2 British Volunteers Killed During Ukraine Rescue

Men had been evacuating civilians from frontline areas
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2023 6:47 PM CST
2 British Aid Workers Killed in Ukraine
Smoke raises after shelling in Soledar, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.   (AP Photo/Libkos)

Britain's Foreign Office has confirmed the deaths of two British citizens who had been carrying out risky evacuations of civilians from frontline areas in Ukraine. Chris Parry, 28, and Andrew Bagshaw, 47, were last seen on Jan. 6 heading to Soledar in eastern Ukraine, where there has been heavy fighting in recent weeks, to rescue an elderly woman, the Guardian reports. Bagshaw's family says the men's car was hit by an artillery shell during the humanitarian evacuation. "Andrew selflessly took many personal risks and saved many lives; we love him and are very proud indeed of what he did," his parents said in a statement. "The world needs to be strong and stand with Ukraine, giving them the military support they need now, and help to rebuild their shattered country after the war."

Bagshaw, a dual British-New Zealand citizen, had been in Ukraine since April. Parry "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," his family said. "It is impossible to put into words how much he will be missed but he will forever be in our hearts." Days before he disappeared, Parry told the BBC that his biggest motivation was helping children. "To be able to get them out of these war-torn areas, it makes it definitely more worthwhile than anything else that I can imagine," he said.

Parry, who had been working as a running coach before he went to Ukraine, also discussed the hazards of evacuation work, saying it was a "toss-up" between going slowly on foot or going quickly in a car, but he preferred to go by car despite the risk of being spotted by drones. "Hopefully you can just do it quick enough so that the drones don't spot you and then you can just park it in a building and hide," he said, per Sky News. "But yeah, a lot of volunteers won't go any more but there are people there who want to get out, so I'm willing to go." (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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