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Craig Mackintosh father of four killed by Russians in Ukraine, Natasha Lovett

BY Muhammad Noman Sep 02, 2022. 06:41 pm

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A British volunteer physician who died in Ukraine while serving as a volunteer has revealed how his grieving girlfriend begged him to avoid the war-torn nation in vain.

Craig Mackintosh, 48, was shot dead by Russian troops on Wednesday of last week, and his partner Natasha Lovett, 40, said she had been left “devastated” by his passing.

She disclosed that he had been determined to aid the Ukrainian people by applying the medical expertise he had acquired throughout his more than 20-year tenure in the Territorial Army.

After refusing Natasha’s and his family’s pleas to stay back home, Mr. Mackintosh, a jobless gardener from Thetford, Norfolk, who had two kids and two stepdaughters, was slain during his second tour of duty in Ukraine.

He was an unpaid volunteer who was still getting benefits from the UK while fighting alongside a group of foreign soldiers in eastern Ukraine.

Mother-of-two Natasha revealed in an exclusive interview with MailOnline: “I tried all I could to dissuade him from going out there.”

I was aware of how risky it would be. I sobbed and argued with him, but he wouldn’t budge.

‘He was trying to make me understand so much why he had to go. He would say that it would all be worth it if he could pass on his training to just one person, so they could help others.

‘That is all he wanted to do. He just wanted to make a difference. He struggled over here sometimes – and going to Ukraine was a purpose for him.

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‘He was not working over here when he went out. He has had a hard life with some really rough handouts over the years and he bounced back every time.

‘Now that he has been killed, I think I do understand, but accepting it is something different. I have lost the man I loved.’

Mother-of-two Initially departing for Ukraine on March 24, Natasha said her partner was there as a front-line combat medic for six weeks before returning on leave.

However, she claimed that he was “riddled with remorse” at abandoning his friends and was adamant about returning.

She described how she and his family begged him to stay in Norfolk once more, but at the beginning of August, he returned to Ukraine, saying, “Just think of “Arnie” in Terminator. I’ll be back.”

On October 3, he made a commitment to permanently return home, but while attempting to save a wounded comrade who had been in a car hit by a tank shell near Barvinkove in Ukraine’s Kharkiv Oblast, he was shot in the neck in a Russian ambush.

He would talk to anyone since he enjoyed social interaction. He would always greet people with “Good morning” or “Afternoon.”

He was a total gentleman, and I am certain that he loved me with every fibre of his body, just as I did him. I have to cling to that in order to survive.

It’s great to see him in the news and on television when you first wake up in the morning. I’m obviously in mourning, but it’s good to see that he’s remembered.

He never gave himself that much thought. He was constantly concerned about other people. He occasionally struggled with low self-esteem.

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He is a hero, but even prior to his journey to the Ukraine, he was already my hero. He has helped me through some really trying moments, and I have also helped him.

He wasn’t receiving pay there. He gave of his time. They gave him food and cigarettes over there, but he was living off of the money he received every two weeks.

He was saving up cash to purchase a flight back on October 3.

Having been in a number of ‘on and off’ relationships with Mr. Mackintosh over the past 20 years, Natashsa, who is a full-time caregiver for her special needs son Alfie, 12, stated that they had rekindled their connection at the beginning of this year.

‘We bickered about it and had some run-ins, but I just could not stop him, although I know he had every intention of coming back to me.

‘He saw what was happening over there on the news, and he just said that he wanted to go over there and do something.

‘It is just the sort of person Craig was. It is just what he wanted to do. He made some really good friends over there.

‘I spent some amazing months with him before he went back and 90% of the time he was with me, and the rest of the time was with his family.

‘I know it sounds selfish, but I was his number one. I was the most important person to him at that time.

‘He would never watch the news when he came back. If anything came on the news or the radio, he would just switch it off.

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‘Even when he was away and I didn’t know where he was, he would say, “Please don’t watch the news”’.

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