The United States noted that Yulia Paevskaya refused to remain silent about the crimes of the Russian occupiers and, after her release, convincingly advocated Ukrainian democracy.
Yulia “Taira” Paevskaya has become one of 11 winners of the United States Department of State’s International Women of Courage Award (IWOC) 2023. This was announced on March 6 in the press service of the department.
It is reported that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US First Lady Jill Biden will host the annual award ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, March 8.
The State Department nominated Yulia Paevskaya for “exceptional moral and physical courage.”
“Yulia “Taira” Paevska has shown exceptional moral and physical courage in defending Ukraine from the ongoing Russian aggression. She provided medical assistance to participants in the Ukrainian Revolution of Dignity in 2013, and as the head of the Angels of Taira, a volunteer paramedical unit, conducted tactical medical training on front lines in Donbas from 2014 to 2018. Ms. Paevskaya is best known for her work covertly filming and smuggling video footage documenting the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Mariupol,” the press release reads.
What is paramedic Tyra known for?
The invaders detained Yulia “Taira” Paevskaya on March 16, 2022, when she was trying to evacuate women and children from Mariupol to Zaporozhye. She was captured, although she had the status of a non-combatant – a person who is part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but does not fight.
Taira spent three months in Russian captivity. The occupants threw her into a tiny cell with 22 other women. During her imprisonment, she was tortured and beaten. For three months, Paevskaya lost 20 kilograms.
“Moreover, Kremlin propagandists falsely labeled her internationally as a fascist and war criminal. However, Ms. Paevskaya refused to remain silent and, after her release, strongly advocated for Ukrainian democracy and independence both at home and abroad,” the US State Department said in a press release.
Recall that in December last year, Yulia “Taira” Paevskaya, together with the first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenskaya, entered the BBC’s “100 Women of 2022” rating.
Earlier, on September 15, The Guardian reported that Yulia “Taira” Paevskaya testified before the Helsinki Commission about the atrocities of the Russian occupiers in Mariupol. In particular, the paramedic spoke about her stay in Russian captivity and how the blockade of Mariupol went.
In June last year, Yulia Paevskaya published the details of being in Russian captivity after her release. The paramedic said that at that time she weighed 50 kilograms.
On June 18, Yulia “Taira” Paevskaya recorded her first video message after being released from Russian captivity.
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