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Ukrainian war: Concern for a doctor who filmed the horror of Mariupol, captured by the Russians


A Ukrainian doctor who recorded remarkable footage of wounded soldiers and civilians in Mariupol has reportedly been captured by Russian forces.

Friends of Yuliia Paievska, also known as Taira, are praying for her safe return after her convoy was intercepted by troops in March.

Russian soldiers captured Taira and her driver on March 16, one of many enforced disappearances in areas of Ukraine now held by Russia.

Russia has portrayed Taira as working for the nationalist Azov Battalion, in line with Moscow’s narrative that it is trying to “denazify” Ukraine. But the AP found no such evidence, and friends and colleagues said she had no connection to Azov.

The military hospital where she led casualty evacuations is not affiliated with the battalion, whose members have spent weeks defending a sprawling steel plant in Mariupol.

The footage that Taira recorded herself testifies to the fact that she tried to save wounded Russian soldiers as well as Ukrainian civilians.

She recorded her time in Mariupol on a data card no bigger than a thumbnail. Using a body camera, she recorded 256 gigabytes of her team’s frantic two-week effort to bring people back from the brink of death.

She handed the harrowing clips over to a team from the Associated Press, the last international journalists in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, one of whom got away with it in a tampon.

Taira is now a prisoner of the Russians, one of hundreds of prominent Ukrainians who have been abducted or captured, including local officials, journalists, activists and human rights defenders.

The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine recorded 204 cases of enforced disappearances. He said some of the victims may have been tortured and five were later found dead.

Ukraine’s ombudsman’s office said it received reports of thousands of missing people in late April, 528 of whom were likely captured.

The Russians also target doctors and hospitals, even though the Geneva Conventions designate both military and civilian doctors for their protection “under all circumstances”.

The World Health Organization has verified more than 100 attacks on health care since the start of the war, a number likely to rise.

euronews Gt

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