According to the authorities, 23 people died in a Russian rocket attack on the central Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia on Thursday – including three children. One of them is four-year-old Liza, as several media reports. Many people have since left flowers and stuffed animals at the site of the rocket attack.
Liza’s mother, Iryna Dmytriyeva, followed the life of the family with a blog on Instagram. Her daughter had Down syndrome. She was seriously injured in the attack. According to US radio station Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, she is in a coma and has lost a leg.
On the morning of the Russian attack, Iryna posted a video of herself and Liza, reports the New York Times. The four-year-old pushes a stroller in it. Mother and daughter were on their way to their speech therapist, who was working with Liza on her pronunciation.
A stroller very similar to Liza’s can be seen in pictures taken after the Russian attack. Next to it a lifeless child. Liza’s speech therapist confirmed to The New York Times that the shoes looked familiar. “When I saw these shoes, I recognized them. I knew it was our Liza.”
The family is actually from Kyiv, reports the New York Times. It was only at the beginning of the year that Liza’s mother moved to Vinnytsia, to the southwest, especially for her daughter’s speech therapy. Because she smiled all the time, the four-year-old had the nickname “Sunflower”, the newspaper quoted the speech therapist as saying.
Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, tweeted “appalled”. It was only through the reporting that she realized that she knew the little girl. Liza was part of a Christmas video that Selenska recorded with several children in 2021.
“The little girl managed to paint not only herself, her dress, but all the other children, me, the cameramen and the director with paint in half an hour.” Selenska shared the video and asked that Liza be seen alive in to keep memory.
“No other country in the world allows itself to destroy peaceful cities and lives every day with cruise missiles and rocket artillery,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his daily evening address on the state of Russia’s war of aggression. “The child was four years old!”