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Olga 'Kursa' Kachura death: Missile strike kills Russia's first senior female officer

A Russian female commander who boasted of her pleasure in killing Ukrainians and whose troops fired at civilians in the Donbas region has been killed in a rocket attack.

Lieutenant Colonel Olga “Kursa” Kachura, 52, was killed instantly after a Ukrainian missile hit her car while she was driving in the town of Horlivka, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Kachura, Russia’s first female officer to die in the war in Ukraine, was a colonel of a missile artillery division that fired on civilians in the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Her unit shot at civilians in the Donbas region, and Kachura later boasted that she enjoyed killing Ukrainians in interviews on Kremlin propaganda channels.

Kachura, a Ukrainian who worked for the Horlivka police, reportedly defected to the pro-Russian side in 2014 after Putin sparked a rebel uprising in the Donbas.

According to the Ukrainian armed forces, she often disguised herself as a member of the regular Ukrainian armed forces to commit war crimes in order to discredit them.

“(Kachura was) guilty of shelling the cities of Donbas and killing civilians,” Ukrainian journalist Denis Kazanskyi said. “In Ukraine she was sentenced in absentia to 12 years in prison.”

Lieutenant Colonel Olga ‘Kursa’ Kachura, 52, was killed instantly after a Ukrainian missile hit her car while she was driving in the town of Horlivka, in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

The mother of two, posthumously awarded the honor of Hero of Russia, was a colonel in the armed forces of the Russian puppet state of Donetsk People's Republic, where she commanded a missile artillery division deployed against Ukraine

The mother of two, posthumously awarded the honor of Hero of Russia, was a colonel in the armed forces of the Russian puppet state of Donetsk People’s Republic, where she commanded a missile artillery division deployed against Ukraine

She becomes one of the last high-ranking Russian officers to be killed in Ukraine during the Russian president’s relentless invasion of the country, in which Ukrainian forces fiercely defended their country.

Kachura is the 97th known officer killed in Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Putin posthumously awarded Kachura the Hero of Russia – the Kremlin’s highest award – “for her bravery and heroism displayed in the performance of military duty.”

Margarita Simonyan, the head of the sanctioned RT network, said: ‘Legendary Korsa died in Horlivka… May she rest in peace…

‘The boss [Putin] awarded Korsa the title of Hero of Russia. That’s how it should be. These are our common heroes.’

Kachura was a career police investigator who rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before joining the forces of Putin-backed separatists.

She served in the 3rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade Berkut of the 1st Army Corps of the DPR and commanded a Grad MLRS division in Horlivka. There were 140 gunners under her command.

The mother of two had been injured several times in previous attacks. She held the rank of colonel in the DPR forces since 2015.

Putin posthumously awarded Kachura the Hero of Russia - the Kremlin's highest award -

Putin posthumously awarded Kachura the Hero of Russia – the Kremlin’s highest award – “for her bravery and heroism displayed in the performance of military duty”

Last year, Ukraine sentenced Kachura in absentia to 12 years in prison with confiscation of property for “participation in a terrorist group or terrorist organization.” It is thought that she ordered shelling of towns in the Donbas, resulting in civilian deaths.

She was head of Horlivka’s powerlifting federation and an honorary citizen of the town, which was a twin town in England with Barnsley.

Mayor of Horlivka Ivan Prikhodko said: ‘A brave and wise woman who was there from the beginning of the People’s Militia of the DPR has died tragically.

“Olga Kachura, victorious and unshakable Korsa.”

Kochura’s death comes after the first female Russian soldier killed in Ukraine was buried last month.

Corporal Anastasia Savitskaya, 35, a married mother of two who is said to be a “true hero,” was buried on July 13 in her native Volgograd, a city in southwestern Russia.

“The deceased became the first soldier to die during the special military operation,” said Alexander Strukov, the leader of the local veterans.

A friend of Savitskaya said: “She dreamed of serving in the army since childhood and signed a contract at the age of 18.” Going to war in Ukraine “was her choice,” they said.

Her bereaved husband—a former soldier, unnamed—said at her funeral, “How am I going to live now? Why did I let you go there? Beloved, beautiful, dear.’

Corporal Anastasia Savitskaya, 35, a married mother of two who is said to be a

Corporal Anastasia Savitskaya, 35, a married mother of two who is said to be a “true hero,” is buried today in her native Volgograd, a city in southwestern Russia. Pictured: Savitskaya can be seen in a photo at her funeral last month

In the photo: Russian soldiers guard Corporal Anastasia Savitskaya's coffin at her funeral last month

In the photo: Russian soldiers guard Corporal Anastasia Savitskaya’s coffin at her funeral last month

Unlike some western countries, it is rare for Russian soldiers to go to war. Ukraine, for example, has seen several female soldiers take part in the fighting.

A eulogy at the woman’s funeral said, “A female warrior has always been an exception to the rule. But Anastasia, having mastered the “home front,” without fear, went to a dangerous special operation and accomplished a double feat.”

Meanwhile, this week Putin also has lost two more colonels in his Russian forces, the latest evidence of the devastating toll his high ranks have suffered.

Paratrooper Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Pozdeev served in the Kutuzov Airborne Assault Brigade in Ulyanovsk.

Acting head of the Republic of Komi Vladimir Uyba said he “died a hero during the special war operation in Ukraine”.

Russia has tried to cover up the number of high-ranking deaths in Ukraine.

It was also revealed that Lieutenant Colonel Denis Sorokin, a married father of two, died near Melitopol earlier in the war.

He was commander of an assault battalion, also posthumously awarded the Hero of Russia.

A dozen generals died in the war.

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