Ukrainian singer 'regains voice' after moving to Scottish Borders

Ukrainian singer
Elzara Batalova Credit: ITV Border

A Ukrainian singer, actor and TV presenter says moving to the Scottish Borders helped her regain her voice.

Elzara Batalova fled Crimea following the Russian occupation in 2014, and left Ukraine entirely after the invasion in 2022.

The vocalist said the conflict changed her life "100 percent", and the trauma made her lose her voice, as well as her passion for performing.

Moving as a refugee to the village of Cardrona in the Scottish Borders seemed a world away from the life she was used to, but she said the warmth and friendliness of the people there helped her to settle.

After working as a waitress at the Peebles Hydro Hotel, she connected with a group of musicians in Edinburgh.

As she felt her confidence and voice recover, she was invited to perform at a special concert at the city's Usher Hall, which will mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion.