Yuliia Paievska has been freed
18 June 2022. Yuliia has been freed: Source: Multiple news reports.
The poster above was one of several available for download from the Save Taira website.
For two weeks Yuliia (also known as Taira) used her body camera to capture harrowing clips of desperate life saving work by Ukrainian medics in Mariupol.
Yuliia Paievska, a volunteer civilian paramedic in Mariupol, was captured by the Russians on 16 March 2022. Her driver Serhiy who appears in the AP video below, was also captured.
The previous day, Yuliia had managed to pass on her data card to journalists from Associated Press during one of the rare humanitarian evacuations from Mariupol. The evacuation team passed through 15 Russian check points before reaching the relative safety of Ukrainian controlled territory. The data card had been hidden inside a tampon.
Source: Sky News. 19 May 2022.
Watch the official Invictus Games Team Ukraine video about Yuliia Paievska
Watch video clips from Yuliia’s bodycam footage
We learn from i news that Yuliia Paievska was last heard of on 21 March 2022, when she was shown on Russian TV following her capture. She was accused of being part of the Azov Battalion, although the Associated Press has stated that there has been no evidence linking her to the battalion. She also appeared in a video on the same broadcast, handcuffed and with bruises on her face, reading a statement calling for an end to the fighting.
Source: i news. 19 May 2022.
There has been a great effort by the Ukrainian Government to have Yuliia exchanged, but so far, this has been unsuccessful. When lists of prisoners have been passed on to the Russian Federation, the returned Russian lists do not feature Yuliia’s name.
Invictus Games Team Ukraine have appealed (via the video shown above) to publicise the fate of Yuliia, by inclusion of her circumstances in social media and the press.
Background information about Yuliia Paievska
A scene from the Maidan Revolutionin Kyiv. Attribution: Mykola Vasylechko. Світлина Миколи Василечка. via Wikimedia.
During the Maidan revolution of 2014, Yuliia gave basic first aid to injured protestors. Later she learnt emergency first aid on a self-taught basis. She compiled a TactMed crash course for those heading to the front lines after Russia launched its aggression against Ukraine in the Donbas.
Yuliia began working as an emergency responder in eastern Ukraine, eventually assembling a team of about a dozen paramedics. This team became known as Taira’s Angels.
There were strict rules that members of the team had to abide by, one of which was a complete ban on alcohol. The regime was strict in order to achieve “absolute sincerity and trust among our people.”
During the Donbas war, Yuliia trained thousands of people in basic medical care and, according to her estimates, organised the evacuation of some 600 injured soldiers from the combat zones.
Laden in full medical gear, the constant carrying of soldiers into emergency cars took a heavy toll on her hips. Following an incident while lifting a particularly heavy combatant, her hips gave way, and eventually, she had to have them both replaced. She represented Ukraine in disciplines such as archery and powerlifting at the 2018 Invictus Games.
Source: Al Jazera. 5 May 2022
Andrzej, author of this article remembers Yuliia and trusts in her speedy and safe return to Ukraine and to her family.
Yuliia Paievska – External Resources
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