Not Past It - When Ukraine Fought Back

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Even though we’re a history, show.

It’s hard.

Not to address current events, especially when what we’re living through.

Now, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is the result of a long and complicated history.

Ukraine has been an independent country since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, but that didn’t erase Russian President, Vladimir Putin’s desire, to bring it back, under Russian rule, on February 24th.


Russian army invaded Ukraine.

After a century of conflict over questions of autonomy and identity War has broken out again and Russian forces have been carrying out.

A brutal campaign against Ukraine.

It’s left many ukrainians with no choice, but to defend themselves and their country.


I was a journalist for more than 20 years, but about six weeks ago.

I left over all my work.

So I left all alone.

All the job of a journalistic job and volunteered to become a soldier like more than 100,000 of his fellow Ukrainian citizens.


Yarema, tarski has volunteered to fight for Ukraine and the territorial Defense Forces, a branch of the Ukrainian military for civilian Volunteers in his old life.


Yuri was a journalist.

He covered global news as a Reporter and hosted a daily radio show on one of his first days as a soldier.

Yuri says, his platoon leader, told him to report to headquarters.

He says, some of the bigwigs there had a list of all the volunteers and one of them recognized Yuri’s name from his radio show.


He was like, bring me this guy.

I want him to be oppressed Soldier.

He was all listener before we were so he loved our radio show.

He said to us.

What look, Headquaters has a lot of requests from foreign journalists who are trying to understand what is going on and he asked us to help.


Now instead of interviewing sources for his own stories, Yuri is the source.

His fight is not on the front lines of the battle field.

But rather in the media, today, we’re speaking to journalists.

Turn Soldier.

You demons are coming up.



Jerry is a soldier in Kiev Ukraine fighting in the conflict against the Russian military.

To URI, who was a journalist is still a journalist though, a more unconventional, one as a press Soldier.


He’s been responsible for making sure other volunteers.

Get their stories heard people whose lives have totally changed.

Since the start of the war, like the famous playwright, who spends his nights guarding, the barracks, the young cosmetologist turned Soldier.


And then there’s the clown, he finished, the some kind of Circus school or something like that.

So he became a clown two weeks ago, the first sunny day of this spring, he managed to, to Stage a real circus performance, close to the checkpoint.


And while a circus performance, doesn’t reflect the terror of this ongoing conflict Yuri, tell stories like these because they help humanize the people of Ukraine.

I’m not going to be a powerful weapon when you’re Up against a world superpower.

From gimlet media.


This is not past it a show about the stories.

We can’t quite leave behind every episode.

We take a moment from that very same week in history and tell you the story of how it shaped our world.

I’m Simone plannin today.


We’ve got two stories for you from Ukraine’s history.

Both about empowered civilians like Yuri taking matters into their own hands, people who called upon their own courage and Creativity to protect what they believe in weather out in the fields of rural.


Ukraine or center stage at Eurovision.

That’s after the break.

Our first story is one of those Great Moments were highbrow and lowbrow intersect where somehow International Affairs, drag performance, Linguistics, and pop, music, all Collide, and it begins like many great stories, do on social media.


Andre de nil, Co has just over a quarter of a million followers on Instagram.

He’s a multi-hyphenate performer, musician, comedian, actor, based, in Ukraine, girl.

Ski GT, and is my mouse like a good.

You need to consult usually posts about projects.


He’s working on.

But lately the nail goes posts have turned almost exclusively to the war in Ukraine.

And since the War Began his following has pretty much doubled.

His grid is full of violent scenes.

Buildings toppled, people fleeing onto trains.


In a recent interview, with journalists Dimitri, Gordon.

Danil Co had some very harsh words for the Russian President.

Vladimir Putin will demonology made a crispy chip.

Let’s look at who speaks is not what he said.

Vladimir vladimirovich.


How are you sleeping?


How are you sleeping when you know what is happening?

Daniel goes audience likely isn’t used to seeing him like this.

They know him from his shows, or his gig as a judge on Ukraine’s, X Factor or even his cameo in the Melissa McCarthy, lead, big-budget, comedy spy, but mostly, they know him by a different name altogether because de Milko is most well known for his alter ego, an original character.


He performs on stage.

She’s this over-the-top woman.


Sunglasses, bright red lipstick, and sporting a generous pair of fake breasts.

Her name is Vera.




The character of verka serdyuchka is known for being totally larger-than-life, often decked out in Sparkles, a feather boa or clashing patterns.

She’s this heightened version of a middle-aged woman from rural Ukraine.

And she works as a railroad sleeping car attendant a working-class job.


Danil Coast started performing as verga and secondary school in 1991.

The same year, the USSR was in mid collapse and Ukraine, declared its independence.

Pendants from the Soviet Union and the late 90s.

Erica got her own TV show called SV show short for spell Neva gone or sleeping car and Ukrainian.


It was sort of like a late-night variety show furka, would invite celebrities on for interviews and deliver monologues about her life with a cigarette.

In hand, there’s not really anything to compare this with and American Media.

I guess it’s sort of like if you crossed RuPaul’s Drag Race with The Tonight, Show Fair Kuwait, talk in this.


Dialect called surzhik, a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian.

She was body and unrefined, but fans loved how accessible verka was and she developed a cult following in Ukraine.


Ferc has star was on the rise in the mid odds that had been almost two decades since Ukraine had split from Russia, but time had not healed, all wounds between the two former Soviet countries.

It was in this context that verka got her big break at the 2007, Eurovision song contest.


If you’re not familiar with Eurovision, first of all, you should be every Are participating countries, select their best act to produce and perform an original song at the international contest.

And that year, Andre Delco was selected to represent Ukraine at the competition in character as Fair, cassar, dooshka.


For her performance verka took the stage in this head to toe.

Silver get up a knee-length dress made out of blindingly, reflective metallic material matching heels, the signature red lip and giant sunglasses.

And on top of her head, a silver headpiece shaped like a giant star.


She looked like Elton John dressed as the Tin Man wrapped in a disco ball.

She sang a song called.

Dancing lascia tomb by it’s this really hyperactive pop dance track and the lyrics are chaotic.


There’s a lot of counting in German.

There’s also some English and Ukrainian in there and she repeats a lot of phrases over and over again.

One being I want to see Lasha to Mumbai.


That doesn’t really mean anything.

Lasha tune by its gibberish, but a lot of people noticed.

It sure sounds a lot like something else.

Lasha tomb by Russia.


Hey, put it all together and you get I want to see Russia.



Forecasts are dooshka caught heat from Russian viewers for the performance.

She claimed the phrase was Mongolia and for whipped cream.

Yeah, somehow that explanation didn’t smooth things over.


Russian officials banned her from performing in their country for a year.

But at the end of the day, ferc has still got to sing.

Lascia to Mumbai with gusto on the international stage.

She won Ukraine a second place, standing narrowly losing to Serbia.


And whether she intended it or not, her song became a sort of unofficial, anti-russian Anthem.

Andre de nilka says, when he first invented verka in school, he never imagined her staying power that he’d be playing her all these decades later, but it makes sense to me, but verka serdyuchka would become a kind of protest mascot for her country.


Not just because she’s good at sneaking, subversive messages, and to Bonkers pop song.


Her history maps on to Ukraine’s history with Russia.

She was born the same year, Ukraine became independent and her dialect surzhik that blend of Russian and Ukrainian.


It emerged precisely because the two countries are so closely intertwined in their histories.

Furka is a reminder that there are nations in conflict and then there are other people caught up in that conflict, whose lives are shaped by it.


People who I’ve and adapt as power and National borders, shift across Generations, verka, serdyuchka carries all that history with her.

So why not choose her to carry a message of Ukrainian Independence.

She kind of is already recently a Russian military radio station was hijacked by some.


Unknown actors who used the airwaves to play burqas Eurovision head and Andre done, Elko himself has spoken up about dancing lat.

Russia to Mumbai and he isn’t claiming Mongolian would cream anymore.

From this point forward.


He says verka serdyuchka will be singing the words Russia.

Goodbye after the break when Ukrainian civilians fought back against Russia almost 100 years ago.

Welcome back.


Our next story is coming from producer remotely Philip and it’s quite a bit different from the one.

I just shared with you.

And Ramona, is here to help me set it up.

Hey, everyone.

How’s it going?

I’m well, how are you?

Well, I’m very intrigued by the story that you’re bringing to us.


Tell me a little bit more about what you found.

Yeah, it’s wild like there’s a very similar, but dark story that happened almost a century ago in Ukraine that Involved, unfortunately, Russia and some very vile aggression and conflict.


And its really powerful to see how the ukrainians stood up almost a century ago.

Yeah, it really feels like that old cliche of History repeats itself, but I think it’s a really important story to share.

So I’m happy you’ll be telling us, even though, you know, it’s a tougher one.


You want to take it away?

Okay, let’s do it.

Have you ever thought that the ideas of borders are super super wild?

Well, there’s no better place to Pete that than in Eastern Europe, where the borders have been complicated for centuries.


There’s been a lot of push and pull, especially for what we know as Ukraine, whose name actually means, Borderland in Russian and polish, but for the sake of argument and time, we’ll start our story in the 20th century for short while from 1918 through. 22 Ukraine was an independent nation known as the Ukrainian People’s Republic, or Ukrainian National Republic.


At the same time.

Ukraine’s big neighbor to the east.

Russia was going through a bloody Civil War.

Eventually the Red Army took control of Moscow.

Bad news for the Russian Emperor and as it turns out, Bad News, Bears for Ukraine because they were independent for a quick minute, but then they got Incorporated.


Into the newly created United States of Soviet Russia, the USSR by 1922 Joseph Stalin.

The other mustache, wearing Gulag creating mass murdering Marxist dictator who gave no funks.


It started to climb the Communist rungs of power at that time.

The USSR had large concentrations of peasant Farmers industry was lacking resources were scarce, but Stalin had Big Dreams for his Soviet Republic.

So he turned his attention towards Agriculture and Ukraine.


You see Ukraine is often called the breadbasket of Europe.

It’s got plenty of fertile land for farming, wheat and corn and it’s been that way for centuries, think families and communities, just living off the land.

Stalin’s plan was to take these small Ukrainian farms and pull them into large.


State-run Farms, a process known as collectivization by 1930, thousands of USSR soldiers, March themselves into Ukraine to oversee this shift.

From that point on Ukrainian Farmers could only Farm what Stalin’s government ordered them to the rest of his plan went something like this.


The USSR would sell some of the harvests mostly grains.

To the greater world, the cash.

They made will go on to fund a new powerful industrial USSR.

The food would also help feed industrial workers who are building these modern industrial cities.


Most of all Stalin and the party would have total control over what food the ukrainians had accessed.

The bad is Farmers.

The ones with the most successful Farms weren’t going to give up the ghost that easily, they killed their own animals and destroyed their own equipment, basically, ukrainians, would rather sacrifice their livelihoods, then hand them over to Stalin.


When Stalin found this out.

He made them Public Enemy.

Number One.

He leaned into this one.

Very pointed name for these Farmers.

He kept calling them cool Acts or the Fist, and for ukrainians collectivization.

Came to be known as dekulakization, but they along with the average ukrainians.


They were going to go down that easily.

The fist would rise up.

Historians have documented thousands of rebellions during the first years of this collectivization.


There are many accounts.

Like we’re in one region, villagers armed with pitchforks axes and homemade Firearms, attacked USSR guards in the area.


I swear 1500 villagers banded together to take back their City from Soviet police.

Then they marched in nearby Villages armed with pitchforks, hunting rifles, knives and guns.

They killed Soviet party members along the way.


Ukraine would take it in the gut for this one in retaliation.

The Soviet regime took dramatic measures to withhold food from the ukrainians who were left police raided their homes, remove food.

They Two Towns from receiving food shipments.

Any Ukrainian who tried to take crops from those state-run Farms to feed themselves and their family.


We’re often punished or killed as part of stones.

Most dramatic punishment, for the actions of these Farmers.

A cordon was created around the Ukrainian Province, to prevent people from escaping over 1/3 of The Villages were put on blacklist for failing to meet grain.


Quotas blacklisted Villages were encircled by troops.

Residents were prevented from leaving receiving any supplies.

Became a death sentence.

By 1933 Stalin’s, policing of food and crane got so dire.


There were documented stories of cannibalism, at the height of the famine, in June of 1933.

Ukrainians, were dying at a rate of twenty, eight thousand people per day.

So, one of the most fertile lands in Europe and people were starving, thousands of them which turned into millions.


It was basically Man-made famine that came to be known as the holodomor, this translates in Ukrainian to death by hunger.

And you would think the world would be aghast by this holodomor, but were really didn’t get out of Ukraine.


Throughout the 1930s, the Soviet government kept silent about the famine news of it was suppressed through intense censoring.

There were foreign journalists living and working in Moscow, but they weren’t allowed to leave the city without special permission.

Much less travel to Ukraine unsupervised other journalists at by quietly because they were being bribed by Stalin’s regime and let’s be honest.


This was happening at the same time as the Great Depression.

It was a tough time.

For World governments dealing with crisis of their own.

Then there was the Soviet propaganda machine.

Stalin painted this beautiful reality of how great everything was going of how everyone in the USSR was on board with the Republic’s dramatic industrial.


Change through propaganda like this film from 1935.

Russia, showed happy Farmers, reaping, the successes of collectivization farmers who had barely survived the holodomor.

Really give you that soup.


Did we Brothers, which have, who did you come to that sits in mom at an always slower?

So I love Boucher, hookahs.

Well, Christian on Pooch sectarianism.

You see, by this point, Stones planned kind of had worked because this genocide by famine, had been so brutal that any Ukrainian Farmers left were forced to accept this collectivization regime as their new Norm.


And to anyone who questioned the propaganda machine the Soviet government would just say that ukrainians weren’t starving.

No, they were the Bad actors creating a famine.

Myth to undermine Stalin’s Noble plan.

Sounds like a plan out of Putin’s Playbook or I guess actually maybe it’s the other way around.


Eventually word of the Lord.

The more did get back to the West.

Thanks to journalists who were brave enough to report the truth through the stories of survivors.

As in refugees of World War, Two some estimates place.

The number of Ukrainian lives, lost between 1930 and 1933 as high as three point, nine million.


It’s almost surreal to see this historical parallel and unprovoked Russian Tyrant invades.

Ukraine causes havoc and a needless loss of life.

Then he creates his own reality about what is and isn’t happening.

We’re lucky to have stories coming in from the front line.


Tongue is what’s really going down in Ukraine of The Bravery of everyday citizens.

Not going to put up with a needless Invasion.

A bravery that has this powerful lineage back to the 1930s when ukrainians fought back a bravery that we can say, we’re truly not a past.


Not past.

It is a Spotify original produced by gimlet and zsp media.

This episode was produced by Laura Newcomb.

Next week, strap on your beer goggles because we’re breaking down, Cinco, de drinko, who actually thought about connecting the brand to Cinco de Mayo.


I did.


That was me.

The rest of our team is producer.

Sarah, Craig r.

Associate producers are remote Philip and Julie Carly.

The supervising producer is Erica Morrison editing by k.t.



Andrea be Scott and Zach Stewart, Ponte fact-checking by Jane, Ackerman translations by Peter Rusev in sound design and mixing by Hans Dale.

She original music by Sachs kicks, Ave.

Willie Green, Jay bless and Bobby Lord that final song.


It’s called join Eminem IV through Nick V Lee or an English, neither wind nor way.

It was performed by the Cubs re Ukrainian folk Ensemble.

Our theme song is Tocco, Liana by Coco, Co with music supervision by Liz, Fulton, technical Direction by Zach Schmidt show art by Elysee Harvin and Talia Rahman, the executive producer and DSP media is Zach Stewart Ponte a, the executive producer from gimlet is Abbie.


Ruzicka special.

Thanks to Marilyn Horne, Masha.

You densive a Brenner and to Lydia Pole, Green Dan Behar Jen hon.

Emily wiedemann, list styles.

And Joshua Bianchi follow not past it.

Now to listen for free exclusively on Spotify.


Click the little bell next to the follow button to get notifications for new episodes.

You can follow me on Twitter at Simone palana in.

Thanks for hanging.

We’ll see you next week.

If, if you will be with me right now, you’ll be sitting in the very center of a city looking to wear one of the oldest churches in Eastern Europe which called Sofia and it’s still not dark yet.


It’s still light of here.