Today, on Nov. 11, we mark two years since the founding of the Kyiv Independent.
It’s been two years of relentless work and tough decisions. It’s also been two years of support from our community of readers around the world.
For those who haven’t been following us from the very beginning, a brief peek into our history.
The Kyiv Independent was born out of crisis. In early November 2021, Kyiv Post, then the top English-language newspaper in Ukraine, was abruptly shut down by its owner after its journalists rebelled against a decision by the owner that threatened the paper’s editorial independence.
The whole staff was fired.
The fired journalists felt strongly that Ukraine had to have an independent English-language news outlet. They took a leap of faith and founded their own news outlet – just three days after being fired from the Kyiv Post. It felt appropriate to name the new venture the Kyiv Independent.
That was just three months before Russia invaded Ukraine.
When we started the Kyiv Independent, we had no intention of being a war-time newsroom. The rumors of looming invasion had just started floating in the air, but a full-scale war still seemed extremely unlikely.
When Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we had to turn all our efforts to covering the war. Very few of us had relevant experience of covering conflicts, and we had to learn from scratch.
We are proud of what we have been able to do in these two years.
We have written thousands of stories and recorded numerous podcasts and videos. We’ve done field reports from practically everywhere on the front line. We’ve grown our community of members to 10,000 people. We’ve published two books and are working on the third one. We’ve won awards. The team has grown and numbers 51 people now, most of them in Kyiv.
All of this has been possible due to the combined effort of our amazing team and our community of supporters.
One of the lessons we learned is that tough choices pay off. Choosing to follow one’s principles – such as the devotion to independent journalism – pays off.
In the first days of the Kyiv Independent, we passed on a proposal by one of the country’s top oligarchs who was ready to generously fund the whole enterprise. But we wanted independence over lush salaries.
So instead, we opted to be reader-funded, hoping that our dedication to independent journalism would resonate with our followers. It did and still does.
Looking back, we are proud of what we’ve been able to build, and thankful for the support we’ve received. We are also immensely grateful to the people who are the reason we are alive and able to report from Ukraine – the Armed Forces of the country.
Here’s just a handful of stories we are proud of, out of many:
- Suicide missions, abuse, physical threats: International Legion fighters speak out against leadership’s misconduct
- UPROOTED | An investigation into Russia’s abduction of Ukrainian children
- Russia takes Bakhmut: Taking stock of the war’s bloodiest battle so far
- Illia Ponomarenko: Even if Russia attacks, Ukraine’s fall is not predestined
- ‘I work, then I cry’: Exhausted medics near Bakhmut fight for every life
- EXCLUSIVE: Escaping forced conscription in Russian-occupied Donetsk
- Investigation: Where does Russian disinformation incubate in US?
- ‘She needs armor.’ Female Ukrainian soldiers call for equality
- Life near Russian-occupied nuclear plant: ‘I don’t know if tomorrow will come’
On the Kyiv Independent’s second birthday, we launched an ambassadors campaign, asking our supporters to help spread the word about our reporting.
Our goal is to gain 500 new members of our community before the start of December. There is a counter on our website, showing how many are left to the goal. If you feel like supporting the Kyiv Independent by becoming a member or making a one-time donation, you can do it here.