'Real life hero': Family pays tribute to Brit ex special forces soldier killed fighting Russians in Ukraine

9 November 2022, 15:55 | Updated: 10 November 2022, 12:16

Simon Lingard went to fight in Ukraine
Simon Lingard went to fight in Ukraine. Picture: GoFundMe

By Emma Soteriou

A British man has died after joining the war against Russia in Ukraine.

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Simon Lingard died on November 7, his family announced.

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

"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."

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Within five hours of the GoFundMe page being launched, the family was able to surpass their goal of £6,000, gaining support from over 186 people.

Mr Lingard is the fourth British national to die so far in the conflict, it is understood.

Jordan Gatley, 24, died in June after leaving the British Army three months earlier.

Meanwhile, 36-year-old Scott Sibley died in late April.

British aid worker Paul Urey also died after being detained by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine.

The 45-year-old had been charged with "mercenary activities" in the breakaway Donetsk region as part of pro-Russian propaganda efforts.

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It comes as Russian forces have begun withdrawing from the annexed region of Kherson.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered troops to retreat from the west bank of the Dnipro River amid Ukrainian attacks near the southwestern city.

In televised comments, Russia's top commander in Ukraine, General Sergei Surovikin, said it was no longer possible to supply Kherson city.

"We will save the lives of our soldiers and fighting capacity of our units," he said.

"Keeping them on the right [Western] bank is futile. Some of them can be used on other fronts."

Shoigu told him: "I agree with your conclusions and proposals.

"Proceed with the withdrawal of troops and take all measures to transfer forces across the river."

The Kherson region is one of four provinces of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed and subsequently placed under Russian martial law.

The Russian military has concentrated much of its firepower on securing control of the others - Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated that the return of all occupied territory was a condition for any peace talks with Russia.