Olesia grew up in a family of gas engineers, and she now works as the the head of a gas testing laboratory in the Kharkiv region that is part of the the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU). 

After Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, areas of Kharkiv region fell under occupation, including the Borovа compressor station of Kharkiv MPLPD where Olesia works.

As soon as the area was liberated by Ukraine’s armed forces in November 2022, GTSOU, and Olesia, got back to work. The mission: ensuring quality control of the natural gas flowing through the gas transportation system of the region.

To do this, Olesia had to visit gas fields and production sites located in the east of Kharkiv region - near the border with the Russian Federation and in active combat zones. She continued to do her work despite the risks, including constant shelling, unexploded munitions, bombing raids, and the movement of Russia’s military units. When doing this work, Olesia and her colleagues wear protective helmets and safety vests provided by USAID, which help them feel more confident while performing this dangerous work.

Natural gas is one of Ukraine’s main sources of energy, and Ukraine’s hospitals, factories, schools, and universities all depend on it to keep running. It also provides heat and lights in the homes of regular people. Olesia's work includes monitoring the quality of natural gas – ensuring the efficiency of its transportation across Ukraine. Her work plays a strategic role in Ukraine’s energy security, contributing to the stable and uninterrupted transportation of gas across the country. Ukraine’s resilience through the second winter of Russia’s war is due in part to specialists like Olesia.

Despite the challenges of living in Kharkiv during Russia’s full-scale war, Olesia never thought of leaving Ukraine.

"I love my job, and I understand my role as an important part of the Ukrainian gas transmission system. You cannot relax due to new daily challenges.  But, you can overcome these challenges with the help of colleagues who survived the occupation, further strengthening Ukraine's desire for victory and faith in it."

Olesia Zamkova_Eng
USAID/Ukraine Ukraine Stories