Radio show remembers USSR

TWO Ipswich-based Ukrainians are hitting the airwaves to reminisce about the USSR in a bid to bring Russian-speaking people closer together.

TWO Ipswich-based Ukrainians are hitting the airwaves to reminisce about the USSR in a bid to bring Russian-speaking people closer together.

Yelena Smith and Yelena Seal - known in local radio circles as The Two Yelenas - are harking back to the days of the old Soviet Union to help those feeling a bit sentimental about their homeland.

The women have launched a show on Ipswich Community Radio called the Russian Hour to cater for the large number of people from former Soviet Union countries who sometimes find it tough living in England.

Mrs Smith of Nacton Crescent, Ipswich said: “People from Russian speaking countries are very fun-loving and we communicate with each other all the time, much more than people do here.

“It's hard because if you feel isolated you need some help so we try to help one another emotionally.

“We're reaching out to do that, to give them a positive attitude, cheer them up and make them feel less far from home.”

Most Read

The women say they are steering clear of politics in their show and focussing more on Russian music and culture.

Mrs Seal, who lives in Inverness Road, Ipswich, was a biologist and genetics researcher in the Ukraine. Because of language issues since moving to England, she has struggled to find a job in s similar field.

She says her situation is an example of what many new arrivals face.

She said: “For me, learning a language is difficult. A foreign language always needs practice.”

They have known each other for many years, having lived close to each other in the Ukraine, but neither had any experience on radio until Mrs Smith had the idea of celebrating Russian culture on air.

Mrs Smith said: “It's uniting Russian speaking people again. The USSR may be gone but the friendship between 15 republics and people who lived for so many years as a big family remains.”

The Two Yelenas' Russian Hour is on ICRfm, 105.7fm between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday evenings.

Are you new to Suffolk? Have you been made to feel welcome? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter