KYIV — Pete Reed, an American volunteer medic and founder of the NGO Global Response Medicine, was killed while helping to evacuate civilians in the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
Reed, a former U.S. Marine, died on Thursday in the besieged city in the Donetsk region of the country, GRM said late Friday.
“In January, Pete stepped away from GRM to work with Global Outreach Doctors on their Ukraine mission and was killed while rendering aid,” the NGO said. “Pete was the bedrock of GRM, serving as Board President for 4 years,” it said.
Bakhmut has been one of the major hot spots during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In the ongoing attempts to seize the city, Moscow has been throwing thousands of troops at the Ukrainian positions in Bakhmut in tactics that have gained the name “meat waves.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the city in December, calling it the “hottest spot” in the war.
“Pete was just 33 years old, but lived a life in service of 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 also confirmed the death of Reed, who was the organization’s Ukraine Country director. “Pete was actively aiding in the evacuation of Ukrainian civilians when his evacuation vehicle was hit with a reported missile in Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Feb. 2,” the group said in a statement.
Reed’s wife, Alex Kay Potter, wrote on Instagram that her husband apparently died saving another team member’s life, CNN reported. “He was evacuating civilians and responding to those wounded when his ambulance was shelled,” her post said, according to the CNN report.
“Pete Reed, a volunteer medic, was killed by shelling in Bakhmut, Ukraine, yesterday while trying to evacuate civilians. One of the most selfless people I’ve ever met,” documentary photographer Cengiz Yar wrote in a tweet.
The same day Reed was killed, two other foreign volunteer doctors were injured in a bombing in Bakhmut. The medics — Norwegians Sander Sørsveen Trelvik and Simon Johnsen — were working for Frontline Doctors. They were taken to a hospital in Dnipro for surgery.
They both are recovering and preparing to return to Norway on Tuesday, Grethe Sørsveen, Sander’s mother, wrote on Facebook.