Samuel Newey: British student, 22, from Solihull ‘killed in action’ fighting for Ukraine

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In a tribute, Samuel’s brother Daniel said he was “an exceptional man, a good soldier, and one of the bravest people I ever had the privilege of knowing”

A British student has been “killed in action” while fighting for Ukraine, his family have said.

Samuel Newey, 22, is understood to have left his home in Solihull in the West Midlands shortly after Russia first invaded Ukraine in early 2022. He served in a group of foreign volunteers called the ‘Dark Angels’, which fought in some of the fiercest battles in the southern region - including in Kherson.

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Confirming his death on Thursday (31 August), Samuel’s brother Daniel wrote on Facebook: “My little brother Sam was killed in action yesterday in Eastern Ukraine. I cannot put into words how broken I feel. I also cannot emphasise how proud I am of my little brother.”

He said that Samuel, a student, had just turned 21 when he “decided to answer the call and travel to Ukraine to push back against Russian Imperialism.” Daniel continued: “Sam, you gave your life for people you never knew and acted with courage, morality, and honour.

“Not only are you my little brother, but you’re an exceptional man, a good soldier, and one of the bravest people I ever had the privilege of knowing. Thank you so much for being part of my life for these 22 years. I love you always brother.”

Samuel Newey. Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA WireSamuel Newey. Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Samuel Newey. Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire | Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

A spokesperson for the UK’s Foreign Office has said it is providing support to the family of a British man “following his death in Ukraine.”

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Samuel is the ninth known Briton to have been killed in Ukraine since the conflict broke out last February. British nationals Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Christopher Parry, 28, were killed attempting a humanitarian evacuation from the town of Soledar in the eastern Donetsk region this January.

Tributes to Samuel from friends and family have been appeared under Daniel’s social media post, with one reading: “So sorry, mate. I only knew Sam for a short time but every time I spoke to him he was a proper genuine bloke, asking after my kids while he was on the front and always trying to better himself with potential job opportunities.

“Sam was a true warrior, a hero to the people.”

In 2020, Samuel and his father Paul were charged with terrorism offences in relation to brother Daniel’s decision to join the Kurdish YPG militia, to fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

It was alleged that Paul had funded terrorism by giving £150 to Daniel, and that Samuel had “assisted” Daniel in preparing for acts of terrorism - despite the fact that Daniel’s Kurdish-led military unit was backed by Britain and being trained by the SAS. The Kurdish YPG were the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Western ally against Islamic State which was supported by the UK Government.

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The case eventually collapsed and all charges were dropped, with no further action taken. Paul said at the time that he “could not understand” why the Crown Prosecution Serice had classed forces fighting against Islamic State as terrorists.

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