A body has been found in the search for a former British soldier who went missing while fighting in Ukraine.
Daniel Burke, 36, of south Manchester, was reported missing by his family on 16 August after he had travelled to join the fighting in 2022. He was a former paratrooper in the British army.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said on Saturday that officers were working with Burke’s family and the Ukrainian authorities to identify the body found and to bring him back to the UK.
Burke’s mother Diane Sniath told the BBC that “this is the moment I have been dreading”.
His family told the broadcaster that the body was found in Zaporizhzhia, which lies about 43km (27 miles) from the front line.
Last week, Ms Sniath told the Manchester Evening News that Ukrainian police had searched his Zaporizhzhia apartment and found it empty with no signs of a break-in and the door triple locked.
She said authorities in Ukraine were using CCTV to trace his movements on August 11, when he was last seen, and the last time she spoke to him he “sounded on good form”.
Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes of GMP said: “This is an upsetting time for Daniel’s family, we have family liaison officers in contact with the family and offering support.
“My team and I are working with the Ukrainian authorities to make formal identification with a view to repatriating Daniel following that process. Daniel’s family have asked for privacy at this difficult time.”
Burke, who previously served with the Parachute Regiment, told the BBC on August 6 that he planned to join a Ukrainian army unit to fight against Russian forces.
In 2019 he spent eight months in prison accused of terror offences after going to Syria to fight with Kurdish militia against Isis. The charges were dropped in 2020.
And in August, Sam Newey, 22, died while serving on the front line in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, according to his brother, who said he was “proud” of his sibling.
On Saturday, Ukrainian troops have claimed the recapture of Andriivka village from Russia – although Putin’s troops have rubbished these claims. The state of their progress was celebrated by Britain’s most senior military officer, Sir Tony Radakin. He said: “In the north they are holding and fixing Russian forces there and in the south they are making progress between 10 and 20km.”
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, hailed the destruction of a Russian air defence system in the annexed Crimea peninsula, as a Ukrainian minister vowed that “there will be more drones, more attacks, and fewer Russian ships”.
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