Day 106: foreign fighters “sentenced” to death in “DNR”, sanctions on Putin backed by Zelenskyi

Three foreigners fighting for Ukraine “sentenced” to death in “DNR”. On June 9, the “Supreme Court” of “DNR”, considered a terrorist group by Ukraine, “sentenced” to death two Britons Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, and Moroccan Brahim Saadoun who fought on Ukraine’s side. Reports of the “ruling” of a pseudo-court came from RIA Novosti news agency, the Kremlin’s propaganda tool. Russian propaganda picture foreign nationals as “mercenaries”.     

Reports of 28-year-old Mariupol defender Aiden Aslin taken captive emerged on April 12. In 2018, he took the oath of enlistment and began to serve with the 36th marine brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, CBC reported. Forty-eight-year-old Shaun Pinner was captured alongside Aslin. He also took the oath in 2018, Mediazona said. 

A Russian lawyer of 21-year-old Brahim Saadoun told Russian media that he signed a contract of enlistment with the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2021 and was captured on March 12 in Volnovakha. Foreign nationals and stateless persons who fight in the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, voluntarily enlisted with a contract, as required by Ukrainian law, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces earlier said.    

They have the same legal status of combatants as other service members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. If captured, they should be treated as war prisoners.

“I utterly condemn the sentencing of Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner held by Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine. They are prisoners of war. This is a sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated.

President Zelenskyi decrees sanctions on Putin, high-ranking cronies. The decree was published on the President’s web site on June 9. Zelenskyi backed a decision by the National Security and Defense Council of June 9 on individual sanctions with no time limit. Sanctions were also imposed on Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and his deputies, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolay Patrushev, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. There are 35 people on the list. The Ukrainian President ordered the Foreign Ministry to notify the EU and the U.S. about the sanctions and plead for similar restrictions.

Russia’s advance toward Bakhmut stymied. On June 9, Ukrainian troops stopped an advance by Russian forces near Bakhmut, in Donetsk region, Oleksiy Hromov, deputy chief of the Main Operations Department of the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said. 

Ukraine in Flames #91: How Russia weaponized language in linguicide and disinformation. Part 2

Minority language rights debate in Ukraine often disguises the attempts of pro-Russian activists to safeguard the influence of Russian language and culture on Ukrainians. As the war rages, many Russian-speaking Ukrainians feel responsible for the Russian aggression, because they used Russian cultural products and language instead of prioritizing the Ukrainian ones. Ukraine in Flames #91 gathered linguists, educators and activists for Ukrainian language to explain why public and official use of Russian language harms the integrity of the Ukrainian political community. 


Kateryna Blyzniuk, Senior Lecturer at NaUKMA, linguist 

Orysia Demska, Professor of NaUKMA, First Head of the National Commission on State Language Standards 

Taras Marusyk, expert on language policy, publicist, journalist