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Ukrainian politician’s wife dons eyepatch in Playboy after assassination attempt
August 4, 2023
Playboy have turned the survivor of an assassination attempt into an eyepatch-wearing cover star.
Model, TV presenter and the wife of a Ukrainian politician, Iryna Bilotserkovets lost an eye just three days after Russia first invaded Ukraine, when her car was sprayed with bullets in the capital Kyiv.
Iryna's husband is an aide to Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kyiv, thus making her a calculated target for pro-Russian forces who opened fire, leaving her feeling like "Frankenstein's monster".
However, posing in a futuristic metal bikini for legendary glamour magazine Playboy, Iryna looks anything but.
Following the terrifying attack in February 2022, Iryna was rushed over the border to a hospital in Berlin, where she underwent months of emergency treatment and reconstructive surgery.
Speaking to the magazine about the first time she saw herself in a mirror after treatment, she said: "An eye missing, tubes sticking out everywhere, hair shaved off from surgery.
"Stitches, scars, wounds everywhere; I was just Frankenstein’s monster. My jaw had shattered, like a twig." She added: “I no longer have a pretty face, but the rest of my body is beautiful."
It was February 26, 2022, when Iryna was driving her three children towards their family home in a Kyiv neighbourhood when her car was hit by gunfire. She said in the aftermath of the attack that all she remembered was a strong pain in her head.
She had to undergo four operations and was left with a missing eye, a broken jaw, and scars over her body.
She told Playboy: "It was not a question of preserving my beauty; it was a question of whether I would live or not. Doctors in Ukraine said I was probably going to die. I didn’t agree, and neither did my husband."
Iryna was featured in the magazine as one of the heroines of its "Women Stay Strong" edition, which is "dedicated to the resilience of Ukrainian women who have been injured during the war, but who have not lost their thirst for life and are an example of strength and motivation."
The publisher said proceeds from the magazine will be donated to emergency medical equipment for the Ukrainian army. When the war broke out, the magazine ceased printing the physical magazine and continued operating solely online with proceeds going toward purchasing ambulances for the army.
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