Missing British pair killed in Ukraine, families say

Family members say the pair had been trying to rescue an elderly woman, after travelling to the area to take part in efforts to bring people out of the war zone and to safety. John Ray reports

Two British nationals were killed while attempting a "humanitarian evacuation" in Ukraine, family members have said.

Andrew Bagshaw, 47, 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 reported.

On Tuesday, Mr Parry's family confirmed the men were killed, in a statement released through the Foreign Office. The exact circumstances around their deaths are unknown.

The statement from 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."

Mr Parry's family described him as a "confident, outward-looking and adventurous young man who was loyal to everyone he knew".

The statement added: "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."

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

Days before Mr Parry was reported missing, he was recorded speaking with Arnaud De Decker, a freelance journalist, where he explained his role volunteering as an "evacuation driver" in eastern Bakhmut - a town which has seen fierce fighting in recent months.

Asked what it took to visit Bakhmut when other volunteers would refuse to travel there, Mr Parry said: "Yeah, it's a toss up. You can either go on foot, which is what some volunteers do.

"But that means you're spending a lot more time there and I feel more vulnerable because you are literally just walking around completely naked.

"By car you're more of a target, but you can fly to a destination in two minutes and fly back out in two minutes...but a lot of volunteers won't go anymore, but there are people there who want to get out, so I'm willing to go."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.

Mr Bagshaw, a resident of New Zealand, had been volunteering as an aid worker in Ukraine since last April, according to a statement issued from his parents, Dame Sue and professor Phil Bagshaw.

"Andrew selflessly took many personal risks and saved many lives; we love him and are very proud indeed of what he did," the statement read.

"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 civilized countries of the world to stop this immoral war and to help the Ukrainians to rid their homeland of an aggressor."

"Might is Not Right; Freedom is Indivisible. 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."

Mr Bagshaw's family is asking for donations in memory of him to be made to either the Children’s Hospital in Kyiv or the UAnimals charity.

It was one of the biggest news stories of our time - and it's still not over. So what did Boris Johnson know about Downing Street’s notorious parties? With fresh revelations from our Number 10 sources, in their own words, listen to the inside story...