Thursday, 2 Feb 2023

Brit volunteers died as they rescued woman in Ukraine

Ukraine: Chris Parry details rescue mission before disappearance

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Two British humanitarian volunteers were killed in Ukraine when trying to rescue an elderly woman. The familiies of Andrew Bagshaw and Christopher Parry have paid emotional tributes to them saying that they “saved many lives” and “will be forever in our hearts”.

Mr Bagshaw and Mr Parry went missing earlier this month while heading to the town of Soledar, in the eastern Donetsk region, where heavy fighting took place.

A statement issued by Mr Bagshaw’s family said the pair’s car was hit by an artillery shell while they were attempting to rescue the woman.

Both men had been in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion and had saved hundreds of lives.

A statement from 28-year-old Mr Parry’s family, issued through the Foreign Office, said: “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. 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.”

The statement went on to say: “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.

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

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

His family said: “Andrew selflessly took many personal risks and saved many lives; we love him and are very proud indeed of what he did,” his family said in a statement.

“Andrew, age 47, was single, with a brother, two sisters and seven nephews and nieces.

“He was a scientific researcher in genetics but had been working as a volunteer aid worker in Ukraine since last April.”

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The statement added: “We intend that his death shall not be in vain.

“We are amongst many parents who grieve the deaths of their sons and daughters.

“We urge the civilised countries of the world to stop this immoral war and to help the Ukrainians to rid their homeland of an aggressor.”

Mr Parry was originally from Cornwall and had been working as a running coach in Cheltenham when Russia invaded on February 24 last year.

He ran humanitarian aid missions, including supplying equipment and evacuating civilians caught in the conflict, from the frontline.

He helped to rescue residents from the besieged city of Severodonetsk before it fell under Russian occupation in June, later operating to the east of Lyman.

Wagner Group forces claimed they had found the body of Mr Parry in Soledar, six miles northeast of Bakhmut, on January 11, the week following his disappearance.

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