This Ukrainian travel guide arranged online ‘tours’ while fleeing war-torn Ukraine


A travel guide, who made a living showing kyiv’s hidden gems via an online live-streaming website before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, now broadcasts live tours to show the devastation the war has wrought caused at his house.

On February 24, the day of the invasion, Olga Dudakova had planned an evening tour. She had to cancel the tour, Dudakova told Business Insider. Later, she decided to film another live broadcast called “War in my Ukraine”..

The live broadcast reported on what was happening in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on the evening of the invasion. Her stream, which averaged 30 to 100 viewers, got more than 1,800 views that day.

“It was not prepared, I had no plan. I just wanted to show my soul and the tragedy of the situation. This war is unwarranted and unprovoked,” she said in an interview with CNBC.

She said the motive for her first livestream was to show the world what’s going on without any filters. “They just see the news, the statistics… But what I wanted to say to the public is that we are people, we are here in Ukraine, and this is the disaster that is happening,” he said. she declared.

Thousands of people, including Dudakova, fled the country’s capital. She left three days after the Russian invasion.

Dudakova had to spend two nights in an air-raid shelter with her three children before leaving Kyiv. They decided to leave after a building near her children’s school was hit by shelling.

After fleeing Kyiv, Dudakova stayed at her grandmother’s house in western Ukraine. This is where Dudakova held her second tour, “A Small Town to Hide from Bombing”. During the live broadcast, she was arrested by the police because speaking in English in public raises suspicion.

Now even that small town is no longer safe, Dudakova told CNBC four days after leaving Kyiv. She mentioned that local authorities had advised citizens to gather enough food and water for a month as the Russian army approached.

Despite the devastation in Ukraine, Dudakova said the people of the country are united. “Russia can physically occupy space, territory, but it can never defeat people and spirit. What we are seeing now is the revival of the Ukrainian spirit,” she said.

Dudakova’s tours are broadcast live on the website of Heygo, a virtual travel agency. She fled Ukraine and hopes to return there and continue her regular tours.

(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)

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