'The Hobbit' And 'Lion King' Actor, 33-Year-Old Pasha Lee, Who Quit To Defend Ukraine Killed In Battle

Lee reportedly died after Russian troops shelled the city of Irpin, west of Kyiv, on Sunday, March 6.

Source: Instagram/pashaleeofficial

Pasha Lee, a 33-year-old Ukrainian actor, was reportedly killed on Sunday in a Russian shelling attack. The actor, also referred to as Pavlo Li and Pasha Li, was defending his country as Russia continued its invasion of the eastern European country. Lee had enlisted in his country's Territorial Defence Forces last week to help defend Ukraine. He reportedly died after Russian troops shelled the city of Irpin, west of Kyiv, on Sunday, March 6. Lee was born in Crimea and was well-known in the region as a local presenter and actor. 


PEOPLE reports that according to local reports and Ukraine's Odesa International Film Festival Facebook account, the movie star had "joined the ranks of the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in order to protect the country from Russian occupiers." He was killed "as a result of shelling by Russian occupiers," as per the festival organizers. In one of his final posts on Instagram, the actor shared details of what was happening at the time and wrote (roughly translated to English): 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 and everything will be UKRAINE… WE ARE WORKING!!!


The actor Lee starred in a number of Ukrainian comedies including Meeting Of Classmates (2019), action comedy Selfie Party (2016), and comedy/drama Zvychayna Sprava (2012). According to Deadline, he also appeared in 2017’s sports action film The Fight Rules. Lee also worked as a voiceover actor, having dubbed the Ukrainian versions of popular Hollywood flicks including The Lion King and The Hobbit. His most recent work included his appearance in the 2021 TV drama Provincial.


The actor was a host on the DOM channel which, according to UNILAD, is a bilingual channel established by the Ukrainian Culture Ministry in 2020 that broadcasts in the occupied Donbas region. Sergiy Tomilenko, Chairman at the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, shared a tribute to the late actor on his Facebook page, according to The Daily Mail. The statement read: "(Pasha Lee) 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. The National Union of Journalists of Ukraine expresses its sincere condolences to (Pasha's) family and friends. Our words of support to all the staff of the DOM channel, which embodies the noble mission of broadcasting for the deoccupation of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and Crimea."