“I Had To Do Something.” Injured Teen Dodges Explosives Driving Ukrainians To Safety.

As brave Ukrainians continue to defend their country from Russian aggression, heroes are emerging on the battlefields.

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The most recent hero is not a grown man or woman who willingly joined the fight; it’s a young girl of just fifteen. Her name is Anastasia, and her story is making international headlines – with very good reason.

bombed building in Ukraine
CNN

Anastasia is from Popasna, a city that has been devastated by Russian artillery in recent weeks. Authorities say it’s one of the hardest-hit cities in Ukraine. During a recent battle, Anastasia was shuffled into a car with three men and a woman, none of whom were members of her family. The teen was a passenger in the car, but when Russian soldiers started firing on them near the Russian border in Luhansk region, two of the men were gravely injured.

Though she is too young to have a driver’s license, Anastasia had no choice but to take the wheel herself.

map of Popasna
CNN

Heading towards a hospital in Bakhmut, about 20 miles away from Popasna, Anastasia navigated bombed buildings and debris-lined roads. The most difficult part of the journey was a bridge that had been peppered with land mines.

“We have a bridge, and we had mines there in a checkerboard pattern,” she recalled. “There was no way to get through. But I somehow made it.”

Just when she thought the worst was behind them, they encountered another group of Russian soldiers. They opened fire on the car, hitting Anastasia in the legs and damaging the car’s battery.

“And the car stopped too,” the teen remembered. “The engine had been shot up. It had a bullet in the battery. Somehow I got it started again. It was not easy. It was extremely painful to drive.”

By the time the car finally gave out for good, Anastasia had made it far enough that Ukrainian soldiers were able to save them. As she was transported to the hospital in an ambulance, the teen’s face was serene as she recounted the horrific journey she’d just made.

Anastasia in ambulance
CNN

“It was not easy but I had to do it,” she explained. “I could not leave the people under fire. They were so badly injured that I had to take control of the wheel and drive. I had to drive because it was an emergency. Otherwise they would have bled to death.”

“But I had to do something,” she added. “I could not leave everyone under fire.”

It’s tragic that someone so young should be called upon to save others, but war is nothing if not tragic. We’re sending our love to this brave teenager as she recovers from her injuries.

Please share this story to celebrate Anastasia’s strength.

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