Nottinghamshire, have said that he “won't have to pay for his own drinks for a while” once he gets home.
Writing on a local Facebook group, dozens of people from the Nottinghamshire market town expressed their support for the local hero.
One vowed: “I’ll be buying him a few beers when I see him well done Aiden Aslin,” and another suggested “Maybe someone could set up a go fund me page to raise money for Aiden and his family to maybe have a holiday somewhere when he's settled back in”.
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A third commenter thought Aiden might want some time with his family, rather than a big night out.
They wrote : “Think his family are going to want to keep him close and have time one to one, its has been so public which is fantastic the support everyone has given, sure once they have been given time out they will be in contact”.
Aiden himself told reporters: ”We're now out of the danger zone and on our way home to our families"
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He added: "We just want everyone to know the good news. Thanks to everyone who has been supportive. It's really appreciated.”
As well as Aiden, four other British men were on the flight back to Heathrow. Two were named as Shaun Pinner and John Harding, the other freed men’s names have not been released.
New Foreign Secretary James Cleverly welcomed the news that the Brits had been freed, but added that he also remembered Paul Urey, a British aid volunteer who died earlier this year while being detained by pro-Russian fighters, and said "our thoughts remain with the family".
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