Ukrainian aid worker Yulia Bayevska documented the chaos of the first two weeks of the siege in Mariupol on video.

Ukrainians know the name of Yulia Bayevska, the lifeguard known as “Tyra”, the name she gave herself in the video game World of Warcraft. They discovered her in 2013 when, as an aikido teacher, she joined volunteer rescuers to treat the wounded during the Euromaidan demonstrations, and then Donbass in the war, forming the “Tira Angel” group, whose members evacuate wounded soldiers from the front. .

This civilian, who served as army medics in 2018 before being demobilized in 2020, is said to have saved the lives of more than five hundred Ukrainian soldiers since 2014. The 53-year-old is the only member of the Ukrainian Invictus Games Team for Military Veterans. In this context, in 2021 I acquired a small portable camera to participate in a Netflix documentary series about inspirational characters, produced by Prince Harry, who founded Invictus Games.

I used it quite differently. Tyra has been based in Mariupol since 2019 when war broke out on February 24th. I stayed there. His camera was used to shoot 256 gigabytes of images showing the daily horror during the first two weeks of the siege in the coastal city of Azov.

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We treat everyone the same way.

This intimate and astonishing video testimony is now accessible as it was submitted to the Associated Press (AP), the last international media to leave Mariupol, in March, which reclaimed its content in a report published on Thursday, May 19. With her cameras, Yulia Bayevska filmed as closely as possible the interventions of medical teams with civilians, including children, some of whom did not survive, despite the tireless efforts of her team. ” I hate this “we hear her say in a video, in which she cries after trying in vain to revive a young boy injured during a shootout, with his eyes closed.

His team also takes care of Ukrainian and Russian soldiers. In a sequence filmed shortly after the start of the war, she asks her colleagues to cover a wounded Russian soldier shivering from the cold. “You take care of me”said the fighter. We treat everyone the same answer.

Yulia Bayevska, February 27, 2022, in Mariupol, where she treats civilians and soldiers.

Disappeared since March 16th

On March 15, a police officer handed a memory card containing all the videos to AP journalists before they left Mariupol. Yulia Bayevska asked them to take the map and the direct testimony it contained outside the city. The next day, the doctor, along with her driver Sarhi, disappeared.

Both were kidnapped by the Russians, along with hundreds of other Ukrainians. A video clip broadcast in a Russian news bulletin on March 21 announced his arrest, accusing him of trying to flee the city in disguise. Tyra appears there, looking sloppy, reading a statement calling for an end to the fight. Behind her, a voiceover mocks her classmates and invites them “The Nazis”.

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The volunteer caregiver has not been seen since. Her husband, Vadim Pozhanov, said that he had not heard much from his wife since her disappearance. In early April, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshuk announced that the name of Yulia Bayevska had been included in the list of prisoners that Ukraine wanted to exchange with Russia. But the Kremlin denies the detention of the savior, which Moscow presented in March as part of the Azov Regiment, which Russia made a symbol of Ukraine’s “descending”. The Associated Press found no evidence to support this claim.

Vadim Pozhanov told the Associated Press of his anger at the way Russia portrayed his wife, and of his continuing concern about the treatment that might be given to his wife. In a video filmed on March 10 in Mariupol, Tyra responded to a woman who asked if she was going “Heal the Russians” you could not “There is no other way” Because it was about “Prisoners of War”. “They won’t be kind to us.”She, too, left.

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