Police found Irina Livshun’s remains in her apartment earlier this week, alongside a gas canister which they believed she used to set herself on fire.
As a teenager Livshun moved from her hometown of Jezkazgan in central Kazakhstan, to the city of Almaty in southern Kazakhstan, to pursue a career in modelling.
At first she was relatively successful, taking part in a number of runway shows, appearing in adverts and achieving local fame.
The Daily Mail quotes a friend of Livshun, who said “She was quite famous…But recently she had some troubles with her job.” Media reports suggest that since last November many of her contracts ended and she struggled to find any new work.
As a result, she faced financial hardship.
According to the same reports, Livshun stopped meeting up with her friends and became increasingly isolated.
A police spokesperson commented “Irina’s relatives had told us she had been suffering from depression for a long time because she lost her job and was unemployed for several months.”
Kazakhstan does not have a notably low unemployment rate, at 5.10%. In fact, Australia’s is markedly higher at 6.2%.
Modelling in Eastern Europe is, however, increasingly competitive.
The police spokesperson also reported: “She had threatened to commit suicide many times before.”
Since Livshun’s body was discovered her social media accounts have been flooded with messages of sympathy.
One acquaintance, Aynura Iskakova, commented: “You will be remembered as fun, kind, courageous … Forgive us… There were so many who loved you… but no one who pulled you out of this abyss.”