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Doctor killed in Russian military plane crash had Vermont ties

Dr. Yelizaveta Glinka received an award from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Dec. 8 for her aid work.European PressPhoto Agency

An acclaimed Russian doctor with ties to Vermont was among 92 people presumed dead Christmas morning, after a Russian Tu-154 plane headed from Moscow to Syria crashed into the Black Sea, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Dr. Yelizaveta Glinka’s aid foundation — Fair Aid — said in a statement that the doctor was traveling with a shipment of medicine for a Syrian hospital.

Glinka was married to Vermont lawyer Gleb Glinka, a partner of Glinka & Schwidde in Rutland, Vt. According to a Russian human rights council, where she served on the board of directors, Glinka emigrated to the United States in 1986. The couple lived in Cabot, Vt., and her husband taught at Vermont Law School, according to his law firm’s website.


The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known. According to the Ministry of Defense, eight crew members and 84 passengers were on board.

Fair Aid was founded by Glinka in 2007 to implement charity programs for the homeless as well as seriously ill or dying patients, according to the foundation’s website. Beginning in March 2014, Fair Aid assisted in treating children injured in southeast Ukraine war zones.

Flowers, candles, and a portrait of Yelizaveta Glinka were placed near an office of her charity group in Moscow. MAXIM SHIPENKO/European PressPhoto Agency

That year, she served on the board of a temporary human rights group that helped address the crisis in Ukraine by monitoring and reporting human rights violations.

Glinka also founded the first free hospice program in Ukraine in 2001, where she worked to help terminally ill patients.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin presented Glinka with an award for her charity work, including missions to war zones in Ukraine and Syria.

‘‘We never feel sure that we will come back alive,’’ she said at the Kremlin award ceremony. ‘‘But we are sure that kindness, compassion and charity are stronger than any weapon.’’

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Samantha J. Gross can be reached at samantha.gross@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthajgross. Reena Karasin can be reached at reena.karasin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ReenaKarasin.