Pictures of the blood-soaked face of Olena Kurilo, a teacher in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region who survived a Russian missile attack, are being circulated as a symbol of Ukrainian resistance.
Pictures of Ukrainian teacher Olena Kurilo going viral | Getty Images
- Kurilo is a resident of Chuguev in Kharkiv
- Russian troops are closing in on Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv
- I must have a guardian angel, Kurilo said after surviving the missile attack
Olena Kurilo, a 52-year-old teacher in Ukraine, would never have imagined that her blood-soaked face could one day symbolise the invasion of her country. Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 ordered his troops to enter Ukraine as part of a “special military operation”.
On the first day of the invasion, Russian forces bombed a number of Ukrainian cities, including Chuguev in the Kharkiv region. A school teacher living in Chugev, Olena Kurilo says her home was attacked by a Russian missile but she lives to tell the tale.
Pictures of Kurilo’s blood-soaked face covered in bandages are doing the rounds on the internet. The pictures have also made it to the front pages of several leading British dailies.
“I will do everything for my motherland,” Olena Kurilo told The Independent on Saturday. Kurilo admitted that she was “very lucky” to have survived the Russian missile attack on her home.
“I must have a guardian angel,” she told the publication.
Destroyed Russian military vehicles photographed on the outskirts of Kharkiv on Friday | AP
Olena Kurilo also said that as a school teacher, she “never thought that this [Russian invasion of Ukraine] would truly happen” in her lifetime.
Standing in front of her home destroyed by a Russian missile, Kurilo 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.”
Russian troops are nearing Kyiv with the British defence ministry estimating that they may be 30 km from the centre of Ukraine’s capital city. While hundreds have fled to neighbouring countries, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and millions of others have decided to stay back and defend their capital city.