Body of missing Kiwi Andrew Bagshaw found in eastern Ukraine

The body of Kiwi Andrew Bagshaw has been found in eastern Ukraine, his family says. 

Bagshaw, who was in Ukraine to deliver humanitarian aid during the war, died while assisting an elderly woman. 

Bagshaw's parents Dame Sue and professor Phil Bagshaw 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.

They said Ukrainian authorities and government officials in New Zealand and London have been trying to establish more details about Bagshaw's death but little is known. They believe it will be some time before his body is returned to New Zealand. 

Bagshaw's parents paid tribute to him saying he selflessly took many personal risks and saved many lives.

"We love him and are very proud indeed of what he did," they said.

Bagshaw, 47, was a scientific researcher in genetics but had been working as a volunteer aid worker in Ukraine since last April.

"We intend that his death shall not be in vain. We are amongst many parents who grieve the deaths of their sons and daughters," they said. 

"We urge the civilised countries of the world to stop this immoral war and to help the Ukrainians to rid their homeland of an aggressor.

"Might is Not Right; Freedom is Indivisible. The world needs to be strong and stand with Ukraine, giving them the military support they need now and help to rebuild their shattered country after the war."

Bagshaw's father is renowned surgeon Phil Bagshaw, who was awarded Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for his services to health in 2019. He helped establish the Canterbury Charity Hospital and now chairs its trust.

It has been offering free elective day surgeries and medical clinics to people who did not qualify for or could not afford other health care.

Dr Dame Sue Bagshaw has worked in the youth health sector for three decades and is also a senior lecturer in paediatrics at the University of Otago in Christchurch.

It comes after New Zealander Dominic Abelen was killed while fighting Russian forces in Ukraine last year and his body was not able to be repatriated.

Abelen, 28, served with 2nd/1st Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (RNZIR) based in Burnham, and had served with the NZDF for 10 years.

He was on a period of leave without pay at the time of his death and was not on active duty with the NZDF.