Oct. 07, 2022
Best of the Week — First Winner
AP’s on-the-ground investigation in Ukraine uncovers Russia’s torture sites — and survivors
A trio of AP journalists had no idea exactly what they would find when they were directed to a monastery in recently liberated Izium, Ukraine.
There, correspondent Lori Hinnant, photographer Evgeniy Maloletka and video journalist Vasilisa Stepanenko found a former Ukrainian soldier in hiding, tortured three times by occupying Russian forces. His disturbing tale would supply the narrative for an exclusive investigation that uncovered 10 torture sites. The journalists gained access to five of them and spoke to more than a dozen torture survivors, and to two families whose loved ones had disappeared
The all-formats package, revealing arbitrary, widespread, routine torture of civilians and soldiers alike in Izium, immediately resonated, earning wide play and high readership.
For a gritty, deeply reported all-formats investigation that made an impact, exposing evidence of Russian war crimes and the human consequences, Hinnant, Stepanenko and Maloletka earn AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner honors.