Paul Urey, a British national, died in captivity of the Donetsk People’s Republic
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss summoned the Russian ambassador on Friday over the death of British citizen Paul Urey in captivity in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Truss said Russia “must take full responsibility” for Urey’s death, which Donetsk officials attributed to his chronic health problems.
The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) announced on Friday that Urey died on Monday, nearly three months after being held at a checkpoint along with another British national, Dylan Healy. DPR ombudsman Darya Morozova said Urey suffered from “a number of chronic diseases”, including insulin-dependent diabetes, and died despite medical attention from his captors.
“Russia must take full responsibility,” Truss said Friday, in a statement announcing that she had summoned Russian Ambassador Andrey Kelin.
“Paul Urey was captured while undertaking humanitarian work”, Truss claimed. “He was in Ukraine trying to help the Ukrainian people in the face of the unprovoked Russian invasion. Those responsible will be held to account.
While Truss insisted Urey had traveled to Ukraine as an aid worker, Morozova described the Briton as a “career soldier” who had fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. She said he had led combat operations with the Ukrainian army, as well as “training mercenaries”.
Russia has previously asked the UK to deal directly with the DPR, which the UK has refused to do. Speaking to the BBC after British fighters Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner, convicted of being mercenaries, were sentenced to death by the DPR last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the government british should “talk to the DPR” on both men.
Truss still refused to name the Donetsk People’s Republic, calling on the authorities of the region “Russian proxies. DPR authorities have told Aslin that no one from the UK government has contacted them directly about her case, her grandmother told the BBC last month.
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DPR officials informed the UK of Urey’s capture, but “no reaction from Great Britain had appeared”, Morozova said Friday. She added that the UK had not sent medicine to Urey via the International Committee of the Red Cross, and “Ignored even the mere possibility of conducting talks upon his return as part of a prisoner exchange.”
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