A new documentary exploring the story of an Irish man who was killed while fighting for Ukraine in the ongoing war with Russia is set to air on Irish-language broadcaster TG4 next week. 

"Caillte san Úcráin" (Lost in Ukraine) investigates the story of Finbar Cafferkey, an Achill Island native who was killed in a Russian mortar strike while trying to secure a crucial supply line in the battle for Bakhmut on April 19, 2023. 

Investigative journalist Kevin Magee has traveled to war-torn Ukraine to examine the reasons behind Cafferkey's decision to fight in the war. Magee will also explore the impact that Cafferkey's death has had on his family in Achill as part of the program. 

The documentary, which airs at 9:30 p.m. GMT on Wednesday, February 28, features an interview with a former Ukrainian volunteer who trained alongside Cafferkey and was due to take part in the same mission that resulted in his death. 

It also features interviews with other Ukrainian volunteers who describe the difficulties of fighting on the frontlines of the Bakhmut region where Cafferkey was killed. 

It was initially reported that Cafferkey's remains were recovered from the battlefield and awaiting a positive identification, but TG4 has since confirmed that the Mayo man remains "missing in action". 

During the upcoming documentary, Magee speaks to Andrii, a Ukrainian soldier wounded in the Bakhmut region, about the difficulties of recovering bodies from the frontlines. 

"It’s almost impossible to do that, and we even had cases where we had a so-called agreement between Russian troops and our allocation team was entering to pick up the bodies, and they were immediately shot," Andrii told Magee. 

"Only in some rare cases where the commanders of units from both sides have an agreement is it possible to recover bodies but in general it’s very, very, very difficult." 

Andrii, who declined to give his surname out of fears for his safety, said the area where Cafferkey was killed is now controlled by Russian forces. 

"The situation in the Bakhmut region is always quite difficult because the enemy is much better equipped with heavy weapons, drones, artillery, and number of troops, so it’s pretty tough fighting there.  When you fight there it’s non-stop strikes and shelling." 

Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland Laryso Gerasko also appears in the documentary, dismissing reports that Cafferkey's remains had been recovered from the frontline. 

"I have some information from our Minister of Defence. His body hasn't been identified yet, and he’s missing in action. Unfortunately, I don't have any, more information except that," Gerasko told the program. 

"We are on to our authorities to find his body and to identify him but that is without success unfortunately. It's our duty to find not only the bodies of foreigners, but Ukrainians as well, but it's very difficult in such a brutal war." 

The program has been launched to mark the two-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022.