According to reports from several non-profit organizations, a Canadian frontline volunteer in Ukraine was killed by Russian shelling while on his way to help civilians.
In a post on Instagram on Sunday, Road to Relief confirmed that Anthony ‘Tonko’ Ihnat was killed while on his way with three other volunteers to assess the needs of civilians on the outskirts of Bakhmut, the eastern town that saw the longest battle and bloody of war. before falling to Moscow in May.
The organization states that the Russian projectiles directly hit the car in which they were traveling, causing it to overturn and catch fire. Non-profit organizations Brave to Rebuild and Paracrew Humanitarian Aid, which say Ihnat volunteered for them in the past, confirmed his death in tribute posts on social media.
Adam Oake, a Toronto volunteer with Paracrew Humanitarian Aid, said Ihnat arrived in Ukraine in March of last year, also from Toronto. Since then, he has helped evacuate civilians and deliver essential supplies to people who would otherwise go without them, he said.
“It takes a very special person with a very strong heart to do what he did and I’m very proud of him,” Oake said.
“We all miss him very much.”
Although it did not name Ihnat, Global Affairs Canada confirmed the death of a Canadian citizen in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, Denise Brown, confirmed the deaths of two foreign volunteers.
“It was a pleasure to be around him”
Oake said Ihnat has been volunteering in Ukraine since March 2022 and has recently volunteered with another organization.
“[He] “It’s been doing that and also evacuating areas like Bakhmut and delivering water and other food supplies to people who might not otherwise have access to them,” Oake told Breaking:.
“He was a pleasure to be around. He was always happy, he was always willing to work and do everything he could to help people in need, he was always laughing and he was an amazing person.”
According to Oake, Ihnat went to Ukraine after seeing what was happening and decided he wanted to help and could help.
“So Tonko went to Ukraine to help people and that’s largely what he did,” he said.
Ihnat was one of two foreign aid workers reported to have died in eastern Ukraine on Sunday after a Russian strike hit a van carrying a team of four workers.
Road to Relief said German medical volunteer Ruben Mawick and Swedish volunteer Johan Mathias Thyr were seriously injured in the attack.
The nonprofit added that it could not trace the whereabouts of the van’s fourth passenger, Emma Igual, a Spaniard who was the organization’s director. Hours later, Spain’s acting Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, told Spanish media that authorities in Madrid had received “verbal confirmation” of the death of 32-year-old Igual.