A British man has been killed in Ukraine and a second British citizen is missing, the Foreign Office said.
Tributes have been paid to Scott Sibley, who has been named locally as the man who had died, while the identity of the missing person is unknown.
Sibley is understood to be a veteran of the British Army. He is the first British citizen known to have been killed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion.
It is believed that he and the missing person were fighting the invading Russian forces as volunteers supporting the Ukrainian army, although this has not been confirmed.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We can confirm that a British citizen was killed in Ukraine and is supporting his family.”
The spokesman also confirmed that a British citizen was missing and said he was “urgently seeking further information”.
The Foreign Ministry did not provide details of what the couple had been doing in Ukraine or where they were. He also did not say when the man was killed or the other disappeared.
Several people have posted tributes to Mr Sibley on Facebook in recent days, with friends and former soldiers referring to the “fallen hero” and “an unbelievably beautiful guy”.
Mr Sibley’s former regiment, the Logistics Support Squadron, paid tribute to him, writing on Facebook: “This week the Sqn has lost an ex-soldier in service. A man who showed Command spirit to the end. RIP. Scott Sibley,” he wrote.
A GoFundMe page was created on Wednesday to raise money for his funeral. The page had raised £1,230 of a £5,000 goal.
Organizer Craig Gant said Mr. Sibley “was a friend like no other and the bravest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, he was as good as a brother to me.”
Another fundraiser was organized by a woman who said that Mr. Sibley had been part of an online community based on the video game PUBG. The fundraising campaign is for the benefit of Victoria Sibley, who is believed to be Mr Sibley’s wife, and has so far raised £250 of her £2000 target.
The Foreign Office has been advising British citizens not to travel to Ukraine since February, warning of a real risk to life.
Several British citizens 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 Defense Ministry said “a small number” of soldiers had left despite orders not to travel to Ukraine.
The ministers’ advice was confusing at first. Liz Truss initially said that she “would absolutely support” British citizens joining the Ukrainian forces.
But she retracted this statement less than a fortnight after Ben Wallace, the defense secretary, said he “didn’t want to see British people 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 city of Mariupol. Government Minister Brandon Lewis said he sympathized with the prisoners of war, but it was illegal for them to have been there.