THE grieving family of a Warrington aid worker who died after being captured in Ukraine are desperately seeking to repatriate his body.

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 Zaporizhzhia in the south of the war-torn country, close to land which was then under Russian control.

They were 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 as to why he was in Ukraine.

But news surfaced last month that the 45-year-old, who had type one diabetes and required insulin shots, had sadly died in custody on July 10.

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.”

Now, Paul’s family are looking at arrangements to fly his body home for a funeral and burial – but they have been told this will cost thousands of pounds.

While they accept they may never find out the truth surrounding his death, not being able to give him a proper send-off is adding to their agony, which is why an online donation page has been set up by his daughter, Chelsea Coman.

She said: “My father, an aid worker, was captured in Ukraine trying to evacuate a mother and her two children from the terrible conflict in Ukraine along with Dylan Healy.

“Dylan is still being held in a prison in the Russian-controlled area of Donbas, but sadly my father died on July 10 in this prison.

“Our efforts to repatriate my dad’s body are going extremely slowly, and we have been advised by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office that this repatriation will cost us up to approximately £10,000.

Warrington Guardian: Video emerged of Paul Urey on Russian state TV being interviewed wearing handcuffs in early MayVideo emerged of Paul Urey on Russian state TV being interviewed wearing handcuffs in early May

“As me and my sister are only 20 and 17 years of age and still in college, we have no source of income that could pay near enough that amount.

“My only wishes are to bring my father home and give him a burial and send-off, here in the UK with people who love him and celebrate his life.

“Any donations, no matter how small or large they may be, will be much appreciated by me and my father’s family.”

If you would like to donate, visit

A Foreign Office spokesman said it would not comment on the costs involved in repatriation, but it repeated that those responsible for Paul’s death will be held accountable.

The father-of-four informed his mother, Linda Urey, of his wish to travel to Ukraine before he went, stating that he ‘needed to help the innocent’ and wanted to ‘heal the world’.

She begged him not to go, and when news of his death emerged, she expressed her ‘true anger’ and spoke of how she had pleaded with the separatists to give her son back to her.

Chelsea meanwhile told ITV news: “It was our worst nightmare come true. He is caring – too caring. He loved everyone and he would try and help as much as he could, even if it was not ideal for him.”

Following the Russian announcement of Paul’s death, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she was ‘shocked’ and that ‘Russia must bear the full responsibility’.

Her statement added: “Paul Urey was captured while undertaking humanitarian work. He was in Ukraine to try and help the Ukrainian people in the face of the unprovoked Russian invasion.

“The Russian government and its proxies are continuing to commit atrocities. Those responsible will be held accountable. My thoughts are with Mr Urey's family and friends at this horrendous time.”

Meanwhile, the Russian ambassador to Britain, Andrei Kelin, was summoned to the Foreign Office for a ‘dressing down’.