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Broadcasting Under Siege

Peter, on the right, in his bunker.

 

Each of our lives is a Shakespearean drama raised to the thousandth degree.

 

― Anna Akhmatova (born in Odessa, 1889, died in Moscow, 1966)

 

I usually hear from Peter Zalmayev on FB messenger in the morning. He sends a link to an interview he's done either on Canadian Broadcasting, CNN International, BBC, even WBAI this week, so that I and all his friends, acquaintances and colleagues, can share it, thus creating a chain of information with a global reach. I am sure that other recipients of these messages, which assure us he is still alive and working—body guards at his shoulder—reply  as I do with a thumbs up, or words such as "received and will share," or "thinking of you." Peter has disclosed that his family is safe, and that he has dual American-Ukrainian citizenship, but that like so many other brave Ukrainians, he decided to return to use his expertise and perfect English to help fight the Ukrainian counter-propaganda war; Zelensky's address to Congress was part of that war.

 

Just imagine the logistics of broadcasting in the midst of missile barrages, the struggle to keep Wifi going, the constant worry about friends and family.

 

I first met Peter when I was living in Washington Heights in Manhattan; he lived in my building. I had started a Tenants Association and he wanted to know more about it. I was about to open a meeting in the lobby when he walked in, a commanding presence. Tall, handsome and self-assured, I can't remember if he stayed or left that night, but he was immediately engaged and interested in the process we had started to hold a landlord to account.

 

At the time, he was finishing up his studies at Columbia University; I left the city before he did, and though he returned to Kyiv and I moved to upstate New York, we became FB friends and stayed connected in the casual way one does on FB. Then I read on his page that he'd become the Director of the Eurasia Democracy Initiative, "dedicated to the promotion of democracy and human rights in post-Communist transitional societies of Eastern and Central Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia," according to the Wiki entry.

 

Here's their webstie: http://eurasiademocracy.org/about-us-2/

 

 

I hope (and would pray if I could) that Peter Zalmayev, President Zelensky, and everyone else broadcasting and/or in the Ukrainian government will be able to continue the life-affirming work of building and sustaining the Ukrainian democracy in the months and years ahead.

 

#Слава Україні #Slava Ukraini

 

 

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