British volunteers Chris Parry and Andrew Bagshaw have been killed during a humanitarian evacuation mission in the eastern Ukrainian town of Soledar, according to a statement from the Parry family, which was released Tuesday by the UK foreign office. Bagshaw was a dual national of New Zealand.
“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,” the Parry family statement 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,” 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. It is impossible to put into words how much he will be missed but he will forever be in our hearts,” it said.
“We feel so privileged that he chose our family to be part of,” the statement said, which was signed by family members Rob, Christine, and Katy Parry.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has requested privacy for the family at this time.
More on this case: The families of both men had previously said the two had gone to Ukraine to work as humanitarian volunteers. CNN has seen no evidence they participated in hostilities in Ukraine.
On Jan. 9, Ukrainian police reported that they were searching for Bagshaw and Parry. Ukrainian police noted that the two Britons “left Kramatorsk for Soledar” — the scene of intense recent fighting — “and contact with them was lost,” CNN previously reported.
CNN’s Seb Shukla, Mick Krever, Anna Chernova and Eve Brennan contributed reporting to this post.