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Nadezhda Sass: Everything that happens in Ukraine is pain

Nadezhda Sass: Everything that happens in Ukraine is pain

In February, Nadezhda Sass moved to Belarus from Ukraine with her family, and thus began a new chapter in her life. local journalists have talked with a host about the time stolen by the war, Minsk prospects and (unexpectedly!) Belarusian parks, which Sass never ceases to admire.

«Voice of Truth» publishes the interview unchanged:

Hope, why did you end up in Belarus, it’s somehow even embarrassing to ask ...

Unfortunately, everything is really obvious. Freedom of speech in Ukraine even before February 24 became very conditional. As a journalist, I almost completely lost the right to a profession, since the broadcasting of the TV channels I worked for (NewsOne and ZIK) was banned by the decision of the repressive body of the current government - the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine. After that, we tried in every possible way to return to the viewer. They went on YouTube, but in April 2021, the accounts of the TV channels were blocked on the territory of Ukraine. Even then, it became obvious what the actions of President Zelensky and his team could lead to. Although in 2019, the teams of our and a number of other TV channels closed by this government fully supported Zelensky. They supported him as a person who promised to bring peace to Ukraine, protect the rights of Russian speakers, and start normalizing relations with neighbors. But it turned out quite differently.

Certain Western circles quickly took Zelensky into circulation and convinced him that his rating was falling not because of the gap between promises and reality, but because we were talking about it on the air.

Since January 2021, the authorities launched a hunt for those who helped them in 2019, and not for Poroshenko, whose landing millions of Ukrainians were waiting for.

Therefore, we decided to leave Ukraine. February 13 arrived in Belarus. From that moment a new life began: difficult, morally difficult. But when you are standing on the ruins of your former life, your merits, and it seems that longing is about to finally eat you, the main thing is not to despair, to keep a direct and clear look. And it is at this moment, as a rule, that fateful and pleasant meetings take place, as happened with the staff and management of the STV channel [the launch of the SASS project is authorized to announce]].

How did it happen, who found whom?

Now it seems to me that we are progressively moving in the direction of each other. I really really love my profession. Director Konstantin Stanislavsky is credited with the following words: "You need to be able to love art in yourself, and not yourself in art." So, this is absolutely about me. Television is a kind of drug, and it would be difficult for me to give it up. Therefore, at some point I decided to act: I sent my resume to Belarusian TV channels. And the first to respond and pay attention to me was the STV channel. We met with Alexander Aleksandrovich (Osenko, General Director of STV. - Ed.) and almost immediately began to discuss the idea of ​​​​creating an intelligent and high-quality program dedicated to international politics. Our task is to help the viewer not only to receive information, but also to analyze it. The audience should understand what kind of processes are taking place in the world and what they lead to.

After all, all countries are interdependent, and sometimes events thousands of kilometers away can affect the economy and the lives of people here. It seems to me that Belarusians understand this well and retain the habit formed decades ago, during the work of the brilliant Valentin Zorin and Alexander Bovin on television, to be interested in the world agenda.

We are somewhat guided by these high examples of the work of international observers, who did not humiliate themselves with simplifications, but taught the audience to expand their knowledge of history and geography. But, of course, we bring a lot from modern interactive television. I am lucky that a very professional team is working on the program, which helps to present complex topics in a bright and meaningful way.

Is the name of the project your idea?

Once upon a time, when I wanted to launch my YouTube channel, I came up with this name - "SASS is authorized to declare." It's loud, shrill, poignant. And what is important, it has a reference to international news. The project on YouTube did not work out, but the name came in handy on STV.

In the program, you analyze, among other things, the events taking place today in Ukraine. With what feelings do you talk about the country where you spent your childhood, youth, your whole life?

At the moment, everything that happens in Ukraine is pain. The pain that was the result of a big mistake by the current government, its amateurism, inability to compromise and unwillingness to realize the consequences of their actions. Our country could be completely different.

For many years, Ukraine lived with faith in a miracle, waiting for a person who would come and, above all, eliminate the injustice that arose in the 1990s, when a small group of people appropriated the lion's share of national wealth, dooming millions to poverty. Unfortunately, this did not happen.

Under the new government, theft continued, and just like under the self-proclaimed hetman, it was covered up with militant rhetoric and the search for a fifth column.

For me, Ukraine is the country where the best years of my life passed, the country where my children were born. And today I want the current government to think first of all about how to save human lives. It's the most important.

How should circumstances develop for you to return to Kyiv?

Today it is so difficult to make any forecasts… You have to live here and now. Carpe diem, “seize the moment” is absolutely about me. A banal, but extremely relevant now phrase. The world has changed. And there are no more corners where you can hide from the burning breath of the era: we remind you of this, including in the intro of our program.

One of the interesting facts of your biography is an internship at the European Parliament. How did you end up there and what conclusions did you draw after looking at the work of European parliamentarians from the inside?

In 2016, in Brussels, I met a Ukrainian girl who worked as an intern at the European Parliament. It was she who helped me get an internship at the office of the Vice President of the European Parliament, Richard Czarnecki. For me, then a fifth-year student of the international law department of the Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, it was a good start, an opportunity to understand and understand how the decision-making system works in the EU. Plus, I got a lot of useful contacts that came in handy when we defended the existence of our TV channels in Ukraine. These repressions, by the way, began under President Poroshenko. But then, due to active contacts in the European Parliament, PACE, and other international organizations, we managed to postpone the moment of closing the TV channels. Unfortunately not for long.

How did our country receive you? Before moving, as far as I know, you were in Minsk only once.

…But, by the way, even then my husband and I were thinking about buying real estate in Belarus. So impressed with Minsk, can you imagine? When we were driving, we thought that we would find an echo of the gray past here. Of course, such beauty was not expected. Dynamism, order, infrastructure - all at the highest level.

It is obvious that in Minsk (and Belarus as a whole) those who treat their land in a good sense in a businesslike manner are at the helm. And not as is often the case in the post-Soviet space: they love their homeland with all their hearts, but they live in London.

By the way, we didn’t buy real estate then, which we regretted this year.

At first, I will not hide it, after the move it was difficult. She has two children in her arms, her son was only a year old then. But we were lucky to meet a huge number of hospitable people who gave us all kinds of help. In Belarus, we found peace, which was so lacking in Ukraine. The son went to a wonderful garden, the daughter attends sports sections: she goes to tennis and chess. And as a mom, I'm certainly very happy with that. I am grateful to Belarus for this opportunity. But do you know what I like most in Minsk? A connection with nature that a city of many millions could not eat. Kyiv at one time was also one of the greenest cities, but these crazy buildings destroyed everything: parks, alleys. In Belarus, fortunately, there is still an opportunity to emerge from a noisy, fast-paced city and find yourself among nature and silence. This is a unique opportunity that I have been admiring for eight months now. Therefore, the children and I try to get out to the parks almost every day, especially now, when you can enjoy the autumn landscapes to the fullest.

Juliana Leonovich, SB "Belarus Today"

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