Two British citizens, Andrew Bagshaw and Chris Parry, flew out of city of Kramatorsk at 8 am on January 6 and headed east to the front line. of Ukrainian war with Russia, reported the Ukrainian police.
Their mission, according to a help desk employee, an acquaintance with The point was to evacuate an elderly woman in Soledar, and small a city where Russian and Ukrainian troops fought a fierce battle. fight.
They never returned.
Questions about their fate persisted until Tuesday, when Mr. Parry family confirmed in a statement released through the UK Foreign Office that “our beloved Chrissie” and Mr. Bagshaw were killed “while attempting a humanitarian evacuation from Soledar”.
“His selfless determination in help old, young and there are the dispossessed made us and more of it family extremely proud,” the statement said.
menx vehicle considered to have been hit artillery shell, although an investigation was ongoing, Mr. Bagshaw parents said in news the conference. According to them, they were afraid of such an outcome, but were “very, very proud.” of his work.
Mr Bagshaw, 47, and Mr Parry, 28, were part of of special cohort of Foreigners with almost not combat experience who According to acquaintances, they helped to evacuate civilians from the front line. Some of The evacuation of Mr. Parry and Mr. Bagshaw was documented by journalists including Arnaud de Decker, who general footage of Mr Perry in Bahmut days before he went missing.
Their deaths were a harsh reminder of in danger facing those whose work became a lifeline in Donbass, where many Ukrainians are stuck in some of the worst war zones Europe has seen since World War II.
January 6 two men “Went to a really dangerous address,” said Grzegorz Rybak, a fellow foreign volunteer. who have worked with both men and lived with Mr. Bagshaw in Kramatorsk for two weeks. “And they didn’t come back”.
PMC Wagner, famous mercenary group struggle on on behalf of of Russia, which declared a week after their disappearance, found one of in the body. group posted photos on Telegram of what turned out to be their passports, together with certificate certifying that Mr. Parry is a volunteer with The Pavel Vishnyakov Foundation, a Kyiv-based charity that donates resources, including food and medicine, to civilians, hospitals and military groups. foundation declined to comment.
Wagner’s claim could not be verified at the time, and the Russian state media has since claimed, without proof, that men were mercenaries.
War in Ukraine is a humanitarian problem. Terms in some areas are too dangerous for residents to stay put or for many international organizations allow their staff for venture insaid Abby Stoddard, humanitarian policy analyst.
So some of the most dangerous evacuations out independent volunteers -in in other words, those who have the least amount of resources to maintain people safe,” Ms Stoddard said.
Brian Stern, USA veteran who co-founder of humanitarian rescue operation, described frontline evacuation efforts in Ukraine as “free-for-everything.” While foreign volunteers came to Ukraine with good intentionsAccording to him, most of them “do not understand what they are doing.”
“That’s why it’s sad story,” he said.
Mr Perry was software engineer who wanted travel around the world family said.
In early January, he told the local BBC station. in Cornwall, where he grew up that he “knew nothing” about Ukraine until invasion but “became obsessed” with help. He intended to recruit with foreign fighters, but without having combat experience, instead bought a van and started working as a tow truck driver last March.
Instagram post made days after his arrival, Mr. Parry wrote that he was wary of his planned trip to Kharkiv because “everyone I have spoken to about it believes that there is a very strong chance of to me dying”.
Mr Bagshaw was a British genetics researcher. who was between jobs last Spring in Christchurch, New Zealand, when he decided to go to Ukraine, photojournalist who met He wrote in New Zealand Gazette in October. His family told reporters that he thought “this is the morally right thing to do”.
Mr Rybak, who translated for volunteers, stated that their special operation was mainly carried out out on small community of English speakers in Kramatorsk. According to him, neither Mr. Parry nor Mr. Bagshaw speak Ukrainian or Russian.
Mr. Rybak said Ukrainians would contact local aid workers about relatives near Bakhmut and their addresses would be given to volunteers. who would drive to the conflict zone for their evacuation, often in donated or raised through crowdfunding vehicles. The trips were unpredictable, said Mr. Rybak, with addresses are sometimes empty or residents resist evacuation.
men had plans for after the war. Mr Perry had a partner whom he wanted marry, Mr. Rybak recalled, and Mr. Bagshaw wanted carry on with his academic career.
“They are wanted to live,” he said.
Thomas Gibbons-Neff made a report.