At the MezhyhiryaFest in Kyiv 9.-10. of June the SCOOP coordinator Henrik Kaufholz handed the Proxy Award and 1.000 EUR for the best investigation in Ukraine to Valeriya Yegoshyna. Of almost 100 nominations a Ukrainian jury gave the award for investigation of the expensive cars owned (or maybe only driven) by the agents of the secret service, SBU.
It was published by Radio Liberty and can be seen here with English subtitles.
The Ukrainian Proxy award is funded by Danish Journalists for the fifth time. This year the 1.000 Euro were provided by the journalists of Denmark’s leading national daily, Politiken.
Valeriya Yegoshyna has 7 years of experience in several media in Odessa. In the winter of 2016 Valeriya joined the team of the investigative TV program “Schemes. Corruption in details” as an intern (as a member of Journalism Exchange Program organized by Media Development Foundation) and quickly became a full member of the team of 6 investigative journalists. The project has been on air since 2014, supported by American Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and broadcasted on a regular basis by the Ukrainian First TV channel (Ukrainian public broadcaster).
In 2017, Valeriya received a Vasyl Sergienko Award at the competition of journalistic investigations in the category “The Best Investigation in the Internet Media” for her Special Project “Vanishing heritage”, a digital project and documentary about abandoned historical houses, whose influential owners got them through intransparent schemes. Also, she was shortlisted in the category “Best TV Investigation” for her work “Office for the Protection of Own Interests”.
She is a known face in Denmark, since she was one the heroes in a Danish TV-documentary, ‘Ukraines korruptionsjægere’ (Ukraine’s Corruption Hunters) produced by Matilde Kimer in December of 2017. Can be seen here
Several times during recent years, her stories were announced as best investigative work through all RFE/RL services (in 23 countries). Some of Valeriya’s investigations led to several official criminal cases.
About the Festival
After Ukraine’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovych and his closest allies fled the country millions of dollars in assets were left behind to be investigated by journalists and state law enforcement agencies. Ukrainian investigative journalists poured through millions of documents to find proof those assets were acquired through corrupt means and kept revealing further properties and accounts. However, the state’s progress has been slow at best. Only a small portion of the stolen money was returned to the Ukrainian state budget. This year’s MezhyhiryaFest looked into why the recovery process of state assets is moving so slowly and how the international experience of asset recovery and management can help improve and accelerate the process.