Russian TV hosts joke about 'what British Empire can do' as two fighters sentenced to death
British fighters Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner pleaded guilty to fighting in Ukraine, in a show trial by Russian separatists
A panel on Russian State TV descended into a farcical debate, following the proposal of the question: "What can the British Empire respond with if two of its subjects are shot or hanged?”
Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, were captured in the siege of Mariupol, after travelling to Ukraine to aid the efforts of the 36th Marine Brigade.
The pair have since pleaded guilty for fighting for Ukraine in a Russian Supreme Court and have been sentenced to death.
Russian state TV hosts were enthusiastic to share their own opinion on the matter, embarking in a shouting match as to whether the Brits should be shot or hung.
Journalist Julia Davis shared a clip on Twitter of the propagandists pondering on the fate of British fighters.
During the debate, political scientist Yaakov Kedmi seemingly determined that the British citizens be hanged.
He added: "Pirates are never executed by shooting, only hanging.
“Military gets shot, criminals get hanged.”
Russian TV presenter Vladimir Solovyov disagreed with the statement: "But we’re not dealing with pirates and these are not the Middle Ages, we don’t do quartering, we don’t care whether others execute by hanging."
The debate descended into a row over the origins of hanging in Russia, with Mr Kedmi referencing executions at the end of World War 2.
Mr Solovyov became outraged, acknowledging: "We’re in the 21st century in the centre of Europe, holding discussions about how to execute mercenaries, to hang them, shoot them or quarter them? This is the new world.
“This is chaos, we’re descending into chaos."
Economic sanctions were slapped on Russia, by the West following their invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.
Pundit Malek Dudakov, suggested that rather than killing the prisoners, the Brits could be used as a bartering tool for lifting these economic barriers.
He said: “Why can’t we use the current situation to offer them to Britain in exchange for Russia’s frozen holdings?
“We know that their elites likely won’t go for it; they’ve already shown unwillingness to compromise, but this will cause a storm in British society.”
Mr Pinner and Mr Aslin were convicted of taking action towards violent seizure of power, and for conducting "terrorist activities" at a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
Conservative minister Robert Jenrick condemned the events as a "Soviet-era show trial".
The pair were captured during the siege of Mariupol, after signing up to fight for Ukraine's 36th Marine Brigade, and have since been sentenced to death by a firing squad.
Yesterday, Mr Aslin's family made a desperate plea to the UK and Ukrainian governments, to assist in the safe return of the pair to their home country.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss criticised the ruling as a "sham judgement with absolutely no legitimacy", declaring that the men were being held as prisoners of war.
A spokesman for Boris Johnson said the UK was working with Kyiv to try and secure the men's release, with Downing Street describing the Prime Minister as "deeply concerned".