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Podcast "At a Distance. With Melitopol in the Heart"


Grant support

About the program

The program of the NGO "Center for Innovative, Social, Physical, and Intellectual Development "" together with Radio Skovoroda.

Author's project by Viktor Mayorov documenting the experiences of the Melitopol community in a podcast format. These are stories about the hometown in the south of Ukraine that fell into the russian occupation. Those are the stories of Melitopol residents who left and who stayed, who fight at the front and hold the defense in the rear, who have different age, professions, preferences, but they share the love for Ukraine.  

What the city used to be like before and what happened after February, 24? How do Melitopolians continue to live under the russian occupation? Why did some people leave and others stay? These difficult questions, among others, will be raised, and the heroes of the podcast will share their stories and answers.  

Conversation with Melitopol people of different ages and professions who lost everything because of the war, who had to seek their new life abroad, or in other cities, who united and went to the front. It is a talk about their experiences, problems, joys, and hopes. It is about the importance of Ukrainian self-identification, language, and statehood in order to show other citizens who stayed in the city that  we all face similar problems, and it is not easy for everyone. However, through the joint effort and mutual assistance, we shall withstand.


Podcast “At a distance. With Melitopol in the Heart” intends to give all groups of Melitopol residents a chance to hear the opinions of famous citizens, learn methods to improve their mental health, highlight the importance of Ukrainian discourse, language, and future. It offers the realization that Melitopol is Ukraine.

Relevance and Importance  

During the occupation of the city of Melitopol, many people were divided into two camps: those who left and those who stayed in the city. Because of this, each of the groups has a biased attitude towards each other, in the context of their mental resilience, the influence of russian propaganda, and the lack of regional Ukrainian content. It is especially relevant for an audience of 18-35 years old, who are highly digitalized.

Changes Entailed by the Project

  • Ukraine-centered attitudes in the occupied Melitopol;
  • Restoration of the mental health of IDPs;
  • Identifying the problems and needs of IDPs and refugees in the EU and discussing it on the media platform;
  • Consolidation of Melitopol residents among themselves, mitigation of conflict between those who stayed in the occupied territory and those who left;
  • Enhancing the moral resilience of IDPs and refugees through dialogue;
  • Reminder to Ukrainian people about the occupied south;


  • Improved mental health of IDPs and refugees;
  • Relations have been established between Melitopol people staying in different parts of the world;
  • Total number of playbacks – 44,148;
  • The implementation of the author's podcast and taking a mini-course on audio editing from the radio “Skovoroda”.

Target Audience

The audience covers young people aged 18-35 who currently experience mental trauma caused by the war. These are people who stay in the occupied city and, under the influence of russian propaganda, they have neutral attitudes, without Ukraine-centric content about the city of Melitopol, Ukrainian values, or identity. Young citizens aged 18-35 who had to relocate from the occupied Melitopol and have deep psychological issues, they feel “useless” in a foreign country or in another city. People who want to listen to thoughts, experiences, stories of adaptation, about psychological support, and the restoration of mental health from well-known Melitopol residents.

Sustainability, Scaling up, Continuity

The project’s sustainability is  ensured through the ease of production, guests with real tragic stories, that can not be silenced. Important local topics that are not discussed in the media, the variety of life stories of each guest; lack of Ukrainian-language content for Melitopol residents. Archiving of the history of the war, which will allow you to accurately recreate local events during the war, and will allow residents of the city to clearly understand who they could partner with to rebuild Melitopol after the de-occupation.

Available on SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, Google and Apple podcasts.

  • E10 – Olena Tyurina: education is a weapon!
  • E9 – Natalia Dzyubenko, Andriy Bokotey about Melitopol as a city of ornithologists and bird stations.
  • E8 – Aram Arzumanyan: No One Forgot About Melitopol.
  • E7 – Konstantin Popenko: I don't Know if I Can Joke Now.
  • E6 – Victoria Kovaleva: How to Take Care of Yourself During the War?
  • E5 – Ulyana Symonenko: Melitopol is Where u a.
  • E4 –  Oleksandr Lyubyshko: You can't Stay Here.
  • E3 – Yulia Olkhovska: Journalism in Occupation.  
  • E2 – Olga Leontieva: I was just told that “you can't go home anymore”.
  • E1 – Anastasia Dobrovolska: the experience of organizing Ukrainian rallies during the occupation.

“Podcast at a distance. With Melitopol in the heart"is implemented by the NGO "" together with Radio SKOVORODA thanks to financial support from ZMIN, under a grant call 2022.

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Podcast "At a Distance. With Melitopol in the Heart"

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