Montreal – Any of you have ever read my materials here in the last couple of years are very well aware of my stance on what is going on in Ukraine. Though for those of you who have not, my work with media started after the death of Georgiy Gongadze when I started reporting from Ukraine at the end of February of 2001 for Ukrainian Time, one of the first and oldest Ukrainian broadcast programmes in Canada – Ukrainian Time.
At the time my producer, Simon Kouklewky and I made the best of what we had. In consultation with him I suggested my news stories, set up the interviews with newsmakers, recorded the inteviews on a Sony MiniDisc, then produced my programmes which were between 6-12 minutes in length. During those early years there was no broadband in Kyiv or Ukraine for that matter, compressing and disecting massive audio files became the way to do and all programmes were e-mailed to Mr. Kouklewsky. It was really an adventure at times and at times.
During the Ukraine Without Kuchma protests on March 9, 2001, I was present at the Za Pravdu Constintuent Congress held at Budynok Vchytelya. Later after interviewing witness of the beatings of students at the Kyiv train station I too had to deal with Security Services in Ukraine. As I was editing my programme in an office of an NGO where I was also a consultant, I was approached by a guy in plain clothes, though under his coat I could clearly see he had an automatic weapon slung across his back. He asked me to identify myself. I handed him my passport and a letter from Mr. Kouklewsky that stated that I was working as an independent member of our community in Montreal asking all of Ukraine’s official functionaries to help me in imparting the news of Ukraine to our Ukrainian community in Montreal. I had no problems with security services that evening, though I know that had it been now. I would have probably been bludgeoned. Kuchma has more between his ears than Yanukovych ever had or will.
Cooperating with Hromadske Radio
Later on my work became easier when I developed a working relationship with my friends at Hromadske Radio, Oleksandr Kryvenko and Roman Vybranovsky. I finally could at least get to their studio on Volodymyrska and Pushkinska and at times edit if necessary but at least use their broadband to get my stories to Montreal. Unfortunately, the journalistic community lost Oleksandr Kryvenko on April 9, 2003.
Over the next four years I worked in journalism and went back to working in my field as a librarian/information specialist for a leading Ukrainian law firm in 2003. In 2004 I acted as a fixer for many different journalists during the Orange (R)evolution and even did a radio report from the support that members of Ukraine’s London community for that even just over nine years ago as I was at a conference in London during the last week of November 2004.
I believe my last broadcast for Ukrainian Time in Montreal my have been Yushchenko’s innauguration. Though somehow, by this time I had met up by other Ukrainian-Canadian broadcasters online. I was actively involved in something that was called the Ukrainian-Canadian Broadasting Group on Yahoo, where I met a number of other broadasters including the initator of that group, Pawlina Demchuk-MacQuarrie, who was involved with Nash Holos out of Vancouver, BC, Canada. When I finally met her in Kyiv, I started doing a few reports for her but more in a cultural sphere, and after I finally arrived back in Canada in 2009, her and I started a closer cooperation. For nearly two years I produced a series of three minute segments which I called Kultural Capsules. Revealing to her listeners something about Ukrainian culture with my own personal admixture of storytelling.
I just heard form Pawlina that she used one of my KC’s, as we call them, on her recent show last Wednesday, and this is what brings us to the hear and now. Yes, the “hear and now” a slight play on words but always fun.
The here and the now!
Right after the crack down on peaceful protestors in Kyiv who supported European integration, I suggested to Pawlina that I could set up some interviews for her live air Nash Holos programme,which is broadcast on CHLY in Naniamo, British Columbia.
Building on my years of experience I once again went to fixing programmes for Pawlina in order to make sure that the story was heard, and during that same week through my contacts here at Maidan Montitoring I fixed a Romanian journalist who flew in from Bucharest. Yes, I should be making money on this stuff, but right now…I want the stories to be heard globally and if that means helping out a TV lead from Romania through our network then I am all for it. After all the slogan on this page reads: “A free person in a free country!” Who cannot be for such a goal for Ukraine.
My first interviews for Pawlina were with very good and long time acquaintance/friends who come from very different backgrounds. That inteview took place on December 4, 2013 and there are still many things that an observer from Ukraine can gather from this interview. Mykhailo Wyynyckyj is a Canadian and from an academic background and affiliated with Kyiv Moyhyla Academy, Yevhen Hlibovitsky comes from well over 10 years in media and one of the founders of Hromadske.TV.
You can either listen to or down that interview here. It thirty seven minute and five seconds in length! Enjoy it and learn from it share with it and just acknowledge who took the time to make this listening possible.
The second interviewthat I fixed was once again a duel in a positive sense where I paired Oksana Romaniuk of the Institute of Mass Information and Yuriy Lukanov. Oddly enough I have known Yuriy for over twenty years, he had done an internship at RCI in Montreal and then we renewed our connections in the journalistic haunts of Kyiv. While I have never met Oksana, she came on recommendation from an long time acquaintance and friend Alla Lazereva that had headed that organization during the disappearance of Georgiy Gongadze. Alla, thank you very much!
This interview took place on January 1, 2014 and I was extremely happy for it to happen. Yuriy, Oksana thank you for participating. I think you helped open the eyes of many individuals on the west coast of Canada and I hope that people who visit Maidan Monitoring will have the opportunity to list to more interviews that I will be setting up in the future. The world has to know about what is going on in Ukraine. There have been plenty of autrocities on the part of the authorities since these interviews have been recorded.
Though this thirteen minute interview is available here:
I hope that any of my friends who are journalists, help spread this information.
I would like to thank Pawlina Demchuk-MacQuarrie for sharing these podcasts with Maidan Monitoring. She runs a tight ship and I have always told her that I will support her in doing the right things that she wants to do.