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Hiding it in tampons and clothes: the producer of 20 Days in Mariupol tells how the team took the footage out of Mariupol

Vasylisa Stepanenko tells where she hid the cards with the footage she shot in Mariupol

Vasylisa Stepanenko, the producer of the Oscar-winning documentary about Russian crimes, 20 Days in Mariupol, told us how the team managed to get the footage out of the long-suffering city. In order not to lose the priceless footage, including the testimony of paramedic Yulia "Tayra" Payevska, the women hid everything in the car that might seem suspicious to the Russians.

They expected that men would be searched especially carefully at the checkpoint, so they took on the mission of disguising the data carriers. Vasylisa Stepanenko spoke about this in an interview with Marichka Padalko.

Hiding it in tampons and clothes: the producer of 20 Days in Mariupol tells how the team took the footage out of Mariupol

Volodymyr, a Mariupol policeman who was on his way to escape with his family, agreed to take the documentary team out. They all got into a shot-up car and invented a legend for the occupiers.

"Our legend was that I was Volodymyr's relative and had come to visit them for the holidays. And the guys allegedly gave money to be taken away. We didn't know each other at all. Fortunately, we didn't have to use it," the producer recalled.

Hiding it in tampons and clothes: the producer of 20 Days in Mariupol tells how the team took the footage out of Mariupol

The data carriers were small, but they had to be well hidden in case of a search.

"When we were traveling, we tried to hide all these cards. I hid the cards in my pockets, in my clothes. Even Volodymyr's daughter hid them in her clothes. We thought that women would not be checked as much as men. At that time, I had a card of a paramedic called "Tyra". I hid it in a tampon. I didn't know what was on this card, but I realized that it was extremely important and that it had to be taken out. It was a small card, it just fit in a tampon," said Vasylisa Stepanenko.

The next day, Tyra was captured by the Russians. The documentary filmmaker recounted all these events with sadness in her eyes and recalled that she was already preparing for death.

Earlier, OBOZ.UA wrote that a woman in labor from Mariupol, who sided with the Russian Federation, called the Oscar-winning film "fake news" and immediately denied it. This happened live on Russian TV.

Only verified information is available on our Telegram channel OBOZ.UA and Viber. Do not fall for fakes!

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