A woman who died along with her children in the Russian bombing over the weekend worked at an international technology company.
Tatiana Perebeinis and her two children, Alise, 9, and Nikita, 18, were killed by Russian airstrikes on Sunday as the family tried to evacuate Irpin, Ukraine, according to a statement from their employer, SE Ranking.
Another unidentified man, believed to be a family friend, was also killed in the blast.
Perebeinis, 43, was serving as chief accountant for SE Ranking. The San Francisco Bay Area technology company released a statement Monday confirming the deaths.
“There are no words to describe our pain or repair our grief. But for us, it is crucial not to let Tania and her children Alise and Nikita remain just statistics. Her family became victims of unprovoked fire against civilians, which under any law is a crime against humanity,” the company said in the statement.
Ksenia Khirvonina, public relations manager for SE Ranking, said Perebeinis was originally from Donetsk and fled to Kyiv in 2014 after the city was occupied. Tatiana, her children and her husband had lived in an apartment in the northern city of Irpin, outside Kyiv, since 2018.
Although much of Irpin had been left without water, electricity and heating, Perebeinis was hesitant to leave the city because he had been caring for his sick mother. The day before they fled, the apartments above his house were bombed, forcing them to take refuge in the basement of his building, where they stayed until Sunday, according to Khirvonina.
“Even from there, he would tell us everything was fine, encourage everyone around him and text my colleagues that everything was going to be fine,” Khirvonina said.
According to Khirvonina, Perebeinis had wanted to leave on Saturday, but finally decided to wait to go out through the “green corridor” with other civilians.
Ukrainian photojournalist Andriy Dubchak captured the moment the family was hit by a mortar shell in a graphic video posted by New York Times.
“The Russian army are criminals and must be stopped. Our hearts are broken. Our prayers go out to all Ukrainians, who are fighting for their right to exist,” the company said.
Perebeinis was taken to a nearby hospital, where she later died. Nikita, a university student, and Alise died immediately. The man with them also survived the initial blast but later died, according to New York Times.
Previous media reports had mistakenly identified the man as the father of the children. Perebeinis’s husband, with whom SE Ranking has been in contact, was not fleeing Irpin with the family and was in a different city at the time of his death.
Khirvonina said she did not know where Perebeinis and the children planned to flee, but it would likely have been a city in western Ukraine. Ukrainian men over the age of 18 are prohibited from leaving the country and Perebeinis had refused to leave his son Nikita.
“My general impression was that they had a big family, they were close,” Khirvonina said. “Tatiana herself was a very kind person, very supportive, you could always go to her for work or life advice, it didn’t matter. She always cheered up everyone around her or with her stories and jokes about her. She was really a great person.”
SE Ranking, which specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), has a global presence, including in San Francisco; London; Minsk, Belarus; Kyiv and Moscow.