The famous Ukrainian doctor recorded his time in Mariupol on a map with data no larger than miniatures, taken out into the world in a tampon. Now it is in Russian hands, and Mariupol itself is on the verge of collapse.

Julia Paevskaya, who worked as a medic near Taira, used a body camera to record 256 gigabytes of material about her team’s frantic efforts to bring people back to the brink of death in two weeks. She passed the scary videos to the Associated Press, the latest international journalist in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, when they were leaving in a rare humanitarian convoy.

The next day, March 16, Russian soldiers captured Taira and her driver, making it one of many enforced disappearances in areas of Ukraine that are now under Russian rule. Russia has portrayed Tyra as working for the Azov nationalist battalion, in line with Moscow’s narrative that it is trying to “denazify” Ukraine. But AP found no such evidence, and friends and colleagues said she had no ties to Azov.

The military hospital where she evacuated the wounded has nothing to do with Azov. And in the video she recorded, it is clear that Tyra, together with civilians in Ukraine, is trying to save wounded Russian soldiers.

Yulia Paevskaya, known as Tyra, is watching the staff of the Ministry of Emergencies try to save a person’s life on March 2, 2022 in Mariupol, Ukraine.

The video of March 10 shows a Ukrainian soldier pulling two Russian soldiers out of an ambulance. One in a wheelchair. The second is on his knees, arms tied behind his back, with an obvious leg injury.

A Ukrainian soldier swears at one of them. “Calm down, calm down,” Tyra tells him.

The woman asks her: “Will you treat the Russians?”

“They will not be so kind to us,” she says. “But I couldn’t have it any other way. They are prisoners of war. “

The 53-year-old Tyra is now a prisoner of Russians, as are hundreds of local officials, journalists and other prominent Ukrainians who have been abducted or taken prisoner. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recorded 204 cases of enforced disappearances, saying some victims may have been tortured and five were later found dead.

In Mariupol, Ukraine, March 11, 2022, an explosion of an apartment building after the shelling of a Russian army tank.

In Mariupol, Ukraine, March 11, 2022, an explosion of an apartment building after the shelling of a Russian army tank.

The Russians have targeted medics and hospitals, despite the fact that the Geneva Conventions provide for military and civilian medics to protect “under all circumstances.” The Russian military accused a woman in a convoy from Mariupol on May 8 of being a military doctor and forced her to choose between releasing her 4-year-old daughter and her fate or continuing to move to Ukrainian-controlled territory. The mother and child eventually separated.

The situation in Taira and the fact that it shows Russia’s treatment of Ukrainian prisoners is gaining new significance as the last defenders of Mariupol are taken to Russian-occupied areas. Russia says more than 1,700 Ukrainian fighters hiding at a steel plant surrendered this week, while Ukrainian officials said the fighters left after completing their mission.

The Ukrainian government says it tried to add Tyra’s name to the prisoner exchange a few weeks ago. But Russia denies holding her, despite appearing on television in Ukraine’s separatist Donetsk region and on Russian NTV, handcuffed and bruised.

Julia Paevska, known as Tyra, assists as a serviceman, was taken on a stretcher on February 24, 2022 to Mariupol.  Using a body camera, she recorded her team’s frantic efforts to bring people back from the brink of death.  (Yulia Paevskaya via AP)

Julia Paevska, known as Tyra, assists as a serviceman, was taken on a stretcher on February 24, 2022 to Mariupol. Using a body camera, she recorded her team’s frantic efforts to bring people back from the brink of death. (Yulia Paevskaya via AP)

Tyra is known in Ukraine as a star athlete, as well as a person who trained the country’s volunteer medical teams. The video, which she recorded from February 6 to March 10, provides intimate footage of the city under siege, which has since become a global symbol of the Russian invasion and Ukrainian resistance.

On February 24, the first day of the war, Tyra described attempts to bandage an open wound to the head of a Ukrainian soldier.

Two days later, she ordered her colleagues to wrap a wounded Russian soldier in a blanket. She calls the young man “Sun” – a favorite nickname of many soldiers who passed through her hands – and asks why he came to Ukraine.

“You take care of me,” he tells her, almost surprised. Her response: “We treat everyone equally.”

Later that night, two children – a brother and a sister – arrived seriously injured in a shootout at a checkpoint. Their parents died. By the end of the night, despite Tyree’s requests, “stay with me, baby” and the little boy.

Tyra turns away from her lifeless body and cries. “I hate [this]”She says.

Ambulance workers are working on the victim together with Julia Paevskaya, known as Tyra, in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 6, 2022.

Ambulance workers are working on the victim together with Julia Paevskaya, known as Tyra, in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 6, 2022.

Throughout the video, she complains of chronic pain from back and hip injuries. She’s kidding. And she always wears a stuffed animal attached to her vest to pass on to children she can treat.

On March 15, a police officer handed a small card with information to a group of journalists from the Associated Press. Tyra asked the journalists to take the card out of Mariupol safely. The card was hidden inside a tampon as journalists passed through 15 Russian checkpoints.

The next day Tyra disappeared together with the driver Sergei.

A video shown on Russian news on March 21 announced her capture. In it, she looks amortized and exhausted when she reads a statement calling for an end to the fighting. As she speaks, a voice-over mocks her colleagues as Nazis.

With her husband and teenage daughter, Tyra knew what war could do to her family. At one point a wounded Ukrainian serviceman asked her to call his mother, and she told him he would be able to call himself, “so don’t upset her.”

Tyra’s husband, Vadim Puzanov, said he had not received any news since his wife’s disappearance.

“Accusing a volunteer of all mortal sins, including organ trafficking, is outrageous propaganda – I don’t even know who it is for,” he said.

Tyra participated in the Invictus Games for Ukraine. Last year, she received a body camera to film the Netflix documentary series about inspirational figures created by British Prince Harry, who founded Invictus Games.

Instead, she filmed footage of the war. In the latest video that Tyra shot, she is sitting next to a driver who will disappear with her. It’s March 9th.

“Two weeks of war. Mariupol is under siege, ”she says quietly. Then she does not swear at anyone, and the screen darkens.

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