I know a genuine human voice when I hear one — 2: Ukrainians

What is Ukraine?

A vlog by a Ukrainian American and frankly soft propaganda, but interesting nonetheless.


Anna is an academic in Ukraine and of course also argues for her country and its cause, but certainly qualifies as an authentic human voice. Lately some of her experiences have been difficult.

See her interviewed by Vlad Vexler, the marvellous Russian-born Oxford-educated political philosopher in London.

One more from two weeks ago:

BTW in case you still think Anna is unfair to label Putin’s Russia as a terrorist state, consider the latest news!


Even in his normally rather peaceful countryside village, Pavlo and his family are feeling the effects of that policy.

Pavlo has appeared on my blog before:


Back to the vlogs — Russia and Ukraine

They have been active, as you would expect.


Zack the Russian

It was back in Augusr that I introduced Zack on this blog: A new (to me) Russian vlog — Zack the Russian — and provocative thoughts about customary reactions and pluralism.

He turned 21 since then and my admiration for him just grows and grows, but much of his activity now is on Telegram, to which I do not subscribe. But there is a great interview with him by a US vlogger just published.

Zack the Russian is a YouTuber who supports Ukraine and has protested the Russian government’s invasion of Ukraine. In March he left Russia and is currently living in Tbilisi, Georgia. He posts content and livestreams about the war and is fighting for change in his home country.

OUTLINE: 0:00 – Welcome 0:43 – Zack’s Background 6:35 – Where were you living in February? 8:05 – What was protesting in Moscow like? 17:24 – You were almost arrested in Russia? 18:54 – When and why did you decide to leave Russia? 22:20 – Why did you go to Georgia? 27:50 – What does your family think of you now? 38:00 – Do you have any friends in the Russian military? 39:34 – Why did Russian propaganda fail on you? 44:19 – Did you have to learn English in school? 49:15 – What would need to happen before you return to Russia? 51:40 – Do you think Putin can be overthrown? 59:15 – Can you explain your Russia Tomorrow media idea? 1:02:05 – Final thoughts from Zack



Half Russian


That Lviv girl



See also

Many earlier posts, such as: Russia Ukraine vloggers update; An outstanding morning of vlog posts from Ukraine, Russia and places of exile… Today the Russians; Russian vloggers in and out of Russia.

Remembering MH-17 — the verdict is in

Even Wollongong was affected:


Posted on  by Neil

Screenshot - 23_07_2014 , 9_50_35 PM

Wollongong Lord mayor Gordon Bradbery comforts Carol Clancy’s son Andrew Malcolm at a candlelight vigil to honour the victims of MH17 on Monday. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

See MH17 vigil: Community mourns victims Carol and Michael Clancy



In Wollongong today

Read, not from Wollongong: Anthony Maslin and Rin Norris, who lost three children in MH17, say no one deserves what they’re going through



A message to the soldiers in the Ukraine, the politicians, the media, our friends and family.

Our pain is intense and relentless. We live in a hell beyond hell.

Our babies are not here with us — we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives.

No one deserves what we are going through.

Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for our children, for Mo, for Evie, for Otis.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for Grandad Nick.

No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other.

This is a revelation that gives us some comfort.

We would ask everyone to remember this when you are making any decisions that affect us and the other victims of this horror.

So far, every moment since we arrived home, we’ve been surrounded by family and friends. We desperately pray that this continues, because this expression of love is what is keeping us alive. We want to continue to know about your lives, all the good and all the bad. We no longer have lives that we want to live by ourselves. So we’d like to take the chance to thank everyone, all our incredible friends, family and communities, and to tell you all that we love you very much.

We would also like to thank the people at DFAT; the local co-ordinator Claire and most sincerely, Diana and Adrian from The Hague, without whom we would not be here. We ask the media to respect the privacy of our family and friends — pain is not a story.

Yours truly

Anthony Maslin & Marite Norris

And now in The Hague

Sunday afternoon — and so many developments in the Russia-Ukraine situation

And who knows what might happen in the next 24 hours? I am preparing this on 13th November at 3 pm our time. Some of the vloggers I follow:

Zack the Russian

Given what has happened in his life since February 2022 which has led to his exile in Tbilisi, it is great to see he met up with an American vlogger who gave us an insight into how this remarkable 21-year-old spends his days.

Konstantin in Tashkent

1420 — Daniil, Artyom and friends

What a question to ask out loud in Moscow, and most afraid to answer it! Sadly, not this man:

But as one comment on YouTube noted: “I hope the last guy doesn’t ‘accidentally’ fall out of a window. Mad respect for speaking the truth.” In 15 hours this vox pop has had 323,000 views!

Anna from Ukraine

Makes clear why she is now a vlogger.

That Lviv Girl

Dima from Russia — now in Georgia

“Today I wanna just to walk around my “new home” OUTSIDE RUSSIA, talk a bit and show you some places in Batumi, Georgia.”

Search this blog for earlier shares from Dima. His journey has not been easy. You may recall this:

Conversations at Diggers on 11/11/22 — memories

Leo Tobin

As I said in the previous post, a fellow chalkie — older than I.

March was the last time I had seen him: Oh my! We are not all dead after all… That coincided with my renewing acquaintance via Facebook with a colleague from the 70s, Rosemary who read that post.

Rosemary responded with memories of Leo going back to the late 60s.

Leo Tobin and I had talked (among other things) about Misha Zelinsky, Leo saying he thought he had gone to Bulli High. No, Smiths Hill High (an academically selective school) after having been captain of St Joseph’s Primary, Bulli.

As at November 2022 Misha is back in Ukraine. His Twitter posts have been a great source which I share on Facebook.

Misha Zelinsky @mishazelinsky

Kherson 🍉.

To those who bravely resisted occupying Russians.

To those who fought valiantly to take her back.

To those who gave their lives for the cause.

To those who never gave up despite impossible odds.

You are the heroes of humanity.

Slava Ukraini.

9:43 AM · Nov 12, 2022

·Twitter for iPhone

But on Friday the conversation with Leo was about his National Service in the RAN in the 1960s, about which I had been unaware. Leo spoke of this Rugby League “Immortal”, Bob Fulton, originally from Wollongong.

It concerned Fulton’s service on HMAS Sydney during the Vietnam War, about which journalist Roy Masters wrote in 2016:

Bob Fulton’s mind was focused on two events over an emotional 18-hour period midweek.

The first was Wednesday night’s tense State of Origin game in his role as adviser to NSW coach, Laurie Daley.

The second was Thursday’s heartfelt homecoming of 33 Australian service personnel, including 22 Vietnam War veterans, who had been interred overseas principally because their families could not afford the £600 the then federal government demanded for their burial in Australia.

Fulton spent two years of the Vietnam War as an Australian Army conscript, deployed mainly as a PE instructor travelling on the aircraft carrier, HMAS Sydney, transporting troops to the combat zone.

Leo’s story also involved the late Robin Askin, colourful NSW Premier at that time — but it was then that Leo and other “Nashos” in the Club went down to the War Memorial in MacCabe Park. So I never got the details on that…

Fulton has afforded a State Funeral in 2021.

An article on the NRL site tells of his passing:

One of the original four ImmortalsBob Fulton has died, at the age of 74 after a battle with cancer.

The legendary Manly, NSW and Australian representative is survived by wife Anne, sons Scott, Brett and daughter Kristie…

“He was surrounded by Anne and his children and dear friend Royce Ayliffe when he went.

“He was first diagnosed some time ago and obviously those close to him knew of it and myself and Peter Peters were advised by Bob at the time. Some time during that later part of last year he was given weeks to live….”

I had a kind of connection since coming back to The Gong, as my friend Terry the Wharfie (RIP) had been a lifelong friend of another of the Immortals, Grahame Langlands, also from Wollongong. Through Terry I met Royce Ayliffe.


Adam at Diggers 2017

We talked in part about that pic of me in 1973 in Wollongong which I found some time ago on Facebook:

Being Remembrance Day, Adam kindly indulged me in my wartime reminiscences. Such as the time the pilot waved to me.

At the bottom of the backyard was a line of gum trees, a paling fence with allegedly poisonous gourds growing on it, and in front of that the chook yard. The story goes, as I can’t remember this, that my grandmother (whose nerves were not good as she had two sons and one son-in-law away in the War) was coming back one day from feeding the chooks when an American in a Kittyhawk or a Mustang appeared at treetop level and chased her up the yard. Convinced it was a Zero and she was about to die, my grandmother dropped everything, screamed, and ran for the house.

I do remember sitting on my dinkie on the gravel drive, near the Dorothy Perkins climbing rose which I called Mrs Perkins and confused with the lady next door who I thought was also Mrs Perkins. A yellow biplane flew over very low and the pilot leaned out and waved to me. My mother later told me that must have been the end of World War II.

Yesterday morning the memory feature on Facebook brought up this photo.

And this commentary from two years ago:

I am in several “nostalgia” groups. And I love them and contribute in a carefully non-partisan way. They are for me about sharing our common humanity and remembering temps perdu.

I am a sucker for all that. At 77, what can you expect?

But nostalgia is also a dangerous thing. The good old days were very often far from good. Nostalgia can so easily lead to Pauline Hanson and even greater horrors. Hitler, for example, worked on a confected version of “good old days” in a mythic Teutonic past, before untermenschen corrupted the joint. Not saying, but I do hear vibes at times that worry me, even on the groups I am particularly fond of.

I was, as I pointed out to a younger relative, born into a world where lynching still happened, where Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin flourished, where Dachau and Belsen were in full swing, where cities were utterly destroyed by firebombing and even nukes.

Good old days? Not always. In fact in more ways than we often think life has improved, attitudes have improved, so many people really are more enlightened. Yes, not everywhere, I agree.

But do I really want to go back? No way!

And this week on the blog and here I have been celebrating NAIDOC Week 2020 — and for all the problems you might point to, that is light years ahead of the world I was born into.

That’s me front left. My Uncle in the back row is in RAAF uniform. It is before the end of the war. When my mother, between me and my uncle, heard about Hiroshima and Nagasaki (she told me years later) she went into the backyard and vomited. The good old days?