A 26-year-old woman from Ukraine has reportedly been shot and killed after delivering food to hungry dogs stranded at a shelter near Kyiv.
Anastasiia Yalanskaya, a job recruiter, and two fellow male volunteers died on Friday after their car was ambushed by Russian troops who targeted them at close-range, her friends told Global News.
Ms Yalanskaya, who insisted on staying in Kyiv despite her friends and family fleeing the war zone, had dropped off food to a dog shelter in Bucha where the animals had not been fed in three days.
The trio were on their way back to the capital city when the attack occurred.
Her husband, from whom she was separated, told the publication he had urged her to be careful.
“I asked her to be extra cautious. That nowadays, a mistake costs extremely much,” Yevhen Yalanskyi said.
“But she was helping everyone around. I asked her to think of evacuation but she did not listen.”
Bullet-riddled car found with bodies inside
The 26-year-old’s best friend Anastasiia Hryshchenko told Global News she became concerned about Ms Yalanskaya when she didn’t hear from her for a few hours.
The pair had been constantly checking in with each other as tensions escalated.
Ms Hryshchenko said she contacted the dad of one of the other volunteers, who told her he had found their bullet-riddled car near his home, where they were due to return.
Ms Yalanskaya’s body, along with those of the two men, are being kept at the dad's home because the fighting is preventing anyone from getting to the area, the publication reports.
'Never prouder to be Ukrainian'
Ms Yalanskaya had been keeping loved ones updated on her efforts to deliver aid through social media.
Early last week, she wrote about helping 40 children stranded in a kindergarten with no food or nappies.
She said she had delivered supplies to areas 20km and 200 metres from gun fire but that she was "never prouder to be Ukrainian".
“The ‘hotter’ the location you are heading to, the more people there will be at the roadblocks trying to dissuade you from going,” she said, the Global News reports.
“But when they see the determination in your eyes, they will wish you strength, they will thank you, and ask you to be careful.”
Just hours before she died, the 26-year-old posted a photo of herself sitting in the back of a car with bags of dog food.
She vowed Ukrainians are “united like never before” and “will win”.
Heartbroken friends have described Ms Yalanskaya as a very kind and caring person.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.