From devoted nun to ruthless killer: Ukraine claims to have captured Bagira, Russia’s most feared and admired sniper
Ukraine claims to have captured Russia’s most famous female fighter after she was wounded and left behind by her unit, according to various reports in Serbia and Eastern Europe.
Danijela Lazović, better known as Bagira or Irina Starikova, a household name in Russia, was reportedly captured by Ukrainian forces after she was unable to flee, according to a Ministry of Defence post on Facebook. The location was not disclosed.
The former handball player and devoted nun turned mercenary had been active in eastern Ukraine since 2014.
In Russia, she received praise after becoming one of pro-Russia’s most skilled snipers and gained a celeb status under the name ‘Bagira’, the black panther from the movie “The Jungle Book.”
According to Ukraine army official Vlad Ivanov, the prisoner is provided with the necessary medical assistance and is currently being treated.
Lazovic, or Irina Starikova, was born in Serbia and has been a pro-Russia fighter in Ukraine since 2014. She reportedly killed ‘at least four dozen people’ in the last eight years.
Some confusion remained, as the Ukraine army, along with the publication of her photo, attached a military booklet, which says that her name is Irina Starikova and that she was born in Donetsk.
However, newspapers in her native Serbia, as well as in Hungary, are convinced the captured woman is Danijela Lazović.