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tv   Ukrainian Medic Testifies on Being Held in Russian Captivity  CSPAN  September 28, 2022 6:33pm-7:55pm EDT

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system today. he's the author of several books including lincoln's last trial, kennedys avenger about the trial of jack ruby, and his latest, alabama versus -- martin luther king jr. and the criminal trial that launched the civil rights movement. during the conversation with your phone call. -- text and tweet for dan abrams, live, sunday at noon eastern on in-depth. >> next on c-span, a ukrainian medic held in russian captivity testifies before the commission on security and cooperation near. often referred to as the helsinki commission, her testimony were about living conditions and the torment she and others were subjected to.
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>> the helsinki commission will come to order. i want to acknowledge senator blumenthal, the commission member who is with us. i appreciate him being here. let me just point out that this is obviously a very busy time for the united states senate. some of our committees are meeting simultaneously. the members will be coming in and out. and apologize to our distinguished guest that there will be an in and out flow of members of the united states congress during this hearing. we are so honored to have a real hero with us today. only pay have saga, butter
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known as -- well known to the people of ukraine. in today's hearing -- held in russian captivity. we have seen from afar the atrocities committed by mr. putin and russia and the unprovoked attack on ukraine. we've seen that from afar. but i must tell you there is nothing like a firsthand explanation and experience for us to have a better understanding of atrocities committed by russia in this war in ukraine. so, as we saw the conflict unfold, all the atrocities being committed, we're gonna have a chance now to see some firsthand footage of what happened in mariupol by the
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person who took those videos. ty wray was a volunteer medic trying to save lives. and she did save lives during this conflict. she was able to take certain videos. she smuggled them out. the associated press was able to put them together. so by way of introduction, we will play a short video from the associated press based upon her footage, which was smuggled out when the city fell. and let me just caution everyone watching this video for obvious reasons, it contains horrifying images of the reality of mr. putin's roller on ukraine. so we will start with that video. we will then have the opportunity to introduce her formally.
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we understand there is some for this video, so we're gonna try to get the sound fixed. [speaking non-english]
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-- russian invasion of crimea. we're gonna try to restart. for two weeks, taira witnessed the daily horrors of war. [speaking non-english] she recorded 250 gigabytes a video to show the world what was happening in mariupol as the russian invasion unfolded. [speaking non-english] taira ask the associated press
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to get her footage safely out of the city. on march 16th, days after recording this video, she and her colleague disappeared. [speaking non-english] taira and her calling -- russian invasion of crimea in 2015. as the member of the ukrainian team, she was gonna be featured in a documentary on inspirational figures. but when the first rockets landed, she quickly jumped into action and turned on her camera. paramedics there -- [speaking non-english]
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it wasn't just soldiers. hours of footage showed tyrant treating wounded children, including a brother and sister in the early phases of the war. despite all the efforts to save him, the damage was too much for the young boy. and the battle hardened magic.
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she returns to close the eyes of the boy whose parents were also killed. [speaking non-english] taira also traded russian soldiers, despite reservations from her countrymen. [speaking non-english] and one of her last body cam recordings, tara -- she explains why.
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[speaking non-english] on march 21st, a russian tv network announced taira's capture, claiming that she was part of a far-right militia and had tried to flee the city. no one has seen or heard from her since. the ukrainian government credits taira with saving hundreds of lives throughout her career. a family and friends say the video shows a woman dedicated to healing. not more.
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>> and really is a privilege to welcome the indomitable taira here with us today for her exemplary courage, having served on the front lines of ukraine since 2014, as well as her harrowing experiences in mariupol, taira is justly regarded as a national heroin in ukraine. you're a person who volunteered to help, to deal with that is caught in conflict, to provide medical assistance. you volunteered. she is a symbol of the ukrainian resistance to russia's brutal war and aggression. are captured by the russian forces in march ripped the whole ukrainian society. a medic captured and subjected to cruelty, for trying to help,
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including the russian soldiers. taira will testify to the deplorable conditions of her three months of captivity and the plight of those who remain unlawfully detained by russian occupation forces. taira, a firsthand account will compliment the testimony we heard -- ukraine's newly occupied territories regarding thousands of ukrainians arbitrarily detained, -- in so-called filtration camps. and the litany of russian violations of international humanitarian law documented in the osce's moscow mechanism reports. and other human rights reports. however, no report can adequately capture firsthand experience. and that is why we are so grateful that you are with us today. before i turn into hofko, who
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is joining us for a more fulsome introduction of taira -- and the ngos that have worked in regards to these humanitarian efforts, we welcome all our international guests that are with us today. i also want to acknowledge senator shaheen a member of the commission, is with us. i will now turn -- and we are joined by the co-chair of the commission. i'm going to give him a chance to catch his breath for one second, before i turned him. senator shaheen, would you like to make any opening comments? >> i would just like to thank you for appearing before us, with members of the commission today, and your heroic efforts in ukraine. >> -- thank you, mister chair, appreciate you calling this
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meeting, this important meeting, and i apologize for being a little late. i think all the raw members that are here, and getting an opportunity to meet with three of the members last night, for an informative evening. i'm privileged to host ms. yuliia paievska, who has done some amazing work and the amazing experiences she is going to share with us, that are so important not just for the world, but for the american public to hear firsthand what is going on. -- your bravery in mariupol, it siege and war, battle, is commendable, courageous. thank you. i can't imagine what it must be to live like that. but you have provided people life and aid, and medical personnel to help those people. so, you were an angel.
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thank you. i look forward to the testimony today. what russia has done in ukraine needs to be known and it needs to be punished. because it is inhumane, it is immoral, and it is deadly, and it has been life altering. too many people for no reason -- miss directed and conceptualize thoughts about what vladimir putin, who somehow putting self in the body of peter the great and astral plane in three centuries, eventual destiny to be up there next to linen, the sooner the better. i think senator cardin for calling the meeting. this commission will look after the situation you ran over the years. it's important for congress and the american people, so of a ukraine.
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-- >> the united states ends with ukraine. we are with you so that ukraine can win this conflict and maintain their total sovereignty. and the international community can hold those responsible for those atrocities accountable for their actions. today's hearing is another part of that process for us to get the information so that we cannot only help ukraine maintain its sovereignty but also hold those accountable for atrocities. i will now turn to dr. hannah huffpo, who needs a little introduction -- during ukraine's revolution of dignity in 2014 and dr. hofko subsequently served as an independent member of the ukrainian parliament, where she
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chaired the foreign affairs committee from 2014 to 2019, since russia's full scale invasion of ukraine she has established together with other ukrainian activists the international center for ukrainian victory, which advocates for ukrainian interests internationally and support civil society efforts towards victory in ukraine. doctor, welcome back to our committee. >> yes, senator cordon, the -- other commission members. wanted to speak at such an important hearing, on ukrainian armed forces and ukrainian people, at the same -- caused by the russian totalitarian regime that is going beyond ukraine's borders. i listen to the commission in april, wearing a t-shirt with the photo of yuliia paievska. -- three taira. i was advocating for the
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release of yuliia andy crimeans villain defenders. i still can't believe that yuliia paievska is testifying in front of you today. just two weeks ago, yuliia paievska was back from orlando, where she won three medals, two gold and one bronze, just two months after she was released from captivity. she was relewhat a number a couple spir. i am so proud that yuliia paievska his here today. from the beginning of russian invasion in 2014, yuliia paievska faced 700 people, trained first medical aid around 10,000. yuliia paievska's mission is to save lives. ukraine's mission is to defeat the totalitarian colonialist's, defeat freedom of nations. --
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objective is to destroy the ukrainian nation as a viable political entity. . -- or she wants to break the ukrainian nation the same way they did with the holiday more, the genocide against ukrainians which took millions of lives in the last century. where ukrainians. this is why russia wants us to be killed. but they will never achieve this goal. ukraine's military victories down a way to restore respect for international law. -- to ensure the right of nations to freely choose their own future, the way to demonstrate the totalitarian regime are not allowed to attack their neighbors and to genocide. ukraine's victory means achieving a strategic goal to ensure the inevitability of punishment for international crimes by russian federation and its leadership. i'm so thankful to the u.s. and western democracy for the
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military assistance and humanitarian aid. your weapon is a game-changer. now on the battlefield, successful counteroffensive, it's another example of how ukraine armed forces and ukraine is the most effective recipient of u.s. military systems. the best way to help ukraine to win faster is to provide more weapons in both proper sanctions, -- recognize russian aggression as a genocide and designate russia as a state sponsor of terror. and also may i thank you to the representative cohen for his initiative to recognize russian aggression as a genocide. we all have dreams, big dreams. and responsibility to push through them. but i was here in april with that t-shirt, free taira, i had dreamed to see taira be released. and now she is sitting today with us.
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and have another big thing. one day, to visit moscow, which has memorials -- which will have memorials in honor of victims of two genocides, the holiday more and ongoing aggression. this is why the tribunal and -- key to international justice. all of us would be a powerful signal to ukrainians who are still in russian captivity. we cannot forget all the brave warriors of life. thank you for standing with ukraine. it is time to win with ukraine. thank you, senator cardin, for your many times visiting ukraine, from 2014 and actually conducting here in june also important briefing on the colonizing russia. i think -- mission has very proactive position in developing a strategy. -- because in 1991, when the
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soviet union was disintegrating, it was -- communism but counted two feet of colonialism. and i think that victoria ukraine we will see never again totalitarian regime attack and the sovereign nation. and honored today, yuliia we will share her painful experience and we have this opportunity to listen to her and help my country to prosper. thanks so much. >> thanks so much, dr. hopko. -- i understand you will give your remarks an english but you have a translator because of language issues. we certainly understand that. you may proceed as you are comfortable. again, it is an honor to have you before our committee. we admire your leadership and trying to save lives on the battlefield and for the international community to understand exactly what is happening in russia's
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aggression. you may proceed. proceed. >> dear senator cardin, dear senator -- dear commission members, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your -- and keeping ukraine in europe. and thoughts and prayers. my name is yuliia paievska. my comrades call me taira. originally, i'm a -- and president of one of the -- federation. my name is yuliia paievska. my grandfather was a world war
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ii hero. now as my country is at war, i am a paramedic. my mission is saving lives. russians called me a not-so-like that call everyone. every ukrainian who defies them or simply doesn't want russia and ukraine. the first 20 days of this tour i spent in mariupol, which was. , after that months in russian captivity, was -- i'm not the one to make politician speeches. i am not a politician. let me just tell you the stories of which i was a witness.
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along with -- [inaudible] this -- excuse me -- and confidence, in one -- which allowed me to survive. when my tormentors advised me to commit suicide i thought no. i will see that happen tomorrow. i want to how far they can go in there madness and anger. and then one day when it seems there was no hope, someone looked into the people and
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called my name, get your things and get out. this is how my journey to freedom begins. [inaudible] feet of clay -- the russian empire, the -- empire. -- army which is driving the enemy all from our land. -- thank you, for you've given so much to drive them out. but we need more. i hope you are here not because of curiosity. i hope that you are here in order not to allow this moment to happen. [inaudible]
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known either to relatives or the state. a fighter who is beaten for three hours and then thrown into the basement like a -- and only a day later, someone comes to him. a dead child and mother's arms. a seven year old boy with bullet wounds dying in my lap because i cannot work in this case. prisoners in cells screaming for weeks and dying from torture without any medical help. then came the torment of and the only thing they feel before this is abuse and additional
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beatings. eatings my friends whose eyes i closed before his body closed down -- another friend, and another, and another -- i see a city of a half million people died before my eyes under the air strikes, methodical, planned. airstrikes at hospital and residential areas. a hospital full of wounded soldiers and civilians. the anesthetic drugs have run out. and the antibiotics are about run out as well.
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soldiers and the entire medical staff sleeping two or three hours daily because soldiers one after another -- every five or ten minutes where the wounded and the dead are lying on top of each other. and it was impossible to understand one even if you tried. burning cars with burning people in them. bullets taken out from under the rubble, under the women and children, mutilated beyond recognition, after another ceiling.
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people people collecting water from -- looted homes, dogs who run, dragging human links around the city. prisoners who were forced to take off their clothes before their mothers, slowly and with slaughter. especially the torture chambers. the situation against the prisoners are absolutely the same. the only names changed in the paper.
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-- assist does not change. no one is trying to investigate. evidence is obtained simply by using human torture. oh these facts are into the air of the middle age. i made a prisoner, like thousands of prisoners. i speak for them. our soldiers were dying in sales. they were screaming for six days. one screaming for six days, and on the seventh day his body was placed on the stretcher by his cell mate. and the prison guards took what
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was left of the soldier. another one dying from the torture quietly for the six days, and only later will we learn about his death due to lack of medical assistance. and this is only a teeny part of what i personally know russia is committed with impunity in its propaganda. as well as the opportunity impunity with natural resources. they have no moral right to wage this war. this is not our war this is the
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third world war. and -- on the understanding this becomes global, russia keeps rising up and again and again, killing its citizens, and destroying the world. this aquifer i see that my people bring to the tower of freedom is the sacrifice for the world war. and i know that we will win. , but even after our victories, the enemy will recover after time, and again get their forces for aggression. and history will go for full
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circle. if nothing changes. deaths, suffering, rivers of blood, life. why? together with mariupol, they -- image of the noble and invincible warrior. -- no idea of military honors, no human rights and customs of war are bent absurd. -- confident the norm. why?
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one of my tortures asked me, do you know why i do this to you? i answer, because you can. he certainly did not expect such an answer. that is right. they do it because they can. because they are told by their leaders that they have the right to do it. because at one time, it was provided to them. because the world gives them such an illusion. the world was silent watching the crimes of the russians in jordan, syria, et cetera.
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but the victories of the crane an army victory last week show us that they can't. that there rights of -- our justin illusion. this is colossus, just a piece of clay. the free world community has enough influence to stop this madness. we must start with the issue of the prisoners and the fate of civilians and the occupied territories of ukraine. the issue of prisoner exchange is -- restaurants -- >> reluctance.
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>> reluctance of the russians -- although they choose not our strategy, our prisoners are mostly kept in the territory of the donetsk and luhansk people's republic -- convenient for the russians to -- [inaudible] sorry. of the so-called republics, to avoid retribution. but everyone knows that nothing is done in the occupied territories without -- from moscow.
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and they handle it from the special service of russia -- each of them. the world needs to insist on the facilitation the success of the united nations and the red cross missions to our prisoners. both military and civilian. because none of the humanitarian mission assessed are people who are illegally held -- in inhuman conditions. -- the world needs to see -- the participation of the international community and official, negotiations are
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guarding prisoner exchange and -- this is apparently our main issue. and i am asking for your help in this. but the next ones will appear in the fight against propaganda of russian -- fascist regime, because they -- primary weapon. more criminals, objective investigation. treatment and support -- victim. we must change the main moscow narrative because they may deny
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the people of the world the full rights of life and normal and no less victory takes place in the heart and the mind. which is no less important than the fate of the army. we have a lot of support. including our biggest supporter, including the biggest one, the people of the united states, who are supporting outside -- directly, on the ground are
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thousands there -- representatives in both chambers of the united states congress. -- i would like to thank all of you for your strong voice of support in providing store amounts of security assistance and appropriations. as an compliance 1.7 billion of united states or more.
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to designate russia a state sponsor of terrorism. how asked to save ukraine, europe, and all democratic world. thank you. hugs well, thank you for your courage. and for your service to humanity by which you have done in ukraine, which you continue to do to bring this message to the world community. your testimony is a powerful testimony. you give a face to the victims. we hear the numbers, but you give us the specifics. and we recognize every one of those numbers represent a person's whose life has been
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changed forever and has lost his -- of those numbers represent the person whose life has been changed forever -- you point out that no human rights rules or customs of war being observed. and we never thought we would see in our lifetime a country pursue a war and observe no rules or boundaries whatsoever. and you point on your testimony that nothing is done in the occupied territories without orders from moscow. mr. putin is responsible for these actions. you also point out that they have violated international norms. the unprovoked attack on ukraine violated every
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condition of the helsinki final act, which is what this commission -- then you point out that russia has violated every international standard and responsibility in regards to conflict. they have targeted civilians. you are before us as a targeted victim, a civilian, a medic trying to save lives. they violated every international -- on treatment of prisoners. her testimony points that out with specific examples of violating prisoner rights. and you point out that one of mr. putin's tools is to use propaganda, false information. the fight against propaganda russia's fastest regime, because this is their primary
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weapon. i couldn't agree with you more. so i am going to ask a question that perhaps you have already answered. but i want to understand this. why were you imprisoned? you were there as a medic to help civilians and help soldiers who were injured. there is international protection for our medics that are there in conflict. why were you targeted and why were so many civilians captured and imprisoned? a part of the military strategy of russia was part of the military strategy of russia to target civilians for military action against them? to be imprisoned and tortured,
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to show the ukrainian people there would be no mercy to anyone? is that what you experienced? why were you apprehended? why were you put in prison? >> [interpreter] i was detained during a document check. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i cannot say exactly why specifically i was detained but i understand they checked their records, their database, and they saw that i was a paramedic
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and president at war. that, and their, eyes was a crime in itself. >> [speaking non-english] . >> [interpreter] later, when i was in captivity, i was being tortured and they tried to make me get -- get a confession from me, some kind of confession from me about crimes which i had never committed. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] they didn't care to know the truth, they just wanted me to admit guilt for something i had never committed. >> [speaking non-english] . >> their intention, their goal,
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was to create an image of some kind of a beast out of me. and charge me with things i could not even imagine. >> [speaking non-english] >> all this was targeted at the russian population to create an image of a horrible enemy and show them this image. >> [speaking non-english] >> [applause] i believe there were doing the same thing with other people, other people and captive activity captivity. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and the use of torture in order to falsify those all egypt
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crimes that those people will be forced to confessed. >> [speaking non-english] >> i have some footage of russian propaganda tv programs, shone with people i know in person confessing of things that i know for sure they have never done. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] so, i can well imagine what they did to those people in order to get those video recordings. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] all this is done in our to release themselves a responsibility. [speaking non-english] >> in the aggression against
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ukraine -- >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] to produce that image of a merciless anomie. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and me, as an example, just look at me. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] in order to justify their crimes and their desire to seize my country -- >> [speaking non-english] >> this is my personal opinion, thank you. >> -- of course, that violates the geneva conventions in so many different ways. did you have any opportunity for any outside contact? talk a little bit about what experiences you had as far as being cared for while you are under captivity. >> [speaking non-english]
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>> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] at the time when i was detained, our t had a concussion caused by an explosion of minds that were shot of the hospital where i was. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i had a strong headache and other conditions and i asked to send me a doctor. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] they told me, i do not deserve that. >> [speaking non-english]
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llow me too make a phone call to inform my husband about where i was and what >> [interpreter] i asked you to allow me a phone call to inform my husband about why wasn't what happened to me. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] they did not allow the. [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] they said, you have seen too many american movies. there will be no phone call. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] they took away all my belongings, including the medicines that i need to take every day. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i have my thyroid removed. >> [speaking non-english] >> for this reason, i had to take a hormonal medicine every
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single day. it is called substitution therapy. he >> told [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] but only after about ten days, when i kept asking for that every moment, i received my medicines back. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and this was really a miracle, because the attitude was, not to give me anything, not to allow anything. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] the same ways with my medicines for asthma. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] they wouldn't let me keep that
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madison. and in order to get myself a spray of that can, i would have to knock on the door forever until they would come and let me use it. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] thank god my aggravated conditions were not happening very often. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] because every time i would bother those poor guards, they would get very angry at me. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] rude talk to us was the norm. but they felt like it was just a normal thing to do. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter]
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they took all the way the clothes ahead except those i was wearing. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] for those three months i only had one set of underwear, the one i was wearing. one pair of jeans. one t-shirt. a little cardigan. and a coat. that coat saved my life because it kept me from dying from cold. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] the conditions of keeping people in captivity was really inhuman. >> [speaking non-english] >> they captured me in march.
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>> [speaking non-english] >> -- [interpreter] when it was very cold. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] all the cells will where we were kept in different places, but all of them, invariably, had no windowpanes, just a bars on the window. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] it was always terribly cold. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] there were no blankets for us, and of course, no pillows. >> [speaking non-english] . >> [interpreter] and most of the time, not even a mattress. >> [speaking non-english] . >> [interpreter] so we slept on bunks made of metal. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] that in itself was a kind of
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torture. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] in the course of those three months, i was only able to wash myself with, more or less, warm water, when they took us to showers, once. >> [speaking non-english] >> they refused to receive any packages of supplies of any kind. >> [interpreter] >> -- [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] in my case there are no relatives or family to gain such packages, but there were other girls and other cells, who had family, but they could not receive packages either. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and i don't know if i should mention that, but of course, no
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toothbrushes, no toothpaste, no creams of any kind. you can forget about that. >> thank you. >> congressman cohen? >> thank you, mister chair, and thank you for your testimony and your life. when you were arrested, captured in mariupol, do you believe that they knew who you were and what you had been doing? >> [speaking non-english] [speaking non-english]
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[speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] when the man in uniform of donetsk public security was checking my i.d., he saw my name and he kind of remembered some information he knew. so, he left, went inside and stay there for a few minutes. he was either checking some lists or making a phone call to get, i don't know, orders -- and when he came back, he said, i need to get out of the vehicle. and that is how it all began. ferently >> and then when you were taken, i guess, to a prison after that, were you treated differently than the other prisoners, do you believe, because of your past deeds? >> [speaking non-english]
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>> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] they did not treat anyone with politeness. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] there were some civilian girls -- just plain civilian girls, nothing special, and they were beaten. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] just to scare them, i think that's why they do it. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] but of course, i did get special treatment. >> >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] it's very unpleasant for me to recall that. >> the troops, i think it's the azov brigade in mariupol -- were some of those individuals in the same prison as you were?
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>> [speaking non-english] >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i was kept a different locations. but each of those locations, yes, there were some guys from the azov group. >> do you have any reason to know or believe that they were treated differently as well? >> [speaking non-english] >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] the azov prisoners of war were treated with special cruelty. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter]
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for some reason, also, they have a particular hatred to soldiers from ukraine's military unit named ida. anguage] i >> [speaking non-english] >> i [interpreter] heard from them, something like, in their system, these units are recognized as terroristic organizations. >> it is amazing to me that -- it has been, that the russians refer to the ukrainians as not sees. >> [speaking non-english] >> but the only behavior that is been similar to not seize that i have heard of that is the behavior of the russians, particularly in the car serration of prisons that you have spoken about. >> excuse me, was this a
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question, sir? >> not really. >> absolutely right. >> thank you. i yield back. >> we are joined by congressman wilson, ranking member of the helsinki commission in the house of representatives. >> thank you, chairman cohen and -- for holding this important hearing. i appreciate -- those who have endured the worst at the hands of war criminal putin, and our witness today, veteran humanitarian taira yuliia paievska has provided lifesaving medical treatment to hundreds and has documented critical hundreds of atrocities committed by putin's murderous thug since 2014. the civilized world is inspired by the determination of the people of ukraine. victory for ukraine is crucial in the conflict worldwide of democracy, world of lobbying opposed by an authoritarian's rule of gun.
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the world continues to witness unspeakable acts of brutality against those captured by putin's forces, perhaps most prominent of the images from mariupol were putin's forces bombing a theater, sheltering hundreds, where heroes valiantly held off russian forces against all odds. it is critical that the world here are the stories of those who endured the -- forced relocation. the evidence is essential to the prosecution of war crimes when ukraine repels putin's forces entities victory. taira, i want to thank you for your service. there will cannot amend what you have been through. and i thank you for taking the time to speak to the commission today. one of the most important mandates of the helsinki commission is to amplify the plight of victims of human rights abuses. we must continue to champion his cause and in release of those currently suffering in captivity. i will now get to a question.
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and that is, on february 24th, i received a german newspaper, which correctly identified this war as a cell phone war. and the significance of that, is that putin's atrocities can be exposed as never before. and so with that ability, you certainly made a difference with body cam footage from mariupol, and the devastating account of the suffering caused by putin. i want to thank you for the footage that you made. i want to thank you for the extraordinary lengths that you have made to get this to the world. with that in mind, our other persons able to use their ability to record and present to the world the truth of what is going on in ukraine? >> [speaking non-english] >> sir, excuse me, could you rephrase the question? i wasn't sure i caught it. >> the question is this. with the ability of cell phones, you can't hide anymore,
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anywhere in the world. in fact, it gives an opportunity in conflict to expose the atrocities right away. and so, our other persons in ukraine easing this ability to expose the atrocities? so that the world understands the inhumanity of what is being conducted? >> [speaking non-english] >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i believe others are doing this too, if there is electricity, if there is cell phone connection, then they certainly would do it. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] moore's war, and you not always have communication or electricity's. that is the first thing the enemy does, ruin communication
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lines. >> again, thank you for the success you have made of overcoming that. another question. it is really sad that the world has been subject to disinformation by putin. and prior to your being captured, had you've been subject to disinformation? additionally, since your release, has there been disinformation provided by putin to question your goals and your achievements? michael: >> [speaking non-engli] >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] russian propaganda has created a whole film. >> [speaking non-english]
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>> [interpreter] i watch this film, and it is obvious how fake it is. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] however, it is sufficient for the russians to blame me for bad things. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] personally, i feel very irritated about it, because all my life, all the time i spent in the war zone, i dedicate it to helping people. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i refuse myself many things in order to be able to do more and provide more for the military servicemen and civilians in need. >> [speaking non-english]
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but their [interpreter] but their interest is in lies in order to remove blame from themselves. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i feel sad about it. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] but as long as truth prevails, that will bring our victory. >> and a final question. war criminal putin unintentionally has unified the democrats and republicans in the united states. he has unified nato as never before. with now finland and sweden joining nato, with an 830 mile
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border with the russian federation. and also to encourage countries like germany and italy to achieve the 2% of defense spending. additionally, he has unified the european union and -- unprecedented -- the airplane union is providing aid to the people of ukraine as never before. with that in mind, what more can people in the world do to assist the people of ukraine achieve victory? >> [speaking non-english] >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i think it is very important to conduct investigations of the crimes of the russian fascist regime. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] in order to reveal the lies and the treachery. >> [speaking non-english]
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>> [interpreter] so that we put an end to this aggression and to all feature intentions of such aggression. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] it is very obvious that if they achieve victory and ukraine, they were planning to move further on into europe. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] so, collecting evidence. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] recognition of russia as a sponsor of terrorism. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] strengthening of sanctions >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and as you rightly pointed out, the world has to come together, has to unite, because we are dealing here with the problem we have never had in the world
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since world war ii. >> [speaking non-english] [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and then, again, we need more. i apologize for saying this again. we are very thankful for everything you have given us already. but in order to develop the military success, we need more weapons. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] you can see that your arms, your weapons are in good hands. we are using them properly. we are not using it against civilians or for anything bad. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] ukraine is fighting the war with honor. >> [speaking non-english]
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>> [interpreter] and one thing we need in part is anti aircraft defense systems. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] because they are failing to defeat us in land warfare, they're trying to destroy us with airstrikes. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and this is not only about the military, which would be bad, but not half as bad. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] but they are making strides that critical infrastructure facilities. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and they rejoice from that. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] so, we are asking for additional resources, air
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defense resources. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] but like i said before, victories achieved in the minds and hearts. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] along with the strength and power of weapons. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] i firmly believe in this. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] and so i am asking to stand together against that propaganda influence. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] russia has inherited the old traditions of the soviet union in that respect. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] the traditions of that kind of propaganda. >> [speaking non-english]
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>> [interpreter] i would suggest that more work is done by specialists on that issue, how russian propaganda impacts the minds of the russian people, as well as people in the occupied territories. it is terrible impact. without weapons, >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] that said, without weapons, all that will have no meaning. >> [speaking non-english] >> [interpreter] thank you. >> [speaking non-english] -- the dictator lukashenko revealed by accident, in, field indeed, the aggression, it won't stop in ukraine, it will then go to moldova. it wouldn't go to georgia. we know that this would give encouragement to ccp, chinese communist party, to go after
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high. one we know that tehran would want to fulfill their goal of vaporization of the people of israel in vaporization of people of the united states, and so your success is crucial to all of us and we greatly appreciated, with senator ben cardin. thank you. >> again, i want to thank our witnesses. the helsinki commission, the u.s. helsinki commission, since the days of the soviet union, has been a voice for those who have been victimized by oppression. i want to thank dr. hopko again for bringing your case to our attention. we think that is the only way that we can be the advocates for those who are imprisoned and whose human rights have been a bridge is by putting a spotlight on them. so, this is an open invitation. if you have information about other individuals that may be
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in a similar circumstance that you were in, that we might be able to use our megaphone here to amplify their cause, please feel comfortable to get that information to our staff. we will certainly never want to put anyone in greater jeopardy. but we do think that putting a spotlight is important so that the oppressors know they are being watched and knowing that we are taking action to try to help them. so, that's an open invitation from this commission at anytime if you have additional information about individuals that we might be helpful. and raising their concerns. because we are concerned about every individual who has been victimized. and we want to help those individuals. and when putting a face on it, it helps us get the international community more unified and energized to stop
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these atrocities. and to do exactly what you are saying, to provide the wherewithal so that the ukrainians can defend their sovereignty and win this war of aggression against russia. but also to hold the perpetrators accountable for their atrocities. and your providing information to a certainly helps us. and your testimonies today before this commission is a major step forward. and once again, we thank you for being here, we thank you for your courage. we thank you for saving lives. and we thank you for what you are doing on behalf of the ukrainian people. and as mr. wilson said, on behalf of all of us, that feel threatened by mr. putin's asymmetric arsenal, trying to bring down a democratic systems of government. with that, the commission will stand adjourned. thank you. >> [speaking non-english]
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>> on thursday morning, the director of the federal bureau of prisons, collect peters, testifies on oversight at the agency, before the senate judiciary committee. watch live coverage beginning at 10 am eastern at c-span three. c-span now, our free mobile video app, or online, at >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more, including charter communications. >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter has invested billions, upgraded infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity and communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> chart a communication supports c-span as a public service, as along these other
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television providers, giving a front row seat to democracy. >> listening to programs on c-span 3 c-span radio just got easier. tell you our smart speaker, play c-span radio radio and listen to washington journal, daily -- important congressional hearings and other important public events throughout the day, and weekdays at 5 pm at 9 pm eastern, catch washington today for fast-paced report on the stories of the day. listen to c-span anytime, just tell your -- play c-span radio. c-span, powered by cable. >> next, women's health care advocates testify on the impact of overturning roe v. wade. the topics include potential stresses on health care providers and the impact on marginalized communities. this is about two hours and 15 minutes. >>


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