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Keeping up with Ukraine's fearless women warriors

Since the Ukraine-Russia war began, Scripps News has been following courageous Ukrainian women on the front lines. Here's an update on their stories.
Keeping up with Ukraine's fearless women warriors
Posted at 6:36 PM, Feb 21, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-22 12:29:14-05

Scripps News met Maj. Uliana Sozanska last spring near the front lines in Bakhmut, Ukraine.

Just weeks before the meeting, she had led an air force band, far from any battlefield. However, when her only brother fell victim to a Russian attack, everything changed. Fueled by the desire to avenge his death, she enlisted in the same unit with which he had fought.

Sozanska said that her brother’s motto was, “A warrior lives as long as people remember him.” Now her brother’s photo is displayed on a huge banner in the heart of Ukraine's capital. 

Suzanka shared with us a photo of her new tattoo honoring her brother. In the new year, she’s now posting on social media photos of herself at the front, writing, “Never will we give up!”

SEE MORE: Why a Ukrainian musician joined her fallen brother's army brigade

Shifting focus to another remarkable woman: For nearly two years, Scripps News followed Emerald and her fairy-tale journey from jeweler, to sniper, to wife and then mother.

The dramatic developments in the life of the woman known as "Ukraine’s Joan of Arc" continue to unfold.

While she is still in Kyiv raising her daughter, she announced on social media that she is getting a divorce.

But that has not stopped her from continuing to leave a legacy. 

She is now using her fame in Ukraine to advocate on behalf of victims of domestic violence, founding an organization with over 700 volunteers as her new front line.

SEE MORE: Sniper dubbed 'Ukrainian Joan of Arc' shares what saved her life

Now let's talk about the commander of a Ukrainian mortar platoon, whose call sign is "Witch."

To meet Witch last winter, Scripps News journeyed near the front line, under constant Russian shelling. 

Witch, a lawyer turned mortar commander, offered insight into how many women, who weren't allowed to serve in combat positions before 2016, are now thriving in a male-dominated military. 

We recently had a reunion when we reported our story about Witch's mentee, Demon, the young 19-year-old mortarwoman. 

Ukraine’s military has promoted her again, making her one of the highest-ranking women on the battlefield. Witch is still fighting.

SEE MORE: 'Witch,' Ukraine's fearless mortar commander, orders walls of fire


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