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'I want to be a voice of freedom': German TV station hires Ukrainian anchor

Karolina Ashion, who fled Ukraine, will host a nightly news program for her fellow 200,000 Ukrainians who have made it to Germany in the past month.

COLOGNE, Germany — German broadcaster RTL has hired a Ukrainian presenter to host a daily news show for others who have fled their homeland after the Russian invasion.

The commercial broadcaster said Karolina Ashion will present a 10-minute Ukrainian-language news program Mondays to Fridays addressed to the almost 200,000 people who have already arrived in Germany from Ukraine in the past month.

“We want to reach the people who are fleeing right now, who have to leave their home country, who may not speak English, and that’s why we are making a news offer in Ukrainian," said Malte Baumberger, the project manager for RTL's "Ukraine Update” program. "So that these people can find out what is going on in their country right now and what is the political situation.”

Ashion only made it to Germany about a week ago herself, following an arduous journey from Kyiv via Moldova and Romania.

Credit: AP
Ukrainian anchor Karolina Ashion is pictured in the RTL television studio in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, March 17, 2022. (Stefan Gregorowius/RTL via AP)

Her male colleagues, who aren't allowed to leave Ukraine if they are between 18 and 60, are still broadcasting out of a bomb shelter in the country's capital, she said.

“My life has changed completely," Ashion said. “But I’m Ukrainian, and I want to be like a voice of freedom for people. For all the people suffering from this (war).”

RTL said it is planning on further expanding their “Ukraine Update” news offer by hiring more Ukrainian journalists. The show is available via various RTL and N-TV online platforms and YouTube.

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