Mother of British aid worker captured by Russian forces in Ukraine lives in ‘worst nightmare’

Paul Urey, 45, and Dylan Healy, 22, are reported to have been arrested at a checkpoint on Monday as they attempted to evacuate a woman and two children. Paul’s mum Linda said it was ‘terrible’

Linda Urey,
Linda Urey said she begged her son not to go to Ukraine

The mother of a British aid worker believed to have been captured by Russian forces in Ukraine says: “I begged him not to go.”

Two volunteers – Paul Urey, 45, and Dylan Healy, 22 – were reportedly arrested at a checkpoint on Monday while attempting to evacuate a woman and two children.

It is feared that the Russians will claim the men are spies.

Paul’s mother Linda, 62, said he had been in Ukraine for about 10 days, adding: “He’d been there before and then he went back. I asked him not to do it.

“I said ‘please don’t go’. He said: “Mom, I can’t live with myself knowing that people need help to get to a safe place. I have to go’. He’s too caring. He’s too nice…

“You don’t mess with the Russians. i feel like i’m dying

“I do not know what to do. It’s terrible. I don’t know anything and I want them to give it back.”

Paul Urey hasn’t contacted his mom for days


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Smoke rises above an Azovstal Iron and Steel Works facility in the southern port city of Mariupol



She said Paul, who has type 1 diabetes and needs insulin, would normally contact her every day but hasn’t been in touch for days.

Linda added: “Something’s wrong. You definitely have him. He would contact me if he could and he can’t. He just wanted to help people.”

Linda of Preston, Lancs added: “I feel like I’m in my worst nightmare.”

Aid group Presidium Network said the two men – civilians working as part of a project in Ukraine to provide food, medical supplies and evacuation support – were captured while driving near the southeastern city of Zaporizhia.

The Foreign Office said it was checking. Dylan, a chef from Huntingdon, Cambs, was described by his pal Allan Moore, 29, as “just a council boy who came to the rescue”.

He said: “I’m not surprised he left but I’m shocked at the situation now.” Another concerned friend, Sophie Goldring, said Dylan’s texts had stopped, adding: “He sent me a Snapchat. He said he was fine. Other than that, I haven’t heard from him.”

Dylan Healy also disappeared in Ukraine



Dominik Byrne of the Presidium Network said: “We need to put pressure on the government to take this case seriously and try to look into this, but also help us find these people.

“And we want to tell the Russians that these are not spies.” The British organization added that while it knows about the two men, it is not affiliated with them.

Two British militants, Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, were captured by Russians in Mariupol this month. Another confiscated British fighter was shown on Russian state television yesterday.

He was named as Andrew Hill, a father of four from Plymouth. His head was bandaged and one arm was in a sling.

The channel said he surrendered in the Mykolayiv region “after the group of mercenaries in which he fought was defeated and he was wounded”.

When asked what he would say to other Brits who want to fight in Ukraine, he replied: “It doesn’t concern us.”

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