On January 22-26, 2019 the Academy of Ukrainian Press (further AUP) had an honor to invite representatives of foreign media to participation in the project “Ukraine Press Tours” which is realized due to the support of Media Development Foundation, the Embassy of the USA to Ukraine. Top reporters from Estonia, Denmark, Georgia and Greece who work on different media platforms visited Kyiv, and several towns of Donetsk and Luhansk regions later on.
All the series of press tours are aimed to show foreign journalists the real situation in Ukraine and in the east of the country, as well as to introduce the perspective expert vision and opinion of society on various issues. A 5-day program was quite intensive and provided such an opportunity.
Participants of the third press tour became:
- Artur Aukon, deputy editor-in-chief, Radio 4, Estonia
- Karoliina Vasli, news reporter, online media outlet Delfi and newspaper Eesti Päevaleht, Estonia
- Emil Rotboel, head of international department, Dagbladet Information’s, Denmark
- Mariam Demetrashvilli, Interpressnews and ambebi.ge, Palitra Media Holding, Georgia
- Nikolas Vafiadis, head of international department, Antenna TV, Greece
- Vasileios Rozos, cameraman Antenna TV, Greece
On January 2019, we visited the editorial office of “Dzerkalo Tyzhnia” (Weekly Mirror) newspaper and talked to Volodymyr Mostivyi, its founder, and Serhii Rakhmanin, deputy editor-in-chief. The speakers told about history of newspaper founding and its activity, principles and values of the team, as well as the ways of countering pressure from officials.
Afterwards, the group visited National Union of Journalists. Serhii Tomilenko, its Head, outlined the freedom of expression issues, the ways of countering impunity among Ukrainian authorities, illegal detainment and persecution of Ukrainian reporters by the Russian Federation, etc.
On the same day we had a meeting with Oleksandr Levchenko, Advisor to the Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories, Ex-Ambassador of Ukraine to Croatia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina (2010-2017). In the building of Ministry, the Advisor told our press-tour participants about the real situation on the occupied territories and represented a set of activities that should be done to solve the conflict issues.
Then, the participants became guests at studio of Hromadske Radio. They spoke there to Andrii Kulykov, the famous Ukrainian reporter and media expert, anchor and one of Hromadske radio founders. During the meeting, foreign reporters learned about the history of media and media business development in Ukraine, as well as heard about the number of successful projects realized by Hromadske Radio.
The day was ended by the visit of participants to the National Memorial Complex of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes – Revolution of Dignity Museum. The guests explored more about the events of 2014 there from Ihor Poshyvailo, Museum Director, Museum teamworkers and witnesses of events, and observed the exhibition of items.
On January 23, 2019 journalists and organizers travelled to the east of Ukraine. First of all, we visited school #22 of Sloviansk Municipal Council in Semenivka (Donetsk region). The school was completely destroyed during the military actions and renovated after the liberation of the towns from rebels. Serhii Borysenko, school principal told about its renewal.
Afterwards, participants visited Donetsk Regional State Administration in town Kramatorsk where they addressed the questions to Ihor Stokoz, Deputy Head of the entity. Mr. Stokoz outlined the peculiarities of partnership with international organizations, as well as recent challenges to the region related to war in the East and infrastructure, and introduced the strategy of actions to solve these issues.
Then, foreign reporters met Arif Bagirov, civic activist, blogger and former member of Armed Forces in town Severodonetsk (Luhansk region) who told how the town lived before, during the occupation and after its liberation from militants.
On January 24-25, 2019 participants visited Mariupol ship repair dockyards. While talking to Oleh Turskyi, CEO, we were convinced that not only quality ship repair is taking place here, but they also have all the possibilities to build new ships. We discussed the cooperation with international ship-owners, activity during the war, Kerch Strait blockade, engagement of experts and industrial potentials.
Next, we had an immensely useful meeting with Vadym Boichenko, mayor of town Mariupol, who described the strategy of town development, outlined the challenges and achievements in the fields of countering corruption, reconstruction and building projects, infrastructure solutions, job creation, encouragement of small and mid-sized business, implementation of the European experience, using new technologies, etc.
Afterwards, foreign reporters visited Mariupol State University, the President of which warmly welcomed us and told many success stories of this educational establishment. The guests could see an example of classic university development in a town not being regional center.
On January 26, 2019 the group of foreign journalists had an excursion around Kyiv. They visited St. Sophia and St. Michael Square, St. Andrew Rampart, Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti), observed a lot of other historic and sightseeing places.
The Academy of Ukrainian Press with the support of Media Development Foundation, Embassy of the USA to Ukraine, is involved in ultimately efficient and trustworthy informing of the foreign colleagues on events in Ukraine. Let you join us! The world has to know the truth and avoid fakes.