A selfless Australian father who received an award for his bravery and humanitarian aid has died in Ukraine while fighting against Russian forces.
An Australian father who traveled to Ukraine to provide humanitarian aid and was recognized for his bravery while fighting with Russian forces has died.
Mick Charles O’Neill, 47, was killed this week after he selflessly traveled to Ukraine to help with the ongoing war effort.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday confirmed the deaths, calling it a “tragedy”.
“This is a tragedy and I want to offer my condolences to the family of the man involved,” Albanese said on Saturday.
“The Australian authorities through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provide ongoing support to the family.”
Mr. O’Neill lived in Hobart and left behind three broken children.
Expressions of appreciation for Mr. O’Neill flow across the Internet, as he is remembered as a “con man” and the man of his family, who often spends his time between the Philippines and Australia.
“Always looking for a case, he went to Ukraine to drive trucks to help citizens flee the country,” his sister wrote online.
“Then he helped get the wounded and injured off the front lines, and unfortunately he met a sad end.”
O’Neill’s grieving mother also left a tribute to her son, saying he was killed when the Ukrainian army came under “heavy fire”.
While in Ukraine, Mr. O’Neill received praise for his bravery from the commander of the Ukrainian Army.
“Our family is grieving, and he has left a huge hole in our lives,” his mother wrote.
“He left two daughters and a son, so a part of him is still with us.”
A memorial service will be held at a local football club in Tasmania in June.
Russia first invaded Ukraine in February, and has since attacked and bombed several cities, with fighting continuing.
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