She stayed for the people. The Ukrainian presenter spoke about the show from a secret location

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Some journalists and technicians, especially those with young families, fled the bombardments, so the television stations did not have enough staff. The risk of the studio being hit by the bomb was also high, so rival media outlets decided to join forces to ensure that the news was constantly released. As a result, Padalkova, host of one of the largest 1 + 1 stations in Ukraine, and eleven other hosts, appearing alternately over 24 hours, have regular viewers and listeners.

“It’s as if the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 have merged. Technically we’re not connected. We’re each in a different location, but all the channels now have their own six-hour-a-day slot. Sometimes we are in the morning, sometimes in the evening”, she explained the operation of the television channels.

Symbol of normal life

For viewers, according to Padalková, broadcast crews are, in a way, a symbol of normalcy or a connection to their past lives, when moderators were part of their daily routine.

If not live, moderators and their intelligence teams are waiting in reserve, ready to send from the backup studio to a secret location where Padalková is based, in case a siren goes off or a bomb hits the headquarters in Kyiv or elsewhere.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree last week making the measure mandatory. He justified it by the need to prevent Russian disinformation. Much to the chagrin of some media moguls, who may have wanted to protect their own political interests, the executive order also ordered smaller channels to use content created by associated media instead of their usual news blocks.

Ukrainian policewoman crushed (right) during the Russian invasion.  Illustrative photo.

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Some have suggested that the News United initiative suppresses free speech. Padalkova, who was with her co-moderator, Yegor Gordeyev, 32, the first and only news anchor in the aftermath of Putin’s war, disagrees.

Practical advice and psychology

“Nobody sends us instructions,” she explained. “I think the only instructions we received at the very beginning were to help more viewers through difficult times,” the presenter added. The condition on the part of the green government was that it was aware of the dangers of rumors and misinformation.

News stations try to operate normally, so they invite various guests to help people through difficult times. “We have guests who can provide practical advice, or volunteers who can talk about evacuation, or people who are dealing with the dangers of chemical weapons and who advise people on whether to buy something to protect against a possible attack,” she said.

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At least once a week, a psychologist appears in the studio, advising viewers not to feel guilty for leaving their hometown or to hate the people who left. He also advises them not to follow the news 24 hours a day. According to him, it is normal to rest once in a while and not think about war, because some people, if they are not sad or crying, then feel guilty for the current suffering of others, explained Padalková to broadcast content.

The show also touched on looser topics, including ways to relax, including sex, the changing nature of stand-up comedy during the war, and the airing of new songs that sent a clear signal of contempt to the troops. Russians. Famous Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan also appeared on television, reading his poems to people hiding in a bunker.

Padalková thinks the role of moderator is important. According to her, it reassures viewers when they see a real person whom they have known for years, how he talks about the current situation, how he reacts to it and how he behaves. “Especially when I’m a morning presenter, people write to me that they remember my morning routine – getting up, having coffee, watching TV, taking the kids to school,” she said. .

The husband is fighting near kyiv, the children are with the grandparents

Ukrainian journalists and animators also received advice from psychologists on how to cope with their current role. Due to a staff shortage, reporters who do not usually run shows have been called into moderating roles. “Some of the top moderators ran away because they were women and had to take care of the kids, I fully understand that,” she said. “Most of the time, at least in Ukraine, we have more moderators than moderators, so they had to decide whether to stay or go with their children. Especially when it comes to single mothers,” she explained. the difficult situation of his colleagues.

Padalkova had a similar dilemma. Her husband, Yegor Sobolev, 45, a former Ukrainian deputy, joined the army on the first day of the war. After school closed, she had to work and take care of her three children, Mykhail, 15, Maria, 13, and Katja, 11.

“I told my husband that my job was no less important than his desire to join the army. We argued a lot, ”she described the difficult situation. Now her husband is fighting in the northern suburbs of kyiv. The children are in a hotel with the grandparents in the west of the country. He visits them once a week. However, many other journalists still have children with them, which makes their much harder work.

But Padalková loves his job. “People write to us how happy they are to see us and feel united because we haven’t left Ukraine,” she added.

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