A Ukrainian medic who became a nationwide folk hero known as “Taira” when the invasion began passed along hours of body-cam footage to The Associated Press, which the smuggled the data card past several Russian checkpoints in a tampon.
Days later, Yuliia Paievska, founder of “Angels of Tayra” and one of the instant legends forged by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, disappeared – only to resurface in Russian custody, where she’s believed to be today.
But that harrowing footage is out for the world to see.
Paievska was given the high-quality body-worn camera to film a Netflix documentary on The Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded vets. But she turned it on when the invasion started, and just kept filming.
“Tayra” made a name for herself early in the war by treating anyone who needs it – even Russian soldiers. Her footage, released Friday by the AP, shows multiple scenes where she de-escalates her Ukrainian comrades’ aggression against them, and tells onlookers that she’s duty-bound to treat “prisoners of war” the same as anyone.
Besides jumping in to help triage victims of all stripes, Paievska was known for training the volunteer medical corps that staffed de facto field hospitals in the besieged city.
Not all of her efforts are successful. There are highly intense scenes of death and injury in the video, so watch with extreme discretion: