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Kyiv Independent, Estonian Delfi win Bonnier prize for joint investigation

by Nate Ostiller February 21, 2024 9:15 PM 2 min read
Head of Estonian charity Glory to Ukraine Johanna-Maria Lehtme and her Ukrainian counterparts, including the ex-deputy mayor of Lviv, find themselves at the center of a public scandal involving donations misuse allegations. (Credit: Karl-Erik Leik/Delfi Estonia)
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The Kyiv Independent won the 2023 Bonnier prize on Feb. 21, along with the Estonian media outlet Delfi, for an April 2023 joint investigation into the potential misuse of funds by Estonia's biggest charity supporting Ukraine.

The Swedish media group Bonnier, along with the Estonian newspaper Aripaiv, gives the prize every year along with a 7,500-euro award. A total of 20 entries were nominated for the prize.

The award was in recognition of a story that investigated how the Ukrainian recipients of Estonia's biggest charity helping Ukrainians, Glory to Ukrainians, may have potentially misused donated funds.

The two Ukrainian partner organizations of the Estonian charity were based in Lviv and linked to the mayor's office. Hennadiy Vaskiv, one of the individuals involved, was a former deputy mayor of Lviv.

Estonian authorities announced an investigation into the case in May 2023 following the report. The Estonian media outlet ERR reported earlier in February 2024 that the case was still ongoing 18 months later and had yet to result in charges.

The charity's head, Johanna-Maria Lehtme, stepped down from her seat in Estonia's parliament in May 2023 amid the fallout from the revelations.

Estonia’s biggest charity helping Ukraine under audit after board finds Ukrainian recipients suspicious
Editor’s note: This story is a collaboration between the Kyiv Independent and Delfi Estonia. No official accusations have yet been made against the entities mentioned in this story. Having emerged in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Glory to Ukraine has since been the largest charity helpi…

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