Russia's Wagner Group says it found body of UK aid worker in Ukraine

Private military company posted picture of passports belonging to missing British aid workers

British volunteer Christopher Parry walks near a shelled building in the town of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, on January 5. Reuters
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The body of one of two British voluntary aid workers reported missing in eastern Ukraine has been found by members of Russia's Wagner Group, the private military company said.

The group did not reveal the name of the dead man but said documents belonging to both Britons had been found on his body.

A photo of passports appearing to show the names of Andrew Bagshaw and Christopher Parry was posted alongside the statement.

Ukrainian police said on Monday they were looking for the two, who went missing in east Ukraine, the scene of heavy fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces.

“Today the body of one of them was found,” Wagner said, without saying where. “Documents for both Britons were discovered with him.”

Ukrainian police said the two men had left the city of Kramatorsk for the town of Soledar on Friday morning and were reported missing on Saturday evening after contact with them was lost.

Kramatorsk is about 80km from Soledar, where Ukraine's military says fighting has been particularly intense.

The family of Mr Parry has previously spoken of their pride in his work but expressed concern for his health and whereabouts.

The parents of Mr Bagshaw, Philip and Susan, previously confirmed their son had been reported missing in Ukraine and were said to be “very grateful for all the agencies from both London and New Zealand who are working so hard to find him”.

A spokeswoman for the couple said they were “immensely proud” of his work delivering food and medicines and helping elderly people move from near the front line.

“We are supporting the families of two British men who have gone missing in Ukraine. We are aware of recent reports and are in touch with the Ukrainian authorities.” said a representative of Britain's Foreign Office.

The head of Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on Wednesday that Soledar was under the “complete control” of Russian forces.

But a Russian-installed official in Ukraine's Donetsk region said on Thursday that “pockets of resistance” remained in the town.

“At the moment, there are still some small pockets of resistance in Soledar,” Andrei Bayevsky said.

“Our guys continue to push the enemy in these places. In general, the operation has been going well, and already the western outskirts of Soledar are completely under our control.”

Updated: January 12, 2023, 12:36 PM
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