Russian state TV broadcast a video Monday of what it described as “Britons” captured fighting for Ukraine demanding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson negotiate their release.
The two haggard-looking men identified as British nationals, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, asked to be exchanged for Viktor Medvedchuk, a wealthy Ukrainian businessman close to President Vladimir Putin, who was recently arrested in the pro-Western country.
The broadcast did not specify where or by whom — Russian forces or Moscow’s separatist allies in eastern Ukraine — the two men were being held.
The recordings were presented as interviews with journalist Andrei Rudenko, of the Russian state broadcaster, VGTRK.
In the clip, Rudenko shows the two men a video published last week by Oksana Marchenko, Medvedchuk’s wife, who demanded her husband’s exchange for the two Britons.
The detainees then asked in English to be exchanged for the businessman.
Aslin’s mother had appealed for his release in an interview with the British Daily Telegraph newspaper published on Friday.