Prominent Human Rights Advocate Dies In Plane Crash In Black Sea

Renowned Russian human rights defender and philanthropist Yelizaveta Glinka, also known as Doctor Leesa, died in the crash of a Russian military TU-154 plane in the Black Sea.

The plane that had carried 92 people, included dozens of Red Army Choir singers, dancers and orchestra members, crashed into the sea on its way to Syria about 7 minutes after take off from Sochi airport on Sunday morning.

Mrs. Yelizaveta Glinka had been a member of the Council For Development of Civil Society and Human Rights at the Office of Russian President since 2012.  According to Russian media she was on her mission to provide medical supplies for the University hospital in Latakia, Syria.

“As tens of others volunteers, who offer humanitarian aid we are never convinced that we will return home alive because war is hell. I know what I am talking about. We believe that love and mercy are stronger than any weapon”, she reflected two weeks ago upon receiving prestigious reward from Russian President.

Mrs. Glinka, a medical doctor, co-founded the first hospices in Moscow and Kiev in 2007. Together with her husband she set up a private foundation “Just Help” that offers medical assistance, legal and financial help to the terminally ill and homeless. Her foundation also provides an extensive amount of help to victims of natural catastrophes in Russia such as forest fires, and flooding.

In 2014 from the first days of conflict in Eastern Ukraine she had helped to relocate wounded children, elderly, mentally and terminally ill people to the Ukraine and Russia.

In recent years she led several major humanitarian missions in Eastern Ukraine and in Syria.

“I believe that wounded soldier is not a soldier anymore. When I am helping I do not differentiate one side of conflict from the other”, Mrs. Glinka stated in the interview for The New Times, Russian journal, in 2014.