Politics with Michelle Grattan

Sarah Ferguson on reporting from Ukraine

March 25, 2022

As the devastating war in Ukraine continues, Michelle Grattan speaks with ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson about her experiences in reporting her Four Corners episode Despair and Defiance – how she was able to capture this story – and her views on where the conflict is likely to go from now.

Sarah and her team presented a raw portrayal of the conflict and its human toll in Kyiv and elsewhere.

“[In reporting] so much of these things comes down to simple practicalities. Can you get food? Can you get a driver? Can you get out? And once we’d got all of those things in place, we were good to go.”

Ukranian officialdom knows how vital it is to get its story to the world. Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy “has understood the importance of telling people the story of what’s happening.”

 

“The Russians actually shelled people during the evacuations and fired on people. […] The Russians aren’t observing the sort of conventions of war where civilians are able to be evacuated. So getting them out and witnessing that was unquestionably dangerous. It was a dangerous place to be.”

Caught in this horrific situation, ordinary Ukrainians can do little but just think “from day to day” rather than contemplate the future. “‘If I can get through today, what is my plan for tomorrow?’ […] The fear of what lies ahead is so grim that the human can’t – you can’t live with that amount of fear. So in order to function, you keep your horizon nearer.”

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