Featured Image Credit: @pashaleeofficial/Instagram
Fans, friends and colleagues have been paying tribute to Pasha Lee, a Ukrainian actor who was killed while fighting Russian forces.
Lee is understood to have died in a shelling attack while helping to evacuate civilians fleeing the town of Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on Sunday, March 6. He was 33.
Following the news of his death, those who knew Lee have been taking to social media to mourn the actor, who was best known for his breakthrough role in the 2019 comedy Meeting of Classmates, as well as his work as a voiceover actor in the Ukrainian-dubbed versions of The Lion King and The Hobbit.
Lee's passing was confirmed by Sergiy Tomilenko, president of Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists, who in statement expressed the union's 'sincere condolences' to his family and loved ones.
Julia Ostrovsk, head of UATV/DOM – a bilingual television channel broadcasting in Donbas for whom Lee had been working as a television presenter since its launch in 2020 – described the actor as 'the most joyful and sunny' of the presenters working for the channel.
'Our words of support are the entire team of the DOM channel, which embodies a noble mission of speech for the deoccupation of Donetsk, Luhansk regions and Crimea,' she said.
'Because of Russia's attack on all Ukraine, the mission is correct. Now all journalists are working to de-occupation of the country. For the sake of the world...'
Anastasiya Kasilova, an actor who co-starred with Lee in his final TV series, Provincial, wrote on Facebook: 'Pasha Lee killed during the shelling in Irpen, defending Ukraine. He is an actor, TV presenter, my colleague and a good acquaintance... Never forgive!'
In a tribute, the Odessa International Film Festival shared a list of Lee's career achievements, and urged the international community to step in to prevent further bloodshed.
'We call on the world community to help Ukraine in the fight against Russia and stop the war. We urge you to close the sky over Ukraine immediately and continue to boycott Russian cinema,' they wrote.
Lee was reportedly born in Crimea, a peninsula in the south of Ukraine that was annexed by Russia in 2014. He had joined the Territorial Defence Forces last week to defend his country following the Russian invasion, and shortly before his death shared a series of images of himself in uniform, telling his followers 'we are smiling because we will manage'.
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