Family of man who died after being captured by Russians fundraising to bring body back from Ukraine

The family of a man who died after being captured by Russian forces are trying to raise enough money to bring his body home from Ukraine.

Paul Urey, from Leyland in Lancashire, went out to the war-torn country to carry out aid work and help with the humanitarian effort.

His family say when he was taken, he was trying to evacuate a mother and her two children out of the country.

The Foreign Office says it is supporting Mr Urey's family, but would not comment on the costs, and repeated that those responsible will be held accountable.

It could cost up to £10,000 to repatriate his body and bring Mr Urey home.

Paul Urey with his daughter Chelsea.

Mr Urey has four children, two of his daughters Chelsea and Courtney first learned of their dad's journey to Ukraine on the day he was captured.

They have since only been told that he died "due to sickness", and say now they just want him home.

Chelsea Coman said: "It was our worst nightmare come true, he is caring, too caring. He loved everyone and he'd try and help as much as he can even if it's not ideal for him."

His sister Lyndsey Coulton says that he told their mum: "It is war Mum I want to help, I need to help the innocent."

Paul Urey's daughters Chelsea and Courtney want to bring their dad home to give him a proper burial.

Mr Urey, 45, died in captivity on Sunday 11 July, according to the human rights ombudsperson for the Moscow-supported leadership in Donetsk.

Daria Morozova, the ombudsperson, branded Mr Urey a “mercenary” and claimed he passed away after suffering chronic illnesses and stress.

Russian ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, was summoned to the Foreign Office to face questioning over what happened to Mr Urey, who was detained near the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia in April.

Speaking after his death was announced, Mr Urey's mother said her son "wanted to heal the world".

Linda Urey expressed her anger, asking the separatists: “Why did you let him die?”

She said Paul was "lovely", a "dreamer and kind-hearted. He thought he could heal the world.

"He thought he could go out and help everybody and I said 'Paul, you're a very poorly person.' He didn't think he was".

Linda, and her daughter - Paul's sister - Lyndsey, were only reunited Mr Urey two years ago after he was adopted as a baby.

Lyndsey said: “Mum lost him at birth, he was taken at birth and then he came back into our lives in 2020.

"We were trying to make up for lost time and now she feels like he’s been snatched away from her all over again."

Mr Urey's sister Lyndsey Coulton says he only came back into their lives in 2020 - and they were trying to make up for lost time.

Paul's family have started a GoFundMe me page to try and raise the money they need to bring his body home

Daughter Courtney Coman, Paul's daughter says "It is impossible for us to raise this money without some help, it just won't happen."

They accept they may never know the true facts about their dad's death but say not having him home is just adding to their agony.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...