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Kyiv Independent journalists win European Press Prize

by Martin Fornusek June 9, 2023 9:31 PM 2 min read
Anna Myroniuk accepting the European Press Prize in the Special Award: Ukraine Reporting category for the investigation into Ukraine's International Legion authored by her and Alexander Khrebet, June 9,. (Source: European Press Prize/Twitter)
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Kyiv Independent reporters Anna Myroniuk and Alexander Khrebet on June 9 won the European Press Prize in the Special Award: Ukraine Reporting category.

The winning story delved into alleged misconduct in the Ukrainian army's International Legion.

"This award goes to the heart of why journalism matters, why we must defend it, and why it's so important to recognize the work of journalists who are prepared to do this work. They are the best and the bravest among us," Chair of the Panel of Judges Alan Rusbridger said.

Myroniuk was present to receive the award.

"I perceive this award as a recognition of all Ukrainian journalists who have been working on the ground covering Russia's all out war from day one," she said.  "Who had no sleep due to Russian shelling the entire last month yet went to work the next morning. Who had no electricity and heating amid winter due to Russian strikes at critical infrastructure yet carried on tirelessly doing their work. Going to the frontlines, investigating Russian war crimes and scrutinizing our own Ukrainian government too."

Myroniuk added that "Ukrainian journalists risk their lives on a daily basis."

"They get killed while doing their work covering Russian war. They turn soldiers to help defend their country from its neighbor’s aggression. Like our colleague Artur Kornienko," she said in a reference to a Kyiv Independent reporter who has volunteered to join the Ukrainian army and is fighting on the frontline.

The European Press Prize, which "celebrates the highest achievements in European journalism," was founded in 2012 and is awarded on a yearly basis. The 2023 edition of the Prize selected 25 articles and projects among hundreds of submissions from 40 countries.

In addition to the five usual categories of Distinguished Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Innovation, Public Discourse, and Migration Journalism, this year the Ukraine Reporting category was also created.

On March 2, Myroniuk and Khrebet also received the #AllForJan Award in Warsaw.

The International Legion was established amid the full-scale Russian invasion for foreigners who wanted to help defend Ukraine.

The legionnaires interviewed for the investigation spoke of the leadership's alleged abuse, and theft, as well as decisions to send soldiers on suicide missions.

Suicide missions, abuse, physical threats: International Legion fighters speak out against leadership’s misconduct
Added on Dec. 1, 2022: In November, the Kyiv Independent ran a follow-up to this investigation. This second story looks into other alleged misconduct of the leadership of the International Legion, including light weapons misappropriation and physical threats toward soldiers. Read it here. Disclaime…
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