The Daily Mail reports:
A British medical student is stranded in Donetsk region after a terrifying ordeal as a captive of pro-Russian rebels, it was revealed today.
His parents and friends are ‘desperate’ over his fate in eastern Ukraine after he was earlier wrongly reported to be dead by a rebel leader, and separately accused of being a ‘spy’.
In fact, he was held for around two weeks as a ‘slave’ before being released from captivity yesterday, it is understood.
Aged 21, Mohammed Yahia Abu El Gasim is British born, of Sudanese parents, living in Hounslow, and is a medical student at Donetsk University.
He today called his parents in London after being released in Amrosievka, 40 miles from Donetsk, but concerns remain about his welfare.
A rescue effort was underway today to locate him and bring him out of rebel-held territory.
He is now believed to be in Donetsk city which is under siege from the Ukrainian army.
A family friend said: ‘He got into an argument because he wasn’t speaking Russian. A rebel patrol picked him up.
‘Then the rebels blogged that his was among the bodies of several “black mercenaries” fighting for the government.
‘The blog showed his passport and said he and the others were all in Ukraine uniforms.
‘But in fact he was alive and was put to work digging trenches.’
If only Comrade Strelkov had known…
In a post on July 28 by rebel commander Igor Strelkov he spoke of ‘mercenaries of the Negro race’ being killed after a battle with Ukrainian forces.
The rebels have made several efforts to prove that U.S. or British mercenaries were deployed by Kiev, and this appeared to be the latest ploy to convince the media this was the case.
Strelkov – accused by Kiev of being a Russian intelligence colonel – in a note to journalists wrote: ‘The commander of the local unit of the Militia is prepared to provide to you, for the purpose of shooting video, the corpses of the killed [mercenaries]. They still lie untouched on the battlefield – specifically so that they can be captured on video. How you manage to make it there is your own concern; however, in this case, I’m providing you with the information.’
However, no images of such corpses were seen and university sources insisted that as of yesterday the student was alive though ‘lost’ in Donetsk.