Ukrainian Actor Who Gave Up Stardom To Join His Homeland's Defense Killed In Action

Ukrainian actor and TV star Pasha Lee
instagram | @pashaleeofficial

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought far too many heartbreaking stories already, less than a month into the conflict, both of those committed to the fight, and innocents just trying to get out of harm's way.

Now, a Ukrainian TV and movie star who put his career on hold to fight against the Russian invasion of his country has died.

Pasha Lee, 33, was killed by Russian fire on March 6.

Lee was best known as a television host in Ukraine.

Ukrainian actor Pasha Lee
instagram | @pashaleeofficial

Pavlo "Pasha" Lee was born in Crimea to a Korean-Ukrainian father and a Ukrainian mother. After acting in commercials, he landed TV hosting gigs for Ukraine's Dom Channel.

He also provided Ukrainian dubs of English-language films.

Ukrainian actor Pasha Lee
instagram | @pashaleeofficial

Lee did voice work for Ukrainian-language dubs of movies including The Lion King and The Hobbit. Indeed, his IMDb page shows eight credits as an actor, including his most recent work on the police procedural Provincial.

Lee put his acting career on hold.

Ukrainian actor Pasha Lee
instagram | @pashaleeofficial

Just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Lee signed up to join Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces and fight against the Russian occupation.

He'd been providing updates on Instagram.

Most of his specific actions weren't known, but Lee was in Irpin — a city just west of Kyiv — at the time of his death.

His last post came on Saturday.

Accompanying a photo of himself in a military uniform, Lee provided an update: "For the last 48 hours, there is an opportunity to sit down and take a picture of how we are being bombed, and we are smiling because we will manage and everything will be UKRAINE. WE ARE WORKING !!!"

His death was confirmed by a Ukrainian journalist.

Journalist Sergiy Tomilenko confirmed the death on Saturday, writing:

"He was the happiest and sunniest. At the request of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, Yulia Ostrovska, the head of the UATV / DOM Platform, confirms the death of Pasha Lee. From the first days of the war he went to fight for Ukraine and died in Irpin, where fierce battles are currently taking place with the Russian occupiers."

He was killed by Russian shelling.

Ukrainian actor Pasha Lee
instagram | @pashaleeofficial

"Our words of support are the entire team of the DOM channel, which embodies a noble mission of speech for the deoccupation of Donetsk, Luhansk regions and Crimea. True, because of Russia's attack on all Ukraine, the mission is correct," continued Tomilenko. "Now all journalists are working to de-occupation of the country. For the sake of the world..."

It's a grim reminder of the human cost of the conflict.

A hand painted in Ukrainian colors
Unsplash | Elena Mozhvilo

While the early days of the conflict have provided inspiring stories of human resilience and resistance, Lee's death is an important reminder that human lives are at stake. His death isn't the first in this conflict, and it won't be the last.

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