Skip to main content

tv   Frontline  PBS  August 2, 2022 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

10:00 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> hundreds of civilians have been killed in the ukrainian city of kharkiv since the start of the conflict... >> narrator: it was one of the first cities attacked by russia... >> this is a city because of its proximity to the border that comes under almost daily attack >> narrator: and the bombing of >> local authorities say that russia has been shelling kharkiv again and again for more than a week now... >> narrator: a dramatic and intimate look inside the city through the experiences of those who stayed behind... >> narrator: now, a frontline
10:01 pm
special presentation: >> let's go. "...ukraine: life under russia's attack.” >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. addition support is provided by the abrams foundation, committed to excellence in journalism... the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more at park foundation dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues... the heising simons foundation, unlocking knowledge, opportunity, and possibilities. more at and by the frontline journalism fund, with major support from jon and jo ann hagler. and additional support from laura debonis.
10:02 pm
♪ ♪ (people talking in background) (bomb bursting) >> breaking news this morning. explosions were heard... >> russia has the troops to invade with overwhelming fce. >> it's war. >> narrator: on february 24, russia attacked kharkiv, ukraine's second-larst city. (explosion bangs) many expected the city to fall in days. >> irina (speaking russian): >> man (speaking russian): >> narrator: but the ukrainians refused to surrender. (boy imitates explosion) >> (speaking russian): (gunfire pounding)
10:03 pm
>> narrator: filmed over the first three months of the war, this is the story of the battle for khark, told by the people who living through it: the displaced families... >> (speaking russian): >> narrator: the civilians caught in the fight... >> man (speaking russian): >> tatyana (in russian): >> narrator: and the first responders who risking their lives to protect them. >> tatyana (in russian): (siren blaring) >> we have rescued four people. (woman crying) ♪ ♪ >> narrator: kharkiv is just 25 miles from the russian border.
10:04 pm
most people here speak russian as a first language. known as a city of poetry and arts, it was one of the first places to come under attack from russian forces. (music playing in background) >> roman (speaking russian): >> violetta (speaking russian): >> roman: >> violetta: >> roman: (violetta repeats, muttering) >> narrator: this is roman and his seven-year-old daughter violetta. >> woman (speaking russian): (siren wailing) >> violetta: (roman replies inaudibly) >> man (speaking russian): >> roman:
10:05 pm
okay. let's go. let's go. >> narrator: roman is second in command at kharkiv's central fire station. >> we're waiting till shelling is over. it's still shelling where we're going right now. in five minutes, we will go. >> woman (speaking russian): what the (bleep)? i me, really? really? (bleep). putin! (bleep). why? you know, like, why? (siren wailing) >> (singing softly) >> narrator: it's march 17,
10:06 pm
three weeks since the invasion began. russia has just hit kharkiv's famous indoor market, known as barabashova. (glass shattering) before the war, barabashova was one of europe's largest markets, and was at the center of daily life for many in the city. (explosion bangs) (horns honk, siren wailing) fire crews from all over rush to the scene. roman is among them. >> man (speaking russian): (radios squawking) (people talking in background) (glass shattering) >> (speaking russian): >> (speaking russian): (calling in russian) >> man:
10:07 pm
(glass and metal clattering) >> man (speaking russian): >> roman: (men talking at once) >> narrator: as roman and the crews battle the fire through the night, the market is hit again. (glass and metal clattering)
10:08 pm
♪ ♪ >> narrator: the market fire would be one of many they would fight over the weeks of the invasion. >> (roaring) (exclaims) (giggles) (murmuring) (exclaims) (speaking russian): >> (speaking russian):
10:09 pm
>> (cheers) >> marina: >> narrator: roman and his wife, marina, have moved from their apartment to the fire station due to the near-constant shelling. the station may be safer, but they need to pack up and bring a lot there to make it suitable for family life. >> (speaking russian): (tape peeling) (dogs barking in distance) >> narrator: the neighborhood of saltivka is on the northeast
10:10 pm
side of kharkiv. it faces the russian lines and has been bearing the brunt of the attack. at least 400,000 people used to live here. most of them have fled. but some have refused to leave. sergei is one of them. (distant explosion echoes) (bird cawing) >> (speaking russian): (mumbles)
10:11 pm
♪ ♪ (birds chirping) (explosion echoes in distance) narrator: sergei and others who have remained are sheltering in the basement of this school.
10:12 pm
the poorest and weakest, and those without cars, are stranded here. (explosion echoes in distance) (parrot trills) >> woman (speaking russian): >> parrot (in russian): >> woman: (man speaking on radio) (parrot trills) >> narrator: for sergei, this is home now. >> woman (on radio, russian): >> narrator: many of the people here have family across the border in russia. >> man (speaking russian):
10:13 pm
>> woman (speaking russian): ♪ ♪ >> narrator: the area's paramedics have also remained in saltivka >> man (speaking russian): >> (calling in russian): >> tatyana: >> irina: >> narrator: irina has been on the job for seven years.
10:14 pm
her colleague tatyana for 27. >> some of them are very strong. very strong-- tatyana, for example. whoa! she is very strong. >> narrator: today, both women are preparing for a 24-hour shift. >> tatyana (speaking russian): ♪ ♪ >> narrator: tatyana and a colleague are called out to an address in saltivka. an entire apartment has just been destroyed by russian
10:15 pm
shelling. >> man (speaking russian): >> tatyana: (glass clattering) >> man (speaking russian): >> woman: (sobbing) >> man: >> tatyana: >> man 2:
10:16 pm
>> tatyana: >> man 3: >> man 1: >> man 2: >> man 1: >> tatyana: >> man 1: >> tatyana: (group struggling) >> tatyana: >> man 4: >> tatyana: >> man 1: >> tatyana: (group talking over each other) (glass clattering) >> tatyana:
10:17 pm
>> andrei: >> tatyana: >> andrei: >> tatyana: >> davai. >> tatyana: >> man:
10:18 pm
>> tatyana: >> man: >> tatyana: >> man and tatyana: >> narrator: roman is also dealing with a death. >> the hardest moment was to lose your brother. you know, like, your fire brother. it was the hardest. >> man (speaking russian): >> (sniffling) >> narrator: it's the funeral of the firefighter who died at the huge market fire. >> man: (woman sobbing and murmuring) (choir singing)
10:19 pm
(woman sobbing) (sirens wailing) (woman sobbing) (choir singing) (choir singing) >> (babbling) >> narrator: a month into the onslaught, parts of kharkiv been reduced to rubble. kharkiv used to have a population of 1.4 million.
10:20 pm
by late march, it's down to about half of that. as many as 1,500 buildings have been destroyed, and streets are deserted. for thousands of people still in the city, life has moved underground. (explosion echoes in distance) (guitar playing) >> (singing in russian):
10:21 pm
>> narrator: this is the heroes of labor metro station. day after day, for weeks, it has been home to hundreds of people. the trains have stopped running and it has become a makeshift bomb shelter. (song continues) >> (singing): >> woman (speaking russian): (song ends) >> (clapping softly) >> (chuckles) >> man (speaking russian): >> (eaking russian):
10:22 pm
(people talking and coughing) >> narrator: despite the shelling, some aid has been arriving. >> (speaking russian): >> dima (speaking russian): >> narrator: local volunteer groups have been providing two basic meals a day. >> woman: >> dima: >> woman: >> dima: (talking in background) (dogs barking) >> narrator: many people are trying to maintain normal routines. (phone audio playing) before the war, ten-year-old vika took ballroom dancing classes. >> vika (speaking russian): >> mom (speaking russian): (chuckling)
10:23 pm
>> vika: >> narrator: vika is here with her mom, grandmother, and little brother misha. >> (talking quietly) >> narrator: she's trying to keep up with her school work. >> mom:
10:24 pm
>> vika: >> mom: >> vika: >> mom: >> woman (in russian, over loudspeaker): (children exclaiming) (dogs barking) >> (speaking russian): >> (exclaiming): >> man: >> boy (speaking russian): >> man: >> (exclaiming): (man laughs) >> (plucking notes) (speaking russian):
10:25 pm
>> girl: >> boy: >> misha: (guitar playing) >> (singing indistinctly) >> vika: (playing) >> misha: >> grandmother: (guitar playing)
10:26 pm
>> opa! (dogs barking in distance) ♪ ♪ >> narrator: above ground, the people of kharkiv routinely wake to new ruins from shelling in the night. >> man (speaking russian): >> narrator: roman is out helping to search for survivors. >> (calling): (knocks) (breath trembling) narrator: desperate relatives are doing the same. >> (speaking russian): >> woman 2: >> (panting, door closes above)
10:27 pm
(exhales): nyet. >> i need to check another place. (door bangs) >> woman 2: >> woman 1: >> man (speaking russian): >> roman: >> (in russian, crying): >> narrator: with much of the city in ruins, many remain
10:28 pm
missing. the authorities don't know if people have left or lie dead beneath the rubble. in the saltivka neighborhood, sergei has been adjusting to his changed life. in the shelter, they go outside for air during pauses in the bombing. (rumbling in distance) >> irina (speaking russian): (people talking in background) (rumbling continues) >> irina: >> woman: >> (talking in background) >> irina: >> man:
10:29 pm
>> narrator: among the neighbors, the topic of discussion is whether they should stay or try to escape with volunteers who are organizing groups to leave the city. >> (speaking russian): >> man 2: >> man 1: (dog whimpering) >> irina: >> man: (explosion roars) (all talking at once) (explosion echoes in distance) (door slams) >> man: >> man: >> woman:
10:30 pm
>> man: >> man: >> irina: >> woman: >> man: >> (crying softly) (sniffles) >> irina: >> narrator: at the start of the war, irina chose to stay in saltivka with her son and brother. but by early april, she's desperate to get out. >> irina: (boy imitates explosion) >> man (speaking russian):
10:31 pm
>> man: >> boy: (explosions pound in distance) >> irina: >> go, go, go, go, go! (explosion roars) (man whistles loudly) (guns firing on tv) >> this movie about second world war, and they are, like, from different parts, from the different countries, but they're speaking one language. i mean, like ussr, like, there was one nation. (speaking russian): >> (speaking russian): >> he feels sorry for his grandfathers, for grandparents. because our grandparents,
10:32 pm
they was working and fighting together in front, well, in front of germany. his grandpa have been fighting against nazis. and now we are theirs grandsons, we are their sons, fighting between each other. >> (singing in film) >> you know that, the name of the vodka. what is the name, do you know? vozdukh, it means air. literally, (inaudible), air. (glasses clinking) cheers, for the peace. for the peace, for the peace. ♪ ♪ >> narrator: since the shelling began, kharkiv has been under a strict curfew. underneath the city, thousands of people turn in each night. it's bitterly cold.
10:33 pm
(snoring) (child laughing) >> (speaking russian): >> (whispers): >> (laughing) ♪ ♪ >> narrator: as they sleep below, above, the battle is intensifying. >> man (on radio, in russian): >> (speaking russian):
10:34 pm
>> (onadio): ♪ ♪ >> man (on radio, in russian): (radio stops) >> narrator: irina has been working for 39 hours straight. >> (speaking russian): >> narrator: the city is under a total blackout. by april, over a third of irina's colleagues have left.
10:35 pm
>> irina: >> man: >> irina: >> man: >> irina: >> man and irina: >> man: >> satnav (in russian): >> irina (speaking russian): >> narrator: this couple's home was hit by russian shelling. >> irina (speaking russian): >> man: >> irina: (man groaning) >> man: (gasps)
10:36 pm
(groans) >> irina: >> man (hoarsely): >> narrator: the couple survived, but many others have not. (doors close) hundreds of civilians have been killed or injured since the invasion began. (phone rings) >> (speaking russia): (cellphone vibrating) (phone ringing) (bombs exploding, guns firing) ♪ ♪
10:37 pm
(breathing through mask) >> narrator: by late april, the city has endured two months of shelling, with estimates of more than a hundred schools and over 2,000 homes damaged or destroyed. ♪ ♪
10:38 pm
(violetta playing) (marina speaking russian) (explosions pound in distance) >> roman: (violetta speaking russian) (roman calling) >> violetta: >> marina: (all speaking at once) (violetta playing) >> roman (in russian): (violetta giggling)
10:39 pm
(speaking russian): >> (speaking russian) >> (speaking russian): >> narrator: after weeks living under the school in saltivka, irina and her family are finally leaving. >> (speaking russian): >> narrator: a volunteer organization is helping them. >> irina:
10:40 pm
>> (speaking russian): >> man: (cat meows) >> irina: (guitar playing) >> narrator: it's early may. the city of kharkiv is pushing the russian troops farther away, for the time being. burned russian tanks and dead soldiers are scattered in the fields outside the city. >> (singing in russian):
10:41 pm
>> narrator: spring has arrived, and people have begun tentatively emerging after more than two months underground. >> (song continues): (guitar continues) (song ends) >> narrator: the battle for kharkiv may be subsiding for the moment, but the war for ukraine rages on. (explosions pound in distance) >> (speaking russian, laughs):
10:42 pm
>> mom: >> vika: >> mom: >> vika: >> mom: >> vika: >> mom: (chuckles) (vika murmuring) >> vika: ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (cuts flower) >> narrator: as for sergei, he's on his way to see his neighbor
10:43 pm
and friend. >> (exclaims) >> (speaking russian): >> (laughs) >> sergei: (nurse responds) >> sergei: >> nurse: >> (laughs) (explosions pound in distance) >> nurse: (sergei murmurs) (explosions continue) (drawer opens) (explosions continue) (explosions stop) >> sergei: >> it's fine. >> sergei (speaking russian):
10:44 pm
♪ ♪ >> (speaking russian): >> narrator: vitaly has gone back to see his apartment. >> opa! (snaps fingers) (tap-dancing) ho! (snapping fingers) (beats out rhythm) (speaking russian):
10:45 pm
(explosions pound in distance) >> narrator: he lays out pictures from family albums. >> (speaking russian): (explosions pound in distance)
10:46 pm
(explosions continue) (explosions continue) >> (mutters) >> narrator: with artillery going off in the background, vitaly sings along with the television. >> (singing in russian): >> (speaking russian): >> irina:
10:47 pm
>> narrator: irina and her son have found some peace. they've moved into a school building in the ukrainian countryside, away from the front lines of the war. >> (speaking russian): (stammering) >> irina: (boy laughing, giggling) >> narrator: but she misses kharkiv. >> irina: >> boy:
10:48 pm
>> irina: (phone audio playing) >> tatyana: >> (speaking russian): >> tatyana: >> hello, everyone! hello, lovely people! today is the jamie oliver
10:49 pm
cooking for you plov! (chuckles) >> (speaking russian): >> roman: >> man and roman: >> man: >> roman: i really care about my family. i really care about my daughter. i just wanted them to have a normal life. it could be... (explosions pound in distance) it's probably our troops. da, so everything is fine. (marina laughing) (all speaking russian)
10:50 pm
(all exclaiming) >> narrator: roman, like so many still in kharkiv, is trying to make the most of an uncertain future and the ever- present threat of the war. (all speaking russian) >> marina: >> roman: >> marina: (door opens) >> roman: >> mmm... >> (sings softly): >> (giggling): papa!
10:51 pm
>> khorosho! >> violetta: >> roman: >> violetta: >> roman: >> violetta: >> roman: (violetta murmurs) >> roman: >> violetta: >> mm-hmm. >> violetta: >> (song playing):
10:52 pm
10:53 pm
>> go to >> we just try not to think about it. life is life, death is death. >> for a q&a witthe producers on the making of this film. >> (speaking russian): >> and explore more of our reporting and documentaries on ukraine... connect with frontline on facebook, instagram and twitter, and stream anytime on the pbs video app, youtube or >> narrator: in afghanistan the taliban's crackdown on women... >> none of these stories are getting out. the taliban beat anyone caught filming something they don't like. >> narrator: undercover correspondent ramita nai finds
10:54 pm
those who have been punished by the regime... >> we covered some cases of women who were imprisoned. they were being held without charge. >> narrator: and the defiant voices fighting back... >> these women say they're risking their lives just by being here. >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. additional support is provided by the abrams foundation, committed to excellence in journalism... the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more at park foundation dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues... the heising simons foundation, unlocking knowledge, opportunity, and possibilities. more at
10:55 pm
and by the frontline journalism fund, with major support from jon and jo ann hagler. and additional support from laura debonis. captioned by media access group at wgbh >> for more on this and other website at ♪ ♪ frontline's "ukraine: life under russia's attack" is available on amazon prime video.
10:56 pm
♪♪ you're watching pbs. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪
10:57 pm
10:58 pm
10:59 pm
11:00 pm
>> cordero: all the stuff that was important to this kid means nothing to me now. now i'm gonna be taking a road trip across the us with two other formerly incarcerated individuals. >> hugo: i'm gonna get to meet people that actually advocate for human beings, not being discarded. >>latonya: because we wanna keep our people out these systems. >>steven: we just know that more has to be done. >>vonya: we got some work to do, and you all are equipped to do it. >> hugo: this trip. it's an opportunity to really be human. be free. >>narrator: road trip nation is made possible by the just trust. a grant maker dedicated to advancing crinal justice reform across the country and to building a smaller, more humane, compassionate engine of justice for all, and by stand together trust which supports social entrepreneurs across society, working in education, communities, business, and government by supporting applied research and investing in projects that