They were killed by Russia: women who died defending Ukraine

Agency of media ABO
They were killed by Russia: women who died defending Ukraine

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the ABO Local Media Development Agency created the Memorial: Killed by Russia. The memorial commemorates the names of civilians and soldiers who died due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

In collaboration with Memorial: Killed by Russia, Svidomi tells the story of women who went to defend Ukraine's sovereignty with arms in their hands and were killed.

Senior Sergeant Mariia Vlasiuk died on May 24, 2022, during the hostilities in the Luhansk region. The girl served as a paramedic in the evacuation unit of the medical company of the 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade.

Maria was born in the Rivne region. She graduated from Rivne State Basic Medical College and then worked at the Rivne City Hospital. In the late autumn of 2016, she decided to join the military.

She served in the Donetsk region. For seven months without rest, she and an ambulance driver picked up the wounded, provided first aid and transported soldiers to hospitals.

Vlasiuk served in the Kherson, Mykolaiv and Kharkiv regions during the full-scale invasion. Her last rotation was in the Luhansk region, where she saved hundreds of fellow soldiers. In April 2022, Maria was awarded the Order for Courage, 3rd Class. 

The girl told her friends she wanted to go to university soon and become a trauma surgeon. She wanted to save people and loved French bulldogs. 

On the day of her death, she was on her way to evacuate her wounded fellow soldiers. Instead, Russians shelled the road with artillery. The defender died of shrapnel wounds.

Kateryna Stupnytska, a combat medic with the 14th Brigade, died in the Kyiv region on March 8, 2022. A Russian shell hit her medical unit. Kateryna was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. She was 25 years old.

The girl was born in the village of Zaliznytsia in the Rivne region. Since childhood, she knew she would become a medic.

"I have dreamed of medicine since I was a little girl. All my dolls were my patients. I was also very attracted to the white robe," Kateryna said in an interview in 2020.

When she was 20, she signed a contract with the Armed Forces. Her parents tried to convince her to be a civilian doctor, but she kept re-signing contracts. And with the start of the full-scale invasion, she went to the front line as a combat medic with the 14th Separate Mechanised Brigade named after Prince Roman the Great.

On March 8, 2022, heavy battles continued to liberate the village of Makariv in the Kyiv region, where the Russians intended to break through to the capital. On that day, the tank crew of the company commander was shot down, and Kateryna went to evacuate. Under fire, she managed to evacuate both the commander and the crew. She provided medical assistance and took the tankers to a safe place for further evacuation. 

She returned to the unit herself. In the evening, the Russians launched rocket and bomb attacks on the perimeter, and a shell hit the building that served as the medical headquarters. The girl's fellow soldiers believed to the last moment that Katya could be saved, hopefully dismantling the rubble.

Senior combat medic Inna Derusova was killed in the Sumy region on February 26, 2022, by artillery fire. Inna became the first woman to be posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. The sergeant was a combat medic with the 15th Separate Motorised Infantry Battalion Sumy of the 58th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade.

Inna Derusova was born in Kryvyi Rih. She joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2015 and performed missions in Zolote, Horikhove, Verkhniotoretske, Avdiivka, Krymske, Toretske and Pisky.

She worked with civilian medics. But, according to her comrades-in-arms, she turned them into real combat medics in two weeks, ready for tasks on the front line.

On February 24, 2022, she was returning from leave but stayed in Okhtyrka, Sumy region. On February 26, while helping a wounded man, Derusova was killed.

Soldier Viktoriia Kiiashchenko died on March 15, 2022, during an air strike near Volnovakha, Donetsk region. The defender was on duty at a checkpoint. The woman had turned 38 a month earlier.

Victoria was born in Rubizhne, Luhansk region. She used to work as a social worker. She loved listening to music and dancing.

In October 2020, she joined the Armed Forces. During the full-scale invasion, she served in the 46th Separate Air Assault Brigade. 

"I don't want to believe in this terrible loss. Words can hardly heal the heart and the wound of life. However, the bright memories will always be in our hearts," said the deceased's husband, Oleh.

Combat medic Kseniia Hrytsyna died on September 11, 2022, while assisting her comrade-in-arms near Popasna, Luhansk region. She was 29 years old.

Ksenia was born in the village of Vyshnivchyk, Khmelnytskyi region. She received a degree as a pastry chef. In 2021, she decided to connect her life with the army, so she signed a contract for military service and received a speciality as a combat medic. During the full-scale Russian invasion, she served in the 24th Separate Mechanised Brigade named after King Danylo. 

"We were supposed to celebrate Ukraine's victory, but today I am seeing you off on your last journey. Protect your son from heaven," wrote her friend, Katia Chaikovska.