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Ukrainian photojournalist Evgeniy Maloletka was named the photographer of the year by the Guardian on Dec. 23.
Maloletka covered attacks on Mariupol in the Associated Press team during the first 20 days of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“There was a moment when they (the AP team, including Maloletka) were the only international journalists left in Mariupol, where their main focus was people’s suffering. They spent time in hospitals, shelters, apartments, houses, and Maloletka captured some of the most dramatic photos of the war,” reads the announcement.
In early 2022, Maloletka was documenting violence in Kazakhstan but returned home in January due to the growing threat of a full-scale Russian invasion. At first, he was based in Kharkiv, filming the preparation for the war amid relatively peaceful life in the eastern Ukrainian city close to the border with Russia.
Maloletka and his AP colleagues Mstyslav Chernov and Vasylysa Stepanenko arrived in Mariupol one hour before the full-scale Russian invasion on Feb. 24. After 20 days of covering the siege of the city, they had to leave because Russian forces started hunting the photographers “for publishing a detailed account of the atrocities happening in Mariupol.”
Since then, Maloletka has continued covering Russia’s war against Ukraine on the front lines in the east and south of the country and also in Kyiv.
Maloletka earlier won the Visa d’or News award at the prestigious French photography festival for his coverage of Mariupol.