Women in War

Elena Belevantseva Photography and Videography
How is the war in Ukraine affecting societies and individuals? In eight documentaries we talk to women from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and the Baltic countries, residing in the Nordics and Baltics. We attempt to shed light on the impact of the war in Ukraine on society in general and therefore democracy in our region through the people and, most importantly, we look at how we can restore peace in Europe.

The war continues to influence the political landscape in Europe and threatens its stability. If we are to build more democratic and peaceful societies, it is vital that we understand the differences and contexts that the individuals, both from the nations subjected to conflict and the region, represent and bring to society. We aim at giving voices to individuals to enable them to understand each other better and to identify a way towards a peaceful future.

A series of documentaries ‘Women in War’ provide a platform for women to tell their stories - where they came from, why they came to the Nordics or Baltics, what brings them together, and, most importantly, what is the impact of war in Ukraine (both long-term and short-term) and how we can live peacefully in the Nordics and Baltics.


Episode 6. Zhyve Belarus! Long Live Belarus!

Sasha Gushcha is a Belarusian artist and political activist, who had to flee the country following persecution for her active participation in the protests against the dictatorship and the rigged elections in Belarus. She resides in Vilnius, Lithuania, and takes an active part in supporting Ukraine and helping Belarus. We talked about how it was for a Belarusian to live in Vilnius, how did Lithuania react to the Russian full-scale invasion in Ukraine, about Belarusian involvement in the war, democracy and dictatorships, LGBTQIA+ and about being a disabled person in the modern society, and why is it necessary to talk about Belarus in the context of the Russian war in Ukraine. 


April 2023 Vilnius, Lithuania


Episode 5. Finding Your Voice in the Time of War.

Natasha S is a Russian-born Icelandic poet. In 2022 she was awarded a prestigious literary prize in Iceland, Tómas Guðmundsson Award, for her collection of poems "Máltaka á stríðstímum" ("Finding Your Voice in the Time of War") written in Icelandic language. 

She became the first foreign writer to be awarded a prize for the literary achievements in Iceland. 

We talk about the war in Ukraine, the role of culture in the time of war, support of Icelandic society to Ukrainian refugees and her poetry where she addresses herself by learning to speak again - trying to live again - now in the time of war. 

December, 2022 Reykjavik, Iceland


Episode 4. Slava Ukraini

Johanna-Maria Lehtme is a founder of ‘Slava Ukraini’ - an NGO which delivers medical supplies and humanitarian aid to the worst-hit areas and battlefields of eastern Ukraine. They are the only humanitarian initiative which goes to the places under the bombings, helping Ukrainian in the most need, as well as Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines. We talk about ‘Slava Ukraini’, involvement of Estonia in the war, and being a woman on the frontline.

November 2022, Tallinn, Estonia


Episode 3. A Battle for the Truth

Olga Dragileva is a journalist and a host of a talk show on Latvian TV. We talk about the place of Latvia in the Russian-Ukrainian war, Russian population, and propaganda in Latvia, as well as being a reporter in the times of war, as well as her personal story.

July 2022, Riga, Latvia


Episode 2. Pray for Ukraine

Olga calls herself more Ukrainian than Russian. She is married to a Ukrainian man and has a small son. Their family moved to Lund in Sweden following Russia’s illegal annexation of the Crimea in 2014. In May 2022 she talks about her personal transformation, inability to communicated with her own family, her Ukrainian identity, and her husband’s family as refugees in Sweden, among many other topics.

May 2022, Lund, Sweden


Episode 1. The Lost Generation

Irina Nielsen is from Moscow. She has been living in Denmark for a decade. She is married to a Dane, and they have an eight-year-old son. We talk to her early in March 2022, weeks after the Russian invasion to Ukraine. We talk about being a Russian in Denmark in the times of war, the Danish society, her personal loss of identity and the great hope for Ukraine.

March 2022, Albertslund, Denmark

A story of a Russian woman in Denmark.