12 Jan 2023

Russian military firm claims to have found body of aid worker in Ukraine

11:12 am on 12 January 2023
Andrew Bagshaw in Ukraine.

Andrew Bagshaw who is missing in Ukraine. Photo: Supplied/Grzegorz Rybak

A private military firm has reportedly found the body of one of two voluntary aid workers reported missing in eastern Ukraine.

Russia's Wagner Group said it had found documents belonging to both aid workers on the body.

A photo posted alongside the statement, which was made in a Telegram chat group and reposted by various accounts on social media, shows two passports, one bearing Andrew Bagshaw's name, and the other, that of British man Christopher Parry.

Kiwi KARE (Aid and Refugee Evacuation) director Tenby Powell said neither he nor Bagshaw's family could comment yet, as it was still unconfirmed information.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) said in a statement it was aware of the reports, but had no further information at this time.

Andrew Bagshaw is the son of two prominent Christchurch doctors, Dame Sue and Philip Bagshaw.

Meanwhile, a journalist who spoke with Bagshaw days before his disappearance said he had been taking a priest to pray with soldiers on the frontline.

Arnaud De Decker spoke with Bagshaw on Tuesday last week, days before he disappeared.

De Decker told Morning Report he was working in the city centre of Bakhmut when he met Bagshaw at a humanitarian hut.

He also spoke to British national Christopher Parry, a friend of Bagshaw and fellow aid worker who was also missing.

"I started talking to Andrew and Andrew had a very interesting story actually. It was last week on the 3rd of January, still very much in the Christmas vibe and he was going to frontline areas, meeting soldiers with a priest, an Orthodox priest from western Ukraine.

"He was taking this priest to meet soldiers to bless the soldiers, to pray together in the trenches."

De Decker was meant to meet with Bagshaw again later in the week but he had already gone missing.

"The last time someone saw them was on Friday 6 January, they were going from ...western Donetsk in the direction of Soledar and Soledar- very intense fighting right now since a couple of days.

"They were together, on their way to evacuate some civilians in the city centre of Soledar."

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