KEY POINTS

  • Vladimir Putin awarded Korsa the "Hero of Russia" award posthumously 
  • Ukraine had earlier sentenced her to 12 years in prison in absentia 
  • She had since been in hiding and was featured on Kyiv's "Wanted" list

An infamous pro-Russian fighter from Donetsk died in Ukrainian action, Russian forces reported Wednesday. Olga Kachur, also known as Korsa, was the commander of the 'Grad' MRLS division when she died in combat.

Korsa was a member of the Horlivka police until she defected to the Russian side in 2014. She then joined the pro-Russian side and began working against Ukrainian authorities. Her death was also confirmed by the Strategic Communications Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

According to The New Voice Of Ukraine report, Korsa often disguised herself as a member of the Armed Forces of Ukraine while committing war crimes in order to discredit the Ukrainian army. In her interviews, Korsa allegedly admitted that she enjoyed killing Ukrainians.

"(She was) guilty of the shelling of the cities of Donbas and the deaths of civilians. In Ukraine, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison in absentia,” according to Ukrainian journalist Denis Kazansky. Korsa had since been hiding in the Russian-occupied parts of the Donetsk region. She was declared "wanted" by the Ukrainian authorities.

An earlier report had mentioned how she commanded an artillery division of the illegal armed group "Golden Eagle 3rd Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade" in Donbas, and took up arms against the Ukrainian forces. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Korsa's actions with "Grad" MLR systems near Ilovaisk, Debaltseve, Vuhlehirsk, Marynivka, and Avdiyivka in the Donetsk region had resulted in mass casualties.

Immediately after the news of her death broke, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Korsa the Hero of Russia award, according to Euro Weekly News.

"Vladimir Putin signed a decree awarding the title of Hero of Russia to Colonel Olga Kachura (posthumously) – for courage and heroism in the performance of military duty," read an official statement published by the Kremlin’s official telegram channel.

Denis Pushylin, head of the Donetsk People’s Republic, too commented on the award. Hailing her for her fearless military service, Pushylin said Korsa deserves to be remembered.

Last month, Russia reported that a Russian female soldier had died in Ukraine, though Kremlin did not mention the circumstances of her death. According to reports, Anastasia Savitskaya was a corporal from the southwestern Russian city of Volgograd when she died. A mother of two, Savitskaya had dreamed of serving in the army since childhood, and signed a contract at the age of 18. It was her decision to join the war in Ukraine.

This frontline trench in the Donbas stands against Russian efforts to seize control of the Ukrainian region
Representation. This frontline trench in the Donbas stands against Russian efforts to seize control of the Ukrainian region. AFP / MIGUEL MEDINA
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