Yana Rykhlitska “The Angel of Fighters” Killed by Russian Mortars near Bakhmut

Her brave heart stopped beating on Friday, March 3rd near Bakhmut. She was killed while evacuating wounded from the besieged city. She would have turned 30 on April 2nd.

Their medical vehicle was shelled by Russia when Yana Rykhlitska’s team of combat medics drove the narrow road to Bakhmut to transport the wounded to the stabilization point outside the city.

Yana was born in Vinnytsia and obtained a Master’s degree with honors from the National Law Academy of Ukraine in 2015. Before the full-scale war, Yana worked as a Lead IT Recruiter at Akvelon.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, she volunteered and helped Ukrainian civilians and military. In May 2022, Yana set the status in her work messenger profile: “On vacation till our Victory” and joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine to become a paramedic at the first aid post in Bakhmut.

For the past 9 months, she had served as a Junior Officer paramedic in the 93rd Brigade “Kholodny Yar”, saving lives on the very front lines of war. 24/7, without weekends or holidays.

In spite of tiredness and lack of time, she also continued to be a volunteer, raising funds and delivering aid to Ukrainian defenders and combat medics.

Yana was an integral part of United With Ukraine’s efforts, gathering requests from Ukrainians in the hottest place of the battlefield and helping deliver the equipment and aid to the right hands.

She is a true Hero. Yana chose a call sign “Yara”, but her comrades keep calling her “The Angel of Fighters”, “The Angel of Bakhmut”. She saved hundreds of lives and could have saved so many more people. Russia killed her.

"When Ukraine wins, remember that half of the work was done by Yana. That's right. I don't know a unit that wouldn't be grateful to her," writes Yana’s friend Tetiana Zenart.

Indeed, everyone in Ukraine knows Yana, somehow she helped everyone.

She was buried on March 7 in her hometown Vinnytsia, on the Alley of Heroes. It is hard to describe the excruciating pain and grief of her family and friends who came from across Europe to kneel and bow to her sacrifice.

She was the only child in the family.

Yana’s parents refused to take any financial support for themselves and called on all those willing to donate to the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in memory of their daughter. 

Yana would be so proud of their decision. She fought so hard for Ukraine’s victory and her fight lives on in her family and friends all over the world. 

Heroes don’t die. Heroyam Slava!

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