Elizaveta Glinka

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Elizaveta Glinka
Elizaveta Glinka (2016-12-08) 01.jpg
Glinka in December 2016, 2 weeks before her death on the 2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash.
Born Elizaveta Petrovna Sidorova
(1962-02-20)20 February 1962
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Died 25 December 2016(2016-12-25) (aged 54)
Black Sea near Sochi, Russia
Occupation Public figure, social worker, medical doctor specialised in palliative medicine
Awards Order of FriendshipDecoration "For Beneficence"
State Prize of the Russian Federation

Elizaveta Petrovna Glinka (Russian: Елизаве́та Петро́вна Гли́нка, also known as Dr. Liza (Russian: До́ктор Ли́за); 20 February 1962 – 25 December 2016) was a Russian humanitarian worker and charity activist. She was honoured three times with state awards for her work. Glinka died in the 2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash.[1]

Early life

Glinka was born in Moscow. Her father served with the armed forces, while her mother Galina Ivanovna Poskrebysheva was a doctor, as well as a TV presenter and writer of cookbooks and encyclopedias.[2] She studied at the Russian National Research Medical Institute in Moscow, graduating in pediatric anesthesiology. In 1986 she emigrated to the US, where she studied palliative care and became involved with the work of hospices. On returning to Russia, she worked at the First Moscow Hospice, after which she moved to Ukraine.[3]


Glinka's first charity project began in 1999, when she opened the first public hospice in Kiev, Ukraine.[4] She later founded the VALE Hospice International fund based in USA[5] and served as a board member of the Vera Hospice Charity Fund in Moscow.[6]

In 2007 she founded a humanitarian NGO Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (in English, "Fair Aid" or "Fair Help").[3] The organisation works to support terminally ill cancer patients and underprivileged and homeless people by providing medical supplies, financial aid and other essential services.[3] In 2010, the organisation collected and distributed aid for victims of forest fires and in 2012, for those who lost their homes after floods in the Krasnodar region of Krymsk.[7]

In January 2012 Glinka along with 15 other media figures and opposition activists including Boris Akunin, Leonid Parfyonov, Yuri Shevchuk, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Dmitry Bykov and Sergey Parkhomenko founded the League of Voters as a reaction to the 2011 protests against the election results.[8] Their declared aims included observance of electoral rights, organizing mass marches, training observers and publishing lists of election commissions, including black lists. Shortly after an unplanned tax inspection arrived to the offices of Fair Aid. As a result, all financial assets were frozen for a period of time. On February, 1 they were unblocked, and the Fund continued its work.[9]

Same year Glinka became a member of the federal civil committee of the Civic Platform and supported Mikhail Prokhorov during the 2012 Russian presidential election.[10] Since November, 2012 Glinka was a member of the Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights (HRC).[11]

With the outbreak of the War in Donbass Glinka became involved with evacuating sick and injured children from territory held by pro-Russian separatists.[7] She moved them to hospitals in Moscow or Saint Petersburg, where they could receive medical attention. It has been estimated that she travelled more than 20 times into conflict zones, and saved about 500 children.[7] Children were moved across the state border without permission from authorities, leading to accusations of child abduction from Ukrainian government officials.[1] Glinka's response was that politics was irrelevant in matters of life and death.[7]

Her organisation was also active in providing medical supplies, equipment and food to hospitals in Donetsk and Luhansk, however Glinka complained that the customs checks for their convoys of trucks were slow and onerous and delayed delivery of the supplies.[12][13] Despite NATO's claims that Russia was supplying heavy weapons and regular troops to the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, Glinka said that she didn't see Russian troops in Donetsk and that there was a civil war going on.[14][15] She also delivered medication to the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko during her hunger strike while imprisoned in Russia.[16]

Glinka was also known for her anti-euthanasia stance; in October 2016 she commented on the Dutch draft bill legalising euthanasia, stating the proposed law was "demonic".[17]

Glinka and her work were the subject of a documentary film by Elena Pogrebizhskaya.[3] In 2012 Glinka received the Order of Friendship award, and in 2015 the Decoration "For Beneficence".[18] In December 2016 Russian President Vladimir Putin presented her with another national award, the State Prize of the Russian Federation, for outstanding achievements in charity and human rights activities.[3][7]


Glinka died in the 2016 Russian Defence Ministry Tupolev Tu-154 crash on 25 December 2016, while travelling to Latakia to deliver medical supplies to Tishreen University Hospital.[3]

Personal life

Glinka was married to a bankruptcy attorney, Gleb Glinka.[4]

Critics and controversies

In October 2011 Elizaveta Glinka conducted a so-called charity striptease event to collect money and clothes for the homeless. Volunteers were asked to bring clean outerwear so that professional strippers would put it on and then take it off in a dance. The event received mixed reactions, although many agreed that drawing attention to the homeless at the start of the cold season was a real problem here.[19]

In July 2016 PayPal refused to open an account for Glinka's fund that claimed to be for the care of children from ''south-east Ukraine" - as described by Izvestia. The official reasons of refusal were "security reasons".[20] After media lobbying on PayPal Russia, it has announced on Twitter, that "all problems has been solved".

In December 2016 at the air of independent TV station Dozhd, Russian publicist Stanislav Belkovsky called Glinka the spin doctor of war.[21] He criticised Glinka, saying that, instead of her trips to war-taken regions of Ukraine and Syria, she could have just use her already existing contacts to Vladimir Putin, from whom she has accepted the state award, to meet him and ask to end the war with Ukraine. Belkovsky claimed this makes Glinka morally responsible for the wars (like in Syria and Ukraine) that Russia is holding. This part of critical comment has been taken down by the TV station. Nevertheless, Belkovsky published on Facebook a statement, that he is not surprised they did it, but he stands by what he said.[21]

Awards and special mentions

Glinka and her work were the subject of a documentary films: "Doktor Liza" (“Доктор Лиза”) by Elena Pogrebizhskaya, "Вокзал по средам" by Olga Maurynova and "Встреча" by Margarita Kuklina.[3][22]

  • 2014: international award "Faith and Faithfulness" awarded by the St. Andrew The Apostle Foundation, where the award committee is led by the cosmonaut, Hero of the Soviet Union Oleg Atkov. The award ceremony is held in Kremlin. This award is perceived as "a symbol of public recognition of merits before Fatherland in strengthening statehood, union with countries friendly with Russia, and the restrengthening of spirituality''.[23]
Glinka with Vladimir Putin, December 2016

After her death different Russian ministers and Chechen pro-Russian leaders announced the naming of health and care institutions after Glinka:

Also a rock-festival "Different People" («Разные люди») has been named after her.[30]


  1. ^ a b Russian plane crash: The victims, BBC News (27 December 2016)
  2. ^ Dr. Liza's gift: She was a daughter of the extraordinary woman article by Moskovskij Komsomolets, December 26, 2016 (in Russian)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "'Dr. Liza was a miracle': Russians horrified as revered humanitarian activist listed on fatal flight". RT International. Retrieved 2016-12-25. 
  4. ^ a b ""Dr. Liza" dies in Russian crash: Rutland Herald Online". www.rutlandherald.com. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  5. ^ Page at FirstGiving
  6. ^ Fund management on the official Vera page (in Russian)
  7. ^ a b c d e f Yegorov, Oleg (2016-12-26). "For life and against war: How Russia will remember Yelizaveta Glinka". Russia Beyond The Headlines. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  8. ^ League of Voters not to support individual politicians or parties by Russian News Agency TASS, January 18, 2012
  9. ^ Federal Tax Service froze financial assets of Dr. Liza's charity fund article by Gazeta.ru, February 1, 2012 (in Russian)
  10. ^ Post-election schism in Russia’s opposition parties at Russia Beyond The Headlines, November 9, 2012
  11. ^ President's decree № 1513 from November 12, 2012 at Kremlin.ru (in Russian)
  12. ^ "Doctor Lisa will bring to the Russian Federation of 18 children from Donbass". news.rin.ru. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  13. ^ "Fund Dr. Lisa came for a check". news.rin.ru. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  14. ^ Dr. Liza: I have nothing to say to my critics and advisers interview by the Orthodoxy and Peace website, October 31, 2014 (in Russian)
  15. ^ US Nato general fears rapid Russian troop deployments, BBC News (20 June 2016)
  16. ^ (in Russian) Dr. Lisa was on board at the time of the disaster Tu-154 - a husband, Ukrayinska Pravda (25 December 2016)
  17. ^ "Legalizing assisted suicide: How far can Europe go in diabolical nonsense?". PravdaReport. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  18. ^ a b c Sputnik. "MSF Offers Condolences Over Tragic Death of Russian Humanitarian Activist". sputniknews.com. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  19. ^ "Благотворительный стриптиз?". Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  20. ^ "Платежная сеть PayPal отказалась открыть счет Доктору Лизе". Известия. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  21. ^ a b ""Дождь" вырезал слова Белковского о моральной ответственности Глинки за войну в Сирии". snob.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  22. ^ "Три фильма о докторе Лизе (видео)". Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  23. ^ "Доктор Лиза и Евгений Примаков получили премию Андрея Первозванного". РИА Новости. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  24. ^ "В Москве назвали лауреатов премии "Своя колея"". ТАСС. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  25. ^ "Елизавета Глинка была награждена знаком отличия "За благодеяние"". РИА Новости. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  26. ^ "Украинская церковь наградила Доктора Лизу орденом святого Луки". РИА Новости. Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  27. ^ a b "Именем Елизаветы Глинки назовут больницу Минобороны". Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  28. ^ "Several Russian hospitals to be named after Elizaveta Glinka". russkiymir.ru. Retrieved 2016-12-28. 
  29. ^ "Детскому военному санаторию в Крыму присвоили имя Елизаветы Глинки". Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
  30. ^ "В Москве по инициативе Бориса Гребенщикова состоится рок-фестиваль в память о Докторе Лизе". Retrieved 2017-01-17. 
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