The last moments of a Ukrainian girl killed in Vinnytsia

The last moments of a little Ukrainian girl killed in Vinnytsia


A cheerful and spirited four-year-old girl proudly pushes her own pram in a video recorded by her mother and posted on Instagram.

A hour later, Liza was dead, her life interrupted by a Russian missile fired from the Black Sea, her pink stroller knocked over in the street and stained with the girl's blood.

Liza Dmitrieva, suffering from Down (or trisomy 21), was on his way Thursday with his mother Iryna to a therapeutic center in Vinnytsia, a town of about 370,000 inhabitants located 250 kilometers southwest of the capital Kyiv.

In the video Iryna posted to social media at 9:38 a.m., Liza hops on the sidewalk in white leggings and a sky blue top, with what looks like a daisy sewn onto her shoulder.

Neither had any particular reason to be afraid: Vinnytsia is several hundred kilometers from the front line the closer.

“Where are we going, honey?” the mother asks her daughter in the video posted on Instagram.

“Alla!” replies the little girl, shaking her blond hair, tied with a white clip in the shape of a butterfly.

Mini-star of social networks

“Are we going to see Alla?” resumes the mother.

“Alla!” chirps the child again, a smile forming on his face.

About 80 minutes later, several missiles launched from a Russian submarine patrolling the Black Sea struck Vinnytsia, devastating the city center and killing 23 people, including two other children.

Iryna, Liza's mother, lost a leg in the attack and was initially pronounced dead, before Ukraine's police chief said on Friday she was still fighting for her life.

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Iryna regularly posted news and photos of her daughter's exploits and many challenges on the Internet, as she became something of a mini-star on social media. 20,000 subscribers jumped to 80,000 on Friday morning as the horror of the attack sent shock waves around the world.

“Look how she spins. She loves dresses!” Iryna said in a post, alongside a video of the little girl having fun squirming in her lilac dress in a field of lavender.

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“I am so happy to be the best example for my child. She copies absolutely everything – dances, movements, poses in front of a mirror, everyday things,” Iryna shares in another post.

“If I play sports, she does too. I paint – she copies”.

“Openly terrorist act”

In the early hours of Friday, Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska claimed to have was “horrified” by the images of the overturned stroller released by local authorities, before realizing that she had already met Liza.

“Reading the news, I realized that I know this little girl. I knew her…”, she commented on Instagram.

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They had met while recording a video for the Christmas holidays a few months earlier.

“The little girl had managed to paint not only herself and her dress, but also all the other children, me, the cameramen and the director, just in half an hour,” recalls the first lady in discussing the activities carried out that day.

“Look at her alive, please. I cry with his loved ones”, she added on the social network.

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The bombardment of Vinnytsia, which was hit almost at the time of the opening in The Hague of a conference on crimes committed in Ukraine organized jointly by the EU and the International Criminal Court (ICC), has been compared by Volodymyr Zelensky to an “openly terrorist act”.

The images released by the authorities show the charred carcasses of dozens of cars, some overturned on the roof, near a ten-storey building which housed small businesses, such as shoe or clothing repairers, ripped open and charred as brown smoke billowed from the impact site.

The last moments of a little Ukrainian girl killed in Vinnytsia

The last moments of a little Ukrainian girl killed in Vinnytsia

On Friday, Russia claimed to have struck in Vinnytsia a meeting of the Ukrainian air force in the “House of Officers” located next to the impact, ensuring that “the participants were eliminated”.

Sergui Borzov, the governor of the Vinnytsia region, said Thursday that 13 victims, including the other two children, had not yet been identified.