Volunteer former soldier named as first Brit killed 'fighting Russia in Ukraine'

28 April 2022, 15:33 | Updated: 28 April 2022, 22:44

British national Scott Sibley (left) has died in Ukraine (stock image).
British national Scott Sibley (left) has died in Ukraine (stock image). Picture: Facebook/Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

A former soldier has been named as the first British national to be killed in Ukraine, with a second British man reported missing.

Scott Sibley, who was "funny as hell" and had a "kind nature" has been named by friends as the Briton who died during the conflict in Ukraine.

It is thought that Mr Sibley and the missing Brit had been fighting against Russian forces as volunteers in support of Ukraine, although the Government has not confirmed the reports.

Tributes have flooded social media following the death of Mr Sibley, who served in the army’s Logistic Support Squadron RLC, based at Chivenor near Barnstaple.

The unit supports the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade. His former squadmates paid tribute to him in a Facebook post on April 25, writing: “This week the Sqn has lost a former serving soldier. A man that showed Commando spirit until the end. RIP. Scott Sibley”

His friend Alex Darwin, who served alongside Mr Sibley, wrote on Facebook: "I’m in complete disbelief. What a pleasure to have served along side you, to know you & to of experienced your kind nature. You was there for me, & I will forever be grateful.

"One hell of a beautiful guy, inside & out!

"Stand down Scott Sibley."

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Scott Sibley has been named as the first Brit to have been killed in Ukraine.
Scott Sibley has been named as the first Brit to have been killed in Ukraine. Picture: Facebook

Marc Collins said: "Scott Sibley you were a good friend, and funny as hell. You will be missed by everyone who ever met you that's for sure. Until the big re-org in the sky brother. Stand down soldier, your duty is over. RIP, It's our stag now."

He was understood to be a part of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG), with members of the gaming community paying tribute to "Sibs".

One wrote: "I only got the opportunity to play a couple of games with Sibs, I knew him mostly from the stream chat, but I do know how much he is loved. Not only by the UK community but also the close friends he made over in Oceania. My thoughts are with all his loved ones at this time."

No details on what Mr Sibley or the missing man had been doing in Ukraine and whether they had been fighting were released by the Foreign Office (FCDO).

An FCDO spokesperson said: "We can confirm that a British national has been killed in Ukraine and are supporting their family."

On the second British man, the FCDO 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."

It is understood Mr Sibley is the first British national to have been killed in Ukraine.

The advice from the UK Government has been that people should not travel to Ukraine to fight, but they can support Ukraine in many other ways.

A number of individuals decided to come anyway and are in the country helping Ukraine's military defence.

Mr Sibley's tragic death comes a week after two Brits were paraded on Russian state TV after being captured by Putin's troops.

Shaun Pinner, from Bedfordshire, and Aiden Aslin, were both detained during the siege for Mariupol, as they fought for its defence against Putin's army.

The pair were shown on Russian TV – and it was unclear if they were under duress – asking to be exchanged for Viktor Medvedchuk, who asked to be swapped on Monday in a video released by Ukrainian authorities that detained him.

Read more: Brits captured in Mariupol's last stand ask to be swapped for politician on Russian TV

Read more: Exclusive: 'Free my British friend who fought for Ukraine's freedom', Truss told

Mr Pinner's family have pleaded for him to be treated under the Geneva Convention.

His friend exclusively told LBC Mr Pinner has been living in Ukraine with his Ukrainian wife for the last few years and had been fighting on the frontline defending what he considers to be his "adopted country".

Speaking directly to the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, the friend, who doesn't want to be named, said: "You need to take a team of your diplomats and speak about this and get this sorted so they, not just Shaun but the other guy too, can be released as soon as possible. Because... it's just going to be a war of propaganda... we need to act now, rather than waiting.

"We don't want Shaun and the other guy as well to become political pawns in the battle and that is what is going to happen... Russia are going to use these two guys to their advantage so we need to get Liz Truss and her diplomatic team to speak to the Ukrainian government and get around that table... and negotiate the situation."

The tragic news of the Brit's death comes as Vladimir Putin threatens to unleash nuclear strikes on allies of Ukraine who "interfere" in his "special operation", which is entering its third month.

The Russian President issued a chilling warning to legislators in a speech in St Petersburg threatening retaliatory strikes.

"If someone from the outside tries to intervene in Ukraine then our response will be lightning fast,” he said.

"We have all the weapons we need for this.

"No one else can brag about weapons, and we won’t brag about them. But we will use them."

The Defence Secretary said he is "not rattled" by Putin's threats, saying Nato "outgun him, outnumber him and have potentially all the capabilities at our disposal".

He said: "I don't fear him, and I think we should be very grateful in this country that we have a nuclear deterrent."