Ukraine LIVE: 700 detained over protests as angry Russians erupt at Putin's mobilisation


    The daughter of a British aid worker reported to have died while being detained by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine has said the repatriation of her father’s body will give her family closure.

    Chelsea Coman, 20, has raised more than £8,000 on GoFundMe to bring Paul Urey’s body home from Ukraine after she and sister Courtney were told by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) they would need to pay nearly £10,000 in repatriation costs.

    The human rights ombudsperson for the Moscow-supported leadership in Donetsk said previously Mr Urey, 45, died in July of chronic illnesses and stress.

    He had Type 1 diabetes as well as a heart condition, but was denied access to medication about eight weeks before his death, according to his family.

    Ms Coman said: “He doesn’t deserve to be out there at the minute.

    “It would set our mind at ease to be able to lay him to rest and know that he’s not in a different country still suffering even though he’s died. We would get closure.”

    Ms Coman, a full-time parent to her two-year-old daughter in Manchester, found out about her father’s death after seeing it on the news.

    Her stepfather, Christopher Chadderton, tried to get to Ms Coman and her sister to tell them before they heard elsewhere, but was too late.

    Mr Chadderton, 53, said: “(A journalist) rang me and explained about Paul’s death.

    “Me and the children’s mum, we rushed back to try and tell the girls before they heard it on the news but as we got there the girls were sobbing, holding each other.

    “That was heartbreaking for me, to see the girls going through that.”

    Mr Chadderton criticised the FCDO for leaving his stepdaughters “in a state of limbo, not knowing whether they could get their father back”.

    He said: “For me, personally, it doesn’t sit right. Rather than saying, ‘Don’t worry about the money, we’ll get your dad back,’ it was a case of, ‘To bring your dad back is going to cost this much.’

    “I don’t understand how they could lead on two young girls in a situation (they were in) and they were grieving and confused, (there was) a lot of anger.

    “I’m very proud of what they’ve done, what they’ve achieved and how they’ve gone about this … But I think a lot of it was unnecessary and it shouldn’t have been put on such young shoulders such a huge responsibility.”

    A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We have supported Paul’s family throughout this ordeal and will continue to work with the Ukrainian authorities to get him home.

    “Our thoughts remain with the Urey family at this difficult time. The FCDO is unfortunately not able to pay for the repatriation of British nationals who have died overseas.”


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