Valeriya Yegoshina, a reporter with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) investigative reporting team “Schemes,” has received the Kyiv Post’s “Top 30 Under 30 award,” an accolade given to young leaders of Ukraine who achieve outstanding results in their chosen fields of work. The awards ceremony was held on December 10 at the eighth annual Tiger Conference, an event launched by the Kyiv Post in 2012. This year’s conference topic was the digital future and e-democracy in Ukraine.
Accepting the award, Yegoshina said, "We at 'Schemes' focus on top-level corruption. Hence the pressure on us is also similar: top-level corrupt officials recalcitrate against investigations, attacking (us) on the Internet, in the legal sphere, by illegal means, and, occasionally, even physically preventing our TV crews from doing their job. In other words, by all available means, by misusing their authority and using their influence."
"What they don't have is an influence on our editorial policy. I am glad that I am part of a team of independent journalists, whose task is to uncover top-level corruption and to tell the story about people who have an impact on Ukraine's and Ukrainians' fate. I am happy that I still have a lot of strength and energy for that and that this activity has been celebrated with this award," she elaborated.
“Schemes” journalists have come under considerable pressure recently from Ukrainian law enforcement agencies and politicians that have been the focus of the group’s investigations. On October 31, former deputy head of the presidential administration of President Viktor Yanukovych Andrei Portnov disclosed personal data belonging to a member of the “Schemes” tea, on his Telegram channel.
Investigators with the Prosecutor-General’s office have sought access on two occasions to mobile phone data belonging to “Schemes” journalists. “Schemes” journalists and staff have also been subject to legal actions and physical attacks in retaliation for their reporting.
Natalie Sedletska, chief editor and presenter of “Schemes” was named among Ukraine’s “Top 30 Under 30” in 2016.