Two British nationals have gone missing in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine, Ukrainian police have said.
The men, aged 28 and 48, were doing voluntary work, police said, and were last seen on Friday heading to the town of Soledar – where fighting has been intense in recent days.
There has been no contact with them since.
A Foreign Office spokesman said it was “supporting the families of two British men who have gone missing in Ukraine”.
The police department in the city of Bakhmut said they received a missing person’s report at 17:15 local time on Saturday, and appealed for any information that could help locate the two men. The men had been in Kramatorsk, where there have been reports of strikes in recent days.
Earlier on Monday, Ukraine’s military said it was strengthening its forces in Soledar – a small town near Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region – in an attempt to fight constant attacks there by Russian mercenary group Wagner.
The leader of the group has vowed to capture the area’s huge underground mines.
Ukraine’s military said in a statement: “The enemy again made a desperate attempt to storm the city of Soledar from different directions and threw the most professional units of the Wagnerites into battle.”
The British Foreign Office (FCDO) is warning against all travel to Ukraine due to attacks on a number of different cities currently taking place, as the war against Russia continues into its 11th month.
The FCDO says there is a “real risk to life”, adding British nationals still in Ukraine should leave immediately.
There have been several cases of Britons going missing or being captured in Ukraine over the last year.
Last September, five British nationals who were being held by Russian-backed forces were released after Saudi Arabia said it had brokered an exchange between Russia and Ukraine of 10 detainees.
This meant Aiden Aslin, John Harding, Dylan Healy, Andrew Hill and Shaun Pinner were all allowed to return home following months of capture.__BBC.com