Taira: “I cannot sleep, eat, or breathe calmly while the heroes of Mariupol are tortured in captivity”

August 8,2022 1180
Taira: “I cannot sleep, eat, or breathe calmly while the heroes of Mariupol are tortured in captivity”

Yulia Payevska, 53, the legendary Ukrainian paramedic Taira, called on Sunday in London upon the world community to support the struggle to free Mariupol defenders held captive and tortured by Russian invaders.

She was speaking during the rally against the Russian genocidal war in Ukraine held opposite the official residence of the U.K. Prime Minister at 10 Dawning Street. “It’s good that I’m free. But I cannot sleep, eat, or breathe calmly, because our Azov soldiers, our doctors, girls, our soldiers, marines – all the heroes of Mariupol who are in captivity are being tortured. I am asking the world community to support our struggle for their release,” Taira said.

Two days before the rally, The Telegraph published an interview with Payevska, who herself had endured three months of beatings and torture in Russian captivity after being kidnapped. A week after her release in mid-June, Taira, a member of the Ukrainian team for the Invictus Games, received a phone call from Prince Harry, who had founded the Invictus Games to aid the rehabilitation of injured or sick military service members and veterans. “He simply inspired me to continue to fight. He said that he supports Ukraine and all of us,” Payevska was quoted as saying in the interview.

Yulia Payevska has saved over 500 lives of Ukrainian warriors since the beginning of Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014 when she became a paramedic and tactical medicine instructor. She organized a unit of volunteers, which evacuated hundreds of wounded servicemen from the line of contact and hundreds of civilians from the so-called “grey zone.”

When the Russians began their Mariupol offensive, Taira stayed there, continuing to save the lives of Ukrainians. On March 16, 2022, she was captured by the invaders.

Photos: Olga Kerziouk