A Brazilian bomber who had joined Ukrainian forces as an elite sniper in the fight against Russia was killed in a missile attack, relatives said.
Thalita do Valle, a 39-year-old ex-model who had been in Ukraine for just three weeks, died in a Russian missile attack in Kharkiv on June 30, where she was pinned amid heavy explosions.
The Sao Paulo volunteer soldier died alongside former Brazilian Army fighter Douglas Burigo, 40, who was on his way to evacuate them from a bunker when he was killed.
The former model, who also studied law, had posted videos from her time in Ukraine on her YouTube channel, documenting her previous experiences as a fighter against the Islamic State in Iraq.
In Iraq, Do Valle trained as a sniper with the peshmergas in the independent Kurdistan region. Her brother, Theo Rodrigo Viera, hailed her as a hero who dedicated her life to helping those in desperate need.
Viera told local media that his sister was trapped in a bunker in Kharkiv under heavy Russian shelling and died of asphyxiation, according to the Daily Mail.
“Thalita has always been involved in humanitarian missions with a country’s Foreign Legion or here in Brazil,” said Viera. “She was always moved by the feeling of saving animals and people. My sister was always peaceful, a real progressive. Guns are part of a context, war, but it saved lives, it saved animals.”
In Ukraine, do Valle had trained as a sniper and provided cover for Ukrainian troops from advancing Russian forces. Her brother said she survived an earlier bombing in Kyiv, where she told relatives she couldn’t say much more as mobile phones were being monitored by Russian drones.
The deaths of the two volunteer soldiers from Brazil sparked tributes online, including some with photos of them in happier times.
“Blessed be the Cobra Fumantes,” one tweet Read by reference to the Brazilian expeditionary force’s nickname – or the “smoking snakes”.
https://nypost.com/2022/07/06/brazilian-model-who-joined-ukrainian-forces-killed-in-russian-airstrike/ Thalita do Valle, model who joined Ukrainian forces, dies in airstrike