Former British Soldier Killed Fighting Russian Forces in Ukraine

A former British soldier was killed fighting Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk, his family said.

Jordan Gatley left the British Army in March “to continue his career as a soldier in other areas” and had been helping Ukrainian troops defend their country against Russia, his father Dean wrote in a statement posted on Facebook on Saturday.

“Yesterday [10/06/22] we received the devastating news that our son, Jordan, was shot to death in the city of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine… He loved his job and we are so proud of him. He truly was a hero and he will always be in our hearts.” the statement said.

Gatley was killed in the battle for the key strategic city in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where fighting has been heavy in recent days.

He is believed to be the second Briton to be killed during the war in Ukraine. Tributes were paid in April to Scott Sibley, a British military veteran believed to have died fighting Russian troops.

The statement from the Gatley family read: “We have received several messages from your team telling us of your great knowledge, your skills as a soldier and your love for your work.

“His team says that everyone loved him, as did we, and he made a huge difference in the lives of many people, not only as a soldier, but also training the Ukrainian forces.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man who died in Ukraine.”

Kyiv has acknowledged over the past week that it is suffering heavy losses from Russia’s assault in the east.

Thousands of foreigners are believed to have entered Ukraine after the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, announced the establishment of an international legion of foreign volunteers in the first days of the Russian invasion. A significant number are believed to be UK citizens, despite the British military urging Britons not to go to the country.

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Two Britons and a Moroccan national captured while fighting with the Ukrainian army in Mariupol were sentenced to death by pro-Russian officials in what was described as a “disgusting Soviet-era show trial”.

Russian state media have portrayed them as mercenaries, and the court convicted them of being one despite evidence that the three men were serving in the Ukrainian marines and therefore should be protected by the Geneva conventions on prisoners of war.

Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, where the three foreigners were tried, said on Sunday that no mercy should be shown. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss called the trial a “sham” with “absolutely no legitimacy”.

In a separate case, Russia said former Royal Marine Ben Grant had helped kill a Chechen brigade commander in Ukraine after images emerged of British nationals fighting in the country.

Grant, who has not been captured, is the son of Conservative MP Helen Grant. He earlier told British media that he was part of a unit of 15 British and American volunteers who had been preparing an assault on Russian targets in the Kharkiv area.

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