Several Ukrainian women have picked up arms to defend their country against the Russian onslaught. Among them was Olga Semidyanova, a mother of 12, who died a hero on the front line on March 3 while fighting Vladimir Putin’s soldiers.

The 48-year-old combat medic was shot in the stomach during a fierce battle in the city of Donetsk in the south of Ukraine. Most of her unit was also killed in the attack. 

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It’s been almost three weeks since her death, but her family is yet to recover her body as fighting continues in the area.

“She saved the soldiers to the last. We have photos from the place of death — but due to heavy fighting we still can’t bury my mother,” her daughter, Julia, told The Sun on Wednesday. 

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Olga Semidyanova had served in the military since 2014. She was a mother of 12 children, six of whom were adopted. She had been given the title Mother Heroine, which is given to women who have more than five children.

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Paying tribute to her, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the country’s Interior Ministry, said, “She was slain in a confrontation with Russian thugs. Even when she believed her regiment might not survive, she emphasised her desire to protect the country until the end. She is a national hero. She is a hero to me.”

Several Ukrainians took to social media to thank Olga for her selfless act. 

“This Ukrainian woman is truly a hero,” one person wrote. 

“RIP Olga Semidyanova, hero of Ukraine defender of Europe,” wrote another user.

Another person wrote, “Olga Semidyanova fought till the end for her country. RIP hero.”