A WARRINGTON aid worker who was captured after travelling to Ukraine has died, according to reports in Russia.

Paul Urey, from Culcheth, was captured by the Russian military along with fellow British national Dylan Healy, 22, on April 25, not-for-profit organisation Presidium Network said.

The men were stopped at a checkpoint near the city of Zaporizhzhya in the south of the war-torn country close to land which was then under Russian control.

They are accused of being ‘mercenaries’ by Russia, for which a prosecutor in Moscow had said the maximum penalty is the death sentence.

Video emerged on Russian state TV on May 4 showing an interview with the Warrington man, who was asked questions while in handcuffs explaining why he was in Ukraine.

But news has surfaced this morning, Friday, that the 45-year-old sadly died in custody on Sunday, July 10, Russian state news agency Tass has reported.

According to Daria Morozova, ombudsman of the so-called ‘Donetsk People's Republic’, on her Telegram social media channel: “Despite the seriousness of (his) crimes, Paul Urey was receiving adequate medical assistance.

“Despite this, in view of his diagnosis and the stress, he died on July 10.”

Downing Street has expressed alarm at reports of the aid worker’s death while being detained by Russian-backed separatists.

A No. 10 spokesman said the Foreign Office is ‘urgently investigating’ the ‘clearly alarming reports’.

“Our thoughts are obviously with his family and friends,” they added.

The Foreign Office has said it is urgently seeking clarity about the situation.

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

In an interview with Russian state TV in May, where it is unclear whether he was speaking under duress, Mr Urey said he previously travelled to Iraq, Afghanistan between 2008 and 2010, as well as to Libya to ‘help the revolution’.

He is recorded saying he travelled to Ukraine to ‘see if the refugee crisis was really as bad as what they say on the news’ back home, and that he ‘does not believe the news in England’.

Following the emergence of the interview, his mother Linda said: “I have watched the interview on Russian TV of my son Paul Urey.

“This is physically my son, but he is not acting in his natural way; his words are too matter of fact and his facial expressions make me not believe what he is saying.

“Normally he speaks fast and to the point.

“I know my son like every mother, and this is not him being natural.”

Mr Urey was not been heard from since 4am on April 25, and following news breaking of his detainment, the Foreign Office said it was ‘urgently seeking more information’.

Him and fellow aid worker Mr Healy are believed to have been working independently, but they were in touch with the Presidium Network.

They were said to be trying to rescue a family from a village near Zaporizhzhia at the time of their capture.

Presidium described Mr Urey as a family man who previously spent eight years as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan.

Following news of his capture, Mr Urey’s mum said she was ‘extremely worried’ for his welfare, as her son had type one diabetes and required insulin shots.

She said in a statement: “We know my son has been captured by the Russians while trying to help citizens in Ukraine.

“He was out there on his own accord.

“We want everyone’s support to bring him home. We have asked Presidium Network to help support us and who have helped verify my son has been captured.”

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan told Sky News: “The Foreign Office obviously has been working very closely with those in Ukraine both to make sure the identification is correct and indeed to work with local authorities and to support families here.

"As we have set out right from the beginning, we do not want British nationals to go and fight, but there are many, many ways in which so many people can all support.

“We do not want people to go and fight, but obviously the Foreign Office is doing all it can to support and identify these two people.”