South Asia

Ukraine: Bangladeshi Sailor Killed in Missile Attack Was His Family’s Sole Breadwinner

The ship, “Banglar Samriddhi”, on which Arif was boarded, reached the Black Sea port of Olvia on February 22, two days before Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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New Delhi: The death of a 29-year-old Bangladeshi sailor, who was killed in a missile attack in Ukraine on March 2, Wednesday, has left his family in Barguna without a bread earner, Dhaka Tribune reported. The family has demanded the authorities to at least make arrangements to bring his body back to Bangladesh.

Hadisur Rahman Arif, an engineer with the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) vessel “Banglar Samriddhi”, was killed in a “rocket or bomb” attack on the ship stranded at the Black Sea port of Olvia on Wednesday. The ship’s remaining 28 crew members – all Bangladeshis – remain safe, an official at the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation told AFP news agency.

The ship arrived at the Ukrainian port from Turkey on February 22 – two days before Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine – to transport ceramic raw material clay minerals, the Dhaka Tribune report said. It remained anchored there since then, and could not leave Ukrainian waters as there was no maritime pilot at the port at the time, it added.

In another Dhaka Tribune report, Mahbub Alam, local advisory to Bangladeshis at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Warsaw, told the newspaper that the embassy could not evacuate the team of sailors earlier due to legal complications.

Also read: Ten Theses on the War in Ukraine and the Challenge for India

Arif was the second eldest of the three brothers and a sister and the only wage-earner since his father’s retirement from teaching.

His brother, Golam Rahman Prince, told the daily that the attack took place during their telephonic conversation at around 9 pm (BST). Arif breathed his last soon after. His family told the newspaper that they had been dreading this moment since they were told that he was stranded in Ukraine.

Arif’s mother, Amena, said: “Please bring me my son’s body. I want to see him for the last time, I do not want anything else.”

Shahabuddin Ahmed, deputy director, Barguna Employment and Manpower Office, told the daily that his office had spoken to senior government officials [in Ukraine] about bringing Arif’s body to Bangladesh.

As of March 2, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has killed more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians and destroyed hundreds of structures including transport facilities, hospitals, kindergartens and homes.