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A 26-year-old Ukrainian woman was reportedly killed by Russian forces Friday while attempting to deliver food for dogs at an animal shelter outside Kyiv.
Anastasiia Yalanskaya was joined by two other volunteers in a second attempt to make the journey to Bucha to the northwest of the capital, Global News reported. Their attempt on Thursday had been thwarted when they came upon the bridge in Irpen that had been bombed.
That same bridge had been being used for cover by residents as the area had been undergoing bombardment for a week straight.
Люди вибираються з-під завалів. – Фото очевидців. https://t.co/ZqS399tSd6 pic.twitter.com/58zcgRM7uX
— Замполіт гістапо (@ZampolitGistapo) March 5, 2022
“I asked her to be extra cautious,” Yalanskaya’s estranged husband, Yevhen Yalanskyi said. “That nowadays a mistake costs extremely much. But she was helping everyone around. I asked her to think of evacuation but she did not listen.”
The shelter that Yalanskaya and her colleagues, as yet unidentified, were delivering supplies to had gone three days without food before the volunteers had arrived on Friday. The father of one of the volunteers located the vehicle after Yalanskaya’s friend Anastasiia Hryshchenko reached out concerned that there had been no word from Yalanskaya.
The father found the car near his home described as being damaged at close range with bullets. The trio of volunteers had succeeded in delivering the food to the shelter, but did not survive the journey home.
This is Anastasiia Yalanskaya 🇺🇦
She was killed yesterday, just outside Kyiv, delivering supplies to a dog shelter that was without food for 3 days
The car she was in was targeted at close range
Yalanskaya stayed behind in Kyiv to volunteer as everyone fled around her pic.twitter.com/0Q9ZtLy8bo
— Ashleigh Stewart (@Ash_Stewart_) March 5, 2022
“She was one of the best human beings I knew,” Yalanskyi said. “She was committed to help, to help her friends and relatives and whoever needed help.”
Yalanskaya was reported to have been keeping a blog on Telegram so that friends and loved ones would now her whereabouts as she continued with her volunteer efforts, the Daily Mail reported.
On Monday she had expressed her gratitude for the Ukrainian military after spending time sheltering in an underground parking garage, “I never considered myself a big fan of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or a patriot. Today, having talked several times with the guys who are standing at the checkpoints, I realized how cool they are.”
“For the first time in my life,” Yalanskaya went on, “I was proud of the country in which I live and for the people who are nearby.”
Tuesday, she detailed aid she brought to kindergartners, a military hospital and dogs that were all in need of supplies. She also explained the severity of military checkpoints at night.
“In the evening,” Yalanskaya wrote, “at the entrance to the checkpoint, we turn off the headlights, turn on the lights in the cabin and the emergency gang, lower the windows, take out documents, keep our hands on the steering wheel, and tell them where and from where we are going.”
Failure to do so, Yalanskaya explained and “instead of the smile of an employee, you can only see the muzzle of a machine gun that was pointed at you in advance.”
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