Russian sources have published a list of what they claim are 100 British ‘mercenaries’ fighting in Ukraine, including the name of one woman.
It comes on the news that a British father has been killed in Ukraine and a second Briton is missing after the pair apparently joined local forces fighting Russia.
Scott Sibley, a veteran of the British armed forces who served in the Commando Logistic Support Squadron in Afghanistan, has been named as the first UK casualty in Ukraine.
A pro-war Telegram channel called Rybar with almost 400,000 subscribers claimed the 100 British citizens whose names were published were part of the ‘International Legion of Territorial Defence of Ukraine’, also known as the Ukrainian Foreign Legion.
The list does not include the name of Scott Sibley and it is unclear how authentic it is.
Scott Sibley, a veteran of the British armed forces, has been named as the Briton who died in Ukraine
Shaun Pinner (left) and Aiden Aslin (right), who had been serving in the Ukrainian marines, were captured by Putin’s troops in the city of Mariupol earlier this month
‘On April 5 we said that there were less than 700 people there, excluding employees of PMCs [private military companies],’ said a report from the pro-Putin Russian channel.
‘Now you know their names, dates of birth and ID numbers.’
It is unclear where the list came from but Rybar suggests it was obtained via the offices of the governor of Mykolayiv region, Vitaliy Kim.
The names do not include British fighters recently detained by the Russians in Mariupol.
The publication of the list comes on the same day Ukrainian military officials released pictured and revealed names of Russian soldiers dubbed the ‘Despicable Ten’ accused of carrying out war crimes in Bucha.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence released the names and faces of the men, stating: ‘Ten Russian butchers from the 64th brigade have been identified and named suspects responsible for committing the Bucha massacre.
‘This unit [has] been awarded for its atrocities, and returned to the battlefield. Justice for war criminals is inevitable.’
The UK’s Foreign Office confirmed that British national Sibley had been killed in Ukraine and the whereabouts of a second Briton is unknown.
It is thought that the two men had been fighting against Russian fighters after joining Ukrainian soldiers as volunteers, but this remains unconfirmed.
Friends of Sibley, fondly nicknamed Sibs, have paid tribute to the veteran, who is believed to have died on 23 April, and set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral.
‘Scott was a son, father, brother and uncle,’ his friend Craig wrote on the page. ‘To me he was a friend like no other and the bravest person I’ve had the pleasure to have known, he was as good as a brother to me.
‘His life may have been cut short but he lived to the full and did things the Sibs way, right until the end.’
Another fundraising page set up for Sibley’s relatives described his ‘infectious laugh’, adding: ‘We all have memories with him and he has helped us in different ways.’
Sibley leaves behind his daughter who was diagnosed with stage 4 high risk Neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that mostly affects young children.
Following her diagnosis in 2018, Sibley shaved his head so that his daughter would not feel different when she lost her hair, reported the BBC.
Sibley’s former squadron, the Army’s Logistic Support Squadron, paid tribute to the veteran, writing: ‘This week the Sqn has lost a former serving soldier. A man that showed Commando spirit until the end. RIP. Scott Sibley.’
A former comrade, Alex Darwin, paid tribute to his friend. ‘Sib, I’m in complete disbelief. What a pleasure to have served alongside you, to know you and to have experienced your kind nature.
‘You were there for me and I will forever be grateful. One hell of a beautiful guy, inside and out.’
Friends of Sibley, fondly nicknamed Sibs, have paid tribute to the veteran, who is believed to have died on 23 April, and set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral. Sibley served in the British Army’s Commando Logistic Support Squadron
There was no reply last night from Scott Sibley’s family home – a humble end of terrace house on a council estate in the village of South Killingholme, near Immingham, North Lincolnshire.
It is understood Scott grew up in the area with mum Mary, dad Melvin, known as Mel, and sister Victoria.
Locals said Scott had left the family home and understood he had been living in London with his own family.
Neighbour Tracey Mcinanny said: ‘They are away. They have gone down to be with Scott’s family. We only know what we have heard on the news.
I believe he went to Immingham School. His dad, Mel, works away. I have lived here several years and they were here when I got here.
‘I assume they have gone to London to be with the kids Scott had. Like most kids, he had moved away from his parents to get on with their lives.
‘It is very sad. But the guy thought he was doing what was right.
‘I remember Scott as an older teenager. I did not know him but him and his sister seemed nice, quiet kids.
‘They kept themselves to themselves. Both parents were working. You always hear about the bad kids but never Scott or sister.’
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) did not provide details on why the men were in Ukraine.
‘We can confirm that a British National has been killed in Ukraine and are supporting their family,’ a FCDO spokesperson said.
Speaking of the second British man, the spokesperson said: ‘We are aware of a British National who is missing in Ukraine and are supporting their family. We are urgently seeking further information. ‘
A number of Britons travelled to Ukraine after Russia invaded the country on February 24 to fight on the front lines against Vladimir Putin’s men.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for foreign fighters to join his country’s defence against Russia in the days after the invasion.
Downing Street has strongly advised against Britons from travelling to Ukraine to fight, whilst serving members of the British Armed Forces have been banned from doing so.
Earlier this month, Britons Aiden Aslin, 28, and Shaun Pinner, 48, were captured by Russian forces and have since been paraded on Russian state media where they pleaded to be swapped for a pro-Kremlin prisoner.
Emergency service employees work at the site of residential houses damaged by a missile attack, as Russia’s invasion continues, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on Thursday
Aslin and Shaun Pinner last week asked on Russian state television for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene and ensure they were exchanged for Vladimir Putin’s ally Viktor Medvedchuk, who is being held by Ukrainian authorities.
Pinner is a former Royal Anglian soldier and has made clear he considers Ukraine his second country, where he married.
The UK’s Foreign Enlistment Act blocks citizens from joining foreign militaries fighting countries at peace with Britain, and the government’s foreign secretary and defence minister have warned against Britons fighting in Ukraine after the war began in late February.
Just days after the invasion on February 24, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss was criticised after she said she would ‘absolutely’ support Britons who chose to help the war effort.
‘People can make their own decisions,’ she said. ‘The people of Ukraine are fighting for freedom and democracy, not just for Ukraine, but for the whole of Europe. Absolutely, if people want to support that struggle, I would support them in doing that.’
The UK Government website warns: ‘If you travel to Ukraine to fight, or to assist others engaged in the conflict, your activities may amount to offences against UK legislation and you could be prosecuted on your return to the UK.’
At the outset of the invasion, Ukraine encouraged foreigners to offer their support. President Zelensky has claimed 16,000 foreigners have travelled to Ukraine to resist the Russians.
In March, groups of British men gathered outside the Ukrainian embassy in London to offer their support.
This is a breaking news story, more to follow…