What we know about Moroccan man sentenced to death in DNR

Brahim Saadoun / mk.ru
Brahim Saadoun / mk.ru

Moroccan citizen Brahim Saadoun, recently sentenced to death for mercenarism in the so-called DNR, had been serving in the AFU under contract, his girlfriend Daria told Euroradio.

Brahim had lived in Ukraine for three years and studied aerospace systems at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Last fall, he joined the Armed Forces, Daria tells Euroradio.

"He officially served under contract. He is a combatant. There was no talk of mercenary work," Daria says. "He went to the exercises in the fall, and in February, he went to the eastern part of Ukraine." 

Why did the Moroccan decide to fight for Ukraine? 

Daria does not know for sure when Brahim decided to join the AFU.

"Why did he decide to go to war? I don't know. We've been at war for eight years, and respecting such a decision is expected. If he decided, I did not go into the reasons. I said that I would be worried, that I would be worried. I asked him if he was sure he wanted to go. But that was his decision.

It surprised me when he said he had decided to go to war. We had not spoken about it much, and there were no lengthy discussions.

Daria found out about Brahim's capture from a video on one of the YouTube channels.

"And a month later, we saw a video that said the DNR Prosecutor General's Office would try them. And there was no contact with him all the time he was in captivity. Neither his family nor friends were allowed to call. We don't know what conditions he was held in".

We read in the news that British detainees were allowed to call their families, but for some reason, Brahim was not.


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Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun. Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Brahim Saadoun. Author: SCANPIX/REUTERS

"I feel like a small person more than ever"

Brahim's loved ones hope the sentence will not be carried out. But Daria has no doubts that it's possible, either.

"It's clear we all want Brahim to stay alive, to be safe at least. I don't even want to consider the other option or think about it. But the fact that it is a possibility makes it necessary to do something now".

This is a situation where you feel like a small person more than ever. It's very hard for you to affect it. There's not much you can do. But we try to do the best we can.

According to Daria, the public response to that "verdict" prompted many people to help spread the word about Brahim.

"People are writing posts on Instagram, saying they know Brahim and have met him. Many people are worried about him because they know how good he is".

When the fighting was on at the beginning of the full-scale war, he was in eastern Ukraine. Understandably, it wasn't the safest place, and the conditions were harsh. But he called me to tell me that helicopters were flying towards Kyiv. He obviously didn't have time to talk then, but he called for me to get ready, to find a bomb shelter. He worries much more about his friends and family than he does about himself.


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