Putin’s troops shot me in the head & I said goodbye to my children thinking I would die – now I have a message for Vlad

Putin’s troops shot me in the head & I said goodbye to my children thinking I would die – now I have a message for Vlad

A UKRAINIAN mum who was shot in the head by Putin’s troops – but survived and went on to model for Playboy – has revealed her message to Mad Vlad.

Iryna Bilotserkovets lost an eye and had to undergo reconstructive surgery as she survived Russia’s brutal assault on Kyiv.

PlayboyUkrainian mum Iryna Bilotserkovets on the front cover of Playboy[/caption]

Twitter / @bukanero101Bilotserkovets has become a hero in Ukraine – even visiting soldiers[/caption]

The bullet removed from Iryna’s skull

Her face has been reconstructed by surgeons

She has now reunited with her children – pictured before the war in Ukraine

She has since become a symbol of Ukrainian defiance, appearing on the front cover of the country’s Playboy magazine wearing an eyepatch and metal bikini.

Iryna continues to model – but now either wear sunglasses, a patch or has her hair covering her left eye.

Doctors were convinced she would die as they removed bullet shards from her skull.

But Iryna miraculously pulled through, even after saying “goodbye” to her children as she accepted her fate.

Some two years after Putin’s invasion on February 24, 2022, she remains in besieged Kyiv.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: “Now there is a war. Children, women, and old people are dying.

Our men defend our country.

“Leaders of other countries shake hands with Putin, forgetting that this is a killer who has been waging a cold-blooded war for eight years.

“Today he has crossed all acceptable boundaries”

She told us the Russian bombing is getting worse, her family go days without electricity, and she and her children have run for underground bunkers nearly daily.

And she warned the nerve of the stalwart Ukrainian people is starting to fray amid the renewed assault by Putin.

“People are going crazy. They’re going off the rails,” she told The Sun.

Waking up to sirens and explosions, Iryna painfully admitted her resolve is also starting to run out – and she is starting to think about fleeing the Ukrainian capital.

But of course, she still bears the scars of her last attempt to leave.

Iryna initially tried to leave her home in the early days of the war as Russian bombs started to fall and tanks streamed over the border two years ago.

On February 26, 2022, Iryna had had enough of hiding in the car park from the shells and set on a journey to West Ukraine – a region untouched by fighting at the time.

She took her three children – then ten-year-old David, five-year-old Dan, and the youngest Dorian who was only one.

The streets of the capital were unusually quiet and empty, with just a few police cars – when days prior, the city was bustling with life.

It all changed overnight, with Russian soldiers slowly infiltrating the outskirts of Kyiv.

“There was already a bit of a tense mood. Panic in the air,” she explained.

“On the 26th, the situation was getting so tense that the decision to leave was made.

“Now I realise it wasn’t right.”

Iryna didn’t realise the danger she was driving into as she tried to flee Kyiv.

“I didn’t notice anyone beforehand – but then I heard a shot from behind my car and assumed it was somewhere in the distance,” she recalled.

By the time Iryna realised her car was the target of the Russians, it was too late.

In a split second, a bullet hit her in the head.

This horror somehow didn’t darken my state because I was just trying to live.

Iryna, Ukrainian mother

Bullets pierced through the rear and left side window of the vehicle, ricocheting and also punching through the windscreen.

She managed to stop the car as she dealt with the pain – and even said “goodbye” to her children before she lost consciousness.

Iryna would wake up a day later in a hospital bed – along with other wounded civilians who also got caught in the crossfire.

And the first thing she wanted to know was: what had happened to her children?

In an incredible stroke of fortune, a team of paramedics were also passing amid the fighting and rushed to help Iryna and the kids.

Iryna told The Sun: “The head doctor came to me and said everything that had happened to me, that my children were alive, that they were fine, that I had lost an eye, that I had a big, massive head injury, that part of my face was destroyed.”

The kids were “miraculously unhurt” as bullet fragments were all over the car.

They took Iryna to the nearby public hospital and made sure the children were taken to their relatives.

For the next five days, she was pumped with strong painkillers and left on a ventilator while Ukrainian doctors feared she would not pull through.

With the help of her family, she was then transported to a hospital in Dusseldorf, Germany where twenty doctors would greet her and care for Iryna until her recovery.

In March of the same year, the mum of three underwent surgery for ten straight hours.

She said: “Thanks to the German professor, I look like I only lost an eye.

“But it’s not just an eye. It’s half of my face. It’s mute. The nerves haven’t sprouted.

“I’m not chewing on the left side. It’s impossible to do that.”

But the surgery was only halfway to recovery, and the mum was put on liquid nutrition for a month.

She recalled the first time she opened her surviving eye and saw a glimpse of the sky.

The model didn’t think she would ever regain her vision.

Iryna said: “I was so happy about it, but I couldn’t see very well. I could see some bits of the building, but it was still hard to see.”

The operation left Iryna with many scars; her head was swollen and her face unrecognisable at first.

But that didn’t break the brave Ukrainian mother.

She said: “I was really glad I survived because I was saying ‘goodbye’ to the kids.

“So against the backdrop of being a survivor, this horror somehow didn’t darken my state because I was just trying to live.

“And seeing myself in the mirror when I’m dried up with a head like this [big], all scarred up, my hair cut short.

“Well, it was awful, but my goal was to get back on my feet and live for my kids.”

It was seven long weeks before she was finally reunited with her children.

Iryna’s boys were staying with her mother and sister in the city of Truskavets, west of Ukraine.

The mum recalled the emotional moment she hugged her sons.

She said: “It was such a touching moment but the hardest thing was my youngest son Dorian.

“He just didn’t recognise me because it was stressful for him and he subconsciously started to call my mother ‘mum’, and he was very fond of her during that time.”

The toddler experienced immense stress and trauma after bearing witness to the horrifying ideal – and it would take him a while before he was comfortable around his mother again.

Iryna said: “He saw me and ran away. Of course for me, it was a shock.

“I cried. Then everything got better step by step, but my mum was with us from that moment on.”

After the trauma she endured two years ago, and with the threats she continues to face today, Iryna said she is now running out of strength to continue.

She said: “I’m weaker now because of these attacks than I was before. My reserves are not enough.

“This horror that many people here live in, continuing to work and live under shelling. It is terrible.”

Iryna is continuing her modelling career despite her injuries

Bulletholes visible in Iryna’s car after they came under attack

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