Annual Report 2023
In Lviv, during a bomb alert, residents hide in the catacombs of a church. @ Lâm Duc Hiên / Agence VU’ for Fondation Hirondelle.

Ukraine: Supporting Media Resilience

Since April 2022, Fondation Hirondelle, with its local partner the International Institute of Regional Media and Information (IRMI), has been implementing a multi-faceted project to support the Ukrainian media. The aim is to provide the population of the occupied territories and internally displaced people (east and southeast) with access to reliable news on issues of public, humanitarian and social interest, as well as justice-oriented content on war crimes.

The editorial, managerial and financial strengthening of 18 local media outlets is at the heart of a mentoring programme rooted in our partners’ realities, enabling us to continuously assess and respond to the priority needs of journalists and media managers, with one essential goal in mind: to help them survive, by adapting their mission of providing information to the existential constraints of war.

Key Figures 2023

18 media partners
96 content elements on war crimes trials
134 media professionals trained

Financial Volume

1,133,251 CHF

Sources of Funding

• Swiss Solidarity
• Fondazione aiuto alla cooperazione e allo sviluppo
• Fondation genevoise de bienfaisance « Valeria Rossi di Montelera »
• Fondation Philanthropique Famille Sandoz
• Switzerland (SDC Programme contribution)
• Private donations


The Russian invasion of February 24, 2022 resulted in a takeover of the Ukrainian media in the occupied zones. By the end of 2023, eleven journalists had been killed in the course of their work on Ukrainian soil. And many others, in Russian-controlled territories and on the frontline, are under serious threat. Helping these media survive by adapting to the constraints of war remains a priority.

All Fondation Hirondelle’s activities in Ukraine are geared towards meeting the concrete needs of our partner media. In most cases, they have had to relocate their newsrooms, but have been able to recover their work tools and resume their activities. The project’s strength lies in its flexibility, individual approach and responsiveness. This has led to the development of websites and Telegram channels for print media, training courses on media management in crisis situations, how to use open-source data, and the training of new journalists freshly hired by our partner media.

There has been a big learning curve. We now master new editorial approaches, particularly digital, which has enabled us to continue working and providing independent information to our audiences in the territories occupied by the Russian army.
Igor Novikov, journalist with Visti Snigurivshchyny (Snihourivka)

Emphasis has also been placed on coverage of war crimes trials, for which a network of Ukrainian journalists has been set up and supported. One of the most notable advances has been giving more voice to the defence, which was previously inaudible.

Over the course of these activities, a strong professional bond has been forged between the 18 Ukrainian media partners in the project. While many of the managers and journalists already knew each other, their relationships have grown stronger, leading to content sharing between several platforms, and even to some co-productions.

In 2024, editorial work on war crimes trials will be continued with them, as will training to improve their physical and digital safety. Psychological support, set up with Reporters Sans Frontières, will also be provided.