WARSAW, POLAND - Our crew in Poland shared stories from refugees, from Polish citizens volunteering and others helping the refugees in Poland. Our crews couldn’t have brought you these stories without some additional help. Translators play an important part making sure the refugees stories get out to the world.  

You might be familiar with the sound of her voice and you might have spotted her standing close by during an interview along the Ukraine border, a train station in Krakow or on the streets in Old Town Warsaw. That’s Inna Zaripova, our translator. She speaks five languages including Ukrainian, Russian and Polish. The Erie-based company Logistics Plus put us in contact with her to help us with our coverage in Poland. She would patiently listen to our questions, relay them to the refugees and translate their message back to us on the spot. Just like with our crew covering the refugee crisis, she hasn’t worked on a project of this magnitude before.   

“I was definitely nervous about it,” said Zaripova. “Making sure I translate everything that you have the material to work with so you can share the stories accurately.” 

It’s translators, like Zaripova, that help us and other journalists make sure information about what’s happening in Ukraine is shared around the world.  

“It’s definitely hard,” said Zaripova. “There's definitely moments I had to hold back my tears with everything going on right now in Ukraine. It’s heartbreaking. There are innocent people, there's civilians right now that don’t have a home but at the same time it's important to share their stories and show to the world this war was definitely unprovoked and the people don’t deserve whatever they got from Russia.” 

Zaripova also has a personal connection to the war in Ukraine. Like many refugees who had to leave behind family, Inna’s father is still in Ukraine.   

“So right off the bat what you see is true, he’s been in the city that hasn’t had electricity or water in almost two weeks now,” said Zaripova. “We're very lucky he was able to charge his phone either from solar panels or whatever he can find so at least we can have a text from him that he’s okay.” 

For his safety, she doesn’t want to share which city her dad is in. 

“You live for the moment when you receive a text or a call from your dad saying that he’s alive and that he has water,” said Zaripova. “It hasn’t been easy.” 

With the stories of Ukrainian refugees Zaripova has helped us share, she hopes sharing her own family’s experience will help people understand the devastation this war has brought and help continue the international support for Ukraine.  

“I just hope this nightmare will be gone soon so people can go back home and live their lives,” said Zaripova.