Ekaterina Nesterenko: Not all Italians support the Russian Federation, but many TV channels sympathize with the Kremlin

Ekaterina Nesterenko: Not all Italians support the Russian Federation, but many TV channels sympathize with the Kremlin

With Ekaterina Nesterenko, we postponed the conversation for a week, in the end we managed to call at midnight. Before the war, Katya was the host of the Jedi program on the 2 + 2 channel, now she is one of the hosts of the One News telethon. In his free time from the marathon, he either performs on Italian television or shoots videos about events in Ukraine for the Italian audience. Actually, we recorded this interview after another YouTube video she had just edited.

We talked about us, about how Italians look at the war in Ukraine and why some Italian TV channels sympathize with the Kremlin.

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Colleagues jokingly call my mother “special agent Aunt Ira”

– Katya, you stayed in Kyiv and joined the nationwide telethon “One News”. Why did you decide not to leave?

I didn't even consider another option. I don’t have children, so there was no urgent need to evacuate, like, for example, my female colleagues with children. From the first days of the war, friends from Sicily wrote to me and insisted that I leave, they said that hell would be here. These conversations were before Bucha, Irpen … Then I did not believe them. It seemed to me that everything would work out, that people could not make such a horror in the 21st century. It turned out that Rusnya can. Then I thought about how I could be most useful in Kyiv. Therefore, I decided to stay and keep the information defense.

On the first day of the war, I received a call from the office: come to the night broadcast! And I went without thinking. I got ready in a matter of minutes, without looking I took out some kind of jacket, cosmetics from the closet and ran to our first impromptu studio, which my colleagues quickly organized in a bomb shelter.

It was evening, the curfew was beginning, the first checkpoints were standing – it was no longer my peaceful Kyiv, the war was already going on. The road was disturbing, every minute I thought: “Will it arrive now or not?”. But when I entered the small room, which became a studio for my colleagues and I, I felt in my place. From that night, I knew that I would definitely not leave. I spent my first military broadcast with Yegor Gordeev and Igor Tsyganik. Only two cameras, handwritten notes on pieces of paper, switching on from the phone, no clues – it was scary, but an atmosphere of incredible resistance reigned. By the way, we managed to arrange the work quite quickly: we began to prepare full-fledged thematic blocks, plots, and invite experts.

Ekaterina Nesterenko: Not all Italians support Russia, but many TV channels sympathize with the Kremlin

< p>On the air of the telethon “United News”. Photo: 2+2

– How did the family react to your decision? I think all mothers advised their children to leave the city, which was under active shelling.

– The first thought was “maybe you really need to go ?!” Mom is an emotional person, she is very worried. Moreover, our grandfather was a pilot and went through the Second World War. For us, this is not just a story that we read about in books, this is the past of our family.

I remember how, as a little girl, I tried on my grandfather's military uniform for the holidays. It's impossible to forget about it. Therefore, when the Russian-Ukrainian war happened, it was a shock for me and my mother: “How is it – Russia attacked us ?!” If my grandfather had been told this, he would not have believed it.

But, despite all the worries, my mother holds on and fully supports me. All three months of the war she is with me. Together we joined our second studio, all the employees know it and jokingly call it “special agent Aunt Ira”. She constantly reads the news, helps me if she sees something interesting, pays attention to it.

– Did you have to part with your loved one? For many, the war has become a difficult relationship test.

– If there is time and opportunity, then we see each other. Although this happens very rarely. In the first days we were forced to leave, but nothing has changed in the relationship. Of course, not without cheating and contriving, as happens in long-distance relationships (smiles). But it can be dealt with.

In general, I think that it is worth restraining the first strong emotions, and before you say or write something, it is better to count to ten, and then decide whether to send it or not. Somewhere you can make concessions, somewhere you can remain silent. Stress, nerves, general fatigue – all this takes its toll, so you should not rush into harsh statements.

Ekaterina Nesterenko: Not all Italians support the Russian Federation, but many TV channels sympathize with the Kremlin

With my mother. The photo was taken before the war. Photo: Ekaterina Nesterenko's personal archive

There is a flurry of disinformation in social networks

– You wrote that you have changed. After all, so is each of us. What has changed in you?

– I have become more patient. As it turned out, endurance is our main weapon. I stopped paying attention to the little things, my priorities changed. Trends, aesthetics in cooking, relaxation – all this has faded into the background. Instead, there were a bunch of telegram news channels, analysts, and my phone is full of photos and videos of the war.

Conversations with friends took on a different tone. Of course, we try to digress and switch, but it is impossible to avoid the military theme. The attitude towards people has changed – I didn’t want to communicate with someone, and communication was interrupted without insults and quarrels.

There is no stability, which is really hard for me. For several years, I went live on Jedi every night. And now I work without a clear schedule: the broadcast can be at 5 pm, and the next day at 3 am. There are no more long-term plans, only for 2-3 days. This is my new reality. I believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and our Victory, but I understand that we have a strong enemy and he has bloody goals.

“War throws away the superfluous. What is important for you now?

– The most important thing for me is that all my relatives are in touch and healthy. As it turned out, very little is needed to be happy.

– How do you personally keep yourself from falling apart?

– When I understand that I'm tired, I turn on some video. For the first month, I couldn’t force myself to watch a movie at all, so, I confess, I started watching TikTok. Good for jogging and walking. If you can just walk around, change the picture, drink coffee and dream about the future – this is a small happiness and a big victory.

– By the way, you had sketches in social networks with the hashtag #don't trinket. What is trindity not worth now? Especially on social media, where a lot of posts or comments just amount to insults.

– First of all, unverified information annoys me. There is a flurry of disinformation on social media. Russian propaganda, like a big machine, was launched back in Soviet times, and it continues to work, now – in social networks. And users fall for fakes, spread them and discuss them, arguing and insulting each other in the comments. It's useless.

You should not read unverified telegram channels and pay attention to messages like “a neighbor advised a neighbor because her godfather works at some kind of headquarters.” Now there are a lot of manipulations, scammers, even fortune-tellers have already appeared who make predictions for the war – they pop up in the feed for a reason. They sow doubts and evil. It is better to allocate an hour a day to watch the telethon and read official sources of information. Take care of your health – emotional first of all.

– Looking for traitors – a feature of the Ukrainian mentality?

– Not. “Zradau” is just a Ukrainian meme. I am sure that the desire to find traitors is a feature of human nature. When negative events occur, a person wants to understand the cause and begins to look for those responsible. In Ukraine, we say “zrada”. In other countries, everything is the same, they just call this phenomenon differently.

Ekaterina Nesterenko: Not all Italians support the Russian Federation, but many TV channels sympathize with the Kremlin

The TV presenter speaks on Italian television, where she talks about Russia's war in Ukraine. Photo: Facebook.com/katya.nesterenko

The Italian information space is a completely different world

– You lived in Sicily for 5 years, so you probably understand Italians well, you have friends there. What do they know about our war? What is their attitude?

– Colleagues react very differently. Those whom I know personally express words of support and ask for help in terms of information in order to get a complete picture and convey it to their viewers and readers. First of all, they ask about the history of people. They are looking for those who could tell firsthand what is happening here. Italians are very attentive to the topic of children.

There are those who find me through social networks and ask for comments on materials that I find, to put it mildly, strange.

– What do you mean?

– Ukrainians are very fond of Italian cuisine, style and natural beauties, but few people understand what is happening in the Italian information space. And this is a completely different world. And this world is full of Russian experts, Putin's propagandists, doubts about the events in Ukraine and questions about whether Bucha really existed … No matter how annoying and unpleasant it may be, but these are realities.

When they started to invite me to major Italian talk shows, I immediately felt a powerful Russian influence on the media. For example, on one of the broadcasts of La7 they showed a completely fake story from Mariupol, in which an Italian journalist (by the way, located in the Peacemaker base, and in Europe recognized as a member of a banned fascist organization) turns on from the temporarily occupied territory of Donetsk. The question arises: why are you inviting Ukrainian journalists? Just for show?

Not all Italians support Russia, but central private channels are very sympathetic to the Kremlin. It's hard not to notice. The last story was when Lavrov appeared on the air of Rete4 with a propaganda speech. This impudence outraged even Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who criticized the actions of the editorial office.

Honestly, I'm very tired. From lies. To tell what is really happening in Ukraine and how Russian propaganda is rewriting history right here and now, I decided to shoot short informational videos for the Italian audience. There are already several episodes on my YouTube channel: about the tragedies of the Ukrainian cities of Bucha, Gostomel and Borodyanka, filtration camps in Mariupol, looting by the Russian army and Ukrainian grain stolen by Russia, which Putin is now selling, bargaining for gas and sanctions.

– It is clear that talk shows are based on different points of view, scandals, because these are ratings. But is it true that you were offered to go on the air with Solovyov? This is too much.

– Yes, it happened in the La7 program. At this time, the Maurizio Vezzosi story, which I mentioned earlier, was shown full of fakes. In the video, two men of dubious appearance carry sacks of supposedly wheat and say: “The Ukrainian military left this, and now we will deliver it to people’s churches.” If you look closely, it is written on the bags that there is not grain, but building materials. During the broadcast, I was very indignant and asked the presenter who this journalist is – a full-time or freelancer, why and on what rights is he in Donetsk during the broadcast!? I was quickly interrupted and promised that we would discuss it next week. But before the next broadcast, the editor called me and, with an incredibly happy voice, announced that Solovyov would be on the program: “It's like Putin on the air! You can talk to him one on one and ask all the questions. Are you seriously?! What kind of dialogue can we talk about when you invite “Putin's Goebbels”? I did not want and do not want to be on the same platform with a propagandist. Therefore, she immediately refused to participate in this provocation. I no longer cooperate with this editorial office.

– Some advise not to watch Russian propagandists, others believe that it is worth analyzing and drawing your own conclusions. How do you think it should be done?

– I don’t have enough time to watch Rashists for a long time. I control myself, but it takes a feeling of resentment and disgust from the first seconds. However, when you work in the information sphere, you sometimes have to listen to what the mouthpieces of the Kremlin are publishing. To preserve their own psyche, I would not advise our viewers to do this. People live in a different reality, which, unfortunately, has come to us. I really believe in our Victory, in the fact that it will happen in the near future, and we will not face the question “listen to rashists or not?”.

– Do liberal Russian journalists exist?

– If there are such people, then they are not on the territory of Russia or do not use a Russian passport. I also always remember the expression of Vladimir Vynnichenko: “Russian democracy ends where the Ukrainian question begins.”

Ekaterina Nesterenko: Not all Italians support the Russian Federation, but many TV channels sympathize with the Kremlin

On my birthday. Photo: Facebook.com/katya.nesterenko

On your birthday, you just wanted to be calm

– May 19 was your birthday. You said that you usually celebrate your day somewhere while traveling. How was this day for you now?

– Birthday passed in a small family circle. I had a day off, we took a walk, went to have dinner, and with the beginning of the curfew, the celebration ended (smiles). I didn't want a big party. Just to be calm, so that there is no need to constantly look at social networks and monitor the news feed. I hope that will be the case next year. We will walk around Kyiv until dawn with relatives and friends who will finally return home. Or even better, I’ll arrange a trip around Ukraine and go somewhere south, to our sea.

– What do you want to do first of all when we win?

– I will put on my beautiful embroidered shirt, take the biggest flag and go to the Maidan together with my friends to celebrate our Victory.

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