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Wounded Medic Whose Fate Gripped Ukraine Tweets 'I'm Alive'

Olesya Zhukovskaya
"I'm alive!" The tweet from the account of Olesya Zhukovskaya, a 21-year-old Ukrainian medical volunteer, caused a collective sigh of relief among antigovernment protesters in Ukraine.

Some 24 hours earlier, she had been pictured with a wound to her neck, apparently from police sniper fire, amid violence that left some 50 protesters dead on February 20 alone.

Her last tweet had said simply, "I'm dying."

Here is a chronology of events, including initial rumors on Twitter that she had been confirmed killed:


Shortly after early morning sniper fire on protesters near Kyiv's Independence Square a picture of an unidentified volunteer medic appeared on social media. Users soon recognized her as Olesya Zhukovskaya, who had tweeted, "I'm dying." Social media users then spread an earlier image of the smiling activist by protester-constructed barricades. Soon, rumors spread that Zhukovskaya had been confirmed dead. But then a reporter for the "Ukrainska Pravda" newspaper said a doctor had told her otherwise. The reporter, Halyna Tytysh, said she asked a doctor about her case. The doctor said her injury was "serious" but that she was likely to survive.

Still, there was no confirmed information. Until this: Translation: "I'm Alive! Thank you to everyone who supported and prayed for me! I'm in the hospital, and currently in stable condition."
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    Glenn Kates

    Glenn Kates is the former managing editor for digital at Current Time, the Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA. He now reports for RFE/RL as a freelancer.