US aid worker killed during evacuation of civilians in Bakhmut, Ukraine – POLITICO
KYIV — Pete Reed, an American volunteer doctor and founder of the NGO Global Response Medicine, was killed while helping to evacuate civilians in the eastern Ukrainian town of Bakhmut.
Reed, a former US Marine, died Thursday in the beleaguered city in the Donetsk region, the GRM said on Friday.
“In January Pete left the GRM to work with Global Outreach Doctors on their mission in Ukraine and was killed while delivering aid,” the NGO said. “Pete was the foundation of GRM, serving as chairman of the board for 4 years,” he said.
Bakhmut was one of the main flashpoints during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In ongoing attempts to seize the city, Moscow has hurled thousands of troops at Ukrainian positions in Bakhmut in tactics that have come to be known as “meat waves”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the city in December, calling it the “hottest spot” in the war.
“Pete was only 33, but lived a life of service to others, first as a decorated U.S. Marine and then in humanitarian aid,” GRM said. “We fully support Pete’s family, friends and colleagues during this devastating time.”
Global Outreach Doctors has also confirmed the death of Reed, who was the organization’s national director for Ukraine. “Pete was actively assisting in the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians when his evacuation vehicle was hit by a reported missile in Bakhmut, Ukraine on February 2,” the group said in a statement.
Reed’s wife, Alex Kay Potter, wrote on Instagram that her husband apparently died saving the life of another team member, CNN reported. “He was evacuating civilians and responding to the injured when his ambulance was bombed,” his message said, according to the CNN report.
“Pete Reed, a volunteer doctor, was killed by shelling in Bakhmut, Ukraine, yesterday while trying to evacuate civilians. One of the most selfless people I have ever met,” documentary photographer Cengiz Yar wrote in a tweet.
On the same day Reed was killed, two other foreign volunteer doctors were injured in a bomb attack in Bakhmut. The doctors – Norwegians Sander Sørsveen Trelvik and Simon Johnsen – worked for Frontline Doctors. They were taken to a hospital in Dnipro for surgery.
They are both recovering and preparing to return to Norway on Tuesday, Grethe Sørsveen, Sander’s mother, wrote on Facebook.