Russia ‘at the end of its rope’ says Matthew Kroenig

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The Russian TV pundit refused to reveal what caused the injuries on his face while speaking to Ura.ru. A Russian reporter was told it’s “none of their damn business” after querying the change in appearance. He added: “Tell your readers to watch my shows. Everything’s fine.”

In the next show, Mr Solovyov’s facial wounds had disappeared under thick makeup. Twitter users were quick to speculate on how he got the bruises.

Steve Chandler wrote: “The cuts and bruises were erased by a special military operation, sorry special operation.”

While Villa Miami insisted the make up department did a “good job”.

Mihai claimed it “looks like he got drunk and fell”.

Peter Swain added: “I guess it’s not just the grunts who get whacked when they don’t perform.”

It comes as the body of a British aid worker who was reported to have died while being detained by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine shows signs of “possible unspeakable torture”, Ukraine’s foreign minister has said.

Paul Urey, 45, died in captivity in July, according to the human rights ombudsperson for the Moscow-supported leadership in Donetsk.

Daria Morozova, the ombudsperson, branded Mr Urey a “mercenary” and claimed he died in captivity of chronic illnesses and stress.

“From our side, he was given the necessary medical assistance despite the grave crimes he committed,” she added.

However, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday Mr Urey’s body had been returned “with signs of possible unspeakable torture”.

He wrote on Twitter: “Russians have returned the body of a British humanitarian worker Paul Urey whom they captured in April and reported dead due to “illnesses” and “stress” in July. With signs of possible unspeakable torture.

“Detaining and torturing civilians is barbarism and a heinous war crime.

Putin appears to fall asleep during council meeting

“I express my deepest condolences to relatives and close ones of Paul Urie. He was a brave man who dedicated himself to saving people. Ukraine will never forget him and his deeds.

“We will identify perpetrators of this crime and hold them to account. They won’t escape justice.”

Following the news of his death, Mr Urey’s mother Linda Urey expressed her anger, branding the separatists “murderers”, and asking: “Why did you let him die?”

Russian ambassador to the UK Andrei Kelin was summoned to the Foreign Office to face questioning over what happened to Mr Urey, who was detained near the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia in April.

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Liz Truss, who was Foreign Secretary at the time, said she was “shocked” by reports of Mr Urey’s death.

“Russia must bear the full responsibility for this,” she said in a statement.

“Paul Urey was captured while undertaking humanitarian work. He was in Ukraine to try and help the Ukrainian people in the face of the unprovoked Russian invasion.

“The Russian government and its proxies are continuing to commit atrocities. Those responsible will be held to accountable. My thoughts are with Mr Urey’s family and friends at this horrendous time.”

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