The first hours of Russia’s war on Ukraine in February 2022 were a historic moment for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, in which the once storied radio broadcaster was able to deliver multiplatform breaking news coverage of the war to millions of people in Ukraine, Russia, neighboring countries like Belarus and Moldova and the wider world. Correspondents were spread out across Ukraine and on the frontlines. At great personal risk, they contributed to live streams and live blogs, provided immediate insights into their reporting on Instagram Stories and on Telegram and Viber in all of the region’s languages, including English. Journalists at our hub in Prague collaborated to verify and factcheck UGC footage, and edit larger packages and reported stories, and shared frontline footage with other news outlets like CNN and other international news organizations. A key factor to the success of RFE/RL’s breaking news coverage were Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian journalists, who were able to contribute their deep local knowledge to bring nuance and context to a quickly evolving historic moment.
A daily updated live briefing with the latest developments, frontline positions and answers to frequently asked questions (1st URL)
One of the first videos of Russian shelling: Power Station In Flames Amid Intensive Shelling Near Separatist Areas In Ukraine (2nd URL)
Reporters across Ukraine gathered testimonies of the impact on civilians: ‘It’s A Miracle We Survived’: Ukrainian Villager Recalls Night Of Shelling and ‘No Place To Live Now’ Shelling Destroys Homes In Eastern Ukraine (3rd URL)
Verified and geolocated UGC footage of the first round of nation-wide shelling of Ukraine: Russian Missiles, Air Strikes Hit Ukrainian Targets Car Barely Dodges Attack In Kharkiv (4th URL)
Coverage later evolved into reporting on reactions from Russia and elsewhere, and reporting on fallen or captured soldiers’ demographic background. Reporting on the war continues to this day across Ukraine. (5th URL)
Very powerful output that was extremely useful for those inside and outside of the conflict. It’s a clear reflection of strong internal collaboration which broke through the noise and was widely shared. This work captures the real-life stakes of the experience of the people in Ukraine – and their humanity. In a time period where people don’t have a high degree of trust in newsrooms, this coverage stood apart.