Lack of deep understanding of the Russia-Ukraine war by the international community
In 2022, the courage of Ukrainians surprised the whole world, Ukrainian cities were on the front pages of the world's newspapers, and the word "Ukraine" was among the most popular Google searches. EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, in a speech on October 10, 2022, analyzing the full-scale Russian invasion, admitted: "... [w]e did not believe that this was going to happen, and we did not foresee that Ukraine was ready to resist as fiercely and as successfully as they are doing."
We started telling the world the truth about Ukraine during the Euromaidan Revolution of 2013-2014 by founding the English-language publication UkraineWorld. Its main focus is explaining Ukraine and its culture, covering the most important developments around the country, and counteracting anti-Western propaganda and disinformation. One of the sub-projects within UkraineWorld is the English-language Explaining Ukraine podcast, which has been explaining Ukraine's politics, society, and culture on a monthly basis since 2017. After the Russian invasion on February, 24th, 2022, the need to convey reliable information on Ukraine to international audiences has become even more acute.
Making Ukrainian voices heard and valued worldwide
In response to global interest in the events in Ukraine, the Explaining Ukraine podcast has transformed into a daily "war diary," offering first-hand information on the horrors of Russian aggression and occupation, heartbreaking human stories from Ukrainian towns ravaged by the war, Russian's nuclear terrorism, humanitarian disasters, and the historical context of Russia's attack on Ukraine.
The podcast centers on dialogue between UkraineWorld chief editor Volodymyr Yermolenko and his wife Tetyana Ogarkova, who is in charge of international outreach at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. As they remain in Ukraine during the war, the podcast's hosts share what they have seen and experienced in their homeland as it fights for its freedom and independence.
Some podcasts feature special guests such as British journalist, author, and TV producer Peter Pomerantsev, American historian Timothy Snyder, one of Ukraine's finest reporters Nataliya Gumenyuk, Columbia University researcher Christopher Atwood, and other distinguished interlocutors. These dialogues cover real stories from the war, the philosophical side of modern historical events, pressing political issues, and much more.
Yermolenko and Ogarkova also visited Bucha and traveled to villages near Kyiv which were occupied by Russian forces in March. They spoke with local residents, including those who remained during the Russian occupation, and shared their stories with listeners.
Regular episodes also cover the latest news from the frontline, as well as thorough analyses of Russian propaganda. Some episodes feature Ukrainian diplomats, security analysts, philosophers, historians, and other intellectuals.
Winning the information war strengthens global support for Ukraine
The Explaining Ukraine podcast has received rave reviews from the international community of journalists, analysts, and others who are following the tragic events in Ukraine and who support its struggle. The podcast was included in:
- Top 6 English-language podcasts about Ukraine right now (The Guardian, March, 19. 2022);
- 20 best radio shows and podcasts about Ukraine (The Times, March 15, 2022);
- Resources for Following and Understanding the Ukrainian War: Streaming Videos and Podcasts (University of St.Thomas, April 25, 2022).
The Explaining Ukraine podcast has reached 784,000 plays on SoundCloud, 545,615 views on YouTube, and is also available on Google podcasts and Apple podcasts. The majority of listeners are from the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium.
The podcast was also shortlisted at the Kyiv International Advertising Festival 2022.
Explaining Ukraine is regularly cited in The New York Times, Verge, CNN, and other prestigious international media outlets.
In its bloody fight against Russia, Ukraine's information struggle has become critically important. By spreading the truth about the war in Ukraine to the world, we bring the world to our side and bring our common victory over the enemy closer.