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Meet the British traitors fighting for Putin in Ukraine: From the jobless mercenary now disowned by his father to the National Front drug addict who calls himself a ‘Z Patriot’ and hails Russia’s tyrannical leader ‘the greatest politician on Earth’

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A jobless mercenary who has been disowned by his father and a former National Front member have been labelled an ‘absolute disgrace’ after becoming the first two British men known to be fighting for Russia in Ukraine. 

Ben Stimson, 48, posted a video on social media this weekend of him standing in front of a Russian flag wearing military fatigues alongside Aiden Minnis, 37, 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 this year, including footage released on Tuesday which showed frontline soldiers walking past two dead bodies. 

In one of his videos, he says:  ‘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, labelling Putin 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, stating: ‘These two are an absolute disgrace and are traitors who upon their return to the UK should be arrested and jailed.’ 

Stimson, who had previously been jailed for joining pro-Russian militia forces fighting against the Ukrainian government in 2015, is currently battling Ukrainian soldiers with the Pyatnashka brigade in the Donetsk region

Stimson, who had previously been jailed for joining pro-Russian militia forces fighting against the Ukrainian government in 2015, is currently battling Ukrainian soldiers with the Pyatnashka brigade in the Donetsk region

Aiden Minnis is a former National Front member and convicted thug from Chippenham, whom calls himself a 'Z Patriot'

Aiden Minnis is a former National Front member and convicted thug from Chippenham, whom calls himself a ‘Z Patriot’

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

Stimson has posted a number of videos online since he fled to Donetsk in February this year, including footage which showed frontline soldiers walking past two dead bodies

Stimson has posted a number of videos online since he fled to Donetsk in February this year, including footage which showed frontline soldiers walking past two dead bodies

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. 

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 posted his first picture from Donetsk onto Russian social network channel VK on March 14 and has uploaded a number of videos ever since

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 

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

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

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. 

Stimson was jailed for terror offences 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

Stimson was jailed for terror offences 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 

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. 

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. 

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

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

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.  

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.

The defendant 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 highlighed his ‘troubled background’, a dependency on drugs and alcohol and his suffering from depressive disorders. 



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