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“Liza just took her first steps and said her first words”. Stories of people whose lives were taken by the Russian drone attack on Odesa

They were just sleeping at home, children and adults, in a nine-story building on Dobrovolskoho Avenue in Odesa. Until the Russian drone strike.

Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine

On the night of March 2, 2024, the Russian attack on Odesa partially destroyed a residential building. The rescuers found the bodies of the victims under the rubble: the attack killed 12 people, including five children. Here are their stories.

This text was prepared by the Memorial Memory Platform that tells the stories of the Ukrainian military and civilians killed by Russia, for

Haidarzhy family: Anna and her son Tymofii

Tymofii Haidarzhy was four months old. He was born on October 20, 2023, into a family of evangelical Christians: photographer Serhii and florist Anna.

“In 2023, our beautiful son Tymofii was born – such a bright boy, a ray of sunshine for all of us,” said the boy’s father, Serhii Haidarzhy. The family lived in a multi-story building on Dobrovolskoho Avenue.

Photo from personal archive / social media page
Photo from personal archive / social media page

Anna Haidarzhy worked as a designer-florist: she decorated cafes and restaurants with flowers for festive events like weddings, birthdays, and more. In December 2023, she turned 31, and shortly before that, she became a mother for the second time.

“Today I’m thirty-one, thank you, God, for my husband and our children. Thank you for giving me so much. So happy,” Anna wrote on her last birthday.

Serhii met Anna in the summer of 2020 at a camp, and proposed just two weeks later. The couple got married on October 31, 2020. “Everything happened quickly for us, many people were surprised… I couldn’t believe I got married, had such a beautiful wife, then I couldn’t believe we had a child. And now I can’t believe they are not with us anymore,” said Serhii Haidarzhy during the memorial evening for Anna and Tymofii.

Friends and relatives remember Anna as talented, bright, and sincere. She loved life, her friends say.

“I always found her flower creations fascinating… I will forever remember this woman for her sunny smile,” wrote one of Anna’s friends, Kristina Pasichnichenko.

Rescuers found the bodies of Tymofii and Anna next to each other after the Russian attack. Serhii, as well as Tymofii’s older sister, Liza, were in another room at the time of the drone strike. They managed to survive.

Kravets family: Tetiana, Oleh, and three children, Liza, Zlata, and Serhii

The Russian shelling of Odesa on March 2, 2024, also took the lives of the Kravets family. Tetiana and Oleh Kravets, both servicepersons, their little daughter Liza, born in July 2023, and two children from Tetiana’s first marriage, Zlata and Serhii, were found under the rubble of the collapsed part of the building.

Photo from personal archive / social media page

Oleh Kravets, 40, was born in the Odesa region. He was a serviceman of the Regional Directorate of the Territorial Defense Forces “South”, holding the rank of lieutenant colonel and participating in combat operations. In 2014, the man lost his younger brother, Yevhen, who was defending Ukraine.

Tetiana Kravets turned 36 shortly before the tragedy. She was born in the village of Raukhivka in the Odesa region and served as a member of the 56th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade of Mariupol in the past. 

Her children, Zlata, 8, and Serhii, 9, who were killed that night, were also born in Raukhivka, the Odesa region. They later lived and studied in Mariupol, where their mother and stepfather served. Zlata practiced acrobatics for a while and loved to draw. At a young age, Serhii underwent several surgeries due to a congenital heart defect.

When Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Serhii, Zlata, and their older brother Vlad went back to their grandmother’s home. Later, the family reunited and settled in an apartment on Dobrovolskoho Avenue in Odesa.

Tetiana’s eldest son, Vlad, was at his grandmother’s house that night and was not injured.

“All the kids lived with Tetiana. After her contract with the military was over, my sister took maternity leave to care for Liza. Later, Oleh managed to transfer to Odesa, as he wanted to be close to the family. Liza had just taken her first steps along the sofa, started talking, and said her first ‘mom’ and ‘dad’. They were bright, positive, and joyful children,” said their aunt, Olena Tsurkalenko.

The farewell ceremony for the Kravets family was held on March 5.

Pohozhyn family: Vitalii and his son Mark

35-year-old Vitalii Pogozhin was from the settlement of New York in the Donetsk region. He was an entrepreneur and a broker. In his free time, he loved traveling.

“He always wanted to be a businessman. We joked about it when we were young … He was active and achieved his goals. Before the full-scale war, he opened a restaurant, but things didn’t work out,” said Vitalii’s friend, Yuliia Kovalenko.

His classmate, Sabina Ivanchuk (Aliieva), remembers Vitalii as a kind, smiling person who was always ready to offer advice and help others.

In 2020, Vitalii and his wife Anastasiia became parents. Their son, Mark (or, as they called him lovingly, Markusha), was an active and smiling boy.

Photo from personal archive / social media page
Photo from personal archive / social media page

“Mark didn’t like attention and preferred to be alone. No matter how much we wanted to film or talk to him on camera, if he said no, it meant no – that’s how he was, a “baby boss”. We often asked Anastasiia to capture him on camera – quietly while he watched cartoons. We just wanted to admire this little wonder,” said Mark’s grandmother, Nataliia Martyniuk.

On the night of March 2, 2024, a Russian drone hit the family’s home, killing little Mark and his father, Vitalii.

“A few hours before the explosions, we were still talking on a video call. Markusha was mumbling something and asking his mom not to film him… I dreamed so much of meeting him again, hugging him, taking for a walk…” said Mark’s aunt Masha.

Anastasiia, Mark’s mother and Vitalii’s wife, survived the Russian attack but was hospitalized in critical condition.

Hanna Cheban

73-year-old doctor Hanna Cheban was from Odesa. For 43 years, she worked at City Children’s Hospital No. 2. The woman was dedicated to her job. According to her colleagues, Hanna adored children and was always ready to help others. In her spare time, the woman enjoyed embroidery.

In 2011, Hanna lost her husband; her son also passed away due to illness. Her daughter and granddaughter, named Ania after her [Ania is a form of the name Hanna – ed.], settled abroad. After the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Hanna Cheban visited them but then returned to Ukraine.

Photo from personal archive / social media page

“She missed home a lot. She loved her job and her patients. She knew the names of all the patients’ parents. And the children loved her. Hanna Oleksiivna had a sensitive and kind nature and was always open to communication. She was a doctor who raised several generations! She had authority among colleagues and was always ready to cover a shift for someone,” said Kateryna Patramanska, Head of the City Children’s Hospital No. 2

Hanna Cheban lived on the 9th floor of the partially destroyed building, targeted by an enemy drone. The woman was killed in her own apartment.

The Russian attack on Odesa also took the lives of Mykhailo Voitov and Olha Shcherbyna.