Almost a month has passed since the Ukrainian journalist, Daria Meshcheriakova, was stationed in Kosovo.
She is staying as part of a program of support from the Government of Kosovo for Ukrainian journalists, who are working in a suitable environment here.
The war that started from the Russian forces, has made it impossible for her to live in the country where she was born, grew up and practiced her profession as a journalist.
In an exclusive interview given for Telegrafi, Daria says that within this not too long period, she has already begun to ‘embody’ with things here.
She says that Kosovars are very friendly with her. Further, adds that she has started to like some of the stuffs with which Kosovo is identified, and also telling the fact is not the first time she visits Kosovo.
“I have been listening to Kosovar music since 2011. I know a lot of artists from Kosovo and have their songs on my playlist. My favorite singer is Era Istrefi. I like the most when she sings in Albanian. I can learn the language better in this way”.
She also talks about politics between Kosovo and Ukraine. The Ukrainian journalist regrets that her state did not recognize Kosovo’s independence and hopes that this will happen when the war is over, always if Ukraine regains the territories occupied by Russia.
“Unfortunately not (Ukraine has not recognized the recognition of Kosovo). Im sorry for this. I believe when Ukraine liberates all annexed by russia territories, it will recognize Kosovo. It is impossible at war”.
Telegrafi: Do you like the life in Kosovo? How friendly have people been with you?
Daria Meshcheriakova: “Yes, I do. It is not my first time here. I always enjoyed this region. Nothing changed.
People are very friendly and supportive here because they understand Ukrainians a lot. Fortunately, I do not often hear some conspiracies about our war which is pretty common in Western Europe. Happened of course but it was just once or twice. And of course, Albanians do not tend to justify Russia’s crimes with some nonsense made by their propaganda”.
Telegrafi: Have you been able to try the art of Kosovar music? If so, what kind of music and food do you like here?
Daria Meshcheriakova: “I have been listening to Kosovar music since 2011. I know a lot of artists from Kosovo and have their songs on my playlist. My favorite singer is Era Istrefi. I like the most when she sings in Albanian. I can learn the language better in this way.
Food… I am not too much into bread and meat but your cuisine consists of it. In general, I like food here. It tastes good. I spent the first two months of the war in the Netherlands and it was hard to find vegetables and fruit that had real taste. Here I enjoy meals with lots of fresh vegetables.
And besides! I was very surprised to find here Roshen chocolate. It reminds me home a lot”.
Telegrafi: Now that you are familiar with the history of Kosovo, do you find it similar to that of Ukraine now?
Daria Meshcheriakova: “I have been familiar with the history of Kosovo for over 10 years. I studied political science, and the Balkan wars were my major. But I had never thought I would be in your shoes one day. I know that Kosovar Albanians had absolutely same situation with a “big brother” and his horrible propaganda”.
Telegrafi: In this time that you’re in Kosovo, what do you dislike about our country?
Daria Meshcheriakova: “Look, this is my 7th or 8th time in Kosovo. Nothing is surprising to me here. I just don’t like the trash situation in Kosovo. I feel physical pain when I have to throw all my trash in the same bin. And there is a lot of litter outside in the street”.
Telegrafi: Ukraine has not yet recognized Kosovo as a state, do you think this should happen in the near future and what is your message to the Ukrainian state on this issue?
Daria Meshcheriakova: “Unfortunately, not. And I am sorry about that. In 2008, Yushchenko did not want to risk it because of Crimea which was always a fragile issue in Ukraine. Then happened very pro-russian Yanukovych, who was just putin’s minion. Poroshenko couldn’t recognize it due to the war with russia that broke out in 2014. They annexed Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. That’s why it is not right to say that Eussia attacked Ukraine on February 24. russia attacked Ukraine in late February 2014.
I believe when Ukraine liberates all annexed by russia territories, it will recognize Kosovo. It is impossible at war”.
Telegrafi: Do you currently have relatives in Ukraine? How do they describe the situation there?
Daria Meshcheriakova: “Yes, my family is in the occupied region and they cannot get out of there. The situation is bad but their safety is my priority. That’s why I cannot share this information with you. I would like to point out the situation with journalists in war. It is horrible how russians kill journalists on purposely. Sometimes even they execute media representatives. The most vulnerable groups of people in russian occupation are mayors and journalists. They tend to use local journalists as a weapon to spread their lies.
My good friends work on battlefields and they are never safe. It doesn’t matter if they wear special vests, helmets, and signs. russian terrorists like to kill unarmed people”. /Telegrafi/