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Museum of Civilian Voices collates medics’ experiences from the Siege of Mariupol

“20 Days in Mariupol”, which won the Oscar for the Best Documentary Feature Film recorded the battle for Mariupol in 2022. The doctors, who featured heavily in the film, continued working in the most appalling circumstances right to the very end. They operated without water and electricity and slept in the corridors of the operating theatre.

Their stories have been collected by the Museum of Civilian Voices of Rinat Akhmetov Foundation.


20 Days in Mariupol was made by director and war correspondent Mstyslav Chernov, with Vasylyna Stepanenko and Yevhen Malolietka. From the first hours of the full-scale war, they filmed footage that later became symbols of the war. It is the first Ukrainian film by a Ukrainian director to receive an Oscar.

Here are some of the doctors’ stories:

Oleksandr Bielash, head of the anaesthesiology department, recalls that patients were counted only on the first day. After that, it simply made no sense. It was during the resuscitation of little Eva, who was the first child to die, that he addressed Putin.

Oleksandr’s story:

Tymur Chumaryn left Mariupol in mid-March. His friends informed him in time that he, a surgeon, was wanted by the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’. Before that, the doctor had been living at work for several weeks and saving people.

Tymur’s story:

On 12 March, Russian soldiers entered the hospital where Ihor Zolotous worked. They asked if there were any Ukrainian soldiers. The day before, Azov had taken its wounded out of the hospital, but there were defenders from other units in the wards.

Ihor’s story:

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