CPJ is honored to present its 2018 International Press Freedom Award to Ukrainian journalist Anastasiya "Nastya" Stanko.
Anastasiya Stanko is a Ukrainian journalist and TV presenter and a member of the "Stop censorship" movement, an anti-censorship group made up of journalists and media organizations in Ukraine. In 2013, she co-founded the independent media channel Hromadske, which is registered as a non-governmental organization. She previously had worked for the national TV channels Pershiy and TVI.
Since the early days of the Maidan Revolution--anti-government demonstrations in late 2013 and early 2014 that led to the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych--Stanko covered the protests in Kiev, streaming hours of video.
In March 2014, Stanko was in Crimea covering the referendum and annexation of the peninsula. Two months later, she became a war correspondent, reporting on the conflict in the Donbass area of eastern Ukraine. In June 2014, she and her cameraman were taken hostage by the so-called Luhansk People's Republic and held in the basement of a building in Luhansk city. Two days later, they were freed.
Stanko has produced various video reports and articles about the war, with an emphasis on civilians living in and around the conflict zone. She started a project called "Hromadske.East," which focuses on the stories around the conflict. She has also authored several investigations about the mass shooting on Maidan Square in early 2014, which feature interviews with the police's special forces unit who were charged with killing unarmed protesters. As a result of these works, Stanko won the main prize at the 2016 Mezhyhirya Festival and was a finalist at another journalism competition.
Stanko continues to report on human rights violations by the police and Ukraine's Security Service in the conflict zone. Her latest documentary, "The Secret Compound," is about people illegally detained by Ukraine's Security Service.