- A Ukrainian tour guide said she filmed a live stream called “War in my Ukraine” when Russia invaded.
- Olga Dudakova told Insider that more than 1,000 people tuned in to watch her talk about the war.
- People commented on her livestream saying “calm her down, let her calm down,” she said.
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Olga Dudakova, a tour guide, made a living showing kyiv’s hidden gems through an online live streaming website Heygo.
She liked to visit old churches and hike to get a good view of the city.
She had planned an evening tour for February 24 — the day Russia began its attack on Ukraine — but quickly canceled it after hearing the news, Dudakova told Insider in an interview.
Instead, Dudakova decided to film another livestream titled “War in My Ukraine.” He provided a first-hand account of what was happening in the Ukrainian capital on the evening of the invasion. More than 1,000 people logged in, she told Insider.
“It was a decision I made in shock because I was shocked and terrified by what was happening around me,” she said. The livestream lasted about an hour.
Russian fighters encircling kyiv have largely come to a standstill, but have still attacked parts of the city, The Guardian reported. A citizen was killed after a missile attack on a residential building early Thursday morning, the outlet said.
Russia has already caused destruction in other parts of Ukraine, including by bombing a theater in the besieged city of Mariupol where civilians were sheltering. Russia has so far denied the attack.
Dudakova is among thousands of people who have fled the country’s capital. She left three days after the invasion.
Dudakova said she did the livestream because she wanted to show her huge audience around the world what was going on.
“They just see the news, the statistics… But what I wanted to say to the public is that we are people, we are here in Ukraine, and this is the disaster that is happening,” he said. she declared.
When she spoke, Dudakova said she was crying in fear
People were commenting on her livestream saying “calm her down, let her calm down,” she said.
More than 1,000 people tuned in to watch Dudakova speak in real time about what was happening in Ukraine. Some viewers were offering their home for her and her family, she said.
Dudakova said she spent two nights in a bomb shelter with her three children before leaving Kyiv
“We decided to leave because a building near my children’s school was badly damaged,” Dudakova said.
The line of cars trying to get out of town lasted until five o’clock, she said, adding that with people carrying guns and a military presence, the town looked like a war zone.
“I saw people pushing cars, just pushing with their own hands because they had no gas,” she said.
Dudakova stayed at her grandmother’s house in western Ukraine – where she filmed a second hour-long livestream – for about five days, before fleeing the country. She said she spoke to people who had tuned in again and showed them around a mansion in the area.
Dudakova said “food disappeared from stores” while she was staying in western Ukraine.
Sometimes the Internet connection in Kyiv dropped because of the bombings, she said, which made it difficult for her to schedule live streams.
Dudakova also said she normally schedules them seven to 10 days in advance, but since the invasion she has only scheduled them two to four hours in advance due to connectivity issues.
She told Insider she is still in touch with friends and relatives in Kyiv.
“I’m still hoping this ends very soon and I’ll be back and continuing to do my regular tours,” she added.