A message from Olha in Kyiv

On March 7 the LSM English-language service found a message in our inbox from a young woman in Ukraine. It reads:

"My name is Olha and I am Ukrainian. As you know, our country is now at war. Russian terrorists have been mercilessly bombing our city for 11 days. I am often asked to go live, to talk about the situation in the country. But, unfortunately, there is a bad connection in our basement. And I can't talk during the live broadcast. Therefore, I will be very glad if my video content, which I shot earlier, helps you clarify the situation for the people of your country and others."

Normally, we only report on events in Latvia. But on this occasion we were touched by Olha's bravery and impressed with her initiative in sending us her video. So here it is.

We then contacted Olga, who told us she is 22 years old and was taking a course in Spanish before the war started. She was also working as a PR specialist while studying, putting together a master's thesis in communications.

"My family and I have been living in the basement for more than a week now. Explosions are heard every day. For the time being, we are not going to run anywhere from the city or from the country. Firstly, it is very risky, and secondly, our neighbors brought their children and a large number of pets to us. Therefore, we must take care of them. We are the only ones who have a basement in the house," she told LSM. 

"Tonight there was a warning that they wanted to blow up the Antonov plant. And it is located about 600 meters from us."

"For the past four years, I have worked as a public relations specialist. And communication with the media is what I did on an ongoing basis. Previously, I communicated with local media, but now, due to circumstances, I switched to international ones."

"The worst thing is that now Russia is waging war not only on the battlefield, but also on the information front. And if we have already received support from 128 states that say that Russia started a war, all the inhabitants of Russia assume that Putin is saving us from someone. Although we have a very friendly country. And we don't need this salvation that destroys."

It turns out that Olha even has a connection to Latvia.

"By the way, my family and I once celebrated New Year in Riga. And I want to say that you have a very cozy and friendly city," she told LSM.

Olha Oltarzhevska in Rīga
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