As the horrific situation unfolds, get in-depth insights and analysis from this range of informed and informative podcasts.

When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, the world looked on in horror, shaken to its core. Since that dark hour, the unremittingly devastating news of massacres and war crimes coming daily from the besieged Mariupol, from Bucha, Luhansk, Donetsk and other towns in the east of Ukraine is a constant reminder that the peace in Europe that many of us have been fortunate to know throughout our lives is not a fixed state but a fragile thing, horribly subject to violation. And in the case of Putin’s desecration of his neighbour’s sovereignty and international law, Ukrainian men, women and children continue to pay the heaviest price.

The news is shocking and distressing – and yet, collectively, we must give thanks at least for its ready availability, in stark contrast to Russian state-controlled news sources which paint a very different picture to the one the rest of the world is currently seeing. If we can’t do much to alleviate the situation other than to donate money, then we can at least do our best to understand it as well as possible.

These are some of the podcasts delivering sharp news and analysis, many of which feature accounts from Ukrainians on the ground or those adjusting to their new refugee status. All will help us to achieve better understanding of an ever-moving situation.

File on Four: Ukraine: War Stories

BBC Sounds

This one-off Ukraine-focused episode was broadcast on 15 March. Reporter Paul Kenyon explains how he had arrived in Kyiv three weeks previously, at a time when people were still going about their lives as usual, not knowing that war was just six hours away. Since then, a handful of Ukrainians have been keeping audio diaries for File on 4 about their experiences of the war as it unfolds hour by hour, from those who are packing up and leaving with children to others determined to stay, many of whom are still in disbelief about what is happening. They say, ‘Among them, a language teacher from Mariupol who doesn’t even know if her parents are still alive - and a young beautician-turned-soldier who now patrols the streets of Kyiv with a Kalashnikov.’ The fear and the defiance are palpable in their accounts, which often run to the soundtrack of shelling. Listen here.

Explaining Ukraine


This podcast by was once dedicated to explaining Ukraine and its culture. The devastating events since 24 February have seen it morph into a war report in which presenter Volodymyr Yermolenko, an analytics director at Internews Ukraine, and Tetyana Ogarkova, from the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre, attempt to refute much of the distortion and propaganda spread by the Kremlin. Listen here.

Invaded: Voicemails from Ukraine

Tortoise Media

The best way to learn about what is happening inside Ukraine is to listen to first-hand accounts. Tortoise Media’s Voicemails from Ukraine offers a chance to follow various people, some of whom have fled and others of whom are still in Ukraine. As the title suggests, these are short messages which give a great deal of insight – whether from Naliia who is despairing and hurt about the misinformation being spread on social media; or from Kseniya who has travelled with her children across Poland and the Czech Republic before settling in Vienna; or Olga, a university professor living in Odessa. Listen here.

War on Truth

BBC Sounds

BBC Sounds’ War on Truth is presented by Marianna Spring and dissects the role of disinformation and fake news, issues that are extremely pertinent to this war. We hear about Ukrainian citizens whose Russian cousins believe that they are bombing themselves and the story of one of the new mothers who was injured in the bombing of a maternity hospital, only to come under fire again, this time by pro-Russian trolls online. Listen here.

The Ezra Klein Show

The New York Times

The Ezra Klein show isn’t a podcast solely about Ukraine per se, but right now the topic is rightly dominating. An excellent and informed interviewer, Klein’s recent episodes have examined the role of sanctions in this war; considered how the war might end according to a realist; and asked why, in the eyes of Masha Gessen, Putin is ‘profoundly anti-modern’ and what that might mean for the world. Listen here.


BBC Sounds

This comprehensive series, which is updated daily, takes a look at the events in Ukraine as they unfold, from the horror of the massacre at Bucha to how we verify violence to accounts of escape and coverage of peace talks. To stay on top of everything, tune in daily. Listen here.

By Nancy Alsop
April 2022

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.