'She was like a big sister': Co-workers mourn Tatiana Perebyinis, tech executive, killed in Ukraine
PALO ALTO, Calif. - SE Ranking, a tech company with offices in Palo Alto and around the world is mourning the loss of an executive.
Employees said they're heartbroken that Tatiana Perebyinis, along with her son and daughter were killed in a Russian attack while trying to escape.
Co-worker Ksenia Khirvonina shared video of Tatiana paragliding on a corporate retreat with other employees about two weeks before she was killed by a Russian mortar attack.
"Happy, smiling. We were all talking about our future," said Ksenia.
Speaking to KTVU from Dubai, Ksenia said she was with Tatiana on this adventure, enjoying life,"We were partying in Georgia, drinking wine, doing some paragliding."
She said she never imagined that this trip would be their last together.
Ksenia said Tatiana was the company's chief accountant and much more, "She was like a big sister to all of us, all my colleagues. She helped us out with any situation."
But on March 5, a bomb struck the apartment building where Tatiana lived in Irpin, a small town next to Kyiv.
She and her children hid in the basement while her husband was away caring for his sick mother.
The next morning, Tatiana, her 18-year-old son Mykyta and 9-year-old daughter Alisa tried to evacuate by dashing to a bus.
Ksenia said the mortar killed the son and daughter instantly.
Tatiana was taken to the hospital where she died.
The brutality of a family killed captured by New York Times photographer Lynsey Addario, grabbing the world's attention.
"It was a hole in my heart, a pain that you can't explain with words," Ksenia pointed out that Tatiana died in the same jacket she wore on their paragliding trip.
"It feels like it was just yesterday. Now it's a reality that your close ones are dying in this war,"Ksenia said Tatitiana was evacuating to go somewhere safe in Ukraine with no plans to leave the country.
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She did not want to leave behind her mother and her son who was required to stay to help fight.
Ksenia described her beloved colleague as a bright light, "She made everyone laugh around her with her jokes. She was a great woman, mother, daughter, wife."
Ksenia said Taitaian had been looking forward to more trips with her colleagues and vacations with her family.
Instead, her husband is now preparing for her funeral and that of their two children.