Mother and two children gunned down by Russian forces as they fled Irpin along 'evacuation corridor'

090322 Tanya and family, ITV News
Tanya Perebeinis and her children Alisa and Nikita were killed by Russian forces as they tried to flee Irpin. Credit: ITV News

Tributes have been made for a family gunned down by Russian forces as they fled the Ukrainian city of Irpin along an "evacuation corridor."

Tatiana Perebeinis, who was killed on Sunday along with her children Alisa, 9, and 18-year-old Nikita, had waited as long as she could in Irpin to stay by her sick mother's side.

But when her house was shelled by the Russian military, she had no choice to flee through what was meant to be a safe passage out of the city - a humanitarian corridor.

"She was like a big sister to all of us, she was kind, helpful, understanding, just everything was good about her," her colleague at tech firm SE Ranking, Ksenia Khirvonnia, told ITV News.

The Perebeinis family were gunned down by Russian forces as they fled Iprin along an 'evacuation corridor'. Credit: AP

"She was one of the pillars of our company, she was a great specialist. She always knew the answers to all of our questions... she was very important to the company in general and every one of us.

"She was a great mother, a great colleague, a great wife and a great daughter."

Tatiana, 43, who is called Tanya by friends, had been living in Irpin since 2014, having previously fled Donetsk in the east of Ukraine during the 2014 conflict with Russia.

Russia had agreed to humanitarian corridors for residents to safely leave various cities in Ukraine, but its troops broke ceasefires, according to senior officials.

'There are no words to describe the pain': Tanya Perebeinis' colleague pays tribute to her friend

The result was thousands of residents across the country fearing for their lives on what were meant to be safe passages.

"This is just heartbreaking. We cannot forgive it and there are no words to describe the pain of her close people, all of us... we're just devastated, saddened, there are no words to describe it," said Ksenia.

"We are shocked... the thing we want to do now is to share the story and not to make her and her kids' death just more statistics of the losses of the war.

"They were real people, they were great people, they had a life to live and it was just brutally taken away from them for nothing."

Ksenia Khirvonnia said she wants the world to know that Tanya, Nikita and Alisa Perebeinis had lives ahead of them that were "brutally taken away from them for nothing"

Ksenia added that Tanya's husband "lost everything he had in his life."

She recalled how they went on a corporate holiday together to Georgia and how Tanya's bravery convinced her to paraglide with her.

Those moments "will always live" with her, she said.

On a recent work trip to Georgia, Tanya Perebeinis went paragliding. Credit: ITV News

Tanya's children were her "pride." Her son, Nikita, was choosing his university before Russia began invading his country.

Alisa, meanwhile, once visited their office and played with her mum's colleagues

"I couldn't do nothing but admire her as a person and a mother... because she had those two good values," Ksenia said.

Tanya Perebeinis was described as a 'great mother, a great colleague, a great wife and a great daughter'. Credit: AP

"She was forced to leave Donetsk in 2014 when Russia first occupied the eastern regions of Ukraine and started the war there so she was a refugee back then but she didn't lose her positive attitude to life, her courage, her sense of humour.

"She always cheered everyone around up and she started a new life in Kyiv, bought a new apartment with her husband.

"They were doing great and they had plans for their future and I think it's such a big injustice that their lives had to end this way that I can't describe it in words. I just wish that the Russian army ceased to exist."