After a month and a half of negotiations, Russia has returned the body of UK citizen Paul Urey to Ukraine, says Dmytro Lubinets, Ombudsman for Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s Parliament). Urey died in captivity of the self-proclaimed Donetsk “people’s republic” (“DPR”).
According to Lubinets, Ukraine received a “mutilated body”. “There are body parts missing, a lot of cuts, and signs of torture present,” he wrote on his Telegram channel, adding that the ultimate cause of death would be established during a medical forensic examination.
“As an ombudsman, I can safely say that the death was violent. A human just can’t handle this kind of torture. I’ve seen photos of the body, and there’s no room for doubt,” Lubinets emphasised.
It is impossible to verify the information on casualties provided by the warring sides during an ongoing conflict.
In July, Donetsk news agency reported that UK citizen Paul Johnson Anthony Dominic Urey had died while in “DPR”’s captivity “due to illness and stress”. According to the “ombudswoman” of the “DPR” Darya Morozova, the Briton was captured in April while trying to break through a roadblock. At the same time, Reuters reported that the British citizen was an aid worker. UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, back then the country’s Foreign Minister, previously said that Russia would be held entirely responsible for Urey’s death.
On 15 August, the “DPR court” brought charges against five foreigners that fought on the side of Ukraine on the “DPR” territory. Matias Gustavsson (Sweden), Vjekoslav Prebeg (Croatia), and John Harding (UK) were accused of “participating in combat in the capacity of mercenaries and training for violent seizure of power”. They are facing the death penalty. The Briton Andrew Hill was accused of “participating in combat in the capacity of mercenary”, while his compatriot Dylan Healy — of recruiting “mercenaries”.