Yet another heartbreaking story has emerged from the Ukraine-Russia conflict. A dog shelter outside of the Ukraine capital of Kyiv did not have food for three days. So, a bunch of volunteers decided to stay back and help, despite the area being under Russian fire. Anastasiia Yalanskaya, 26, and two friends delivered food to the hungry pups but were tragically shot and killed. A Russian military vehicle opened fire on the car at close range, killing all three friends who were there to help the animals, according to The Kyiv Independent.
Anastasiia Yalanskaya, Serhiy Ustymenko and Maxym Kuzmenko made the perilous journey to Bucha – 18 miles from Kyiv – when their car was deliberately targeted with ‘heavy weaponry’ by Russian troops on Thursday.
— Metro (@MetroUK) March 8, 2022
“I asked her to be extra cautious. That nowadays, a mistake costs extremely much,” Yalanskaya’s husband, Yevhen Yalanskyi, told Canada’s Global News. “But she was helping everyone around,” Yalanskyi told the outlet. “I asked her to think of evacuation but she did not listen.” A friend of another victim told the Independent: “The car was [obviously] civilian. [She] was wearing a hat with a pom-pom. They didn’t look like the military at all.” The 26-year-old Ukrainian woman’s friends and family believe that her car was deliberately targeted at close range by Russian troops. Civilians are being killed at random as a way to scare the population into submission, according to the animal lover’s friends.
Yalanskaya reportedly wrote on her Telegram account about helping 40 kindergarten children who had no food or diapers. The job recruiter had been updating a daily blog on Telegram. “We are not scared. We are united like never before. We help each other,” she wrote. “We stand for hours at roadblocks and thank those who protect us. We will win.” On February 26, after having spent the night sleeping in a parking garage due to bombing fears, she said: “Now I realize even better how important it is to be able to just see the loved ones whenever you want. We will all be together soon, safe and at peace. I believe in it.”
26-year-old Anastasiia Yalanskaya was killed while attempting to bring dog food to a shelter in Ukraine, where the animals had gone without for three days.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 6, 2022
Her husband, who is currently in Sri Lanka, is heartbroken. The pair were separated but remained close. “Not being able to help her last journey is very painful for me,” Yalanskyi told Global News. “She was one of the best human beings I knew. She was committed to help, to help her friends and relatives and whoever needed help,” he shared. “She loved animals. We had a dog and a cat. She was the best partner I ever had.”
Her friends have been left reeling.
“She was helping people. She believed in people.
“I knew her three years ago, and I knew her now, and I saw a change in her recently. She was so strong. And she was never prouder to be Ukrainian.” pic.twitter.com/FS1dAlLeyH
— Ashleigh Stewart (@Ash_Stewart_) March 5, 2022
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Anastasiia Yalanskaya