As we reported after the fall of Mariupol, the Self Declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has voiced severe rhetoric with regards to Ukrainian prisoners of war, especially those they consider to be “neo-nazis” and foreign volunteers.
Since May 27th, several DPR officials, including Denis Pushilin have announced that the breakaway Republic, recognized by the Russian Federation, will hold military tribunals, starting in July. These tribunals will seek to “hold military and political entities of Ukraine accountable for their crimes against the people of the Donbass”, according to Pushilin.
These tribunals will also present evidence against Ukrainian President Zelensky, former President Poroshenko, and former acting President Turchynov, in absentia, with regards to war crimes against the people of the Donbass.
The DPR announced last week that two UK nationals and one Moroccan national were captured and will not be eligible for exchange and are being considered for the death penalty. However, the Russian Federation currently holds these three men under the interrogation of the Russian Investigate Committee. It is not clear at this time if Russian officials will concede to DPR demands. The three men are Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner, and Sadun Brahim, the first two from the UK and the third from Morocco. Aslin and Pinner were both forced to make videos calling for UK Prime Minsiter Johnson to negotiate for their release. However, those videos, posted by Russian state owned media, have been taken down due to allegations that they violate the Geneva Conventions.
Interestingly enough, DPR officials did express hope that US and EU officials would extend diplomatic teams to attend the tribunals. However, the likelihood of such a move is extremely low, due to the fact that the DPR is not recognized by any Western nation and the trial itself is expected to be a kangaroo court.