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A British aid worker who died after being taken captive by Russia-backed separatists is said to show signs of “possible unspeakable torture”.
The news was revealed by Ukraine’s foreign minister who said the remains Paul Urey, 45 – who had been captured in July – showed the signs of horrific treatment.
Russia-backed parties claimed the aid worker from Manchester had died of illness and stress after he was captured near the southern city of Zaporizhzhia in April and transported east.
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Taking to Twitter, minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday (September 7): “Russians have returned the body of a British humanitarian worker Paul Urey whom they captured in April and reported dead due to ‘illnesses’ and ‘stress’ in July. With signs of possible unspeakable torture.
“Detaining and torturing civilians is barbarism and a heinous war crime.
“I express my deepest condolences to relatives and close ones of Paul Urey. He was a brave man who dedicated himself to saving people. Ukraine will never forget him and his deeds.
“We will identify perpetrators of this crime and hold them to account. They won’t escape justice.”
The Russian ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, was summoned by the Foreign Office to face questioning over his capture.
Mr Urey was labelled a “mercenary” by the human rights ombudsperson for the Moscow-supported leadership in Donetsk, Daria Morozova.
“From our side, he was given the necessary medical assistance despite the grave crimes he committed,” she noted.
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Paul’s mother, Linda Urey, has hit out at the Russia-backed separatists in Donestk, saying, “Why did you let him die?”
On Facebook, she said she was “truly angry” and said we lived in a “cruel cruel world”.
Prime minister Liz Truss, who was Foreign Secretary at the time, said in a statement: “Russia must bear the full responsibility for this.
“Paul Urey was captured while undertaking humanitarian work. He was in Ukraine to try and help the Ukrainian people in the face of the unprovoked Russian invasion.
“The Russian government and its proxies are continuing to commit atrocities. Those responsible will be held accountable. My thoughts are with Mr Urey’s family and friends at this horrendous time.”
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