Bohdana Kostiuk, a veteran journalist with RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, passed away on June 7 in a Kyiv hospital after a battle with a serious illness. She was 56.
Kostiuk was a 25-year veteran with Radio Svoboda, as the Service is locally known. In the 1990s, she was the first coordinator of the Kyiv bureau after its official registration in the country. She was also among the Service's leading journalists, reporting from the Verkhovna Rada, international summits, and the 2004 and 2014 revolutions. In recent years, she had written in detail about the war in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.
With the news of her passing, hundreds of friends and colleagues wrote farewell messages on social networks to Kostiuk, in different languages, from different countries.
Former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko wrote, "Mrs. Bohdana was, is, and will remain in my memory a Ukrainian patriot... She wrote about Ukraine, its destiny, its prospects, and sincerely wanted our Ukraine to become a prosperous civilized state...Everyone who met Bohdana, who worked with her, went with her through life, they will always have in their hearts a bright memory of her: of a charming woman and a wonderful journalist."
Journalist and publicist Serhiy Rudenko, a Kyiv-based correspondent for Radio Svoboda from 1996 to 2003, recalled, "25 years ago we started working together at Radio Liberty. It was the birth of a new Ukrainian journalism."
Radio Svoboda is collecting the numerous tributes to Kostiuk on its website.