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Daughters of British aid worker captured in Ukraine 'prepare for the worst'

Sky News has heard from the daughters of British aid workers captured in Ukraine that they are “preparing for what might happen”.

Courtney Coman (17 years old) and Chelsea Coman (20 years old) spoke exclusively to Sky News. They said that they don’t believe their father will “come home anytime soon” after being accused by the Russian government of being a “mercenary”.

Paul Urey (45) was taken at a checkpoint just outside Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine, on 25 April with Dylan Healy (22) a British volunteer.

They were independent of aid organizations and the men were working alone. Mr Urey’s daughters didn’t know he was there until they learned of his capture.


“We are just trying to cope for the moment. Courtney says that we don’t know much, such as whether he will be alright there, or if he’ll return to Ukraine in a prisoner exchange.”

“We don’t know what the future holds, so we prepare for it.”

Image Courtney and Chelsea feel helpless

Her sister says, “But hoping for best.”

It might seem selfish to others, but it makes me feel a little like “Why have you done this?” Chelsea agrees.

“We don’t know what’s going on, you don’t know if he’s safe, and you don’t know where he’s at the moment. We are more upset than anything.”

Courtney believes that their father didn’t tell them where he was heading because “we would not have told him to go, and then would have had to listen and not go.”

Image Mr Urey was the last to be active on WhatsApp two week ago

Courtney’s last messages to her father, via WhatsApp, concerned Courtney getting a tattoo and her phone top-ups.

The messaging service shows that Mr Urey’s last log-in to the application occurred on the morning 25 April, the day of his capture.

Continue reading:

The Mother of Paul Urey denounces Russian State TV Interview

Tributes for Scott Sibley, a former British soldier who was killed in Ukraine

Since then, the girls have not received any messages.

Courtney says, “It’s feeling helpless, there’s nothing you can do.”

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UK aid workers in Ukraine

“We are his children, and we are trying to get any information.”

A video of Mr Urey has been shown on Russian television since his capture.

It shows Mr Urey in handcuffs saying that he went to Ukraine because he didn’t believe the British media’s depiction of Russia’s invasion.

Sky News was told by his daughters that their father made these statements because he was forced to.

Image Mr Urey and his daughters

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Chelsea says that he would never speak against his country.

“The video was not what we wanted to see but we are glad that we did because we know he is ok and that he is still alive.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK has stated that it is still searching for information regarding Mr Urey and his detentions.


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