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UK organisation says Russian forces holding two aid workers in Ukraine

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By Reuters
UK organisation says two aid workers held by Russian forces in Ukraine
UK organisation says two aid workers held by Russian forces in Ukraine   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

LONDON -Two British volunteers working to provide humanitarian relief in Ukraine have been detained by the Russian military at a checkpoint south of Zaporizhzhia, according to an aid organisation.

There was no immediate comment from the British foreign ministry.

“The foreign office is doing all it can to support and identify these two people,” British trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan told Sky News.

The non-profit Presidium Network said the two men, both civilians, were working independently as part of a project in Ukraine to provide food, medical supplies and evacuation support.

Dominik Byrne, the organisation’s co-founder, said the men had gone missing after going into Russian-held territory where they were planning to help evacuate a woman.

Three hours after they were supposed to arrive at her home, the woman said she had been questioned by Russian soldiers about two men they had picked up, Byrne said.

“On Wednesday evening, I got a call and messages from contacts of theirs back in England saying that they are missing and we believe we know where they are, and that they’ve been taken by Russians,” Byrne told Reuters.

On Thursday, the British government confirmed that a British national had been killed and another was missing in Ukraine. Local media reported that the dead man was a former British army veteran who was believed to have been fighting with Ukrainian forces.