Pasha Lee: Ukrainian actor and TV presenter killed in Russian shelling while defending city

Ukrainian actor and TV presenter Pasha Lee has been killed in battle as Russian forces bombarded the town of Irpin outside the capital Kyiv.

Lee, 33, had signed up for Ukraine’s territorial defence force in the first days of the war.

He appeared in several films and his voice featured in the Ukrainian versions of The Lion King and The Hobbit.

Pavlo Li, as the actor was formally known, was born in Crimea in 1988 and had recently begun presenting a show on Dom TV, a Ukrainian channel originally aimed at audiences in the eastern areas seized by Russian-backed separatists in 2014.

Channel head Yulia Ostrovska told Ukraine’s national union of journalists that he was the “most cheerful and sunny” of the presenters on the show.

Lee starred in TV talent shows Star Factory and X-Factor as well as a number of films including the 2016 release SelfieParty, involving four students who wake up in a police station after a night on the town, unaware of how they got there.

As a young actor in 2006 he starred in a teen-horror movie called The Pit but more recently featured in the comedy Meeting of Classmates.

Irpin, the town 20km north-west of Kyiv where he lived, has been bombarded for days by Russian artillery, with shocking scenes of death, destruction and families rushing to escape.

Lee is one of a number of public figures killed in the Russian invasion.

Investigative journalist Viktor Dudar was killed on the front line during a battle with Russian troops near the southern city of Mykolaiv, Ukrainian reports said.