The family of a New Zealand man who went missing in Ukraine while doing voluntary work say his body has been found.
Andrew Bagshaw, 47, and British colleague Christopher Parry, 28, have been missing since 9 January, when they failed to check in after an evacuation mission in the besieged town of Soledar.
His parents, Dame Sue and professor Phil Bagshaw, said on Wednesday morning their eldest son's body had been found in eastern Ukraine.
"He and a colleague, Chris Parry, were attempting to rescue an elderly woman from Soledar, in an area of intense military action, when their car was hit by an artillery shell," they said in a statement.
"Andrew selflessly took many personal risks and saved many lives; we love him and are very proud indeed of what he did."
A few days after news of Andrew going missing, paramilitary Russian group Wagner announced a body had been found in Ukraine carrying the passports and other documents of the missing men.
Officials in Ukraine, New Zealand and London had been trying to get more details but little was known about the circumstances of his death, Andrew's parents said.
"Due to official legal processes in Ukraine it will be some time before Andrew's remains are returned to New Zealand."
His body is currently in the mortuary at a children's hospital in Kyiv.
Andrew Bagshaw's parents expected the worst
Andrew, a dual citizen of New Zealand and the UK, was a brother to three siblings and an uncle to seven nephews and nieces.
He was a scientific researcher in genetics, but had been working as a volunteer aid worker in Ukraine since last April.
Speaking to media just before midday on Wednesday, his parents said he told them he would not be back "until it was finished".
He stopped regular communication with them around September/October. They believed he knew his work was getting more dangerous, and he did not want to worry them.
His father called him the "ultimate humanitarian" who was willing to go into situations the military would not, leaving New Zealand with just a "rucksack and a travel guide, and nothing more".
"We're told hundreds of people were saved by he and his colleagues, under the most amazing of circumstances…
"They would evacuate anyone who was in an area of danger, who was imminently threatened. They would take in water and medicines and food to areas that were being isolated, and they even helped pets that were left and abandoned, and fed them…
"We've spoken to a number of people who have worked with him - he was always ready to go and never really evaluated the danger."
He and Dame Sue knew "something like this was likely to happen for a long time".
"We've very, very proud of him," his mother said. "He was an amazing man, he had so much talent. He would have given so much to the research world, and did - had lots of papers printed - but he felt that human beings were more important."
Taking up the cause
She said while no one should risk the lives of others by putting themselves in harm's way, "at the same time, it's very needed".
"The Russians, in my view, are committing genocide. They're starving people… it's totally immoral. War crimes go on every day."
They tried to convince their son not to go, but "rapidly realised it was a waste of time".
There were no plans yet for a memorial, the pair saying Andrew would have been embarrassed by the publicity surrounding his work and death. But they will "take up the cause and go and speak to as many people" as possible, his father said.
"We would like to go and speak to the UN and tell them to shake themselves up out of their suits and their posh living and fancy words and say 'people are dying all the time''," added Dame Sue.
"This is not just Ukraine, there's wars all over. It's about time we realised that war does not solve anything."
"We will take up the cause," said Phil. "We are not without resources, Sue and I."
In lieu of flowers and other tributes, Dame Sue said money would be better spent on helping Ukraine - suggesting donations towards Base UA, a Donbass-based non-profit helping evacuate citizens from combat zones; UAnimals, which is helping the country's wildlife and pets; or Ohmadyt Children's Hospital in Kyiv.