A Briton has been killed in Ukraine and a second British national is missing, the Foreign Office said.
Tributes have been paid to Scott Sibley, who has been named locally as the man who died, while the identity of the missing person remains unknown.
Mr. Sibley is considered a veteran of the British Army. He is the first known British national to be killed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
It is believed that he and the missing person were fighting against invading Russian forces as volunteers supporting the Ukrainian army, although this has not been confirmed.
A Foreign Office spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that a British national was killed in Ukraine and supports his family.
The spokesperson also confirmed there was a missing British national and said he was “urgently seeking further information”.
The Foreign Office did not provide details of what the couple had done in Ukraine or where they were. He also did not say when the man was killed or the other went missing.
Several people have posted tributes to Mr Sibley on Facebook in recent days, with friends and former soldiers referring to the ‘fallen hero’ and ‘one hell of a handsome bloke’.
Mr Sibley’s former regiment, the Logistics Support Squadron, paid tribute to him, writing on Facebook: “This week the squadron lost a former serving soldier. A man who showed the Commando spirit until the end. TO TEAR. Scott Sibley,” he wrote.
A GoFundMe page was set up on Wednesday to raise money for his funeral. As of Thursday night, the Page had raised £3,465 against a target of £5,000.
Organizer Craig Gant said Mr Sibley ‘was a friend like no other and the bravest person I had the pleasure of knowing, he was as good as a brother to me’.
Another fundraiser was organized by a woman who said Mr Sibley had been part of an online community based on the PUBG video game. The fundraising campaign is in aid of Victoria Sibley – believed to be Mr Sibley’s wife – and has so far raised £250 of its £2,000 target.
The Foreign Office has advised British nationals against traveling to Ukraine since February, warning of a real risk to life.
A number of British nationals have joined the fight in Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities estimated in March that at least 20,000 people from 52 different countries had come to support their army.
Around the same time, the Ministry of Defense said “a small number” of soldiers had died despite orders not to travel to Ukraine.
The councils of ministers were initially confused. Liz Truss initially said she would ‘absolutely support’ British nationals joining the Ukrainian forces.
But she backtracked on that statement less than a fortnight after Ben Wallace, the defense secretary, said he ‘didn’t want to see Britons killed any more than I want to see Ukrainians’ die.
Last week, two British fighters paraded on Russian state television after being captured in the southern Ukrainian town of Mariupol. Government Minister Brandon Lewis said he had sympathy for the POWs, but it was illegal for them to have been there.