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Call Signs







27:30 min




A man and his morse key: the story of Ukrainian radio amateur Volodymyr Gurtovy (call sign US7IGN) in Kyiv as the Russian invasion unfolds. When his wife and children escape to Poland in February 2022, he stays in their apartment with only his radios and the family hamster, “Mouse”, for company. Prohibited by martial law from sending radio messages, he becomes a listener. He uses his radio skills to intercept the conversations of Russian pilots, warn others of imminent air attacks, or repair radio sets for his friends and neighbours. He records his audio diaries at night between air raid attacks. As the months go by, Mouse spins in her wheel and he turns the dials of his radios, their flickering amber lights opening a window to a world beyond the war. A story of sending and receiving signals from within the darkness of the Kyiv blackout.

“Call Signs” was made for the “Lights Out” podcast for BBC Radio 4 / Falling Tree Productions. It won the Prix Marulic Silver prize for Best Documentary in 2023.

Producer Cicely Fell

Translation Goda Grigolytė

Subtitles Aušra Umbrasaitė

Animation Emilia Juzeliūnaitė

Cicely Fell 

Audio documentary maker. Her work as an independent producer blends human voices with field recordings, tracing the intersections between landscape, myth and memory. She began making features for Radio France International in Paris and has gone on to write and produce documentaries for the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4 in Russia (“Siberian Stories”), Sri Lanka (“The Singing Fish of Batticaloa”), the UK (“Caribbean Domino Club”) and Oklahoma (“Dust Bowl Ballads”). Her work has won several international awards, including the Prix Marulic Gold prize for Best Documentary in 2017 for “Looping Swans” and Silver prize in 2023 for “Call Signs”.

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