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'Drugged and robbed' Briton dies of hypothermia in Russia

A British man has been found dead in Russia after reportedly being drugged and robbed by strangers who gave him a lift during a night out.

Nicolas Lazareff, 22, disappeared in the early hours of Thursday morning and his body was discovered on Sunday after he died of hypothermia, his mother said.

Fiona Scott Lazareff told the Times that her son , a dual British and French national who graduated from the University of Manchester, his brother and a friend were evicted from the car on the outskirts of the capital, Moscow.

They had been given beer which had been "spiked" and Mr Lazareff was separated from the other two, who made it back to safety by flagging down a passing car.

The family launched a desperate missing persons appeal on social media, aided by the French and UK embassies.

In a short post on Facebook, Mrs Scott Lazareff said: "For anybody who has not received the tragic news. Our beloved Nicolas was found dead in the early hours of this morning in the suburbs of Moscow. He died of hypothermia.

"Thank you for everybody for your kind words and your support through this nightmare and those of you who helped with the search. A truly sad day."

And she told the newspaper: "It wasn't an official taxi. In Moscow people give each other lifts. They were offered a lift by some people who said they would take them to a party and on the way they were offered a beer which was spiked.

"Luckily the girl, Tatyana, didn't drink the beer as she fell asleep. She was the only one in a fit state to get my other son back.

"For the last few days, his brother and friend had been trying to find him but had no idea where he'd been left."

Mrs Scott Lazareff criticised the response from the Foreign Office and praised Russian police, whom she said had arrested the owner of the car and returned to the location of the robbery.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Following the death of a British national in Russia, we are providing support to the family and are in touch with local authorities."

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