A BRITISH military volunteer was slain in Ukraine after a year of fighting on the frontlines against Vladimir Putin’s army.
Jay Morais, from Bristol, fought in some of the country’s fiercest engagements in the east, including combat in the besieged city of Bakhmut.
However, Ukraine’s International Legion verified on Tuesday that the 52-year-old died at a hospital in Kharkiv in February, according to The Telegraph.
A spokesman for the unit, set up by Volodymyr Zelensky last year, said: “Sadly, Jay Morais has died in the line of duty.”
Last year, Mr Morais spoke briefly to the newspaper about his experience fighting in Severodonetsk, Donbas, during which several of his companions were killed or injured.
Ukraine battled tooth and claw to preserve the city, but it finally succumbed to Russian forces last year after around four months of fighting.
She told the outlet: “Jay was a very special guy, beautiful and crazy at the same time.
Mr Morais is said to have previously served in the French Foreign Legion in Kosovo and the Ivory Coast before returning to the UK in 2007.
Mr Morais’ death has not been verified, however it is believed he was battling in Bakhmut.
The harrowing images in the ravaged city have been characterised as a “meat grinder” as Ukrainians fight valiantly to protect their homeland.
According to reports, Russia suffered more than 100,000 casualties in the deadly combat, with Zelensky also losing a large number of men.
At least eight more British citizens have been reported slain in Ukraine, including paramedic Jonathan Shenkin.
Before his death in December, the 45-year-old from Glasgow was regarded as a “hero” by his family, who claimed he “made the ultimate sacrifice” by standing up to Putin’s army.
Meanwhile, two more British citizens were slain while attempting to assist individuals fleeing the violence in Ukraine earlier this year in a prisoner swap.
As part of the deal, Ukraine exchanged 63 imprisoned Russians arrested during Putin’s invasion.
Chris Parry, 28, and Andrew Bagshaw, 47, were volunteering in Soledar, Ukraine’s Donetsk area, when their car was apparently damaged by a shell.
Meanwhile, Special Forces Support Group veteran and Afghan War veteran Simon Lingard was killed in combat when a Russian round landed in his trench.
Scott Silbey, a British father, was declared the first UK victim in Ukraine in April.
Former comrades described the British Army veteran, 36, as “the bravest person” they knew.
Jordan Gatley, a British ex-soldier, was slain in the city of Severodonetsk in June.
Jordan, who had left the British Army in March, was described as “truly a hero” following his death.
Craig Stanley Mackintosh, a volunteer medic, was killed while on patrol in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city.
The 48-year-old landscape gardener and father of four spent seven years in the Territorial Army.
The Foreign Office advises against all travel to Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion saying there is a “real risk to life”.
The Sun has approached the Foreign Office for comment.