Sean Benner, 48, was in the hard-hit city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine. According to the Daily Mail, he previously served in the Royal Anglican Infantry Regiment in the British Army. Now he fought for Kyiv, because his wife is Ukrainian.
The man’s family is concerned after the Russians released a video of Pinner in captivity this weekend. They are calling on the army and Moscow to abide by the Geneva Convention. The Russians might see him as a “foreign mercenary.”
“I fought in Mariupol for five to six weeks, and now I am in the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Benner said in a modified propaganda video. He looks tired in the pictures. In a conversation with a Russian, he was told that he had been sent away like cannon fire by the Ukrainian Army Command to be honored as a hero later. Evidence for this has not been provided. “You know more than me,” Benner replies.
“Sean enjoyed the Ukrainian way of life,” the family said in a statement from the United Kingdom. “He has considered Ukraine his adopted country for the past four years. During that time, he has met his Ukrainian wife who is very focused on the humanitarian needs of the country.”
“He was part of the Ukrainian Marines and a proud member of his unit. His three-year contract will expire at the end of 2022 and he plans to play a humanitarian role in Ukraine. They work with the family of 28-year-old Briton Aiden Aslin, who was also In Mariupol and was arrested by Russian forces last week. Aslin also appeared – badly damaged – on the Russian photos. They say they want to be exchanged for a pro-Russian opposition member, Viktor Medvedchuk, imprisoned in Ukraine. Earlier, Moscow itself stated that he is just a “foreign politician.” It has nothing to do with Russia.
Medvedchuk has been a member of the Verkhovna Rada since 2018. He was imprisoned by Ukrainian intelligence this month. On Monday, he was shown video footage of him saying he wanted to be exchanged for “defenders and civilians in Mariupol”. Medvedchuk is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sean Penner already knew that day might come, he told The Mail last January. The Russians will treat us differently if we are captured because we are British. Always on my mind, I’m going to be arrested.” The British government has yet to respond.
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