Volunteer soldier from New Zealand dies in war in Ukraine

·1 min read

The death of Kane Te Tai, a 38-year old volunteer soldier from New Zealand, was confirmed by New Zealand’s foreign ministry Thursday, citing Ukrainian government sources.

Source: The Guardian with reference to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand

Details: He is the third New Zealander known to have died in Ukraine.

In May 2022, former military Te Tai together with his American friend, who also used to serve in the military, helped volunteers in the city of Kharkiv, provided first medical aid training and delivered humanitarian aid to liberated territories.

In March 2023, during the liberation of a village near the city of Bakhmut, Te Tai with his fellow soldiers discovered a cellar where the occupiers held Ukrainian prisoners of war. Then they managed to save a Ukrainian soldier who Russians denied food and water for over 40 days.

Te Tai has been a New Zealand soldier for almost 10 years and served in Afghanistan. Then he co-founded a charitable trust to support veterans’ mental health. He was also training new recruits near the embattled town of Vuhledar, close to the frontline.

For many in New Zealand, Te Tai was the face of the country’s unofficial involvement in Ukraine’s war. He documented his friendships, battles and daily life on Instagram and Facebook.

He is survived by his 12-year old daughter.

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