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Ukraine war diaries: 'COVID was just our war rehearsal'

Curfews, travel limitations, anxiety about leaving home, and more.

The restrictions which coloured life for so many during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic are proving something of a dry run for life in the Ukrainian capital now, according to one Kyiv resident.

For more than three months Oksana Goshel, 34, has been filing audio diaries detailing life in a war zone – and its dramatic shifts – for the Sky News podcast, Ukraine War Diaries.

And with much of the fighting now taking place in the east of the country, she and fellow residents are experiencing a strange shift to a familiar living experience.

Oksana and Seva

“We were laughing and saying that COVID was kind of a good rehearsal for Ukraine,” she says.

“Because now, we are basically living through the same conditions where we are locked in, where we cannot travel, where it is kind of dangerous to go out.”

In Week 10 of the Ukraine War Diaries, Oksana, her husband Seva and father, Ilyas Verdiev, paint vibrant pictures of their old lives before the war and attempt to measure what they’ve lost.

“The things I miss, I don’t really want to go deep into it,” she says.

“Because it just doesn’t seem right to be thinking of such things now. You know so many of my fellow Ukrainians are going through things much worse than missing your favourite cafe, or missing your favourite barber shop.

“I don’t even know if they (my friends) will be coming back in the end. This war has very huge disruption for relationships.”

Listen to Week 10 of the Ukraine War Diaries below.

Subscribe to the Ukraine War Diaries on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Spreaker

From the producers of Sky News’ multi-award winning podcast series StoryCast, Ukraine War Diaries uses first-person audio, recorded on the ground in Ukraine, to give an intimate day-to-day perspective of life in a war zone.


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