A former beauty queen who had acid thrown over her by a spurned suitor has revealed how she has had 200 operations in a bid to regain her looks.
Eleonora Kondratyuk, from Sochi, Russia, was just 18 when she was attacked as she walked to the beach.
She described how a male admirer, whose advances she had rejected, grabbed her hair and poured acid over her face and body.
Eleonora, who was runner-up in a Sochi beauty pageant in 1998, was left severely disfigured after being attacked with sulphuric acid mixed with oil – which makes it harder to wash off.
Former beauty queen Eleonora Kondratyuk, from Sochi, Russia, has revealed how she has had 200 operations in a bid to regain her looks
Recalling her horrific attack, she said: ‘When I was about to leave the house, I got a call from an unknown woman, who apologised for bothering me and wanted to ask me one last time if I had changed my stand towards G.
‘As my doctors say, with this concentration – 92 percent sulphuric acid, this liquid weapon, even winter clothes would not have been able to save me.’
Eleonora has spent many years out of the public eye since the life-changing attack 19 years ago.
But now, following a long road to recovery, she has written her memoir, I Chose Life, as well as qualifying as a psychologist.
Eleonora (pictured before the attack) was runner-up in a Sochi beauty pageant in 1998
The beauty queen (pictured being taken to hospital after the attack) described how an unnamed suitor poured acid over her face and body after she rejected his advances
The former beauty queen says she will never understand how her attacker could have been so cruel – but wants other young women to enjoy their lives without fear.
Eleonora said she is unhappy that what happened to her has been used as a scare story to deter young women from entering beauty pageants – and says the attack was not linked to her being a beauty queen.
‘My participation in the beauty contest and the tragedy are not interconnected,’ she explained.
‘This man saw me for the first time on a street a few months after the pageant, when all I had from it were memories,’ she said.
Elenora (pictured before the attack) says she will never understand how her attacker could have been so cruel
However, Eleonora (pictured with doctors as she is today) insists that the attack had nothing to do with her being a beauty queen
Eleonora the same thing could have happened to her had she not chosen to enter the beauty contest and had chosen another hobby, such as volleyball.
Her attacker was killed in an unrelated incident, according to local media reports.
Elenora’s story has been shared widely on social media, with many praising her for her bravery.
One wrote: ‘She is so beautiful. Wishing her all the best.’
Another added: ‘Poor girl, why was she given all that in her life…. I remember this awful story and I’m very glad that she managed to get back.’
Eleonora has now written a memoir, I Chose Life, and has also qualified as a psychologist