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British nationals killed ‘attempting humanitarian evacuation from Soledar’, family statement says

According to a family statement, two British nationals were killed trying to evacuate Soledar from Ukraine.

Andrew Bagshaw (48), and Chris Parry (28), were reported missing in the midst of heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian forces on 7 January.

A statement was issued by Mr Parry’s family stating that “His selfless determination to help the old, young, and disadvantaged there has made both us and his greater family extremely proud.”

We never thought we’d be saying goodbye Chris, especially when he was living a full and fulfilling life. He was a caring, loving son and brother.

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“He was drawn to Ukraine by the Russian invasion in March. He helped the most vulnerable, saving more than 400 lives and rescuing many animals.

“It’s impossible to express how much he will be regretted, but he will always be in our hearts.”

Russia’s Wagner Group announced earlier this month that its forces had discovered the body of one worker.

Learn more about Ukraine

Sky News spoke with Mr Parry about his experiences in evacuating people at the front line. This was often in frightening conditions due to Russian artillery bombarding Ukrainian positions.

He was originally from Cornwall and had been working in Cheltenham as a running coach when Russia invaded.

Sky News told him he knew he needed to help.

His brave actions on the front lines saw him rescue residents from Severodonetsk, which was under siege in June. Later, it was reestablished east of Lyman.

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Mr Parry talked to Sky News about his volunteer work in evacuating residents during November 2022

Three days before he disappeared Mr Parry stated that he had to decide between walking and being less visible and driving but being faster and risking being spotted by drones as he made his way into Bakhmut for aid.

Arnaud de Decker, a journalist, described the decision as a “toss up” and said: “You have two options. You can go on foot (which some volunteers do), but that will mean you spend a lot more time there. I feel more vulnerable because you are walking around naked.

“By car you are less of a target but you can fly to your destination and return in just two minutes.

“Hopefully, you can do it quickly enough that the drones don’t spot you. Then you can park it in a building and hide.

“But, yes, there are a lot more volunteers who won’t go anymore, but there’s people out there who want to get outside, so I’m willing.”

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