Nataliya Luhovska, a Ukrainian woman who joined the Azov regiment after her own son was killed on the front lines, has died inside the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.
CNN’s Isa Soares first reported on her story on Wednesday. In an interview, Nataliya’s mother, Paraskeviya, said she begged her daughter to leave Azovstal, but she rejected two offers to surrender.
“She goes until the end. There is no point in crying and begging,” her mother said. “I want people like Putin to not exist on Earth … What can I say, poor are those mothers that brought up sons that are now killing innocent people.”
When CNN reached Nataliya via Telegram on Monday, she wrote “morale is high” and “wait for us to come back with the victory."
The news of her death was also confirmed by the Azov regiment and the town mayor. Her family said she died as a result of an airstrike. She was 51 years old.
CNN first learned about the family’s story while filming in their hometown of Chernovohrad, about one hour north of Lviv.
When asked about her rank within the regiment, Nataliya said she was a junior sergeant, and that she first had a role as a military psychologist but then had “additional new responsibilities” that she couldn’t disclose.
According to the family, Nataliya’s son-in-law also died while fighting in Mariupol on April 21.