“I don’t know what happened to the bodies,” Sean Piner said in a report. Photo / news.com.au
The Russians told a British “mercenary” captured in Mariupol that his Ukrainian commanders wanted to kill him when he fled the plant’s storage so that the outside world would see him as a hero against Putin.
Sean Piner, 48, spoke on propaganda television, saying there was “panic” when he was held after the siege ended in the industrial zone of the ruined city.
“We were in the factory district of Mariupol,” he said in a recently released video of an interview in captivity.
“It was Tuesday morning.
“It was decided to move from the plant, but did not know exactly where.
“About 4 a.m. we left the factory.”
“There was a little time for reflection,” Piner said.
After that, his words were subtitled in Russian, but his original speech was not heard.
According to subtitles, Piner said: “It was very dark. We took the wounded with us.
“Mortar and artillery shelling began, military aircraft fired. Panic ensued.
“Everyone started to run in different directions.
“My commander seems to have disappeared.
“I still don’t know what happened to those who were with me.”
Interviewer Andrei Rudenko, a prominent Russian military reporter on pro-Kremlin state television, said without direct evidence that his Ukrainian commanders wanted him and others killed by Vladimir Putin’s forces so that they could be called heroes in the propaganda battle against Moscow.
“The military of the 36th Brigade says that their command sent them to assassination to make them heroes,” Pinner said.
Rudenko told the exhausted Piner: “You had no chance to get to this village Zachatovka, because there were troops of Russia and the DNR everywhere.”
As a result, he and other defenders were taken prisoner.
Hear Piner respond to the assertion that his Ukrainian commanders wanted him and others to flee the factory: “I had no idea. You know more than me. I don’t know anything in particular … “
The report also quotes Piner as saying, although his words were not heard in this broadcast: “I had no idea, we were dumped.
“I don’t know who made that decision.
“I know nothing about the fate of the victims who remained there.
“I don’t know what happened to the bodies of the dead.”
In an earlier interview, Piner identified himself and said: “I am a citizen of the United Kingdom.
“I was caught in Mariupol.
“I am part of the 36th Brigade of the 1st Battalion of the Marines of Ukraine …
“I fought in Mariupol for five or six weeks, and now I’m in the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
In another video, which allegedly involved him in Russia’s propaganda campaign against Ukraine and the West, he reportedly said he “does not want a war and wants to return home.”
Piner, who is pictured with his Ukrainian wife Larisa, is currently being questioned by Russia’s Investigative Committee.
The committee – seen as the FBI’s equivalent and headed by Alexander Bastrykin, a classmate of Vladimir Putin at the university – described Pinera as “an English mercenary who served in the 36th Marine Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces as an attack aircraft and is now in captivity.”
“This is the second Englishman caught in Mariupol.”
His fate in the hands of Russians and separatist authorities in Donetsk remains uncertain.