A young woman sacrificed her life to help dogs in need. Learn the story of Anastasiia Yalanskaya, a Ukrainian killed in a dog shelter mission.
When Russia invaded Ukraine, many people told 26-year old Anastasiia Yalanskaya that she needed to evacuate. However, she decided not to because she knew people and animals needed help. Anastasiia had a heart of gold and wanted to help as many as she could – especially dogs in need.
However, her life was tragically taken by Russian troops. As Anastasiia was bringing donations to an animal shelter, she was shot and killed by the gunfire from the troops. She gave her life to help people and dogs who needed her help and animal lovers are honoring her work worldwide.
An Unexpected Tragedy
Anastasiia offered to help those in need since the beginning of the war, aiding those in Kyiv as much as she could. For example, she helped a kindergarten group of 40 children who didn’t have food or diapers. She also helped support a military hospital. Unfortunately, her last selfless mission was taking food to dog shelters in Bucha.
Anastasiia’s husband, Yevhen Yalanskyi, was worried about her safety during her volunteer work. “I asked her to be extra cautious,” he said. “That nowadays, a mistake costs extremely much. But she was helping everyone around. I asked her to think of evacuation but she did not listen.”
Anastasiia, along with two other volunteers, were killed during their mission to take food to shelter dogs. Just before her death, she posted a video showing herself in a car full of the dog food they were taking. While they successfully delivered the food to the dogs in need, she never made it home.
Tragically, her car was found later and it was covered in bullet holes; all three volunteers were killed. One of the fathers of the volunteers found the car and Anastasiia had her ID on her. Even though nobody knows why they were targeted, the bullet holes indicate that someone shot at them with a heavy weapon at close range.
The tragic number of deaths in Ukraine continue to increase as Russia pushes on with their invasion. While we have no way of knowing the exact number, it’s suspected that at least 2,000 civilians have been killed during the war.
As expected, Anastasiia’s family is heartbroken over her loss. “Not being able to help her last journey is very painful for me,” Yevhen said. “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.”
Even though she was surrounded by the horrors of war, Anastasiia remained optimistic. She was a proud Ukrainian who believed her country would make it through. Losing someone like Anastasiia is devastating, but she will be remembered as a hero for the sacrifices she made to help those in need.
“Now I realize even better how important it is to be able to just see the loved ones whenever you want,” Yevhen explained. “We will all be together soon, safe and at peace. I believe in it.”
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