Silicon Valley tech worker was the Ukrainian mom lying dead on street in brutal photo that sparked outrage

A Silicon Valley employee and her children are the subjects of photos so devastating that they shocked the world: a Ukrainian family lying dead on the pavement, killed by Russian mortar fire while trying to flee the conflict.

The images of Ukrainian soldiers tending to the bloodied bodies of a woman, her teenage son and young daughter, and their friend ran on the front page of the New York Times this week, along with online videos of the unprovoked attack on civilians. They stirred international outrage and a pledge from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to punish the perpetrators. “There will be no quiet place on Earth for you,” Zelenskyy said. “Except for the grave.”

Palo Alto startup SE Ranking confirmed Wednesday that the photo depicts its chief accountant, Tatiana Perebeinis, 43, along with her daughter, Alise, 9, and son, Nikita, 18, who were killed by Russian forces as they tried to flee the town of Irpin, a suburb about 15 minutes from Kyiv. They had just dashed across a partially destroyed bridge over the Irpin River into Kyiv when a mortar hit.

“For me as her colleague it’s a tragedy to see those pictures,” Ksenia Khirvonina, the company’s spokeswoman, told The Chronicle. “They show that it’s real. On the other hand they prove that (the) Russian army and Putin himself are monsters who deserve no mercy for their doings. ”

Russian President Vladimir Putin insists that his forces are not targeting civilians trying to flee.

Perebeinis “was a very friendly, brave, courageous woman with a great sense of humor, she always cheered everyone around her up, she was truly like a big sister to all of us,” Khirvonina said. She spoke from Dubai, where she had fled on Feb. 23 from Ukraine, where about half of the company’s 110 workers are based.

“She always had answers to all our questions, even the most stupid ones, about personal finances or taxes or how to upgrade your visa cards; she had answers to everything, ”Khirvonina said. “We are so shocked, saddened, devastated, angry. There are no words to describe our emotions, we are so heartbroken. ”

Tatiana Perebeinis, chief accountant of SE Ranking, was killed with her two kids by Russian mortar fire in Irpin, Ukraine.

Tatiana Perebeinis, chief accountant of SE Ranking, was killed with her two kids by Russian mortar fire in Irpin, Ukraine.

Provided by SE Ranking

When the Russian invasion started, Perebeinis initially stayed in Irpin, where she and her family lived, because her mother was sick and her son, at 18, was in the age group of males not allowed to leave the country in case they are needed to defend Ukraine, Khirvonina said. Perebeinis did not want to leave her son behind, Khirvonina said. He had just started university this year.

“She always talked about him, how smart he was,” Khirvonina said. “She was a great mother; giving her kids everything she could. ”

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