Parents of Briton missing in Ukraine speak of feeling ‘raw’ after disappearance

The parents of one of the British men missing in Ukraine have spoken of feeling “raw” following their son’s disappearance.

The country’s national police said Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Christopher Parry, 28, were last seen on Friday.

They were heading to the town of Soledar in the eastern Donetsk region of the country, where heavy fighting is reported, and contact with them was lost.

Christine Parry, the mother of Mr Parry, a humanitarian volunteer, told MailOnline: “It’s all very raw at the moment. We are just trying to inform family members about what is going on.”

His father Robin Parry is reported to have said: “We are all very proud of Chris and the work he has been doing.”

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

He told Sky News last year: “Sometimes, when you see some pretty terrible things it does stay with you.”

Mr Parry said his parents were “proud (but) very concerned” when he told them of his plans to go to Ukraine.

In a statement released by the Foreign Office, his family said: “We are very worried and concerned about the health and whereabouts of Chris right now.

“He is an extraordinary person who is compassionate and caring and would not be dissuaded from his work in Ukraine liberating elderly and disabled people, which we are very proud of.

“We, his family and partner, all love him very much and would be grateful if our privacy could be respected at this difficult time.”

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

A statement on behalf of his parents released to the press said: “Andrew is a very intelligent, independently minded person, who went there as a volunteer to assist the people of Ukraine, believing it to be the morally right thing to do.

“Andrew’s parents love him dearly and are immensely proud of all the work he has been doing delivering food and medicines and assisting elderly people move from near the battlefront of the war.”

Brad Hendrickson, a delivery driver turned evacuation volunteer in Ukraine, told BBC Radio 4’s World At One programme he saw Mr Bagshaw two days before he went missing.

Asked if he has got used to people going missing, Mr Hendrickson said: “No, it’s not something we get used to, it is rare, and it is a big deal.

“And just a day or two before he went missing, we crossed paths again and had a nice little chat, handshake, catch-up – ‘how’s it going, you’re off in this direction, I’m off in this direction’, and so forth.

“And of course, you just expect to see your buddy around.

“I know the road – I was on there, the same one, a day or two prior – it’s hard to hear that he was on a road that obviously, in hindsight, would have been far better to see him not going toward.

“But I mean, that’s the nature of the work and his willingness to get in there and do his part to help people.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the families of two British men who have gone missing in Ukraine.”

It comes after five Britons were released by Russian-backed forces in Ukraine in September.

It is understood that Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner, John Harding, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill were released and flown back to Britain.