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American Veterans in NYC Perform Real Stories of Ukrainians, Including Fallen Paramedic Iryna Tsybukh

Last Sunday, the Bedlam Theater in New York hosted an event that saw American veterans read out real stories of Ukrainians who lived through Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including that of fallen paramedic Iryna “Cheka” Tsybukh. The event aimed to raise funds for volunteer medical battalion "Hospitallers" that Iryna was part of.

This collaboration involved Ukrainian cultural activist Daria Kolomiec, actress and director Zuzanna Szadkowski, and Bedlam's Veterans Outreach program. Szadkowski directed 14 unedited stories from Kolomiec's documentary podcast "Diary of War," sharing voices of Ukrainians like volunteer Denys Khrystov, chef Yevhen Klopotenko, musicians Oleksandr Polozhynskyi and many others.

The cast (Photos by Anastasia Krasheninnikova.)
The cast (Photos by Anastasia Krasheninnikova.)

The readings begin with a diary entry from Iryna “Cheka” Tsybukh. In her diary, she wrote about her life before the full-scale invasion, the canceled premiere of her film about children from the Donetsk region, her work at the Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, and her decision to join the "Hospitallers" at the start of the war:

"I understand that after the event, you will return to your usual routines, but I will not. Due to Russian aggression, because I know how needed we are here. And one thing you need to know: we also need you. Please support us because this war is the most unfair thing in our lives. And we would also like to return to our routines, without war," Iryna said in a video recored for the event before she was tragically killed while on duty.

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