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RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service On A Winning Streak

Schemes journalist Valeriya Yegoshyna receives the National Investigative Journalism Award at the Mezhyhirya Festival, on June 10, 2018.

June was a winning month for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Ukrainian Service, known locally as Radio Svoboda, whose journalists brought home a handful of awards.

On June 10, investigative journalist Valeriya Yegoshyna, for the Service’s program Schemes: Corruption In Details, received the 2018 National Investigative Journalism Award at the Mezhyhirya Festival for her gripping story about the luxurious fleet of cars driven by some employees of Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

On receiving the award, Yegoshyna said that she had dreamed since childhood of working for the SBU, to investigate different schemes, adding that “Now I am investigating the schemes inside the SBU, and I can say that my dream has partially come true.”

The ceremony was held at the massive former estate north of Kyiv of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country in 2014, leaving behind millions of dollars in assets acquired through corrupt means. YanukovychLeaks, a project co-founded by Schemes host Natalia Sedletska and other journalists to preserve and publish a horde of documents discovered in a reservoir hours after Yanukovych fled the country, organizes the festival with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and the Media Development Foundation.

In its fourth year, the festival’s jury chose from ninety submissions.

RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service won six awards at this year’s PressZvanie journalism contest.
RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service won six awards at this year’s PressZvanie journalism contest.

Two days later, on June 12, RFE/RL Ukrainian Service journalists learned that they would take home six awards from the national journalism contest PressZvanie, winning the top prizes in the Health and Sports categories.

Olha Strizhova won first place in the Health category for her story about a surgeon’s claim that cancer diseases “usually don’t hurt,” while Tetiana Yakubovych and Sergey Korovainyi took first place in the Sports category for their piece on the military divers of Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service an underwater army.

Colleagues Daria Kurennaya, Mykhailo Shtekel, Maria Buchelnikova, and Olha Komarova were also commended for their stories within the categories of Lifestyle, Quality of Life, and Industrial Enterprise. Denys Tymoshenko and Kateryna Kaplyuk were finalists in the category Transport.

Launched in 2005, the annual PressZvanie awards recognize leadership and professionalism among Ukraine’s journalists and editors, based on an open and transparent vote by a jury of prominent media executives, editors, producers, and journalists representing dozens of Ukrainian mass media.

About RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service

RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, with a monthly average of over 4 million visits to its website in 2017, provides independent, accurate reporting about eastern Ukraine and Crimea on its award-winning Donbas Realities and Crimea Realities websites, and investigates government corruption on its internationally acclaimed TV program, “Schemes.”