A combat medic Ukrainian mother of 12 has been hailed as a hero after dying on the frontline while fighting Russian soldiers who invaded her country on President Vladmir Putin’s orders.
Olga Semidyanova is said to have been fatally wounded but continued to battle Russian forces when most of her unit had been killed.
The 48-year-old was hit in the stomach during a fierce fire fight near Donetsk in the south. Her body has not yet been recovered because of continued battles in the area, leaving her heartbroken family a painful wait before they can bury her.
Her daughter, Julia, said:
“She saved the soldiers to the last. We have photos from the place of death — but due to heavy fighting we still can’t bury my mother.”
Leading tributes for Olga, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the country’s Interior Ministry, said:
“She was slain in a confrontation with Russian thugs.
“Even when she believed her regiment might not survive, she emphasised her desire to protect the country until the end. She is a national hero. She is a hero to me.”
The female soldier had previously been awarded the title Mother Heroine, given to mums who have more than five children.
As well as her own six children, Olga had adopted six orphans from her local orphanage. Grateful Ukrainians flooded social media with tributes to Olga, who was killed during fighting on March 3.
Other Ukrainian war victims were hailed yesterday. They included two men killed in Sunday’s cruise missile attack on a military base used for Nato drills about 12 miles from the Polish border.
Heartbroken women wept over soldiers Roman Rak and Mykola Mykytiuk who were laid to rest in coffins lined with white fabric.