Was in captivity:
Was released from captivity on June 17
We urge everyone to join the international #SaveTaira campaign and make demands on Russian to set Yuliia Paievska free
What can you do to secure Taira's release?
Spread the word to the broader public by using all available communication channels
01 Share Taira's story on social media using the hashtag #SaveTaira.
02Organize protest rallies in your city in support of Taira's release from Russian captivity.
03Reach out to the media and politicians – for the whole world to demand Russia set Taira free and bring her back home to Ukraine.
04If you are a media or media agencies representative, a celebrity or an influencer with a large audience – share Taira's story on your channel and demand the world community to influence Russia.
Yuliia Paievska, call sign Taira, is a well-known Ukrainian civilian paramedic, the founder and leader of “Taira's Angels”, a volunteer medical evacuation unit, rescuing wounded, both military and civilian.
Yuliia Paievska is a member of the Invictus Games Team Ukraine 2020. These are the greatest veteran sport contests in Ukraine. She is the only woman on the team and was supposed to compete in archery and swimming.
Until 2013, Yuliia was an aikido trainer and a designer. During the Revolution of dignity, she began providing care for the wounded and continued to do so after the start of the war in Donbas. In April 2014 Yuliia set up a training course on tactical medicine. During the war in Donbas, Paievska has taught tactical medicine to about eight thousand people. She evacuated hundreds of military personnel from the front line and hundreds of civilians from the so-called ‘gray zone’.
While working as a volunteer paramedic, Yuliia developed a pseudo “Taira” after one of Japan's most famous clans. According to Paievska, it was her hero nickname in the game World of Warcraft. Later, she decided to use it as a call sign during the war.
Yuliia Paievska gathered a volunteer evacuation group, which one of their drivers jokingly called “Taira’s Angels”, by analogy with the name of the movie “Charlie's Angels”. Journalists began using the name and it stuck. Paievska’s paramedic team were evacuating wounded military and civilians from the demarcation line, stabilizing their condition and bringing them to the hospital.
Taira is a civilian. For two years, from 2018 to 2020, Yuliia Paievska served in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and headed the evacuation department of the 61st Mobile Hospital in Mariupol. After that, she was demobilized and has continued her work as a volunteer ever since.
Yuliia Paievska never served in the far-right Azov battalion.
Her group was dealing with evacuating the wounded from the combat zone and providing assistance to the local population.
Having no contact with Taira, it is not known exactly under what circumstances she was taken prisoner. So far, nothing is known about Yuliia Paievska whereabouts or her condition.
The first confirmation of her being held prisoner by the Russian occupants appeared in the TV story of so-called “DNR” (Donetsk People's Republic) “Ministry of Internal Affairs”. This was followed by a story on the Russian TV channel NTV, which definitively stated about her captivity.
Russian propagandists accused Taira to have ties with the Azov battalion and an attempt to escape from Mariupol.
Russian journalists used photos showing her with the military as proof of Paievska having some connection with the Azov battalion.
Russian media published videos showing signs of psychological and physical pressure exerting on Taira. This suggests that there is a threat to her life. The first such video was published on March 21. The video is edited so that it can be used in propaganda campaigns.
On April 1, Iryna Vereshchuk, the Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, said that Yuliia Paievska was mentioned in the prisoner exchange list with Russia. However, the Russian side said that they did not have such a paramedic POW. “They mark her as ‘not found’, but we argue, in answer: of them running a video of her on NTV,” said Vereshchuk. However, Vadym Puzanov, Taira's husband, in an interview to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Ukraine (Radio Svoboda) noted a message he received a few days after the news of Taira's captivity became known, stating: “If you want to get Taira back, send photos of those ”Azov” holds in Mariupol. Following the results of these photos identification we will open negotiations”.
StratCom Ukraine founder, Invictus Games in Ukraine organizer.
Invictus Games Ukraine coordination team member in 2022.