According to local media, a Brazilian model who volunteered to fight alongside Ukraine was killed in a Russian missile strike. Thalita do Valle, a 39-year-old former model, had just returned from three weeks in Ukraine. She’d joined the sniper team. On June 30, a Russian missile struck the Kharkiv region while Valle and other Ukrainian forces were on their way to rescue Ukrainians from a village vacated by Russian troops. According to The Sun, the missile struck her bunker.
Former Brazilian Army soldier Douglas Burigo, 40, was also killed in the missile strike after returning to the bunker to find Thalito.
According to the other fighters, she was the only one left behind after the first missile strike.
“She was a hero, and her calling was to save lives, running after humanitarian missions,” her brother Theo Rodrigo Viera told Brazilian news outlet UOL
He said her role was as a rescuer, but she also provided cover for advancing troops.
Do Valle, a resident of Sao Paulo, was a former child actress and worked as a model after turning 18.
She also studied law and was passionate about animal activism, her family said, and she worked with NGOs to defend animal rights.
According to news.com.au, Do Valle received sniper training after joining the Pashmergas, the armed military forces of Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
The 39-year-old woman had previously served on humanitarian missions around the world and fought against ISIS in Iraq.