Warrington aid worker Paul Urey dies after being held by pro-Russian separatists, report says

British aid worker Paul Urey has reportedly died while being held hostage by pro-Russia separatist. Credit: Family photo

British aid worker Paul Urey has reportedly died while being held by pro-Russia separatists in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), a local official has said.

The 45-year-old was believed to have been detained on 25 April at a checkpoint south of the city of Zaporizhzhia in south-eastern Ukraine with another aid worker, Dylan Healy.

The two men were later charged with “mercenary activities”, an offence punishable by death in the DNR.

Darya Morozova, the human rights ombudsperson for the Moscow-backed separatist leadership in Donetsk, released a statement on Telegram to say Mr Urey died on 10 July.

Paul Urey - the aid worker from Warrington - reportedly died of stress and health complications. Credit: Family footage

She claimed Mr Urey, who was branded a British “mercenary”, died in captivity of chronic illnesses and stress.

"On our part, despite the severity of the alleged crime, Paul Urey was provided with appropriate medical assistance,’ she said.

'However, given the diagnoses and stress, he passed away on July 10."

Downing Street has expressed alarm at reports of the aid worker's death.

A No 10 spokesman said: “They’re clearly alarming reports and our thoughts are obviously with his family and friends.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “We are urgently seeking clarification from the Russian government on media reports that a British aid worker has died in Ukraine.”

Dylan Healy was also captured alongside Paul Urey by Russian separatists.

Paul headed out to the war zone to help those caught up in the fighting, telling his family he "could not just sit there and do nothing".

Paul was a Type One diabetic who needs regular shots of insulin and food.

A video of Mr Urey was was shown on Russian Television at the beginning of May.

His mother Linda, who lives in Preston, pleaded for her son to be released.

Linda told ITV New: "He told me, 'I can’t sit there mum and watch people dying because they’re hungry, they’re scared, he said I’ve seen people where they’re ducking every time there’s a noise, I can’t live with myself'.

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