Seven months after Russia invaded Ukraine, new reports have shown the Russian military is being hit with setbacks. Tonight, One Detroit explores how the Russia-Ukraine conflict has inspired Metro Detroiters with connections to the region to take action to support Ukrainians overseas.
This Week on One Detroit:
As everybody watches the developments of the Ukraine-Russia conflict closely, elsewhere online there are forms of disinformation from Russian supporters beginning to populate alongside major news headlines. What’s fact and what’s fiction?
One Detroit’s Bill Kubota talks with two local Ukrainian American attorneys, Natalia Kujan Gentry and Dan Terleckyj, to learn about their efforts to tell the real stories of the Ukraine-Russia conflict overseas, and their battle to fight back against the misinformation being spread online. Plus, they share the support they’re providing to others and the change they want to see.
Music listeners and internet users across the globe may likely know the Russian band Pussy Riot, who were persecuted for fighting against political oppression, but what about the four-piece Ukrainian quartet with Detroit connections, DakhaBrakha? Cultural performances, like the ones DakhaBrakha put on, and Ukrainian heritage as a whole stand at risk of being stripped away by attacks from the Russian government.
One Detroit’s Bill Kubota connects with WDET Radio Host and Concert of Colors Director Ismael Ahmed to learn more about the quartet’s connection to Detroit and the cultural significance of their music across the globe. Plus, Ahmed talks with DakhaBrakha’s Artistic Manager Iryna Gorban to hear what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine and how the quartet and other citizens are being affected by the conflict.
As the Russia-Ukraine war continues, Ukrainians’ are fighting overseas to protect their homeland, and some like traveling multi-instrumentalist kobzar Jurij Fedynskyj are fighting to keep Ukraine’s culture alive through music and storytelling. As an American-born Ukrainian, Fedynskyj emigrated to Ukraine from North Carolina at a young age. He’s only recently returned to the states with his family, following Russia’s attacks in February.
As a modern-day kobzar, as it’s known in Ukraine, Fedynskyj has made his way across the East Coast and Midwest, as well as the war-torn cities of Ukraine, entertaining and educating people about Ukraine’s music, culture and his fight to keep both from becoming a casualty of the war.
One Detroit’s Bill Kubota sits down with Fedynskyj, following his performance at the Book Suey bookstore in Hamtramck in June, for a conversation about his experiences as a kobzar, his efforts to preserve Ukraine’s music and cultural traditions, building the instruments himself, and his plans to return home to Ukraine to continue his mission.\\
After reading gruesome news headlines of the Russia-Ukraine war overseas, University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance masters student and Russian saxophonist Valentin Kovalev felt compelled to find a way to help Ukrainians seeking refuge in America in the wake of the war.
Together with students and faculty members of the University of Michigan School of Music Theater and Dance, Kovalev organized a benefit concert at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor to gather donations for the Ukrainian American Crisis Response Committee and Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County, which are working to aid refugees arriving in Michigan.
After the concert, One Detroit Arts & Culture Producer Sarah Smith caught up with Kovalev and Russian American vocalist and University of Michigan music student Sasha Gusikhin to hear how the $17,000 raised from the benefit concert helped Ukrainians here in Michigan and abroad, and about their goal to unite people through the music.
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Watch One Detroit every Monday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.