Ukraine War Diaries: EP45 – Zelenskyy the great, loving power and ‘the smell of Spring’ (Feb 13-17)

Ilyas praises Ukraine’s leader after Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s UK visit and is grateful his wife and children, in Poland, don’t have to experience life in the middle of a warzone. Oksana is happy to have electricity this week and is looking forward to Spring and a trip to Europe, where she’ll be reunited with her best friend after many months apart And her husband Seva, a military volunteer, has returned from eastern Ukraine and reflects on how he has gotten used to the Russian missile bombardment, nearly a year on since the invasion. OUR DIARISTS Oksana, 35, works in overseas education. She lives with her husband, Seva, in an apartment complex in central Kyiv. Many of Oksana’s closest friends have left the country to begin new lives in Europe. Some may never return. She’s continues to try and make a life there. Ilyas is an IT specialist and married father who fled from Kyiv to Lviv shortly after the war started. His wife Natalia, and two young sons are taking refuge in Poland. As of February 2023, Ilyas is back living in the family apartment in Kyiv. Seva, 41, is a company CEO and husband to Oksana. Before the war, he travelled across Europe for business. Now, he makes regular supply drops of medical aid and rations to Ukrainian troops on the front line in Eastern Ukraine. He’s originally from a small village near Dnipro. 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. EP67 diary entries were recorded using WhatsApp voice note. From the producers of Sky News’ multi-award winning series – StoryCast. Producers: Rob Mulhern and Annie Joyce Editing: Paul Stanworth Archive: Simon Windsor Digital: David Chipakupaku

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At the height of lockdown, 19-year-old Ellie Williams claims on social media she’s been trafficked by an Asian grooming gang across the North of England. Photos of her horrific injuries add to the outrage and the post goes viral – shared more than 100 thousand times.Social media rumours lead to attacks on Asian men and businesses in her hometown of Barrow-in-Furness. But when she’s arrested for perverting the course of justice, things really explode and there are protest rallies and claims of a cover-up. At the trial the prosecution claims she’d lied, faked text messages and even caused the catalogue of injuries to herself.   In season 6 of StoryCast, Sky News’ Jason Farrell and Liz Lane, who reported on the case at the time, return to Barrow to investigate what could have led her to make these claims and if, underneath it all, there is some other secret buried amongst the lies.With access to her family, police investigators and those most impacted by her allegations, we ask: Why did Ellie Williams create such an elaborate lie? And what happened AFTER the trial – once all the media attention died down and other allegations began to emerge? For more investigative stories from the award-winning Sky News StoryCast strand, listen to our past seasons.   SEASON 5: Patient 11 (2024) Following the death of her brother, young mother Alexis Quinn seeks temporary respite in NHS psychiatric care, never imagining that three days, would turn into more than three year ordeal that would ultimately expose a national scandal.  SEASON 4: StoryCast 21 (2021) Through extraordinary personal stories, Sky News revisits 21 of the world’s biggest news events this century.   SEASON 3: Polonium and The Piano Player (2020) Two Russian agents release a miniature nuclear weapon in a 5-star London hotel. But former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko is not the only victim.   SEASON 2: What happened to Annie? (2019)  In 2005, the body of 30-year-old Swedish woman, Annie Börjesson, was found on Prestwick beach in Scotland. Could one of the world’s most secretive security agencies be behind her death?  SEASON 1: The Hunt for the Brinks-Mat Gold (2018) In 1983, an armed gang stole £26m in gold bars from a high-security depot near Heathrow Airport. Dubbed the crime of the century, the heist changed the face of Britain’s criminal landscape and the life of one undercover Scotland Yard detective.