The Expensive Cars of Ukrainian Agents

SCOOP coordinator Henrik Kaufholz gave handed the prize to Valeriya Yegoshyna.

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).

Valeriya Yegoshyna has been awarded several prizes for her investigative journalism.

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.

Read more



Not a Single Official Refugee from Ukraine to Kaliningrad in Two Years

Accomodation for migrantsFighting in the south-east of Ukraine forced millions of Ukrainian citizens to flee from their homes to save their lives and the lives of their children. Many have lost their relatives, their homes and belongings. Many did not have a choice where to go – only to Russia, which at that time offered them help and support.

The purpose of this investigation was to find out whether Ukrainian refugees in Russia received any support. Or were they left with their problems alone? Russia promised to support refugees on a state level. However nobody was granted an official refugee status in Kaliningrad region in last two years.
The investigation was made by Anastasia Drozdova and published in the newspaper Novy Karavan 5th of March 2016.

Read the original investigation – part 1part 2part 3

Read the English translation

Money Loves Silence

loggingThe Ukrainian TV-program ‘Stop corruption’ has exposed systematic illegal logging and collection of old metal from the zone around the wrecked nuclear power plant Chernobyl.  It is a very profitable business, and authorities seem to do very little to stop it.

In the TV-documentary, we follow an activist guiding journalists around to the sites, where huge areas of trees are cut down. The TV-crew also operates a small drone that we can get an overview of the situation. The investigation is made by Roman Bochkala and was broadcast on Feb 27, 2016 on Channel 5 (National wide news channel).

See the original report in text and video

See the report with English subtitles

The report in longread format


Ukrainian Refugees Forced Back From Russia

resettDuring the two years of the armed conflict in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes. Many of them have moved within Ukraine. A large number of them followed Russian propaganda and went to Russia. However, not everything was so wonderful in the Russian Federation: only a few regions could give out refugee status, and only some offered free lodging and financial benefits. Having no work permits or legal documents, many Ukrainians were forced to return back to Ukraine.

In Ukrainian cities, a big volunteer movement started. Local residents gathered food and clothing and offered lodging to people who came from Eastern and Southern Ukraine. Donbas residents themselves actively joined the volunteer movement and started their own NGOs, and by their own example inspired others.

The video “Resettlement Secrets” by reporter Tetyana Rikhtun for the Chornomorska TV/Radio Company was posted on YouTube on March 9, 2016.

See the original video

Read the English translation




Big money in Illegal Ukrainian amber

Wherever you find precious stones like amber, you also find smugglers and organized crime. The Volyn region in Ukraine and the Russian enclave Kaliningrad – both with large deposits of the precious material – are no exceptions, and consequently the Polish city of Gdansk is the capital of a veritable industry of  illegal jewellery.

The Russian reporter Nikita Kuzmin and his Ukrainian colleague Maya Holub investigated how amber is mined illegally, crossing borders illegally and the structures behind the schemes. And surprise, surprise: a friend, Sergey Chemezov, of the Russian president Vladimir Putin is in this business.

The article “How Ukrainian Amber is Illegally Transported to Poland” by reporters Maya Holub from the Ukrainian/Polish newspaper “Monitor Wołyński” and Nikita Kuzmin from the Kaliningrad business portal was published online on the portal on February 24, 2016.

Read the original article (in Ukrainian)

Read the English translation