In a devastating turn of events, Emma Igual, the Spanish director of Road to Relief, and her Canadian colleague, Anthony Ihnat, lost their lives on a fateful Saturday when their vehicle was struck by a Russian missile while en route to Bakhmut, Ukraine. The incident also left German volunteer Ruben Mawick and Johan Mathias Thyr from Sweden grievously wounded by shrapnel.
Road to Relief, an NGO registered in Ukraine just last year, had embarked on a mission to assess the dire needs of civilians trapped in the crossfire in Ivanivske, located in the Bakhmut area. Tragically, their vehicle suffered a “direct hit,” causing it to flip and burst into flames, resulting in the loss of two dedicated aid workers. Madrid confirmed the death of a Spanish national in the attack.
The organization had been tirelessly involved in evacuating civilians from the frontlines, facilitating crucial aid deliveries throughout their 18-month operation. Mr. Ihnat, remembered by fellow NGO Action Beyond Words as “an unbelievably gentle, kind guy who would light up any room,” leaves behind a legacy of compassion and dedication to humanitarian efforts.
This heartbreaking incident serves as a stark reminder of the perilous conditions faced by those striving to provide aid in conflict zones, as innocent lives continue to be caught in the crossfire.