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British who fought for pro-Kremlin militants in Donbas arrested in Manchester
11:38, 1 July 2017
British who fought for pro-Kremlin militants in Donbas arrested in Manchester

Benjamin Stimson, the socialist who sought Russian citizenship spent four months in Donbas fighting against Ukrainian troops

11:38, 1 July 2017

Benjamin Stimson, pro-Russian militant
112 Agency

British citizen who joined pro-Kremlin separatists in eastern Ukraine was arrested and judged in Manchester, England – for terrorist offences, as the court put it. He is to hear the verdict in his case on July 14, writes The Times.

Benjamin Stimson, 41, was arrested when he flew back to Manchester after giving a BBC interview in which he said that he was prepared to kill people in an act of war. Stimson, from Oldham, spent four months in the Donbass region in 2015 helping separatist militia loyal to the Kremlin battling to become a self-proclaimed state after the Ukrainian revolution in 2014.

He was interviewed by the BBC while with the Donbass militia in eastern Ukraine in October 2015 and was filmed wearing a mask to avoid reprisals for his family in Britain.

Stimson went to eastern Ukraine ‘to start new life,’ at least that’s what he told BBC. He also counted on getting Russian citizenship – from the country, which, according to him, ‘became a victim of the Western imperialist aggression’.  

‘I came here as an unemployed man from the working class. I never took part in military action, but I’m ready to kill if my life is in danger. I take it as a part of war. I consider myself a defender of peaceful locals,’ the British said.

He lived in Moscow and at some point headed for Rostov, which is where he came to Donbas from. Stimson got arrested upon coming to Manchester.

This is the first trial over a British man who served in Donbas during the ongoing conflict.

Related: Militants threaten OSCE for congratulating locals on Ukraine's Constitution Day

Related: Militants violate ceasefire regime in Donbas, two Ukrainian soldiers injured

Related: Pro-Kremlin militants shell OSCE monitors in Luhansk region

Related: SBU counterintelligence detains informer of Russia-backed militants

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