Ukraine-Russia war: two British men - Andrew Bagshaw and Chris Parry - have gone missing in Donetsk

The families of both the UK nationals are being supported after they disappeared, the government has said.

Two British men have gone missing in Ukraine, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Chris Parry, 28, were volunteering in Donetsk, one of four eastern regions that have been annexed by Russia, when they disappeared. Ukranian Police said the pair were last seen on Friday heading to the town of Soledar, where fighting has intensified in recent days.

The Russian mercenaries, the Wagner Group, have reportedly been attacking the Bakhmut area in the Donbas. A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spokesperson said: “We are supporting the families of two British men who have gone missing in Ukraine.”

Mr Bagshaw, who was born in the UK but now lived in New Zealand, had been delivering humanitarian aid to Ukraine. His parents, Philip and Sue Bagshaw, told Radio New Zealand he had been delivering supplies and helping elderly people move from near the frontline. The couple, who are prominent doctors in New Zealand, described their son as “intelligent, independently minded person”.

Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Christopher Parry, 28, have gone missing in Donetsk, Ukraine.

Mr Parry, from Truro, in Cornwall, had been evacuating people from the frontline. He had set up a Just Giving page to fund his humanitarian operation, raising more than £23,000. The page says: “My name's Chris Parry and I'm a foreign volunteer in Ukraine evacuating civilians from the front line to safety.

“To do this I desperately need an off-road vehicle to deal with the terrible road conditions, which will only get worse in winter. An example of an evacuation which we did was of the young boy, four, and his mother, 25. They were in Southern Bakhmut, where they had been waiting for an evacuation by any group for a month, but nobody would go to that area.

“Our group then received the request and made it our priority to try to evacuate them the next day. When we arrived there was a firefight between Russian and Ukrainian soldiers in the next street, while a large artillery battle was happening all around. An hour later they were safe, warm and fed at a hospital in a nearby city.”

The police department of Bakhmut said it received a missing person's report for the two men at 5.15pm on Saturday, and put out an appeal for information.

A local resident pushes his bicycle past “hedgehog” tank traps and rubble, down a street in Bakhmut, Donetsk, Ukraine. Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images

The BBC reported the volunteers had been in Kramatorsk, where there have been reports of strikes in recent days. It is thought they were heading towards Soledar, which is thought to be mostly in Russian control.

The Foreign Office has warned against all travel to Ukraine, following the Russian invasion almost a year ago, saying there is a "real risk to life". All British nationals still in Ukraine should leave immediately.

A number of Brits who have gone over to fight in the war have been captured by Russia and put on trial. Shaun Pinner and Aiden Aslin were captured by Russia while fighting in Mariupol, and initially sentenced to death before being released in a prisoner swap.

Mr Aslin said he thought he wouldn’t get out alive. His battalion ran out of food and ammunition during the siege of Mariupol in April, with the fighter phoning his mother and Ukrainian girlfriend before they surrendered to say: “No matter what, I will see you again.”

He was punched in the face when his captors realised he was British, Mr Aslin said after being released. “They flicked through my passport and quickly realised it wasn’t Ukrainian. The soldier asked in Russian, ‘Where are you from?’ I told him I was from Great Britain and he punched me in the face,” he explained.

John Harding, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill were released in the same prisoner swap. They are believed to have served in the Georgian Legion, a pro-Ukrainian volunteer unit. While British aid worker Paul Urey was reported to have died while being detained by Russian-backed separatists.