Yuliia Paievska, known as Taira, is a celebrated Ukrainian medic who recorded her time in Mariupol and had the footage smuggled out to the world in a Tampon. The footage, captured on a data card no larger than a fingernail, spans two weeks of time and shows Taira and her team frantically working to save the lives of both Russians and Ukrainians alike.
Russian forces have violated the Geneva Conventions more than a 100 times so far, launching brutal attacks against medical personnel and facilities.
Despite these inhumane attacks, Taira and her team refused to respond in kind. In fact, the footage shows that they rendered aid to Russian troops on several occasions. When asked by a colleague if she would treat the Russians, Taira responded emphatically:
“They will not be as kind to us,... But I couldn’t do otherwise. They are prisoners of war.”Yuliia Paievska
On March 16, 2022, one day after smuggling the footage she captured in Mariupol to the associated press, Taira was captured by Russian forces. Aside from a video release of Taira reading a statement on March 21, she has not been seen or heard of since. Her husband and daughter have been careful what they say to the public regarding their wife and mother.
The footage Taira captured shows just how much of a force of nature she was to the injured in Mariupol. On day 1 of the siege of Mariupol she documents the bandaging of a Ukrainian soldiers head wound. Later into the brutal fighting, she stuns an injured Russian soldier with her statement that "we treat everyone equally".
Taira documented her heartbreaking care of two young orphans who were themselves suffering from gunshot wounds. One of the children died and Taira sheds tears over his lifeless body. Despite suffering chronic pain herself, Taira always had kind words and a jovial attitude to everyone else. She cracked jokes and embraced fellow medics and handed stuffed animals out to children.
Taira embodies what it means to walk the thin line between order and chaos. She has sacrificed everything to be with those who needed her most. We stand with brave men and women like Taira, and we hope that you will stand with us.
Some of the footage from Taira's hidden camera can be seen below, but be warned: the video contains graphic content and explicit language.
Update 1: YouTube has blocked the original video. We've included it below the Rumble video so you can navigate to it if you wish.
Update 2: Yuliia Paievska was released in late 2022.