Ukraine’s Hidden Voices podcast with Amanda Holden shares the stories of those caught in the conflict

24 March 2022, 08:55

Amanda Holden opens up about travelling to Poland on Heart Breakfast

Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Ukraine's Hidden Voices: You can listen to the powerful new podcast on Global Player.

Listen to Ukraine’s Hidden Voices on Global Player.

Ukraine’s Hidden Voices is a new podcast which tells the stories of the people affected by what is happening in Ukraine.

Launched this week, it focuses on those caught up in the crisis, as they share their own experiences of the conflict.

Heart Breakfast’s Amanda Holden started the podcast after Ukrainian-born mother contacted her on social media.

Episode 1

Episode one tells the story of Kateryna, who has lived in the UK for 17 years but travelled back to her home in Ukraine for a two-week holiday before the invasion.

When the conflict broke out, she was forced to move to an underground car park in Kyiv alongside other mothers and children, while her own son is back in London.

Episode 2

In episode two, we hear from Ukrainian Olia Fedorova who has been forced to move into her basement with her partner and mother, with their four cats staying in their flat above.

While living in Kharkiv, she tells Amanda how important it is to keep at least two walls between you and any potential explosions.

Amanda Holden opens up about her new podcast Ukraine’s Hidden Voices

Episode 3

The third episode tells Olga's story, who is the founder of a digital marketing company which is fighting against fake news and propaganda.

After fleeing her home in Kyiv, Olga was tragically separated from her boyfriend who is still trying to protect their city from Russian troops.

With Olga now living hours away in Lviv with their two children, the only way she can contact her partner is by text.

Episode 4

This episode gives a voice to Rita, who has been torn apart from her family during the conflict.

Rita moved to Poland a few years back to study, while her mum, dad and 15-year-old sister stayed in Odessa in Ukraine.

With Odessa becoming far too dangerous, Rita's sister said she would only leave to live in Poland if she was allowed to take her cat with her.

While Rita’s sister and her cat made the 19 hour train journey out of Ukraine safely, their mum and dad are still there as the conflict gets closer each day.

Episode 5

Adrian tells Amanda his story in episode five, who moved to Slavutych in Ukraine 2009 to work at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Here, he met his wife and they married in 2015, but after moving back to the UK, their family remains in Slavutych, which has been totally isolated due to the conflict.

This means they've been left without power, food supplies, transport or medical aid.

Episode 6

In episode six, you will hear Serhii speak about being an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist delivering babies in the middle of the conflict in Kyiv.

Serhii and his wife have now made the treacherous journey to Lviv, where they’re currently living with Serhii’s parents.

Each episode of the podcast will carry information on how listeners can donate to the DEC’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal - which you can find out more about here.

Opening up about why she wanted to tell these stories, Amanda said: “Ukraine’s Hidden Voices is a new podcast where I’ve been speaking with mums, dads, sons and daughters about what is happening on the ground in Ukraine.

“At this time it’s vital that we don’t turn away, but we turn towards them and hear their stories and try to help in any way we can. Their stories are so important.”

Episode 7

In episode seven, you will hear from Geoff and his Ukrainian wife, Tanya, who decided to stay in Ukraine's capital Kyiv, despite the current conflict.

They’re dedicating their lives to supporting the city’s increasing population of stray animals, largely made up of pets unwillingly left behind by their owners.

Geoff tells the story of a woman who’s choosing to pay for cat food instead of her chemotherapy, and explains how locals prioritise their pet’s health and wellbeing above their own.

Episode 8

Robert is a dad of two who has bravely decided to leave his family in the UK behind to travel to Poland.

Here, he has been travelling to the Ukraine border to deliver essential items and 'food bags' to the refugees displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.

He said 'nothing prepared him' for what he has seen over the past few days, with thousands of buses bringing Ukrainian refugees in need of help.

Episode 9

Inspired by Robert from episode 8, Amanda flew to Poland to visit some of the borders being used by Ukrainian refugees.

Travelling to Medyka, which is a village in south-eastern Poland that borders Ukraine, Amanda spoke to those who are crossing, waiting, and helping at the front line.

Episode 10

In episode 10, Amanda spends some time at Przemyśl Train Station, where she speaks to families who have recently fled the conflict in Lviv.

Every day, a train arrives from Lviv carrying mostly women and children who have all had to leave their homes and loved ones behind to get to safety in Poland.

Amanda also speaks to those who have travelled to Poland from the UK to help out those who are in need.

Episode 11

Episode 11 belongs to Natalia, a mum and teacher who arrived at the Poland-Ukraine border.

She had just five minutes to gather all her things and flee her home with her children after the conflict broke out last month.

Brave Natalie isn't sure which country she will travel to next, but she hoping she will be able to get back to her job and family in Ukraine when the war is over.

Episode 12

This story belongs to the volunteers who are travelling to Ukraine to provide humanitarian aid to those in need.

Paul decided he wants to use his retirement for good, leaving behind his wife and family in Falkirk to help out in Lviv.

Amanda also speaks David’s, who is using his events company to provide equipment and manpower at Medyka.