Kirill Zadov is a political commentator for a Russian-language radio station in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

“I have to present a certain point of view that is acceptable to the whole part of our Russian-speaking community,” Zadov said. “And it’s a very difficult situation.”

Zadvoc has worked at RUSA Radio for more than a decade, and for eight years he has navigated the growing threat of war between Ukraine and Russia.

What do you want to know

  • With 148,700 Ukrainians, New York is home to the largest Ukrainian population in the United States
  • UN says more than 870,000 people fled Ukraine in first week of conflict
  • RUSA Radio is the only syndicated Russian-language FM station in the United States, reaching hundreds of thousands of Russian speakers

“My goal has always been for all these years to tell the Ukrainian public, the Russian public, all Russian speakers that this is possible. We have to be prepared for that, especially in an environment where we’re not willing to compromise on issues,” Zadvoc said.

What he once considered a possibility is now a turbulent reality. After Russian attacks on overcrowded Ukrainian cities, almost a million people fled Ukraine. Zadov’s political show “Boutique Politic” isn’t a phone show, but lately he’s been inundated with messages from listeners across all five boroughs – both Russian and Ukrainian.

“They want to hear that the regime is going to change. They want to hear that the sanctions will work. They want to hear that everything the West does is right and justified and everything Russia does is pure evil,” Zadvoc said.

Instead, Zadov tells his listeners to separate themselves from the decisions of political leaders so they can form a united front in America.

“I don’t see any hostility between Russians and Ukrainians right now here in New York and that was our main goal, to tell people, ‘Look, we’re not responsible for what’s going on. We don’t have caused the war.

Zadov said it is impossible to understand what is happening on the ground in Ukraine without seeing the war unfold with our own eyes.

“They are listening and they want to hear that everything will be fine. It will be alright. And I think everything will be fine soon. A few days. But it might not be like that,” Zadvoc said. “Independence does not come from peaceful negotiations.”