An elite sniper and ex-model from Brazil has been killed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

Thalita do Valle, 39, died on June 30 in a Russian missile strike on the city of Kharkiv, in the north-eastern region of the war-torn country.

The attack also led to the death of former Brazilian Army soldier Douglas Burigo, 40, who went back to the bunker to find Thalita.

She was the only troop member left behind after the first missile strike took place, according to other fighters.

Thalita had experience with previous conflicts as she had fought against the Islamic State in Iraq, which she documented on her YouTube channel.

During that time, she received sniper training as she joined the Peshmergas, the armed military forces of the independent Kurdistan region of Iraq.

A writer was working with the Brazilian soldier to turn this experience into a book.

Thalita was also a law student who participated in animal rescues with NGOs and worked as a model and an actress when she was younger.

Her brother Theo Rodrigo Viera described her as a hero with a vocation for saving lives and participating in humanitarian missions.

He explained that Thalita had only been in Ukraine for three weeks, where she had been working as a rescuer as well as a sharpshooter.

She was also reportedly responsible for providing cover from advancing Russian forces.

After surviving a bombing in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Thalita explained to her family that she could not talk much as mobile phone activities were being monitored by Russian drones and would only call to let them know that she was fine.

The last time they spoke was last week Monday after Thalita had just moved to the city of Kharkiv.