A BRIT has died after travelling to Ukraine to help the fight against Russia as tributes were paid to him as a “true soldier” and “real life hero”.
Simon Lingard died “fighting for what he believed in” according to his family – with the Ukrainian military due to return his body to the UK.
His family confirmed Mr Lingard – known as Grimmy – died on November 7.
“My Dad was an inspiration to all who knew him, a real life hero who died fighting for what he believed in,” they wrote.
“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.”
More than £6,000 has been raised to honour Mr Lingard as family and friends paid tribute to him.
It comes as Vladimir Putin’s troops have withdrawn from a key Ukrainian city in a move dubbed a “black page for Russia” by pro-Kremlin sources.
Russian forces have reportedly been forced out of the southern city of Kherson, gateway to Crimea and the largest city of one of the four territories annexed in September.
Putin’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Wednesday ordered his troops out of the city and across the Dnipro River to take up defensive lines.
In a meeting of senior military officials, General Sergei Surovikin, Russia’s commander in Ukraine, said it was no longer possible to continue supplying the city.
He said: “In these circumstances, the most sensible option is to organise the defence along a barrier line along the river Dnipro.”
It marks one of Russia’s most significant retreats since the start of the war and a potential turning point in the conflict that has raged since late February.
A pro-Kremlin blogger wrote on the messaging app Telegram: “This is a black page in the history of the Russian army. Of the Russian state. A tragic page.”