Russia releases the captured medic who filmed the horror of Mariupol

Julia Paevska, who was released by Russian forces (Credit to: AP)

ESTONIA: Celebrated Ukrainian a medic whose staff was smuggled out of the besieged city Mariupol she was released by Russian forces on Friday, three months after she was taken prisoner on the city’s streets.
Yulia Paevska is known in Ukraine as Tyra, a nickname she chose in the video game World of Warcraft. Using a body camera, she recorded 256 gigabytes of her defense efforts in two weeks to rescue the wounded, including Russian and Ukrainian soldiers.
She transferred the videos to a team of the Associated Press, the latest international journalists in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, one of whom escaped with him, placed in a tampon on March 15. Tyra and his colleague were captured by Russian forces on March 16. The same day, a Russian air strike struck a theater in the city center, killing about 600 people, according to an Associated Press investigation.
“It simply came to our notice then. These sound like such ordinary words and I don’t even know what to say, “her husband Vadim Puzanov told the Associated Press late Friday, breathing deeply to contain his emotion. Puzanov said he spoke on the phone with Taira, who was on her way to a Kiev hospital and feared for her health.
Initially, the family was silent, hoping that negotiations would continue. But the Associated Press spoke with him before releasing the smuggled videos, which eventually had millions of viewers around the world, including some of the largest networks in Europe and the United States. Puzanov expressed gratitude for the coverage, which showed that Tyra was trying to save Russian soldiers as well as Ukrainian civilians.
Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky announced the release of Tyra in national circulation.
“I am grateful to everyone who worked for this result. Tyra is already at home. We will continue to work to free everyone,” he said.
Hundreds of prominent Ukrainians have been abducted or captured, including local officials, journalists, activists and human rights defenders.
Russia portrayed Tyra as working for the Azov Nationalist Battalion, according to Moscow’s statement that it was trying to “disinfect” Ukraine. But the AP found no such evidence, and friends and colleagues said it had nothing to do with Azov, who fought the last steel battle in Mariupol before hundreds of fighters were captured or killed.
The footage itself is an intuitive testament to her efforts to save the wounded on both sides.
A video recorded on March 10 shows two Russian soldiers roughly taken out of an ambulance by a Ukrainian soldier. One is in a wheelchair. The other is on his knees, his hands tied behind his back, with an obvious leg injury. Their eyes are covered with winter hats and they wear white ribbons.
A Ukrainian soldier curses one of them. “Calm down, calm down,” Tyra tells him.
A woman asks her, “Will you treat the Russians?”
“They won’t be so kind to us,” she replies. “But I couldn’t do anything else. They’re prisoners of war.”
Tyra was a member of the Ukrainian Invictus Games for military veterans, where she had to compete in archery and swimming. Invictus said she was a military medic from 2018 to 2020, but has since been demobilized.
She received a body camera in 2021 to shoot for the Netflix documentary series about inspirational figures produced by British Prince Harry, who founded Invictus Games. But when Russian forces invaded, she used it to film scenes with wounded civilians and soldiers.


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