Ukrainian presenter's 'tears in throat' moment

time:2023-05-29 14:39:25 source:Al Jazeera

A former Ukrainian presenter has described having "tears in my throat" when reading the news before fleeing the country.

Kseniia Novikova, 36, who now lives in Wokingham, Berkshire, worked at a Ukrainian music station in Kyiv.

A few months after the war started in February, she and her mother fled to Poland, and then to the UK.

"It was just a really fast decision, it was not a planned decision, I was just trying to make a choice," she said.

Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire about her experiences, Ms Novikova said that while in Ukraine, during the conflict, she "read the news all day" as some of her colleagues could not make it into the station.

"Tears were in my throat because every news would finish with the words 'glory for Ukraine'," she told the BBC.

"Honestly, I was not wanting to leave at first," Ms Novikova said. "But the flat that I live is not safe at all."

She travelled in a car out of the country but the journey took 20 hours instead of three as "there was rocket shelling everywhere".

When they made it to Warsaw she was connected with the UK's programme for Ukrainian refugees.

Ms Novikova also shared the loss of her 28-year-old cousin, Pavel, during the war, who flew helicopters from February until a crash in July.

"He say, 'Oh, I just helped something but I'm in safety', but the truth was that he was all time flying in the really dangerous missions," she said.

"We do not know all the details because it's all secret but he was buried like a hero," she said, adding that she could not go to the funeral for fear of attacks.

"You're trying to believe in something bigger," Ms Novikova said.

"I want to believe that peace will be really close," she said, adding: "[It] is going to be a really long job with the culture.

"We have a lot of really complicated questions about Crimea, about the east side," she added.

Crimea is a peninsula in Ukraine, on the northern coast of the Black Sea, and has been occupied by Russia since 2014.

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