Ukranian refugee reads the news on Greatest Hits Radio

A Ukranian refugee marked the one-year anniversary of the invasion of her home country on Greatest Hits Radio York & North Yorkshire last week by reading part of a news bulletin.

Dasha Zakarets read the opening minutes of the 8am bulletin on Friday where she described her experience of fleeing her home in Kyiv in just her pyjamas.

Listeners also heard from Louisa who along with her partner Sean, opened their home to Dasha as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Dasha described fleeing Ukraine at the start of the invasion: ‘I was one of the first refugees to arrive here in North Yorkshire after escaping my flat in Kyiv just in my pyjamas and a rucksack when the attack started. I, like hundreds of others, managed to find a sponsor in York and ended up living with Louisa and Sean.”

She went on to tell listeners that having worked as a reporter before the conflict started it was a ‘privilege’ to be able to read the bulletin, working alongside the Greatest Hits Radio reporters.

Dasha’s sponsor Louisa said: “It’s been a wonderful experience to have Dasha she came here through the Homes for Ukraine programme she’s been with me now for nine months and has become a true part of our family here in the UK.”

The idea for Dasha to introduce the bulletin came from Greatest Hits Radio Chief Reporter Kathy Green who said: “Obviously it was hugely important to mark this day but to be able to do it using Dascha’s voice and her incredibly compelling story was very special. I’m very grateful that she – and her sponsors – agreed to share their experiences with Greatest Hits Radio listeners.”

May Norman, Greatest Hits Radio York & North Yorkshire News Editor said: “Allowing Dasha to share her experiences seemed like a truly fitting way to mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Ukraine.

“We hope that listening to her speak so openly about her experience bought home to listeners the reality of the events in her home country in a way they may not have heard before.”