British aid workers killed in Ukraine ‘while attempting humanitarian evacuation’

Christopher Parry, 28, and Andrew Bagshaw, 48, went missing earlier this month  (ES Composite)
Christopher Parry, 28, and Andrew Bagshaw, 48, went missing earlier this month (ES Composite)

The families of two British nationals missing in Ukraine have confirmed they were killed while attempting a “humanitarian evacuation”.

Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Christopher Parry, 28, went missing earlier this month while heading to the town of Soledar in the eastern Donetsk region of the country, where heavy fighting was taking place.

On Tuesday, their families paid tribute to them while confirming they were killed while attempting to evacuate civilians.

Chris Parry (via REUTERS)
Chris Parry (via REUTERS)

The pair were trying to rescue an elderly woman when their car was hit by an artillery shell.

In a statement released through the Foreign Office, Rob, Christine and Katy Parry said: “It is with great sadness we have to announce that our beloved Chrissy has been killed along with his colleague Andrew Bagshaw whilst attempting a humanitarian evacuation from Soledar, eastern Ukraine.

“His selfless determination in helping the old, young and disadvantaged there has made us and his larger family extremely proud.

“We never imagined we would be saying goodbye to Chris when he had such a full life ahead of him.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

“He was a caring son, fantastic brother, a best friend to so many and a loving partner to Olga.

“Chris was a confident, outward looking and adventurous young man who was loyal to everyone he knew.

“He lived and worked away as a software engineer but Cornwall was always his home. He loved rock climbing, cycling, running and skydiving and wanted to travel the world.

“He found himself drawn to Ukraine in March in its darkest hour at the start of the Russian invasion and helped those most in need, saving over 400 lives plus many abandoned animals.

Andrew Bagshaw (via REUTERS)
Andrew Bagshaw (via REUTERS)

“It is impossible to put into words how much he will be missed but he will forever be in our hearts.

“We feel so privileged that he chose our family to be part of.”

Mr Parry, who was reportedly born in Truro, Cornwall, but later moved to Cheltenham, had previously spoken of evacuating people from the front line.

Mr Bagshaw, a resident of New Zealand, was in Ukraine to assist in delivering humanitarian aid, according to New Zealand media reports.

Andrew Bagshaw, pictured a month before his disappearance near Soledar (via REUTERS)
Andrew Bagshaw, pictured a month before his disappearance near Soledar (via REUTERS)

In a statement released via news outlets on Tuesday, his parents, Dame Sue and professor Phil Bagshaw, said: “He and a colleague, Chris Parry, were attempting to rescue an elderly woman from Soledar, in an area of intense military action, when their car was hit by an artillery shell.

“Andrew selflessly took many personal risks and saved many lives; we love him and are very proud indeed of what he did.”

Russia’s Wagner Group said earlier this month that its forces had found the body of one of the workers who had been reported missing.

Ukrainian police have said the two left the city of Kramatorsk for the town of Soledar on January 6 and were reported missing the next evening after contact with them was lost.