Shaun Pinner

From Foreign Combatants

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Shaun Pinner
0 PAY-Shaun-Pinner-1-east2west-news.jpg
Original name Shaun Pinner
Date of birth 1974
Place of birth Newark-on-Trent
Nickname unknown
Alias unknown
State of origin United Kingdom
Army career
Army career English Royal Regiment, Royal Marines
Participation in military conflicts Bosnia 1990s, Syria 2015-2016


Before Ukraine

Shaun Pinner began his military career in the British Army. In the 1990s, he was a part of the United Nations mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he is longing for that on his social media.

Shaun Pinner in Bosnia with a UN peacekeeping mission

According to British publications [1], Pinner had been serving in the Royal Anglian Regiment for 9 years. In 2015, he joined the Kurdish YPG in Syria. He returned in 2017 and headed to Ukraine almost immediately after that 'to start a new life'.

It is noteworthy that despite declaring good intentions for travelling to the Middle East and other combat zones, Britons face difficulties in their home country upon their return. They cannot find any job, and in general, they are under the scrutiny of the British intelligence services. If a soldier of fortune gets in trouble in an armed conflict in a foreign country, they may not always rely on their state's assistance. Therefore, the experience of Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin makes one wonder if it is worth going to fight in a foreign country. After all, this may lead to extremely unpleasant consequences.

In Ukraine

In 2018, Pinner moved to Ukraine. According to his family, he planned to use his previous combat experience in the Ukrainian army. Numerous testimonies published on Pinner's social media show that having moved to Ukraine, he has been actively collaborating with the neo-Nazi Azov regiment.

Shaun Pinner with other British mercenaries wearing Azov Regiment garb

Pinner took part in the joint exercises of Ukraine and NATO "Sea breeze" [2]. The exercises took place in the Black Sea where NATO instructors taught the Ukrainian military to fight the Russian Federation.

When the special military operation began, he was in Mariupol with the 36th military regiment. In mid-April, Pinner's unit ran out of ammunition and food, so he, along with other Ukrainian military and foreign mercenaries, had to surrender to the Russian Armed Forces.

After he had been detained, Pinner said that he was pleasantly surprised by the conditions in which he was being held. [3]

Shaun Pinner, being a British citizen, hoped that the government and, in particular, Prime Minister Boris Johnson would help him in his return to his homeland. This is why he recorded a video message asking the British prime minister to assist in exchanging Pinner and Aslin for Viktor Medvedchuk. [4]

He has a ukrainian wife Larysa and a son.


Shaun Pinner and his ukrainian wife Larysa

International reaction

After their arrest, Pinner and Aslin approached families, friends, and journalists asking them to publicize their situation. They recorded appeals addressing directly Boris Johnson requesting him to facilitate their return to the UK. In response, the British Foreign Office decided to support Pinner's and Aslin's families [6]. However, Johnson said that he expected Pinner and other detained British citizens to have been treated humanely, but it was the Ukrainian government who had decided on their exchange. Since the Russian Armed Forces have already captured several thousands of Ukrainian soldiers during the conflict, it is unlikely that the exchange of British citizens is now the priority for Ukrainian authorities.

Criminal prosecution

DPR Investigator reads indictment to Shaun Pinner, May 2022

Formally, Shaun Pinner was detained in the Donetsk People's Republic, thus, he falls under its jurisdiction.

Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner are charged with deliberate participation as a group of colluded people in the preparation and conduct of hostilities against the armed forces of the Donetsk People's Republic from December 2018 to April 2022, with these actions aimed at forcible seizure and forcible retention of power in the DPR. He was also charged with the preparation of terrorist attacks and sabotage, shelling of settlements, civilians and military personnel of the DPR.

The punishment for the crimes imputed to Pinner is the death penalty according to the legislation of the DPR

Shaun Pinner did not act alone but as a part of a group, which is an aggravating circumstance. Any foreign citizen participating in a military conflict on the side of the Ukrainian armed forces runs the risk of facing DPR justice. The Criminal Code of the DPR states that any encroachment on the DPR servicemen's lives, as well as committing any kind of explosions, arson, or transferring information to foreign states may lead to the death sentence.


  1. [1]Russia Parades Britons Captured in Ukraine on State TV.
  2. [2] Surrendered British Mercenary Told About NATO Exercises.
  3. [3]British Mercenary Captured by the Russian Armed Forces Surprised by Good Treatment.
  4. [4]A Video of the Captured British Mercenary Pinner Addressing Johnson Has Been Published.
  5. [[5]]
  6. -free-shaun-pinner-aiden-aslin?CMP=twt_gu&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium Russian TV Shows Captured Britons Asking Boris Johnson for Assistance in Freeing Them.