A British aid worker who died after he was captured by pro-Russian separatists and charged with mercenary activities was “tortured to death”, a human rights group has claimed.
The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic insist Paul Urey, 45, died “due to stress and illness” – but activists say otherwise.
Vladimir Osechkin, founder of anti-torture groupgulagu.net, said a source told him the Lancashire-born humanitarian volunteer had been visited in detention by the Russian secret service.
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He explained: “After communicating, the Brit suddenly got colossal health issues, related to disrupted work of kidneys and other vital organs.
“Exactly the same diagnoses are given by Russian prison doctors to those who are tortured to death in jails.
“Acute heart or kidney failure is when the quantity of haematomas and internal bleeding is so high, the body simply cannot cope without surgical intervention.”
Osechkin, who is living in exile after being placed on bonkers Putin’s most-wanted list, previously exposed mass rape inside Russian jails.
He claimed Russian agents were trying to pressure Mr Urey into giving proof of foreign instructors fighting for Ukraine.
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The Brit was caught in the south east of the war torn country as he reportedly tried to help a woman leave territory under the control of Russia.
He was seized at a checkpoint by separatists in the Donetsk People's Republic – a group only recognised by Russia, Syria and North Korea.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss slammed Russian aggression over the tragic death and said the country must take “full responsibility”.
She added: "Paul Urey was captured while undertaking humanitarian work.
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“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… My thoughts are with Mr Urey's family and friends at this horrendous time."
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