How a single mother in Kyiv experienced the end of the USSR and survived the harsh economic realities of life in post-communist Ukraine in the early 1990s. Part of our mini-series The Final Curtain.
Iryna Tkachenko is music conservatory graduate and journalist who became a single mother just a couple of years before the demise of the Soviet Union and the political and economic turbulence that followed the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Her wage as a radio journalist wasn't really enough to survive, but after the complete collapse of the Ukrainian economy, you were considered lucky to have a job at all. She bought clothes at second-hand shops and travelled to Moscow to buy things that you couldn't get in the mostly empty stores of Kyiv. She took on extra jobs and did whatever she could to survive but never lost her positive outlook on life.
How did Iryna end up selling toy cars on the streets of Kyiv? How did she and her friends react to the putsch of August 1991? How did she cope with the early days of capitalism? Find out in this episode of The Final Curtain.
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[01:10] An unusual single mom
[06:00] How Iryna became a businesswoman... for one day only
[07:50] The August Coup & the uncertainty it brought on
[11:17] Why didn't she go to work abroad?
[14:15] And what was she doing instead?
Written & produced by Wojciech Oleksiak & Żenia Klimakin
Edited by Adam Zulawski
Scoring & sound design by Wojciech Oleksiak
Hosted by Nitzan Reisner & Adam Zulawski