Women of The Washington Post Reporting on Ukraine

The Washington Post was the first American news organization to establish a Ukraine bureau in May 2022. In 2022, the bureau was regularly joined by a rotation of The Post’s women journalists on assignment. The Ukraine reporting team included: Ukraine bureau chief Isabelle Khurshudyan and contributors Anastacia Galouchka and Kamila Hrabchuk. Rotating reporters on assignment in Ukraine in 2022 included: then-Cairo bureau chief Siobhán O’Grady, video journalists Whitney Shefte and Whitney Leaming, contributing photojournalist Heidi Levine, Baghdad bureau chief Louisa Loveluck, national security reporter Missy Ryan, Bogotá bureau chief Samantha Schmidt, Berlin bureau chief Loveday Morris, contributing photographer Kasia Strek, political video reporter Joyce Koh and international reporter Miriam Berger. When the full-scale invasion began, the Post team was in Kyiv as it came under Russian fire. In Kharkiv, Khurshudyan and Leaming were two of the last Western media reporters to leave the city as it came under heavy bombardment. O’Grady and Galouchka came under targeted artillery shelling twice while reporting on artillery combat in the Donetsk region. Shefte, who helped detail the story of women giving birth in underground bunkers, embedded with a military unit near Mariupol that had been fighting Russian-backed separatists since 2014. Levine – the recipient of the IWMF’s inaugural Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award in 2015 – joined the team as a photographer. She commented, “Women photojournalists are often in the minority and gender discrimination still exists: Now more than ever it’s critical to recognize the achievements of women in journalism. We share this award with those at The Post who worked around the clock help ensure our team’s safety and provided constant logistical support. We also share this award with the Ukrainian people, who allowed us to tell their story; their pain, sacrifice and resilience have deeply inspired us.” Due to the work of this collaborative, The Post’s coverage included exclusive reporting and content from the frontlines of Ukraine, including information from sources that were cultivated for months. The Post team’s reporting also included how Ukrainian forces were able to repel Russian occupiers using covert resistance fighters, drone-guided artillery fire and traditional trench warfare. Collectively, their reporting depicted – gravely and comprehensively – the human toll of war on a civilian population.

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