Two British aid workers Paul Urey and Dylan Healy reportedly captured by Russian forces in Ukraine | UK News
The mother of one of two British aid workers believed to have been captured by Russian forces in Ukraine has said she “felt like she wanted to die”.
The British non-profit Presidium Network said Paul Urey, 45, and Dylan Healy, 22, were captured on Monday.
They were reportedly seized at a checkpoint south of the city of Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine.
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Mr. Urey has been described as a “father with children” who “didn’t do the army”, so he decided to work in the humanitarian sector and travels a lot.
Mr Urey’s mother Linda told Sky News ‘he helps people who are at war’ and that he had been in Ukraine for just over a week and a half but there was already traveled and had recently returned.
She said she felt “like I wanted to die”. She said, “I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s horrible.”
Ms Urey added: “I told him not to go. I said please don’t go, he said, ‘Mum I can’t live with myself knowing that people need my help to get to a safe place. I have to go ‘.”
She described him as “too caring” and said: “I wish he was a horrible person to be honest. And I know that sounds selfish, but you don’t mess with Russians. He’s too kind.”
She added: “I feel like I’m in my worst nightmare right now.
“I just want them back. He’s been texting me 20 times a day, he’s FaceTimed me nine times a day…nothing? Something’s wrong. They’ve got it, definitely. He would contact me if he could, and he can’t. I know he can’t… And all he wanted to do was help people.
Meanwhile, Mr Healy was previously a kitchen manager at a UK hotel chain.
Presidium Network said the two men worked as volunteers and were known to the organization but not related to them.
He said the pair were working to evacuate a woman and two children from the area when they were captured at a Russian military checkpoint.
Mr Urey last contacted the Presidium network at 4am. They have since received messages from someone claiming to be the volunteer, but who was unable to provide any personal information to confirm their identity.
Three hours after their capture, the house of the woman the couple were evacuating was stormed by Russian soldiers who made her husband lie on the ground and asked her how she “knew about these British spies”.
Dominik Byrne, one of the founders of the Presidium network, said: “Our concern for these individuals is that the Russians will present them as British spies, which is false. They are civilian volunteers.”
Ms Urey, Mr Urey’s mother, said she last spoke to him on Monday morning when he told her he was ‘going off the radar’ for 36 hours. She said she had since received a message saying “morning” and that he couldn’t speak but would call her.
She said “that was weird” and added: “He always says ‘Mom’ and he didn’t say ‘Mom’. He just said ‘hello’, he always says ‘hello mum’, and I don’t don’t let him know if it was him.”
Earlier, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan told Sky News that the Foreign Office is “doing everything it can to support them”.
It comes after a British Army veteran was killed and another Briton disappeared after being suspected of traveling to Ukraine to fight Russian forces.
Scott Sibley, 36, has been confirmed as the first British national to die in the war.
Earlier this month two British fighters, Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin, were captured by forces in Moscow.
The pair were detained in Ukraine and appeared on Russian state television. They asked to be exchanged for Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian politician close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.