Aleksandra "Sanya" Vladimirovna Litvyak (サーニャ・V・リトヴャク, Sānya V Ritovyaku, Александра Владимировна Литвяк) is a Night Witch of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, originating from Orussia and affiliated with the Orussia Imperial Army and her home unit: the Imperial Army of Orussia’s 586th Fighter regiment. She is sometimes referred by the alias of and became renowned as the White Lily of Stalingrad, due her hair color.

Her familiar is the domestic cat (or Black cat, to be precise), very appropriate to a Night Witch.


She also has a sad past; she was separated from her beloved parents when the Neuroi invaded Orussia. She firmly believes they're still alive, and often hums the song entitled “Sanya’s Song/Sanya No Uta” that her father wrote for her, losing herself in memories. The song, and how to play the piano (which she learned from her father, who is a pianist), forms a strong bond between them. Sanya quietly keeps on fighting until the day  finally comes that she will be able to reunite with her father.

Shortly after Miyafuji Yoshika was transferred to the unit, after a late night run in with a strange, new type of Neuroi, the 501st JFW decides to create a night team consisting of Sanya, the resident night fighter, as well as Eila and Yoshika. Yoshika gets to know her sub-arctic colleagues better, before finally moving in to confront the Neuroi. This Neuroi is the start of a disturbing new trend, seemingly tailored exactly to confront and eliminating Sanya. However, Sanya is able to overcome the Neuroi with help from Eila and Yoshika.

After the liberation of Gallia and the disband of the 501st JFW, Eila and Sanya moved to the frontier of Suomus as they travel towards Orussia to search for Sanya's parents. They are temporary stationed at the Kauhava Airbase, where Sanya meet some Suomus witches, like Nikka Edvardine Katajainen.

When the 501st was reformed in Romagna, The Witches discover a huge Neuroi spire whose core is in a location far beyond the altitude that their Striker Units can reach. Formulating a plan using rocket boosters in stages to reach the required altitude, Sanya is chosen to attack the core. Having never needed to use a shield in combat, Eila becomes furious when Yoshika is chosen to protect Sanya instead of her. Eila tries to get Perrine to train her to use shields, but she didn't takes her training seriously. Sanya becomes annoyed with Eila's willingness to give up and gets into a fight with her. The next day, as the Witches launch Sanya and Yoshika to the stratosphere, Eila apologizes and expresses her desire to protect Sanya. Seeing this, Yoshika decides to switch places with her. Eila finally uses her shield to protect Sanya as she destroys the core.


Snow white skin with silver hair. The cute girl from a northern country, Sanya. This girl who is weak against sunlight always seems to be tired during the day and is mostly awake during the night. She gives a very fleeting impression, almost as if she's about to disappear. She has an obedient personality and doesn't speak much. She is always together with Eila, who loves her dearly, and Sanya is also very attached to Eila. She appear introverted and reclusive to their team mates, usually because by the time Sanya return to the base from their nightly patrols, she is extremely tired, and tend to spend most of the daylight hours sleeping over socialized with the rest of the 501st JFW.

She is patient and also very good at singing and playing the piano. Although Sanya is little shy, passive and quiet, reserved, and no has much confidence in herself, she is really very kind and it seems like she's had something of a breakthrough lately. Flying Officer Clostermann has criticism for her: That girl you never know whether she's there or not? It's almost like she's a ghost.

Sanya is often partnered with Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen, and perhaps as a result (perhaps it is simply chemistry) the two have become very close; Eila is often portrayed as fiercely protective of her younger squadmate and takes on a sometimes awkwardly nurturing role during down-time. Whether this interest is romantic or plain, big-sisterly fondness is up for interpretation. She also was capable of becoming friends with Miyafuji Yoshika, and has a surprisingly close relationship with Erica Hartmann. Also, Sanya has a friend in Squadron Leader Schnaufer of the Karlslander Night Witches Corps, who she exchanged QSL cards for the telecommunications among Night Witches that use magic-antennae during Heidemarie has a night time high-altitude reconnaissance training in Romagna.


Her Magic Antenna (魔導針, Madō Shin, lit. "Magic Needles") allow her to interact with radio waves. It is a type of non-visual perception that can detect objects at extreme ranges. Also can use a spell to provide guidance cues to other witches and aircraft and is able to tune in and rebroadcast radio transmissions. Classified in the detection system, she can explore the zone with her magic. This allows them to detect enemy Neuroi before they are assailed by a nearby agent and counter attack with out the need for direct combat with the aggressor. With this ability, she became capable of grasping Neurois from long distances. To seeing far during the night, anything is better than Sanya's ability.

Night Witches like Sanya are rare in the abilities to accurately detect Neuroi and launch a counter attack before they make contact. This ability to detect said invaders makes them important players in freeing the world from their stranglehold because of the Neuroi's natural camouflage against the black sky and/or in varying weather conditions.

Ace Archetype

Sanya based on Russian flying ace Lydia V. Litvyak, one of only two female aces of World War II and the only female pilot out of the pilots the witches are based on. Both share the name "White Lily of Stalingrad"; a nickname that may have been influential on the color choice of Sanya's hair. But they have different personalities. While Sanya is reserved & passive, Lydia was quite rebellious, and a bit of a romanticist.


Sanya carries a Fliegerhammer rocket launcher into combat. It is likely inspired by the experimental German Fliegerfaust, a multi-barreled unguided ground-to-air rocket launcher based on the Panzerfaust. Ursula Hartmann uses her research into rocketry to design the Fliegerhammer prototype that Sanya will use.

See here for the "Fliegerhummer" vs. "Fliegerhammer" spelling controversy.

Strike Witches "What-if" — 1947

Sanya What-if
Flight Lieutenant Litvyak returned a triumphant hero. She was afforded the liberty of obtaining long-term leave or even to step down from the front lines if she so wished, but instead after she met briefly with her parents she returned to the night sky. The sky which her beloved flew in.
This shouldn't be considered entirely canonical, because it was only tweeted by Humikane.



Audio Media

Light Novels

  • Strike Witches Otome no Maki
  • Strike Witches 2
  • Strike Witches the Movie Visual Short Story
    • Raise the Battle Ship Yamato in 1945


Video Games

Sanya's comments on other characters:

Chara05 1 On Minna

"Colonel Minna is very kind to me. I was very happy when she let us build the sauna. The time I accompanied her song on the piano is also a very good memory."

7e76a6de6c77f06f0411243096a766fc On Lynette

"I’d like to talk more with Lynne. I sometimes see Eila talking to her, but I can’t just do it like that… I wonder if Lynne liked having that done to her… The blueberries were very good!"

14d1528b765811585ad16da16f4d04cd On Miyafuji

" I became friends with Yoshika when we were out on a mission together. Speaking of which… I think I called her Miyafuji at first… I’m glad we have our birthdays on the same date, and that we were able to celebrate it together."

E14538eb81bf8236ee742a8aa76241ac On Mio

" Major Sakamoto is very strict, but she also has a friendly side which reminds me of my father,so I’d like to talk more with her. I wonder if I can become as cheerful as Yoshika if I train with the Major?"

Chara07 1 On Perrine

"I think Perrine is actually a very kind person. When she told me I was like a ghost, I think that was just a way for her of trying to encourage me. So don’t do any mean things to her, Eila."

35e6a0bfafdefcbb99c934cfba34f23e On Lucchini

"I was very surprised the first time I met Lucchini and she suddenly embraced me… But it felt as if I suddenly had became her mother, and that was mysterious feeling. Seems like she got into a big fight with Eila right after that, but they made up right away… I wonder why? Eila told me it was because “they had similar interests”, but…"

C1be48c1f27bce67edbf28f2a92a719c On Shirley

"I look up to people like Shirley! What parts…? Umm… How she… seems to be able to become friends with just about anyone… but… Eila? Why are you grinning like that?"

Chara06 1 On Trude

"I was actually quite scared of Barkhorn at first. But I soon realized when we flew together that she really cares about everyone. Even when I’m flying behind her, she knows very well where I am… It’s very comforting."

Chara04 1 On Erica

"Other people say this is surprising but… I actually often talk with Hartmann. We talked the other day and suddenly about 5 hours had past! But the people who were there and heard us later said they had no idea what we were talking about… Actually… I don’t remember either."

Chara10 1 On Eila

"Eila is very dear to me. We’re always together… because that’s just the way it is. I didn’t even notice it until people around me told me. But I don’t like her habit of touching other girl’s bodies like she does! That’s not good, Eila! You never do those kinds of things to me… Why? Just blushing won’t help me understand…"


  • Sanya's pre-ceremony preparations
  • Sanya in the Liberation of Gallia Anniversary Celebration Ceremony, with Memorial Paintwork
  • Sanya what-if 2
  • Sanya & Eila in 1947


  1. Strike Witches Official Fanbook Complete File, page 35

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