US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power tweeted Wednesday that a worker at one of USAID’s partner organizations “was killed by the Russian military just shy of her 32nd birthday.”
“I’m enormously sad to share the death of Valeriia ‘Lera’ Maksetska — proud Ukrainian, beloved @USAID implementing partner & brilliant, compassionate leader on building social cohesion & fighting disinformation,” Power wrote on Twitter.
“Born & raised in Donetsk, Lera answered Russia’s 2014 invasion by working on the humanitarian response. She survived the shelling of Donetsk, moved to Kyiv, and started working with USAID — where she became beloved as ‘a brave woman with a kind heart,’” Power tweeted.
“Lera, a trained medic, could’ve left Kyiv when the invasion began, but stayed to help others. Only when her mom Irina ran out of medicine did she evacuate. As Lera, Irina & their driver Yaroslav waited in a car for a Russian convoy to pass, a tank fired on them—killing all three,” added Power.
Power said Maksetska’s death was devastating to USAID, her organization Chemonics, and “all who knew her.”