Ballet dancer

A 12-year-old ballet dancer killed in a missile strike in Donetsk, with…

August 10, 2022, 3:11 p.m. | Updated: August 10, 2022, 3:22 PM

A talented 12-year-old ballerina died in a missile strike minutes after leaving her ballet lesson.

Photo: Aliyah


The gifted young ballerina was returning to meet her grandmother after a first dance lesson with a new teacher when a missile hit, killing all three.

A missile strike in downtown Donetsk killed a 12-year-old ballet dancer, her grandmother and a famous ballet teacher.

Ekaterina Kutubaeva, a gifted young ballerina from the Donbass region of Ukraine, had just completed her first ballet lesson with the most decorated ballet teacher of the Donbass Opera, Galina Volodina. Kutubaeva had taken private lessons with the former ballerina. Other members of her ballet class fled Donetsk for Russia at the start of the invasion in late February 2022.

According to local journalists, Kutubaeva was due to begin her studies at the Vaganova Russian Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg at the end of August and was taking private lessons in order to maintain her form.

This was to be his first and only lesson with Volodina. Ekaterina Kutubaeva’s funeral is said to have taken place this week in Donetsk.

A student and a teacher were killed in a missile strike on Pushkin Boulevard in central Donetsk as Volodina returned Kutubaeva to her grandmother, who also died in the bombardment.

Read more: Donbass music school destroyed by Russian shelling in eastern Ukraine

According to a statement released by the Donbass Opera, Volodina spent her whole life in the service of the Donetsk Opera and Ballet. She performed with the theater from 1970 until her retirement in 1990, when she took on a teaching role.

In the posting on their website, the society also states that Volodina had already survived a bombardment in March 2022, when she and other members of the society sheltered in place until it was safe to seek cover elsewhere.

Read more: Ballet dancers from the Kyiv National Opera join the army to fight for Ukraine

Hours before the March attack, the Donbass Opera sparked outrage with an Instagram post apparently in support of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The post featured footage from a recent performance by The Bayadere. They showed a change in choreography in the formation of the dancers from an “S” shape to a “Z” shape, and another showed the troupe in a “V” formation. The two letters are symbols of Russian pro-war propaganda.

Russia and Ukraine each blamed the other’s military for the March 2022 strikes.

It is currently unknown which missiles were responsible for these latest attacks in August.