A British man fighting on the Ukrainian front lines has been captured by Russian forces following a bloody showdown in Mariupol.
Aiden Aslin, 27, who goes by the name "Johnny", was a care worker in the UK before moving to Ukraine in 2018 along with his Ukrainian fiancé.
When Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded his new home, the 27-year-old, who had previously volunteered to fight against ISIS in Syria, took up arms once again.
Earlier this week however he contacted his friends and family back in Blighty to reveal that his unit had run out of food and ammo and were on the brink of surrender.
He said: “It’s been 48 days. We tried our best to defend Mariupol but we have no choice but to surrender to Russian forces.”
Aiden's mum Ang added: "I love my son, he is my hero – they put up one hell of a fight."
He is now likely to be used by the Russians for propaganda purposes, but there is some hope Aiden may eventually be released as part of a prisoner exchange.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian fighters are putting up a hellish last stand in tunnels under an abandoned steel plant in Mariupol as Russian forces close in on the besieged port city.
Experts say the fall of Mariupol is inevitable but holdouts in their underground bases hope to make conquering the Sea of Azov port as hard as possible for the attackers.
This comes as Russia’s defence ministry said earlier today (April 13) that more than a thousand Ukrainian soldiers have surrendered in the city.
A statement from the ministry read: “In the city of Mariupol… 1,026 Ukrainian servicemen of the 36th marine brigade voluntarily laid down their arms and surrendered.”
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Among the troops were 162 officers, with 47 being women, the ministry added.
According to the aide of Mariupol’s mayor, Petro Andryushchenko, Russia may be planning a “Victory Day parade” in the devastated Ukrainian port city.
He said on Telegram that the officer in charge of Russian troops in Mariupol, was ordered “to clear a part of the city’s central district of rubble and dead bodies to ensure that a parade can be held on May 9”.
“Judging from the whole array of data, the occupiers are planning to hold a ‘victory carnival’ in Mariupol in case their ‘special operation’ is successful.”
He added: “The good news is that there are no vehicles or people in the city to carry out such events.”
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