Pasha Lee, a well-known Ukranian actor, TV host, singer and composer, was killed Sunday by Russian shelling.
According to local reports and Ukraine’s Odesa International Film Festival Facebook account, the movie star had “joined the ranks of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in order to protect the country from Russian occupiers.” He was killed “as a result of shelling by Russian occupiers,” the festival organizers said.
Lee’s last Instagram post on Friday showed him in Irpen wearing camouflage gear as he wrote in the caption (roughly translated to English): “For the last 48 hours there is an opportunity to sit down and take a picture of how we are being bombed, and we are smiling because we will manage and everything will be UKRAINE. WE ARE WORKING!!!”
The actor was also a singer and TV host, plus he did voiceover dubbing for the Ukrainian versions of movies like The Hobbit and The Lion King, according to Deadline.
The New York Times reported that on Sunday, Russian forces fired mortar shells at a bridge in Irpin that was being used to evacuate people from the area, killing at least four civilians.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades. Details of the fighting change by the day, but hundreds of civilians have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. More than a million Ukrainians have also fled, the United Nations says.
The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.
With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.
Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the best security interests of his country. Zelenskyy vowed not to bend.
“Nobody is going to break us, we’re strong, we’re Ukrainians,” he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting, adding, “Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness.”