KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Friends and volunteers gathered in Kyiv’s St Sophia’s Cathedral on Sunday to say goodbye to volunteer Andrew Bagshaw who was killed with his colleague Christopher Parry while they were evacuating people from a front-line Ukrainian town.
Bagshaw, 48, a New Zealand-British joint national, and Briton Parry, 28, went missing earlier this month while heading to the town of Soledar, in the eastern Donetsk region, where heavy fighting was taking place.
Volunteers spoke of their memories of Bagshaw and read out tributes from his family.
Nikolletta Stoyanova, a friend of Bagshaw’s, spoke afterwards of his bravery.
“Even if no one wanted to go to Soledar, they can’t do it. Because if he understood that someone needs help, they need to do this help for these people,” Stoyanova said.
Bagshaw’s father, Phil, told reporters in New Zealand that his son wanted to do something to help.
“He was a very intelligent man, and a very independent thinker,” he said. “And he thought a long time about the situation in Ukraine, and he believed it to be immoral. He felt the only thing he could do of a constructive nature was to go there and help people.”
Ukrainian police said on Jan. 9 that they had lost contact with Bagshaw and Perry after they headed for Soledar. Their bodies were later recovered.
In a statement released earlier this week, Parry’s family said he had been “drawn to Ukraine in March in its darkest hour.” It added that he’d “helped those most in need, saving over 400 lives plus many abandoned animals.”
Friends said that the volunteers’ bodies will be handed over to their families in the U.K.
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