Ukrainian paramedic to be honored by U.S. state department
Yuliia “Taira” Paievska was selected to receive an International Women of Courage Award, along with 10 other women from around the world
By Rachel Engel
WASHINGTON — Ukrainian Paramedic Yuliia “Taira” Paievska will be honored at the White House today as one of 11 women selected to receive an International Women of Courage award.
Now in its 17th year, the award ceremony, purposely held on International Women’s Day, highlights the work of women around the world who “have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, and the empowerment of women and girls, in all their diversity – often at great personal risk and sacrifice,” according to a release from the State Department.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and First Lady Jill Biden will host the ceremony.
Read Paievska’s award profile below:
Yuliia “Taira” Paievska has demonstrated extraordinary moral and physical courage in defending Ukraine against relentless Russian aggression. She provided medical treatment to Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity protestors in 2013, and as head of Taira’s Angels, a volunteer unit of paramedics, she provided tactical medical training on the Donbas front lines from 2014 to 2018.
Mrs. Paievska is best known for her work secretly filming and smuggling out videos documenting atrocities committed by Russia’s forces in Mariupol. Russia’s forces detained Mrs. Paievska on March 16 as she attempted to evacuate women and children from Mariupol to Zaporizhzhya, despite her clear non-combatant status.
During a three-month imprisonment, Mrs. Paievska lived in a tiny cell with 22 other women, losing 20 pounds and enduring torture and beatings. Moreover, the Kremlin’s propagandists falsely maligned her internationally as a fascist and war criminal. Yet Mrs. Paievska refused to be silenced, and since her release has compellingly advocated for Ukrainian democracy and independence both at home and abroad.” — U.S. State Department
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