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Ukrainian paramedic receives State Department Women of Courage Award
The State Department awarded Yuliia “Taira” Paievska, a Ukrainian medic who spent months in Russian captivity, with the International Women of Courage (IWOC) award.
According to the State Department's press release, Taira was selected among the eleven recipients of the award this year for demonstrating "extraordinary moral and physical courage in defending Ukraine against relentless Russian aggression."
Taira was captured along with her driver in Mariupol on March 16, 2022. She was released in mid-June.
The State Department cited Taira's work providing medical treatment to protestors during Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity in 2013, medical training on the Donbas front lines from 2014-2018, and for filming and smuggling videos documenting atrocities committed by Russian forces in Mariupol during Russia's siege of the city at the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
"Since her release (she) has compellingly advocated for Ukrainian democracy and independence both at home and abroad," the press release read.
According to the award announcement, the award "recognizes women from around the globe 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."
Since 2007, the State Department has recognized more than 180 women from more than 80 countries with the IWOC Award.