Ukrainian actor Pasha Lee was killed this weekend while fighting off Russian invaders. The 33-year-old Shadows of Unforgotten Ancestors star went from entertainer to soldier to help his country, later falling at the hands of Russian forces on the frontlines.

As the fighting began, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged all able-bodied Ukrainian citizens to take up arms and aid in the fight. Pasha Lee heeded his call and joined the Ukrainian army, according to the Odessa International Film Festival, which later broke news of his passing.

He was serving in the city of Irpin, which is right next to Kyiv in northern Ukraine, when a Russian shelling attacked with motor bombs, killing many civilians.

Pasha Lee, Ukrainian actor, killed by Russian forces at Irpin
Pasha Lee, Ukrainian actor, killed by Russian forces at Irpin. Photo Credit: Instagram

One week before, Pasha Lee was in the gym showing off his new haircut, as his Instagram posts showed, revealing how quickly events are unfolding in Ukraine.

“He went to fight for Ukraine from the first days of the war and died in Irpen, where there are still fierce battles with Russian occupants,” Ukranian journalist Sergiy Tomilenko wrote.

On Friday, just a day before Russian attacked Irpin, Pasha Lee wrote a message on social media that roughly translates to “‘For the last 48 hours, there is an opportunity to sit down and take a picture of how we are being bombed, and we are smiling, because we will manage.”

Pasha Lee was known for his roles in Ukrainian films such as Shtolnya, Zvychayna Sprava, The Fight Rules, and Meeting of Classmates, along with work in television and theater. He was also a film composer and voice actor, dubbing roles in films such as The Hobbit and The Lion King.

Anastasiya Kasilova, a Ukrainian actress, mourned her fellow co-star on social media, writing, “Pasha Li killed during the shelling in Irpen, defending Ukraine. He is an actor, TV presenter, my colleague and a good acquaintance… Not so long ago we shot together in a teaser for a children’s film…Never forgive!”

According to The Independent, eight civilians were killed Sunday morning as they attempted to flee Irpin, including two children and members of the same family.

Heavy damage was also dealt to surrounding civilian buildings and bridges int the city just 16 miles north of Kyiv, as soldiers helped try to evacuate the elderly.

Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, reported that more than 1.5 million people have fled to neighboring countries since fighting began, making the war in Ukraine the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

As fighting rages on, many organizations have also called for the banning of Russian products, with many film festivals refusing to show Russian films.

The Odessa International Film Festival, which announced Pasha Lee’s death, wrote in an official statement that, “We call on the world community to help Ukraine in the fight against Russia and stop the war. We urge you to close the sky over Ukraine immediately and continue to boycott Russian cinema.”

A petition started by the Ukrainian Film Academy to boycott Russian films has since reached over 9,300 signatures.

On Thursday, Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov joined the call to ban Russian films from competition at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, pleading for solidarity with Ukraine.

“My motherland is mercilessly shelled from the land, sea and air. Russian bombs are falling on Ukrainian children. Millions are sitting in bomb shelters. Millions are suffering from being cold and lacking food,” Oleg Sentsov wrote. “My country is being ruined, but our spirit is strong. We are going to fight until our victory… Please sign the petition! Stand with Ukraine! We will stop Putin together!”