British man dies fighting in Ukraine

A British man has died after travelling to Ukraine to help fight against Russia.

Simon Lingard, 38, from Blackburn, died on 7 November, according to his family.

They wrote on a crowdfunding page for him: "My dad was an inspiration to all who knew him, a real life hero who died fighting for what he believed in."

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They continued: "He was loved and adored by so many, a true representation of what a soldier should be.

"The Ukrainian military have offered to bring him home to England but we need help to show him the respect and adoration he deserves by giving him THE greatest well deserved send-off."

The father of two, who was known to his friends as Grimmy, is believed to be the third Briton to die in the conflict so far.

Jordan Gatley, 24, died in June after leaving the British Army in March. Scott Sibley, 36, died in late April, and was also a former member of the Armed Forces.

A further five Britons were released from Russian detention in Ukraine after a successful prisoner swap in September.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed Shaun Pinner, Aiden Aslin, John Harding, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill had arrived safely back on UK soil.

Tributes to 'modern day warrior'

Members of Mr Lingard's family, friends and neighbours gathered in his hometown on Wednesday evening for a vigil.

His friend Mickii Edwards, who initially flew out to Ukraine with him, gave an emotional speech in his memory.

He described him as a "modern-day warrior" who had a "heart of gold".

"He was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for what was right, no matter what," he said.

Mr Edwards said his friend had been in the British Army for 15 years but was "extremely troubled" when he left.

His ex-wife and mother of his children, Stacey Longworth, told Sky News: "I always thought he was indestructible.

"He was a hero to everyone, he stood up for what he believed in."

Asked why she thought he travelled to the war, she added: "He thought it was wrong and he went to help them."

The war in Ukraine reached a potential turning point on Wednesday after Russia announced it was withdrawing troops from the annexed region of Kherson.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered his troops to withdraw from the west bank of the Dnipro River in the face of Ukrainian attacks near the southwestern city of the same name.

In televised comments, the general said it was no longer possible to supply Kherson city and proposed taking up defensive lines on the eastern bank of the river.

It marks one of Russia's most significant retreats in the war, now nearing the end of its ninth month.

Kherson was annexed along with three other regions - Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia - in September.

Sky News has contacted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for further comment.