Killed Ukrainian mother identified as employee of Palo Alto startup

Tatiana Perebeinis and her two children spent two nights in a cold basement as Russian artillery strikes hit their town of Irpin, just outside the capital Kiev in Ukraine. The city lost power, electricity and heat as Russian forces pushed their invasion closer to the capital, leaving Perebeinis and many others with no options but to flee.

On Sunday, Perebeinis, 43, and his children, Nikita, 18, and Alise, 9, were killed along with a volunteer, Anatoly Berezhnyi, 26, who was helping them flee. Perebeinis was identified as an employee of a tech startup in Palo Alto, California. .

A photo of the bodies appeared on the cover of The New York Times on Monday, sparking more outrage over the deaths of more civilians during the war.

Wearing winter coats, their bodies lay on the ground surrounded by luggage and what photojournalist Lynsey Addario said was a small animal carrier with a barking dog. Ukrainian soldiers stand above them, trying to bring aid.

“I have witnessed many horrors over the past twenty years of war coverage, but the intentional targeting of children and women is pure evil,” Addario wrote in an Instagram post.

Perebeinis’ employer, SE Ranking, confirmed his death in a Facebook post. The majority of the company’s employees live in Ukraine.

“There are no words to describe our grief or to make amends for our pain. But for us, it is crucial not to let Tania and her children Alise and Nikita remain just statistics,” the company wrote in a statement. “His family was the victim of unprovoked shooting of civilians, which under any law is a crime against humanity.”

At least 500 civilians have been killed and 900 injured since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, according to the United Nations. On Wednesday, a maternity hospital in Mariupol was bombed and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said more than 50 children had been killed since the start of the war.

“The most frightening figure was the 50 Ukrainian children killed in 13 days of war,” Zelensky said in a speech Tuesday. “But in one hour, it became 52 children. I will never forgive him. And I know you will never forgive the occupiers.

The two countries have tried to agree on evacuation corridors to allow civilians to safely exit areas hardest hit by Russian artillery. According to Ukrainian officials, these conditions were not honored by Russian forces.

Serhiy Perebeinis told The New York Times that his wife and two children were trying to leave Irpin through one of these corridors when they were killed. Tatiana Perebeinis and her children spent two days in a basement before joining a religious group determined to evacuate to Kyiv. At first, Tatiana Perebeinis and her group tried to leave Irpin, but they had to abandon their minibus and walk towards a damaged bridge over the Irpin river.

Serhiy Perebeinis cared for his sick mother in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. He could not reach his family by phone on the day they were killed and said he learned of their deaths when he saw Addario’s photo on Twitter.

“I recognized the luggage and that’s how I knew,” he told The New York Times.

In a recent Facebook post, he wrote: “I went back to Kyiv. Today was a tough day in every way. Morgues are overflowing with dead civilians from Irpen, Buchi, Gostomel.

He said the funeral is postponed due to a judicial investigation into possible war crimes and their bodies have not yet been buried.

“Inside, the atmosphere resembles a horror movie,” he wrote. “All of this is hard to watch when your beloved woman is lying in a black bag on the floor.”




Los Angeles Times

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