UK blasts Russian ‘exploitation’ of British prisoners in Ukraine

Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill have been charged with mercenary activities in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian troops are seen driving a tank in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region Service members of pro-Russian troops drive a tank near Novoazovsk in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine [File: Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters]
The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office has condemned the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians, after two British men were captured by Russian forces and charged with being mercenaries in Ukraine.

Aid worker Dylan Healy, 22, and military volunteer Andrew Hill have been charged with carrying out “mercenary activities”, officials in the Moscow-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said, according to Russian state media TASS. The outlet reported on Friday that the men were refusing to cooperate with investigators.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is understood to be actively investigating and is providing support to the men’s families.

“We condemn the exploitation of prisoners of war and civilians for political purposes and have raised this with Russia,’’ the FCDO said in a statement on Saturday.

“We are in constant contact with the government of Ukraine on their cases and are fully supportive of Ukraine in its efforts to get them released.”

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