Sept. 29, 2023
Best of the Week — First Winner
AP secures intimate access to Ukraine’s counteroffensive
The Associated Press spent two weeks with a Ukrainian assault brigade for an intimate glimpse into the speed, direction and cost of the counteroffensive to regain Bakhmut.
Mstyslav Chernov’s reporting was unparalleled and gathered at great risk. He spent two weeks with members of the brigade and even accompanied a commander as he raised the Ukrainian flag in a village under shelling. Using self-shot material, drone footage and helmet camera video Chernov wove together the narrative of the brigade’s struggle. Viewers were taken on their journey and exposed to the stark realities of the war — foxholes, close-quarter gun battles, trauma and death.
Global investigations correspondent Lori Hinnant, reporting from Paris, brought this story alive in words with a gripping blow-by-blow account of what the men had to go through, while photographer Alex Babenko and producer Volodymyr Yurchuk also helped put the stunning package together.
The story’s timing was perfect, coming just as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was trying to build support for the Ukrainian counteroffensive at the United Nations and was also among the most engaged of the entire week at a time, showing the importance of continuing to bear witness.
For securing unparalleled access and taking great personal risk to produce an intimate picture of Ukraine’s frontline, Chernov and Hinnant are awarded Best of the Week — First Winner.