Russian actress singing for Russian troops dies on stage in blast

A Russian actress spent her last moments singing for Russian troops in occupied Ukraine on Sunday before a blast killed her on stage.

The 40-year-old performer, Polina Menshikh — whose Instagram bio describes her as a "choreographer, director, playwright," and "head of the ethno dance theater" — was allegedly "aware of the danger" but traveled anyway from St. Petersburg to Donbas to perform for a Russian military holiday. She, along with at least a few Russian troops, died from the Ukrainian strike. From Daily Beast:

"It is with great pain that we inform you Polina Menshikh, famous as the director of one of the versions of 'The Last Trial,' died yesterday at a performance in Donbas as a result of shelling," the theater's press service said. …

Several of Menshikh's protégés took to social media to mourn her death. "An entire collective has been orphaned, and we, her colleagues have also been orphaned somewhat," wrote one theater colleague, describing Menshikh's death as a "huge loss." …

But some anti-war Russians were not so sympathetic: "I'm stunned, honestly. They're 'orphaned.' You know who's been orphaned? The kids whose fathers are being killed by the people Polina was performing for."

Video that shows the actress singing on stage before an explosion causes the theater to go black can be seen here. (Although the video does not show any bloodshed, watch at your own discretion.)