The great-aunt of a four-year-old Ukrainian girl killed in her pram during a Russian rocket attack wept as she described little Liza’s tragic death.
Tetiana Dmytrysyna said she is waiting to find out whether Liza’s mother Iryna will survive her wounds in the missile strike on Vinnytsya last Thursday.
Iryna lost a leg in the strike and remains unconscious.
Tetiana told AP: ‘She was reaching for her daughter, and Liza was already dead.
Great-aunt Tetiana wept yesterday as she described the pain of losing little Liza, aged four
‘The mother was robbed of the most precious thing she had.’
Mother Iryna is unconscious in hospital and has lost a leg. Her condition is critical
Liza, whose mother kept a blog where she would update readers on parenting a child with Down’s Syndrome, has become the latest face of her nation’s suffering.
Heartbreaking footage shot earlier in the day shows Liza playing hours before her death.
Her pram was charred and crushed when the missile struck the busy town centre in south-western Ukraine at 10.50am.
Irina previously posted on social media about her fears for daughter Liza, saying she was ‘scared to make wishes’ about the future for them and for their country.
Writing about the fifth birthday that little Liza will now never get to experience, she said: ‘It was Covid-19 first, then the war. I have not been able to arrange a proper birthday party for Liza for two years.
‘I am hoping her fifth birthday will give us a chance! I am scared to make wishes. I just dream about peace, and about things going the way we want.’
Heartbreaking video shot just hours before Liza was killed shows her pushing her own pram
A Ukrainian soldier leaves a bouquet of flowers at a makeshift memorial where Liza was killed
Liza’s pram was later found in the middle of the street – spattered with blood from wounds the girl did not survive. Iryna was wounded and taken to hospital in critical condition where she is now fighting for life
Liza Dmitrieva, four (left), who had Down’s Syndrome, was on a girls’ day out in the Ukrainian city of Vinnystya with mother Irina (right) today and was filmed pushing her own pram – just an hour before a Russian cruise missile killed her
Just six hours before Liza was killed, she had posted about the progress her daughter had made despite the pandemic and the war.
Posting on social media after the attack, President Zelensky wrote: ‘Vinnytsya. Rocket strikes in the city centre. There are wounded and dead, among them a small child,’ he wrote on Instagram.
‘Every day, Russia destroys the civilian population, kills Ukrainian children, directs rockets at civilian objects where there is nothing military.
‘What is this, if not an open act of terrorism? Inhumans. A killer country. A terrorist country.’
In a comment on Twitter, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Russia of committing ‘another war crime’.
‘We will put Russian war criminals on trial for every drop of Ukrainian blood and tears,’ he wrote.
Tetiana wept as she said: ‘She was reaching for her daughter, and Liza was already dead’
Three Russian missiles hit an office block in the centre of Vinnytsya today, a Ukrainian city hundreds of miles from the current frontlines, leaving multiple civilians dead
A Russia Kalibre cruise missile slammed into this office block in Vinnystya, which is hundreds of miles from the closest front line, as Liza and Irina walked past – peppering them both with shrapnel
Russia has stepped up its attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine as its offensive in the east has stalled following the seizure of two key cities in late June and early July.
Ukraine says Putin’s men are taking an ‘operation pause’ before pushing on with their offensive, but that has not stopped them raining down death from a distance.
The first such strike obliterated the Kremenchuk mall on June 27, killing at least 20 people but leaving another 36 missing presumed dead.
Russia attempted to deny it had hit the mall – suggesting it had fired at nearby military targets including a factory and railway – and that ‘collateral’ damage had been caused by a fire that spread to the shopping centre.
But CCTV footage clearly showed a Russian anti-ship missile, originally designed to take out US aircraft carriers, slamming into the building.
That was followed by a hit on an apartment block in Mykolaiv on June 29 that left at least eight people dead, and another in Odesa on July 1 that killed 18.
Vinnytsya,450 miles went of the Donbas front line, is just the latest city to be hit in a series of Russian air strikes targeting civilians
Putin’s loyal defence minister Sergei Shoigu today said Russia must increase its shock and awe attacks in Ukraine.
Shoigu ‘gave instructions to further increase the actions of [military] groups in all operational areas’, local reports claimed.
A 70-year-old woman was among three victims in an airstrike on Chuhuiv near Kharkiv overnight.
A regional police official said Russia fired four missiles from near western city of Belgorod at around 3.30am.
The strike damaged a two-story residential building, a school and a shop, Kharkiv regional governor Oleh Synehubov said.
Dozens of people were wounded in the attack, many of them in serious condition, in just the latest Russian missile strike to hit a purely civilian area of Ukraine
Cars smoulder in front of an office block in the city of Vinnytsya, western Ukraine, after it was struck by three Russian missiles that landed around 10.50am on Thursday
Fire crews attempt to put out blazes in Vinnytsya caused by three Russian missiles which hit the city on Thursday morning
Ukraine’s shortened and straightened defensive line in the east has successfully repelled Russian attacks, according to the British Ministry of Defence.
Its daily intelligence update this morning stated that the ‘Ukrainian defence has been successful in repulsing Russian attacks since Lysychansk was ceded and the Ukrainian defensive line was shortened and straightened.’
It added: ‘This has allowed for the concentration of force and fires against reduced Russian attacks and has been instrumental in reducing Russia’s momentum.’