Ukraine's Hidden Voices with Amanda Holden

Ukraine's Hidden Voices with Amanda Holden

By Global

Can you imagine going from your comfortable home to hiding in an underground car park for days on end? How long do you think it would take you to work out which missiles were being fired towards the enemy, or towards you and your kids just by the sound? These are situations many families are now having to face in Ukraine as the conflict continues to impact millions of people. Amanda Holden started this podcast after Ukrainian-born mother Kateryna - who was seeking refuge in an underground car park in Kyiv - connected with her via a social media post. Moved by her situation, Amanda wants to help tell the stories of people like Kateryna, who's lives have been drastically impacted by this conflict. Amanda said “I wanted to use this podcast to speak 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.” Ukraine's Hidden Voices will bring you interviews and conversations with many people from many different walks of life, all trying to survive and make the best life possible for themselves, their family and friends as the War in Ukraine continues. For more information on how you can help the people of Ukraine, visit the Disasters Emergency Committee at


A Laborious Process

Whilst in Poland, Amanda visited a humanitarian aid centre where refugees were staying before leaving for their new lives in various countries. She noticed that there were queues to apply for visas in every country except the UK. Curious as to why, she spoke to a charity who were helping refugees apply for visas in England.
30/03/2210m 44s

I'm no Hero

Aside from the many refugees crossing the border into Poland, Amanda also met several selfless volunteers. Paul’s from Falkirk and has decided he wants to use his retirement for good, so is travelling solo to Lviv, while David’s using his events company to provide equipment and manpower at Medyka.
24/03/227m 26s


This episode belongs to Natalia. Not only is she a mum and teacher, but also the first person that Amanda spoke to when she arrived at the Poland-Ukraine border. This is how she explained the situation to her children and her pupils.
23/03/228m 33s

Arriving by Rail

Although it no longer appears on the arrivals or departures boards, every day, a train from Lviv arrives in Przemy?l, carrying mostly women and children fleeing Ukraine. Amanda spends some time at Przemy?l Train Station, hearing the stories of the people arriving in Poland. She also meets those who have decided to return to Ukraine.
22/03/2215m 52s

On The Border

Inspired by Robert, whose story was heard in episode 8 of Ukraine’s Hidden Voices, Amanda travelled to Poland to visit some of the borders being used by Ukrainian refugees. Hear from those who are crossing, waiting, and helping at Medyka, a village in south-eastern Poland that borders Ukraine.
21/03/2212m 2s

Sleeping on the Front Seat

Robert, a husband and dad of two, swapped the comfort of his own bed for the front seat of a hire car. Leaving his family in the UK, he travelled to where Poland borders Ukraine to deliver aid, essential items and, at times, comfort to the refugees displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.
21/03/2211m 27s

Saving Ukraine’s Strays

Geoff and his Ukrainian wife, Tanya, 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.
17/03/228m 9s

Delivering Babies in a War Zone

Serhii is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist from Kyiv. Until recently, he was delivering babies to a soundtrack of gunfire and missile strikes. Him and his wife recently made the treacherous journey to Lviv, where they’re currently living with Serhii’s parents.
16/03/2216m 18s

Lights out in Slavutych

Adrian is a Nuclear Engineer who spent a decade working at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Whilst living in nearby Slavutych, he met his wife. Although they now live together in the UK, their family remains in Slavutych, a city that, since the invasion, has been left without power, food supplies or medical aid.
15/03/2211m 36s

If the Cat stays, so do I

Rita lives in Poland. Her mum, dad and 15 year old sister live in Odessa but it’s becoming far too dangerous to stay there. Her sister had a window of opportunity to leave but would only leave to join Rita if she was allowed to take her cat with her. Thankfully Rita’s sister AND her cat have just made it out of Ukraine. But Rita’s mum and dad are still there with the conflict getting closer each day.
14/03/2216m 52s

The Fake News Fight

Sirens rage through the night, couples say tearful goodbyes as one flees for safety while the other stays to defend their city. No way to speak to loved ones and the only way to communicate is by text - one in the morning and one at night. This is life in Ukraine for Olga, just like many Ukrainians who have been wrenched from their families and loved ones. Olga has pivoted her marketing company to now fight against fake news and propaganda. This is her story
11/03/2210m 43s

Enemy Gunfire Sounds Different

Would you be able to tell the difference between enemy gunfire and shots fired by this people trying to protect you? It's a skill Olia Fedorova has had to learn...and quickly! Based in Kharkiv, Olia now lives with her mum, boyfriend and 4 cats and is constantly learning news information to help her stay alive. In this episode she tells Amanda Holden how important it is to keep at least two walls between you and any potential explosions. When the sirens sound, they rush to the basement leaving their 4 cats in the flat as there are more places to hide for her pets and it's too stressful for the animals to keep moving them.This is now what life is like in Ukraine for Olia and millions like her.
10/03/2212m 53s

A Car Park in Kyiv

Kateryna Danno is the woman who sparked the idea for this podcast series. She contacted Amanda Holden via a social media post telling her about how she found herself sheltering from danger in an underground car park in Kyiv. Like Amanda, she too is a mum, but while her son is safe in London, Kateryna has been living in fear of what will happen next and how this conflict will develop.
08/03/2217m 2s
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