Who was Thalita do Valle? Brazilian model and sniper, 39, killed fighting Russians in Ukraine
A Brazilian model and sniper who was fighting for Ukraine against Vladimir Putin's forces has been killed by a Russian missile strike. 39-year-old Thalita do Valle previously fought against ISIS in Iraq, and took part in humanitarian missions. Valle was killed last week after a missile struck her bunker in Kharkiv, which has been subjected to multiple bombings during the war.
Valle earlier documented her conflict experience on her YouTube channel. Her videos on fighting ISIS became extremely popular and gained at least 32,000 views. Meanwhile, former Brazilian Army soldier Douglas Burigo, 40, was also killed in the recent attack when he came to look for Valle.
Who was Thalita do Valle?
Thalita do Valle studied law after working as a model and actress. She also participated in animal rescues with NGOs. In her videos, the sniper documented how she received sniper training when she joined the Peshmergas, which is the armed military forces of the independent Kurdistan region of Iraq, the Daily Mail reported.
Before her death, a writer was working with her to turn her Ukraine experience into a book. Valle's brother, Theo Rodrigo Viera, said she was a hero who wished to save lives and participated in humanitarian missions. Valle had been in Ukraine for only three weeks, working as a rescuer as well as a sharpshooter. She was also providing cover from advancing Russian forces.
Valle had previously survived a bombing in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Following that attack, she had told her family that she could not speak on her mobile much as mobile phone activities were being monitored by Russian drones. She told them she would only call to tell them she was fine. Her family spoke to her last week for the last time, after she had just moved to Khariv.
Another sniper who joined Ukraine in their fight against Russia is 'Charcoal', who goes by the name 'Ugoliok' in Ukraine. She has been praised as a national hero after joining the front line with her comrades. In 2017, Charoal joined the Ukrainian marines. Ever since then, she has engaged pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.
One of the world's most deadly snipers also joined Ukraine earlier this year. The marksman is known only by his nickname 'Wali'. Wali, 40, hails from the Royal Canadian 22nd Regiment. He was previously involved in combat in the Kandahar theater during the Afghanistan War between 2009 and 2011. In 2015, Wali traveled to Iraq to help fight the Islamic State's forces. Wali has left behind his wife and son, 1, to join the fight for Ukraine. He was contacted by a friend who has been assisting in arranging 'neutral humanitarian aid convoys' into the occupied Donbas region in the southeast of Ukraine. Wali said when he answered the call to join the Ukrainian volunteer forces, he felt "like a firefighter who hears the alarm ringing".