Iryna Filkina: Victim in Bucha massacre photo identified as makeup blogger by her manicure

Iryna Filkina: Victim in Bucha massacre photo identified as makeup blogger by her manicure
Iryna Filkina was ruthlessly killed by Russian forces while she was cycling her way home (Olha Shchyruk/Instagram)

A victim of the Bucha massacre, who was brutally killed by a Russian tank, has been identified as Iryna Filkina, an aspiring makeup blogger, by her unique manicure. She was identified after the photograph of her hand and bold red and pink nail varnish was shared widely on social media. The gut-wrenching photograph of her hand is considered one of the most tragic images from the Russian invasion of Ukraine so far.

But in addition to her identity being revealed, shocking drone footage released earlier this week appears to have captured the moment when the 52-year-old was killed as she was pushing her bicycle home, wearing a blue coat. The video suggests she was gunned down by a tank seconds after she rounded a corner. The footage showed a previously unidentified cyclist pushing their bike up the street, unaware that several Russian military vehicles lay in wait around the corner. A second video, taken a month later once Ukrainian forces had retaken the town, showed a cyclist in a blue coat at the same location lying dead on the pavement.


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The photograph showed the manicured hand of a previously unidentified woman killed during Russia's brutal occupation of the town northwest of Kyiv. Her body was found lying on the side of the road next to her bicycle, her arm outstretched to her side. Her bold red and pink nails stood out amidst the dirt.

After the image was shared widely on social media and by news organizations, and as the tragic events in the town at the hands of the Russian occupiers were being pieced together, the woman's unique manicure was recognized instantly by makeup artist Anastasiia Subacheva in nearby Gostomel. 

Subacheva told the New York Times that she recognized Filkina's hands and distinctive nails from her videos as she would often post videos about applying makeup, lipstick, and foundation. Subacheva told the newspaper during a telephone call that her heart broke when she saw the photograph.

Subacheva said that she knew many women from Bucha as she often traveled to the town to do makeup for several women there. "When I saw it, I felt physically like my heart had started to break," she told the Times.


After the victim was identified as Filkina from the photograph, Filkina's daughter Olha Shchyruk, who fled Bucha before Vladimir Putin's invasion, said that she had begged her mother not to cycle home on the day that she was killed, and instead flee the town as she had done. That same day, her mother had been unable to find space in a car evacuating the town and had tried to cycle home. Filkina was just 15 minutes away from her house when she was killed.

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