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Ukraine: Armed Conflict

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 28404, tabled on 30 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answers of 21 June and 29 June 2022 to Questions 16876 and 24563, on Ukraine: British Nationals Abroad, whether the Memorandum of Understanding between her Department, the National Police Chiefs Council and the Chief Coroner of England and Wales currently applies to the deaths of British citizens killed in the Russian war on Ukraine as (a) civilian casualties and (b) combatants.

Answered on

5 July 2022

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of September 2020 applies when a British national dies as a result of murder, manslaughter or infanticide overseas and for which jurisdiction for the investigation is likely to remain with the authorities in that country. In these circumstances, a coronial investigation in England and Wales will only take place if the body is repatriated, reported to the coroner, and the death is violent, unnatural, or of unknown cause.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office has a role in supporting bereaved families - including families of civilians or combatants who die in Ukraine - and providing information about customs, procedures and support services. Any deaths overseas (including those of combatants) that are not being investigated as a potential homicide fall outside the scope of this MoU. However, the signatories seek to apply the principles set out within it to offer support to bereaved families of combatants where possible.