July 15, 2022

Liza Dmitrieva was on her way with her mom to speech therapy lessons (Liza had Down's Syndrome) when a missile struck in the center of the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia. She died instantly, her mother Iryna lost a leg and is fighting for her life in hospital. In all, at least 23 people were killed, 3 of them children. An angry President Zelensky called it “an open act of terrorism.” His wife, Olena Zelenska, knew the little girl who appeared in a Holiday video with her.

The video is from her mother's TikTok page.

Source: The Guardian

The life and death of four-year-old Liza Dmitrieva in a Russian missile strike on the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia on Thursday is a symbol of a conflict where death often comes without warning and from above.

A series of video and still images posted on social media appear to track the last hours of Liza, who turned four in March in the midst of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Her mother, Iryna, lost a leg in the strike, which was condemned by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, as “an open act of terrorism”.

Liza’s mother had taken her daughter in a pink and black pram to an education centre in a city most believed was far from the frontlines, a four-hour drive west of the capital, Kyiv.

A close friend of Iryna's travelled to the hospital where she was being treated.

“She’s my best friend. We both have ‘sunny’ children,” said Lidia Voitenko, using a Ukrainian expression for children with developmental issues. “We used to rent an apartment together.

“Ira was apparently conscious when she was taken into the intensive care unit, but Liza died on the spot. I can’t say more. It’s too difficult."

President Zelensky's wife, Oleana, wrote "I realized that I know this girl. Knew... I will not write all the words I want to, to those who killed her."

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