A woman whose blood-covered face has become an iconic picture of the invasion of Ukraine has promised to ‘do everything for my motherland’ after surviving a Russian missile attack on Thursday morning.
As the army of Vladimir Putin pounded cities and moved across Ukraine, the 52-year-old’s home in Chuguev, in the Kharkiv area, was wrecked by a bombardment. Olena Kurilo, speaking with a heavily bandaged face outside her destroyed home said she was ‘very lucky’ and admitted ‘I must have a guardian angel’ to have survived the attack. She went on to say that she had ‘never thought that this would truly happen in my lifetime’.
The teacher further said, ‘I will do everything for Ukraine, as much as I can, with as much energy as I have. I will always only be on my motherland’s side. I myself am a director, an educator, we studied the history, but we never thought that this would happen on our land’.
Kurilo’s home was totally demolished by the shelling, and she was injured by shards of glass thrown into her face when the missile hit. It comes after Putin launched a full-scale military attack by land, sea, and air shortly after announcing a special military operation in Ukraine in a pre-dawn television address.
Since then, violent confrontations have erupted in the northeastern provinces of Sumy and Kharkiv, as well as the southern areas of Kherson and Odessa, which is home to a large metropolis and Ukraine’s most vital seaport.