Former British soldier killed fighting for Ukraine ‘a true hero’

Mr Gatley died in Severodonetsk, where some of Ukraine's fiercest fighting is taking place, Europe Editor James Mates reports

A former British soldier has been shot and killed in Ukraine, his family said.

Jordan Gatley, from Cheshire, was shot dead in the city of Severodonetsk, making him the second Brit known to have died while fighting for Ukraine's forces.He was named in a social media tribute post by his father, who described him as a “hero” who will “forever be in our hearts”. Dean Gatley said his son had left the British Army in March “to continue his career as a soldier in other areas”.

He went to Ukraine to help “after careful consideration”, his father added, saying that on Friday the family received the “devastating” news of his death.

Jordan pictured with his father while he was serving with the British Army. Credit: Dean Gatley/Facebook

The late Mr Gatley was praised by Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Alongside a picture of Mr Gatley standing in uniform with his father, Mr Podolyak wrote: “It takes a lot of courage to leave home and go thousand miles to defend what you believe in. Just because the heart says so. Because you can’t stand the evil.

“Jordan Gatley was a true hero. We will always remember his contribution to the protection of Ukraine and the free world.”

Some of the fiercest fighting in the country is taking place in Severodonetsk and its neighbour Lysychansk. The cities are the only two in eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk province not controlled by Russian forces or Moscow-backed separatists.

On Sunday, Russian shelling caused a huge fire at a chemical plant in Severodonetsk, where hundreds of civilians are reportedly sheltering.

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A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Ukraine.” In April, tributes were paid to Scott Sibley, a British military veteran reportedly killed in Ukraine while fighting against Russian forces. At that time the Foreign Office confirmed a British national had died in Ukraine.