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AP Mariupol team wins ICFJ award

, by Nicole Meir

AP’s Mariupol team accepted on Thursday the International Center for Journalists Knight International Journalism Award for their courageous work documenting the reality of life in the besieged Ukrainian city.

Evgeniy Maloletka, left, accepts the ICFJ Knight International Journalism Award alongside Vasilisa Stepanenko in Washington, Nov. 10, 2022. (Courtesy of ICFJ).

As the only international journalists on the ground amid a communications blackout, video journalist Mstyslav Chernov, photographer Evgeniy Maloletka, and producer Vasilisa Stepanenko produced powerful reporting that brought the harrowing devastation in Mariupol to the world’s attention.

“During our 20 days in Mariupol, we witnessed war crimes, air strikes, and atrocities against civilians committed by the Russian forces. It was important to show to the country and to the world the suffering, fear and pain of the Ukrainians,” Maloletka said in a speech at last night’s ICFJ tribute ceremony.

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

He continued: “For us, the tragedy of Mariupol will forever remain like a big scar on the body and the heart, but at the same time I feel that the work we did, documenting the horror of the war, will help the world to understand what is happening in Ukraine and help bring justice to the thousands killed in a bloody war.”

The ICFJ award is the latest in a long string of accolades for the team, including two Bayeux Calvados-Normandy awards, the Visa d’or News Award from Visa pour L’image, Deutsche Welle’s Freedom of Speech Award, the Biagio Agnes International Award, Athens Photo World’s Yannis Behrakis International Photojournalism Award, Colby College’s Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism, and AP’s Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Award.

Watch a replay of the ICFJ Tribute to Journalists ceremony: