Freed British Hostage Dylan Healy was working as an Aid worker along with Paul Urey when they were ambushed in war-torn Ukraine. Defence of the country from Vladimir Putin’s invasion continues.
Paul Urey, a tragic relief worker, tragically told his daughters, “I love you very much.”
Sadly, Paul, 45, passed away in Ukraine after being tortured alongside his 22-year-old British friend Dylan Healy.
Freed British Hostage, Dylan comforted Courtney and Chelsea, who had lost their father, by saying, “Your dad loved you and thought about you every day.”
A liberated Briton has spoken out about his ordeal at the hands of Russian troops, which included a mock death and severe torture.
During a rescue mission in Ukraine, Dylan Healy and Paul Urey were attacked, forced to exit their vehicles, and eventually made to kneel by the side of the road.
At that moment, Dylan saw one of the soldiers cock his gun and knew something terrible was about to happen. The man then shot into the ground in between them as part of a twisted joke, and the two men were taken away in handcuffs.
After all they went through, they made a pact to tell each other’s families if anything ever happened to them.
Dylan honoured his word during an emotional visit with his friend Paul’s daughters, ages 17 and 21, after Paul, a father of four, had passed away in captivity.
They only met a few days earlier, when Dylan had to grimly describe how he and Paul had been tortured, but he also had a special message for the girls.
According to 22-year-old Dylan’s Sunday Mirror interview, he and his boyfriend Paul made a pact to notify each other’s families in the event of an emergency.
To his loved ones, he said, “Let them know I love them, that I thought of them every day.” I never expected to have to do it; after we were taken, I was sure we were both going to die.
Dylan was able to inform Chelsea and Courtney that Paul had been given insulin by the Russians because he had diabetes.
And he said to the ladies, “He was desperate to make it home to see you.”
It was tough hearing what Dad went through, but at least we know the truth now,” Courtney said.
Some claimed he had been dismembered at one point. The good news is that while appalling, it is not true.
The Foreign Office refused to pay to have his body returned, so she and Chelsea, both from Warrington, had to come up with £10,000.
Paul’s body has arrived in the United Kingdom, where he will undergo a postmortem examination before being laid to rest.
Freed British Hostage, Dylan, who claims to be suffering from survivor’s remorse over Paul’s death, gave the final £60 to help them reach their goal.
Meeting his daughters made him anxious, but he says the experience was “wonderful,” adding, “It seemed like I’ve known them for years.”
I’m so glad we heard it from him and not someone else,” Chelsea said after the meeting.
We didn’t want Dylan to feel like he was under any sort of duress or interrogation, so we refrained from pressing the issue. It’s great that he finally agreed to meet with us.
Dylan has been invited to Paul’s funeral by his sisters.
In an effort to coerce a confession out of him, Dylan claims his captors beat him with batons, tortured him with electric prongs, and waterboarded him on September 21.
He said, “All the gunman had to do was pull the trigger and we were gone” in reference to the simulated shooting. There was complete silence between us. When he asked if there was anything else we wanted to say, we declined.
Then he aimed his gun towards the mud right between us and let it rip. Paul remarked, “That was a tight one.”
It was a horrifying beginning to the months of abuse that would culminate in Paul’s death on July 10th.
Captors said it was due to “stress and medical reasons,” but Ukraine claimed to have found evidence of torture when they examined the remains.
On February 24th, 2019, Russia attacked Ukraine, forever altering Dylan’s life.
He was a chef at a hotel in Ely, Cambridgeshire, and a die-hard Arsenal fan. Dylan, who had previously only been in the Army Cadets, joined the Ukrainian Foreign Legion in protest against Vladimir Putin’s assault. Helen and Cliff supported him fully.
According to Freed British Hostage, Dylan, his family was encouraging: “Go, do it – just make sure to come home.” Their bodies were cold, yet mom broke down in tears at the train station.
On March 15th, he took a flight from Luton to Poland and was met at the Ukrainian border by cheering migrants.
Freed British Hostage, Dylan was accepted for the Foreign Legion, but he later backed out because he was concerned about the lack of discipline and preparation among the troops.
After being turned down for service in the French Foreign Legion due to health concerns, he decided to join the assistance community instead.
They bonded over a shared love of football and the fact that they were both adopted, which helped them work together to save Ukrainians in peril.
In May, they were abducted while travelling the 460 miles from Odesa to Zaporizhzhia to save a mother and her two young children.
It took them nine hours to drive through a 50-yard minefield, but by sticking to the roads they were able to make it.
They told their loved ones, “If we don’t make it out, know it was worth it.” before making the trip.
Then, after passing a Russian checkpoint 30 minutes from their goal, they were detained by a soldier.
They were forced to exit the car and go through the simulated killing process.
When he realised he wasn’t going to survive, Dylan says, “My final thought was that I wanted to contact my mate Paddy and say he was a good friend and I wasn’t going to make it.”
After the encounter, the two were handcuffed, placed in sacks over their heads, and brought to a facility in the vicinity of Mariupol.
Dylan claims the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) abused him for days in isolated cells.
“There was no panic, I was resigned,” he explains. I knew that crying wouldn’t help the situation. When you slept, they would yell at you.
Freed British Hostage explains “I was given a waterboard. They had me lie down on a table and then stuffed a rag into my mouth, filling it with water until I began to choke.
Paul denied experiencing anything similar when I asked him about it. They were concerned that we might be British spies and hence wanted to know how we’d gotten behind enemy lines.
Daily beatings occurred on a consistent basis. My ribs were fractured by their antique police batons.
Tasering is a favourite pastime of the Russians; they used to have these long prongs that they inserted under the skin. Paul had been Tasered before, and the experience had been “easier than he had anticipated.”
The two were crammed into cells no bigger than a double bed and shipped off to the phoney Donetsk People’s Republic.
Artists like AC/DC, Rammstein, and Slipknot, among others, were played loudly on the speakers. A four-hour loop of 63 tracks served as Dylan’s timekeeper.
Dylan claims he was Tased multiple times throughout his stay there.
When he and Paul were transferred to a Makiivka prison in June, they were given toothbrushes and TV privileges.
In that room, they found out that other hostages Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner had been executed. Dylan reflects, “The verdicts did not surprise me, and I knew we were in a horrible situation.”
You can try to reason things out with Shaun and he’ll listen. He’s the same way; he rarely sheds a tear. The cliches of British humour saw us through.
Freed British Hostage, Dylan notes that Paul was “silent and really struggling” in another cage.
On July 8, the two were hauled into a prosecutor’s office and charged with “mercenary operations.”
In addition to the death punishment, Dylan was given a 14-year prison sentence, while Paul was given a 7-year sentence.
To “minimise risk to ourselves,” as Dylan puts it, they signed a confession while being held in a room with armed guards.
Even yet, they were beaten. When Paul became ill in the van on the way back to jail, he was removed from the vehicle.
To quote Dylan: “They did something to make him scream for 10, 20 seconds. There’s no way I’ll ever hear another human being scream like that again. As far as I know, that was the last time I encountered a living Paul.
Two days later, as Paul started coughing and choking, fellow British prisoner John Harding called for help.
After that, we declared Paul dead,” Dylan explains. I just couldn’t process it. I wish I could have exchanged places with him right away; he was that terrific of a friend.
He claims that the captives were then given a salad and extra water and the beatings halted.
On August 15, Dylan and four others appeared in a “circus” court, when he changed his plea to not guilty on charges of being a mercenary and “undergoing training to grab power by force.” The trial was postponed for further consideration.
Just before he was finally freed, he hit rock bottom.
Dylan was “cuffed, bagged, and gagged,” suffocating in a van with 20 other people for 18 hours while he feared he was being taken to his death.
The right hook to the face was the best he had ever gotten, he says with a shudder. I was afraid we’d all perish together in a ditch or a mass grave.
After being told they were safe by Saudi Arabian authorities, he, John, Shaun, Aiden, and fellow Brit Andrew Hill ended up at a Russian airstrip.
Former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who reportedly negotiated their release, boarded the plane with them.
They got from Saudi Arabia to Heathrow by way of that country.
Freed British Hostage, Dylan is home with his mom and dad and their labradoodle Arthur, and he’s taking his time figuring out what happened.
He says, “I can’t get rid of the feeling of hyper-alertness. I can’t sleep since I’ve spent the past five months analysing every nuance.
In fact, he will run across Chelsea and Courtney once more at Paul’s burial. Additionally, he says, “I’ll surely stay in touch.
They’re going through something totally different, and all I can do is attempt to help them, but this is far from done for them or for any of us.
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