Ex-model sniper in Ukraine suffocated in bunker fire after Russian bombing

The stunning ex-model sniper who died in Ukraine suffocated in a bunker fire after Russian bombing.

Initial reports indicated that courageous Thalita do Valle, 39, died in the city of Kharkiv last Thursday (June 30) as Russian bombers targeted the battalion she was with.

Subsequent reports have suggested the time and location may have been different.

READ MORE: 'Hero' glam sniper and ex-model killed by Russian forces fighting in Ukraine

Friend and fellow Brazilian Douglas Burigo, 40, is thought to have died trying to save the former model.

Thalita's family confirmed the tragic passing yesterday (Tuesday, July 5).

Her brother, Theo Rodrigo Vieira, was given the news by the Ukrainian Foreign Legion on Sunday (July 3).

He said: "We were notified of everything that happened. There were successive attacks and the battalion was divided.

"Thalita went to the bunker and there was already a fire with the bunker closed with her inside.

"Her friend [Douglas] returned to save her in the interval between the bombing and ended up dead. She died of asphyxiation, she wasn't hit by shrapnel."

Thalita travelled to Ukraine three weeks ago having lived in São Paulo for 30 years before that.

Theo explained that, as she was a keen humanitarian, her trip to Eastern Europe following Vladimir Putin's invasion wasn't unusual.

He revealed: "Thalita has always been involved in humanitarian missions with the foreign legion of some country or here in Brazil.

"She was always moved by the feeling of saving animals and humans.

"My sister was always peaceful, a genuine progressive. Guns are part of a context, war, but she saved lives, she saved animals.

"She never encouraged young people to take up arms. She was a peaceful person."

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Hailing from Ribeirao Preto some 300km North of São Paulo, is thought that Thalita was a law student and photographic model when she was 18.

She got into humanitarian work as a rescue worker after two dam disasters in Mariana and Brumadinho in 2015 and 2018 respectively.

Reports suggest she trained as a sniper with the Peshmerga – a branch of the Iraqi Armed Forces – and fought against ISIS in the Middle East.

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