Ukrainian actor 'killed by Russians after giving his bulletproof vest to a child'

13 March 2022, 20:11 | Updated: 13 March 2022, 20:25

Actor and presenter Pasha Lee was killed in a Russian attack during an evacuation attempt
Actor and presenter Pasha Lee was killed in a Russian attack during an evacuation attempt. Picture: Getty/Instagram @pashaleeofficial

By Daisy Stephens

A Ukrainian actor who was killed in a Russian attack died after taking off his bulletproof vest to give to a child, a Ukrainian lawyer has said.

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Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of the Centre for Civil Liberties, said in a tweet that the body of Pasha Lee had been found five days after he was killed in battle.

She said the actor and presenter had been killed during an evacuation from the town of Irpin.

"We found the body of our Pasha Lee," wrote the human rights lawyer.

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"He helped the children get out of the house during the evacuation of people from Irpen.

"The evacuation that Russians disrupted by shelling civilians.

"Pasha took off his bulletproof vest and put it on the child he was carrying."

Mr Lee was a talented actor, having appeared in several films, including as a voice actor in the Ukrainian versions of The Lion King and The Hobbit.

He had also appeared on a number of talent shows including Star Factory and X-Factor.

The 33-year-old Irpin resident signed up for Ukraine's territorial defence force in the first days of the war.

It comes hours after an American journalist was killed whilst working in Ukraine, also in Irpin.

Brent Renaud, who had previously worked for the New York Times, was shot by Russian forces on the outskirts of Kyiv, according to police.

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The New York Times' deputy managing editor said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of Mr Renaud's death.

Cliff Levy said on Twitter: "We are deeply saddened to hear of Brent Renaud's death.

"Brent was a talented photographer and filmmaker who had contributed to The New York Times over the years."

Mr Renaud was not working for the paper at the time of his death.

The war in Ukraine has been raging for more than two weeks.

But it is widely thought Putin has been surprised by the strength of the Ukrainian and international responses.

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Russia has been hit by significant sanctions from a number of countries, and Ukrainian troops are staging a valiant fight that has so far prevented Russian troops from taking the capital of Kyiv.

In its latest intelligence update, the UK Ministry of Defence said Russia was "paying a high price for each advance", saying Ukraine "continues to offer staunch resistance across the country".