Working under pressure amid the crush of breaking news, the team in Kyiv led by coordinator Susie Blann was determined to come up with an anniversary package that offered clients a distinctive mix of stories that both informed and explained the state of Russia’s war in Ukraine two years on — but also highlighted the incredible toll on the people living it.

The coverage was rich and included deeply reported stories paired with strong photos and video. A story by Hanna Arhirova and Vasilisa Stepanenko highlighting one family’s incredible story before and after the war offered a poignant snapshot of the shattered lives of Ukrainians, and it resonated with readers. Samya Kullab and Susie Blann anchored an all-formats package about Ukraine’s unpopular plan to expand the draft, explaining why many men are now evading the draft — exacerbating shortages in manpower along frontlines. The story was picked up in the Drudge Report, boosting clicks.

That week, the video was the fourth most-used globally with 1,122 hits on 91 channels.

Kullab also wrote a thoughtful Things to Know piece looking at whether Ukraine can sustain the fight against Russia, along with a video explainer and a scrolling map illustrating the changes on the ground in the past two years. Arhirova also wrote about the tens of thousands of missing and their desperate relatives, featuring portraits by Evgeniy Maloletka.

From Russia and Estonia, AP’s Moscow team provided excellent stories. Vladimir Isachenkov wrote about Putin playing the long game in Ukraine, which got tens of thousands of page views. Dasha Litvinova looked on how Putin uses history as a weapon to further his agenda. That story was featured as a top three item in the AP’s Morning Wire and gained the longest engagement time for that edition. It gained over 2,200 clicks overall, making it the edition’s eighth-most-clicked link. Moscow-based staff made a rare visit to a border region with Ukraine, providing a video story heavily picked up by clients on life under constant shelling as Kyiv ramps up strikes inside Russia.

As full-scale war by Russia in Ukraine enters its third year, AP’s hardworking team of experts in all formats succeeded in finding fresh and engaging angles and portraits, earning Best of the Week — Second Winner.

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