Ukraine war: Four-year-old girl killed in Russian missile strike is buried

The coffin of four-year-old Liza Dmytrieva is lowered during a funeral ceremony in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. Credit: AP

Ukrainian Liza Dmytrieva had been on her way to see her speech therapist when she was killed by a Russian missile strike.

Liza, who had Down syndrome, was among at least 24 people killed, including two boys aged seven and eight - while another 200 who were wounded including Liza's mother.

Dressed up in white with a crown of matching flowers, the four-year-old was buried by relatives on Sunday.

"Look, my flower! Look how many people came to you,” Liza’s grandmother, Larysa Dmytryshyna, said, caressing Liza as she lay in an open coffin with flowers and teddy bears in Vinnytsia's 18th-century Transfiguration Cathedral.

Liza's father, Artem Dmytriev, stood silent, tears flowing down his face.

Liza’s mother, 33-year-old Iryna Dmytrieva, remains in an intensive care unit in grave condition. The family didn't tell her that Liza was being buried Sunday, fearing it could affect her condition.

Relatives and friends pay their last respects to Liza, a 4-year-old girl killed by a Russian attack. Credit: AP

When the war started, Iryna Dmytrieva had fled Kyiv with relatives for Vinnytsia, which until Thursday was considered relatively safe.

Shortly before the explosion, she had posted a video on social media showing her daughter straining to reach the handlebars to push her own stroller.

After the Russian missile strike, Ukraine’s emergency services shared photos showing her lifeless body on the ground next to her blood-stained stroller.

A woman carries a portrait of Liza. Credit: AP

Liza's closest relatives sat on both sides of the coffin, and many more crowded Vinnytsia's Orthodox cathedral to pay their last tributes to the girl.

“I didn’t know Liza, but no person can go through this with calm,” Orthodox priest Vitalii Holoskevych said, bursting into tears. ‘’Because every burial is grief for each of us. We are losing our brothers and sisters."

He paused and continued in a trembling voice: ‘’We know that evil cannot win.’’

“You loved this song very much, you danced every day. This song sounds for you now," Dmytrushyna, Liza's grandmother, said. The song was “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow,” which has become a symbol of resistance in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion.

A seven-year-old boy killed in the same Russian airstrike was also buried on Sunday along with his mother in a village near Vinnytsia. They were at a medical centre when the missiles hit the building.