Her name is Yuliia Paievska, who as medic went by Taira. For the first weeks of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she recorded her team’s efforts to treat the wounded and dying in the besieged city of Mariupol. In March she disappeared but her recordings were smuggled out of the city ina tampon and can now be seen for the first time.
Captive medic’s bodycam shows firsthand horror of Mariupol
KHARKIV, Ukraine: A celebrated Ukrainian medic recorded her time in Mariupol on a data card no bigger than a thumbnail, smuggled out to the world in a tampon. Now, she is in Russian hands, and Mariupol itself is on the verge of falling.
Yuliia Paievska, who as medic went by Taira, used a body camera to record 256 gigabytes of footage on her team’s frantic efforts over two weeks to bring people back from the brink of death. She got the harrowing clips to an Associated Press team, the last international journalists in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, as they left in a rare humanitarian convoy.
Russian soldiers captured Taira and her driver the next day, March 16, one of the many forced disappearances in areas of Ukraine now held by Russia. Russia has portrayed Taira as working for the nationalist Azov Battalion, in line with Moscow’s narrative that it is attempting to “denazify” Ukraine. But the AP found no such evidence, and friends and colleagues said she had no links to Azov.
The military hospital where she led evacuations of the wounded is not affiliated with Azov. And the video she recorded showes Taira trying to save wounded Russian soldiers along with Ukrainian civilians.