‘World needs to know’: Ukrainian mom on vlogging life in warzone

Russia At War

(NewsNation) — Olena Gnes is scared. She fears for her life and her family’s lives — worried a Russian air raid or missile could rain down on them at any time.

But the Ukrainian mother of three is determined not to let her children see the fear on her face. She is the one they look to, to know everything is alright.

“I am trying because my children understand how safe it is when they look at my face,” Gnes said. “So I need my face to be strong for them to be OK,” she told NewsNation’s Rudabeh Shahbazi on Prime Saturday.

She said her family is doing “fine, as much as it is possible to be fine at war.”

Her husband is in the army, fighting with his fellow Ukrainians against the invading Russian forces. Meanwhile, Gnes takes care of the children and documents her day-to-day life on YouTube, a task she says is an important one.

“It maybe helps me not to go crazy,” Gnes said. “When I am documenting our life, I am tapped aside for a little bit and I look at our situation from the side and I have the video to articulate what the situation is and talk to people from all over the world basically.”

She wants to be a window into Ukraine for the outside world.

“The world needs to know. And I know that there are not many people in Ukraine who speak English and who can openly show their daily life,” Gnes said. “It is important for everybody to see what is happening here to see that we are people.”

Most of the fighting is concentrated in the East, around Ukraine’s Donbas region, as Russia has re-tooled its battle plan after failing to take Kyiv, early in the war. Gnes said that while a majority of the fighting is now in the East, attacks are still “terrorizing” civilians elsewhere in the nation.

“In the South, in a town, the missiles hit a residential building yesterday and a baby like mine was killed,” Gnes said.

Gnes says she’s thought about fleeing her country, like millions of others, but she is unable to.

“Something makes me stay here,” Gnes said. “This is a feeling that nobody needs my country more than I need. So I just have a very strong feeling that I need to be here with my children.”

© 1998 - 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation