Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Russians Tortured Ukrainian Detainees, Often to Death, Says Medic
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 2 years ago on
September 15, 2022

Share

 

A life-saving Ukrainian volunteer medic captured by Russian forces during their deadly siege of the port city of Mariupol told U.S. lawmakers Thursday how Russians routinely tortured her and others, killing many detainees, in her most detailed public account of her months in captivity.

Yuliia Paievska, detained in Mariupol in March and held by Russian and pro-Russian forces for three months, spoke to lawmakers with the Helsinki Commission, a government agency created in part to promote compliance with human rights internationally.

Known to Ukrainians by the nickname Taira, Paievska became a popular figure in her home country. Her care of the wounded during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war received global attention after her bodycam footage was provided to The Associated Press.

“Do you know why we do this to you?” a Russian asked Paievska as he tortured her, she recounted to the commission. She told the panel her answer to him: “Because you can.”

A 7-year-old boy died in her lap because she had none of the medical gear she needed to treat him, she said.

Russian captors made Ukrainian prisoners remove their clothes before the Russians set to bloodying and tormenting them, she said. Prisoners lingered in pain, screaming, for weeks before dying.

“Then in this torment of hell, the only things they feel before death is abuse and additional pain,” she said.

Paievska had been one of thousands of Ukrainians believed to have been taken prisoner by Russian forces. Mariupol’s mayor said that 10,000 people from his city alone disappeared during what was the monthslong Russian siege of that city. It fell to Russians in April, with the city all but destroyed by Russian bombardment, and with countless dead.

The Geneva Conventions single out medics, both military and civilian, for protection “in all circumstance. ” Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat and co-chair of the Helsinki Commission underscored that the conditions she described for civilian and military detainees violated international law. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

Before she was captured, Paievska had recorded more than 256 gigabytes of harrowing bodycam footage showing her team’s efforts to save the wounded in the besieged city. She got the footage to Associated Press journalists, the last international team in Mariupol, on a tiny data card.

The journalists fled the city on March 15 with the card embedded inside a tampon, carrying it through 15 Russian checkpoints. The next day, Paievska was taken by pro-Russia forces.

Three months passed before she emerged on June 17, thin and haggard, her athlete’s body more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) lighter from lack of nourishment and activity. She said the AP report that showed her caring for Russian and Ukrainian soldiers alike, along with civilians of Mariupol, was critical to her release.

Paievska previously had declined to speak to journalists about conditions in detention, only describing it broadly as hell. She swallowed heavily at times Thursday while testifying slowly in a mix of Ukrainian and halting English.

“It’s very unpleasant” to speak of what happened there, she said.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Ex-Marine Gets 9 Years in Prison for Firebombing California Planned Parenthood Clinic

DON'T MISS

Fresno Coin Gallery Owner Reveals Why Gold & Silver Are Hot Investments

DON'T MISS

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

DON'T MISS

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

DON'T MISS

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

DON'T MISS

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

DON'T MISS

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

DON'T MISS

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

DON'T MISS

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

DON'T MISS

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

UP NEXT

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

UP NEXT

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

UP NEXT

Israeli Settlers Rampage Through a West Bank Village, Killing 1 Palestinian and Wounding 25

UP NEXT

US Intelligence Finding Shows China Surging Equipment Sales to Russia to Help War Effort in Ukraine

UP NEXT

More Aid Is Supposed to Be Entering the Gaza Strip. Why Isn’t It Helping?

UP NEXT

Wife of Julian Assange Says Biden’s Comments Mean Case Could Be Moving in the Right Direction

UP NEXT

Hamas Leader Says 3 Sons, 4 Grandchildren Killed in ‘Revenge’ Israeli Attack

UP NEXT

Blinken and Cameron Urge Congress to Approve Aid for Ukraine, Calling It Critical for World Security

UP NEXT

Austin Tells Congress Israel Is Taking Steps to Boost Aid to Gaza as Lawmakers Question US Support

UP NEXT

55% of Americans Disapprove of Israeli Actions in Gaza: Poll

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

16 hours ago

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

16 hours ago

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

18 hours ago

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

18 hours ago

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

Local /

19 hours ago

Justice Thomas Misses Supreme Court Session Monday With No Explanation

19 hours ago

‘Civil War’ Declares Victory at the Box Office, Toppling ‘Godzilla X Kong’

19 hours ago

Why Tortillas Sold in California May Be Forced to Add a New Ingredient

20 hours ago

Costco Tries Again at City Council for Big NW Fresno Move

21 hours ago

Scheffler Turns the Masters Into Another Sunday Yawner With a Dominating Win

21 hours ago

Ex-Marine Gets 9 Years in Prison for Firebombing California Planned Parenthood Clinic

SANTA ANA — A former U.S. Marine was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for firebombing a Southern California Planned Parenthood clini...

1 hour ago

1 hour ago

Ex-Marine Gets 9 Years in Prison for Firebombing California Planned Parenthood Clinic

2 hours ago

Fresno Coin Gallery Owner Reveals Why Gold & Silver Are Hot Investments

Fresno Monopoly Edition
16 hours ago

A Fresno Edition of Monopoly? That’s Capitalism at Work, Baby!

16 hours ago

California Officials Sue Huntington Beach Over Voter ID Law Passed at Polls

16 hours ago

Indiana Fever Receives No. 1 Overall Draft Pick Caitlin Clark

18 hours ago

Which Fresno Restaurants Are Best? The Pros Picked These Places.

18 hours ago

Trump’s Historic Hush-Money Trial Gets Underway; 1st Day Ends Without Any Jurors Being Picked

Local /
19 hours ago

Fresno-Madera United Way Launches National Search for New CEO

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend