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‘He’s no fighter – him being in the army is ridiculous’: Disgusted father condemns British ‘traitor’ son who joined Putin’s soldiers in fight against Ukraine

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The father of a British ‘traitor’ who joined the Russian army to fight against Ukraine has today condemned his son – saying ‘he’s no fighter’. 

Ben Stimson travelled to war-torn Donetsk to take up arms for Putin‘s marauding forces – with his father claiming his son told him he was travelling there to become a teaching assistant. 

Martin Stimson, a former local councillor and Morris dancer, told how he has washed his hands of his son after discovering the truth – which he said came after years of difficult behaviour including issues with drugs. 

Mr Stimson said his troubled son had previously been living with him for nearly eight months, after leaving prison. 

He then told him he had been offered a teaching assistant job in Russia and so left the UK in February where he instead took up arms for Putin.

Ben Stimson, 48, (pictured) travelled to war-torn Donetsk to take up arms for Putin 's marauding forces

Ben Stimson, 48, (pictured) travelled to war-torn Donetsk to take up arms for Putin ‘s marauding forces

Stimson was offered a teaching assistant job in Russia and left the UK in February where he instead took up arms for Putin, according to his father

Stimson was offered a teaching assistant job in Russia and left the UK in February where he instead took up arms for Putin, according to his father 

Stimson's father Martin Stimson (pictured) told how he has washed his hands of his son after discovering the truth

Stimson’s father Martin Stimson (pictured) told how he has washed his hands of his son after discovering the truth

Stimson joined pro-Russian militia forces in the Donbass region in 2015 and was jailed for five years when he returned to Britain in 2017

Stimson joined pro-Russian militia forces in the Donbass region in 2015 and was jailed for five years when he returned to Britain in 2017

Martin Stimson (pictured) has today condemned his son - saying 'he's no fighter'

Martin Stimson (pictured) has today condemned his son – saying ‘he’s no fighter’

Aiden Minnis (pictured) is a former National Front member and convicted thug from Chippenham, who calls himself a 'Z Patriot'. He has also been disowned by his family, MailOnline revealed earlier

Aiden Minnis (pictured) is a former National Front member and convicted thug from Chippenham, who calls himself a ‘Z Patriot’. He has also been disowned by his family, MailOnline revealed earlier 

President Vladimir Putin metwith cultural workers in Torzhok in the Tver region today

President Vladimir Putin metwith cultural workers in Torzhok in the Tver region today 

Stimson had previously joined pro-Russian militia forces in the Donbass region in 2015 and was jailed for five years when he returned to Britain in 2017. 

He is currently fighting Ukrainian soldiers with Russia’s Pyatnashka brigade, made up of mainly foreign mercenaries. 

But speaking today from his home near Oldham his father told MailOnline: ‘He’s no fighter….he’s just bonkers.   

‘He’s not a violent person at all and never has been, so the idea of him being in the army is slightly ridiculous really. 

‘He never wanted to join the British Army, he was more of an eco-warrior type who went to protests and climbed up trees.. that sort of thing.

‘He came out of prison last year and was staying here on and off while he found somewhere to live, but he couldn’t find anywhere affordable and at one point he was living rough in Manchester.

‘When he was at home he was like a hermit, just stayed upstairs room in his room.

‘He told me a few months ago that he was going to start a new life in Spain, and then it was Turkey and then he said he’d been offered a teaching assistant job in Russia.

‘He’s always liked Russia so he left.’

Mr Stimson Senior says it wasn’t until friends started telling him that they had seen images of his son in army fatigues that he realised he had joined up again.

He added: ‘By the time he’d left, we were increasingly not getting on and I couldn’t do with his presence in the house really.

Minnis's VK page shows him wearing Russian uniforms (left hand side of the Irish flag) with a Donetsk insignia

Minnis’s VK page shows him wearing Russian uniforms (left hand side of the Irish flag) with a Donetsk insignia 

Minnis (right) is a former drug addict with a long criminal record who labelled Putin as 'still the greatest politician on earth'

Minnis (right) is a former drug addict with a long criminal record who labelled Putin as ‘still the greatest politician on earth’ 

Minnis labelled Vladimir Putin as 'still the greatest politician on earth' in one of his social media posts

Minnis labelled Vladimir Putin as ‘still the greatest politician on earth’ in one of his social media posts

‘People were telling me that Ben was posting images online of him in Russian army uniform but I’d already blocked him on social media by then.

‘I’ve still blocked him – I don’t want to hear from him. I don’t want to know anymore. I’ve spent a lifetime – or certainly his lifetime – of bailing him out from places.

‘To go out there and fight again – It’s crazy – just bonkers – because when he lived with me he didn’t really talk much about the war in Ukraine at all.

‘But he does go from one thing to another and I believe it’s because he suffers from ADHD and I believe he’s also bi-polar. It probably didn’t help that he had issues with drugs years ago either.’Had these issues been recognised sooner in his life then I think we’d have been spared a lot of trouble.’

Stimson, who has posted a number of videos online since he fled to Donetsk, including sickening footage showing frontline soldiers walking past two dead bodies, is one of at least two British men currently fighting for Russia in Ukraine.

He is friends with Aiden Minnis, 37, a former drug addict and convicted thug from Chippenham, Wiltshire, who calls himself a ‘Z Patriot’ and a ‘sapper in the Russian army’.

He has championed Putin on social media posts, calling the Russian tyrant ‘still the greatest politician on earth’.

Former British Army commander Colonel Richard Kemp furiously called for the pair to be arrested and raged: ‘These two are an absolute disgrace and are traitors who upon their return to the UK should be arrested and jailed.’

Minnis has also been disowned by his own family, MailOnline revealed earlier. 

Minnis was pictured standing in front of a Russian flag alongside another British mercenary who are the first British soldiers known to be fighting against Ukraine.

The 37-year-old, a former member of the far-right National Front with a conviction for a racist attack, has been disowned by his Wiltshire-based family.

A family member said his mother Tina, from Chippenham, Wiltshire, was not even aware her son was fighting on the front line.

‘She has nothing to do with him, she has disowned him and they do not speak,’ said the family friend.

‘I don’t think she will ever want to talk about him. She wants nothing to do with him and they have not spoken or had contact for years.’

Stimson posted his first picture from Donetsk onto Russian social network channel VK on March 14 and has uploaded a number of videos ever since. In this one he appears to be holding a deadly 40mm grenade launcher round

Stimson posted his first picture from Donetsk onto Russian social network channel VK on March 14 and has uploaded a number of videos ever since. In this one he appears to be holding a deadly 40mm grenade launcher round  

Last night, he shared footage of frontline soldiers walking past two dead bodies and land mines in a muddy field, before they dig up a hand grenade

Last night, he shared footage of frontline soldiers walking past two dead bodies and land mines in a muddy field, before they dig up a hand grenade

Meanwhile, Stimson posted a video on social media this weekend of him standing in front of a Russian flag wearing military fatigues alongside Minnis, saying: ‘Yes, yes, I’m back in Russia, I’m back in uniform.’ 

The traitor has posted a number of videos online since he fled to Donetsk in February to join Putin’s marauding forces, including sickening footage released last night which showed frontline soldiers walking past two dead bodies. 

In one of his videos, he declares:  ‘Every man takes his choice… a lot of us, the foreign volunteers, have chosen to come over to this side, to the Russian side.’

Stimson, who had previously been jailed for assisting pro-Russian militia forces in the Donbass region in 2015, is currently fighting Ukrainian soldiers with the Pyatnashka brigade. 

His ‘best British friend in the Russian army’ Minnis is a former drug addict and convicted thug from Chippenham, who calls himself a ‘Z Patriot’ and a ‘sapper in the Russian army’.

The Wiltshire man has also been active on social media recently, championing Putin, hailing the Russian tyrant as ‘still the greatest politician on earth’ in one of his posts. 

Former British Army commander Colonel Richard Kemp furiously called for the pair to be arrested, raging: ‘These two are an absolute disgrace and are traitors who upon their return to the UK should be arrested and jailed.’ 

The pair will face jail if and when they return to the UK, receiving a similar fate to that of the British jihadis who joined ISIS in Syria.  

Stimson posted his first picture from Donetsk onto Russian social network channel VK on March 14 and introduced his ‘British friend’ Aiden Minnis on the same day. 

Having gone off the radar since that day, he posted a video called ‘Back to Russia with love’ on Saturday. 

Having gone off the radar since March 14, he posted a video called 'Back to Russia with love' on Saturday

Having gone off the radar since March 14, he posted a video called ‘Back to Russia with love’ on Saturday

In the video, he waves an unexploded grenade shell used by Ukraine and jokes: ‘We’ve got some British taxpayers’ returns.’ 

In another clip uploaded last weekend, Stimson adds: ‘Every man takes his choice… a lot of us, the foreign volunteers, have chosen to come over to this side, to the Russian side.’

Last night, he shared footage of frontline soldiers walking past two dead bodies and land mines in a muddy field, before they dig up a hand grenade. 

Stimson was jailed for five years and four months for terror offences in 2017, after he went to the conflict zone in the Donbass region in 2015 for four months and assisted the anti-government militia in Ukraine, the year after Russia annexed Crimea. 

He reinvented himself as a self styled ‘soldier of the new Russia’ after he studied pro-Communist propaganda about the Ukraine conflict on the internet when his business crumbled.

While in the country, he gave an interview in which he claimed he was ‘a working class man with no work’ whose last job was on a zero hours contract.

He said he could not live in Britain any more and was prepared to kill someone if his life was threatened on the front line in what he said he would class as ‘an act of war’. 

However, Manchester Crown Court heard in 2017 that Stimson, formerly of Oldham, Greater Manchester, did not actually engage in any fighting during his time in eastern Ukraine and had intended to perform humanitarian work by driving ambulances. 

But since returning to Russia on February 23, he has admitted on social media that he fought in the 2015 Battle of Debaltseve. 

He wrote: ‘I’m ready to go now, bags packed. I just hope the British police don’t arrest me and make something up or twist things to incriminate me on something that does not exist.’ 

According to the Mirror, Stimson was homeless and using heroin after leaving jail last June and sold his possessions to pay for a visa and flight to Moscow. 

His three-month visa to Russia runs out on May 17 and he managed to fly to Moscow from Manchester Airport, via Istanbul, despite being detained and questioned under the terrorism act. 

He said the journey cost him £1,450 after ‘police took me phone and laptop’. 

Stimson also posted a photo of two pen drives, saying: ‘Didn’t find these did you? You stupid thick b******s’. 

Stimson’s father Martin, a former town councillor and Morris dancer, said he had now disowned his son, after he had supporting him during his 2017 court hearing. 

‘I’ve cut him off. Before I cut him off he was in Moscow,’ he told the Mirror last night, adding his rogue lad was now ‘on his own’.

Since returning to Russia on February 23, Stimson has admitted on social media that he fought in the 2015 Battle of Debaltseve.

Since returning to Russia on February 23, Stimson has admitted on social media that he fought in the 2015 Battle of Debaltseve.

Minnis’s VK page shows him holding semi-automatic weapons and wearing Russian uniforms with a Donetsk insignia posing with the Irish flag. 

He said: ‘My family heritage is from Ireland and I have Irish family. But also an ideological thing.’

Stimson labels Minnis as his ‘best British friend in the Russian army’ and a ‘good guy’ in one of his posts, but the ex-National Front member is a former drug addict with a long criminal record.

In 2006, he admitted beating up relatives of a driver whose dangerous driving had caused the deaths of his cousin and girlfriend.   

In 2008, he was jailed for four years after he carried out unprovoked racist attack on a Chippenham rugby player. 

In January of that year, whilst he was being convicted for beating up a homeless man, his lawyer told the court: ‘He was a member of the National Front, a class A drug addict and an alcoholic by the age of 20.’ 

The Foreign Enlistment Act 1870 makes it illegal to join the armed forces of a country fighting a state at peace with Britain, but anti-terror legislation is more likely to be invoked. 

In 2015, Stimson pleaded guilty to a single charge of assisting others in committing terrorism acts. He was jailed for five years and four months.

The court heard how he had carried out ‘extensive’ research on the conflict in the summer of 2015 and among internet search entries later found on his computer were: ‘Volunteer to fight in Donbass’, ‘Britons fighting in Donbass’, and ‘UK law on fighting overseas’. 

Stimson flew from Manchester to Moscow via Brussels on August 8, 2015 and was transported to Donbass on his arrival through a contact he established before his journey.

In mid-October 2015, he gave an interview to BBC correspondent Tom Burridge in which his face was shielded from the camera.  

He returned to the UK on November 23 2015 and was arrested at Manchester Airport on suspicion of terrorism offences.

In his luggage was found various items of military clothing including some which displayed the would-be flag of ‘Novorussia’, the court was told.

Stimson had a number of previous convictions for ‘low level’ offences such as criminal damage, theft and drugs possession. 

A report from a forensic psychiatrist highlighted his ‘troubled background’, a dependency on drugs and alcohol and his suffering from depressive disorders. 



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