Andrew Bagshaw: Family of Kiwi aid worker killed in Ukraine 'very proud', says Russia is committing 'genocide'

The parents of Kiwi aid worker Andrew Bagshaw say their son was never going to come home from Ukraine until the job was finished. 

The 47-year-old's death was confirmed in a statement issued by his parents, Dame Sue and professor Phil Bagshaw on Wednesday morning. 

They said Andrew and a colleague, Chris Parry, were attempting to rescue the elderly woman from Soledar - an area of intense military action - when the car he was in was hit by an artillery shell. 

Speaking at a press conference in Christchurch on Wednesday, Dame Sue said they were "very proud" of their son.

They told media Bagshaw stopped communicating regularly in September because he was getting into the "more dangerous work". 

Bagshaw was a scientific researcher in genetics but had been working as a volunteer aid worker in Ukraine since last April.

"He set off with a rucksack and travel guide and nothing more," Phil said. 

"He was always ready to go and never really evaluated the danger."

Dame Sue and Professor Phil Bagshaw.
Dame Sue and Professor Phil Bagshaw. Photo credit: Newshub

Bagshaw took food, water and medicine to isolated areas and even helped pets that were abandoned. 

"It's incredible what he achieved in a relatively short space of time," Phil said.  

"We are told hundreds of people were saved by him and his colleagues under the most amazing of circumstances that the military will tell you they would never venture into."  

His parents had been in touch with Parry's family, who timed a media release with theirs.

Andrew Bagshaw.
Andrew Bagshaw. Photo credit: Supplied

Dame Sue slammed Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which has been ongoing since February 24, saying the country is committing genocide. 

"The Russians in my view, are committing genocide. They're starving the people out of there," she said. 

"It's what they did in Mariupol too, so it's totally immoral and war crimes go on every day. 

"We'd love to go and speak at the UN... shake them out of their suits, plush living and fancy words and say people are dying all the time, it's not just Ukraine, there are wars all over. It's about time we realise that war doesn't solve anything." 

When asked what her message was for Kiwis considering going over to Ukraine, Dame Sue said it's dangerous work.

"It's very, very dangerous, but it needs doing. I wouldn't want people to go and put other people's lives in danger trying to rescue them, but at the same time, it's needed. People need to have water and food."