An Australian suspected of taking part in the ongoing war effort against Russian forces has been killed in Ukraine.
- According to a tribute posted on Facebook, Mr O’Neill was helping to drive wounded and wounded from the front line in Ukraine
- DFAT says his family has been contacted and is receiving consular assistance
- He had three children and a family mainly based in Tasmania
Michael O’Neill, 48, was in Ukraine helping the country with humanitarian aid when he was injured and killed.
Mr. O’Neill leaves behind three children and a family based primarily in Tasmania.
A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said Mr O’Neill’s family had been contacted.
“DFAT is providing consular assistance to the family of an Australian killed in Ukraine. For confidentiality reasons, we cannot provide additional information,” the spokesperson said.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commented on the Australian’s death on Saturday.
“This is a tragedy and I want to offer my condolences to the family of the person involved; the family has asked that their privacy be respected,” he said.
A tribute to Mr O’Neill posted on Facebook says he was loved as a ‘larrikin’ family man who spent his time between the Philippines and Australia.
“He then helped drive the wounded and injured from the front line. Sadly, meeting a sad end, Mick had spent the last few years driving trucks in the mining industry and [spent] months in the Philippines with her children,” the tribute post read.
An obituary published in the Tasmanian newspaper Hobart Mercury said Michael O’Neill left behind five siblings.
“We are all so proud of you, you did it your way,” read the newspaper’s obituary.
A memorial service will be held at a local Tasmanian football club next month.
Russian troops are currently advancing in eastern Ukraine, gaining ground in the Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.
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