Annual Report 2022
Nadiya TV journalists interview a beneficiary of food aid in Pervomaïskyi, Ukraine. © Florent Vergnes / Fondation Hirondelle.

Ukraine: Supporting the resilience of ukrainian media

Launched less than two months after the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, Fondation Hirondelle’s project aims to ensure access to vital information for the Ukrainian population displaced or living in the war zone. The project built with a local partner, the International Institute for Regional Media and Information (IRMI) has two components: The first is to provide flexible emergency support funding to a group of independent Ukrainian media. The second is to support journalists who cover war crime trials.

Financial Volume

488 423 CHF

Sources of Funding

• Swiss Solidarity
• Switzerland (Programme contribution)
• Geneva Charitable Foundation “Valeria Rossi di Montelera”
• Alfred and Eugenie Baur Foundation
• Büchi Foundation
• Jan Michalski Foundation for writing and literature
• Fondazione aiuto alla cooperazione e allo sviluppo
• Sandoz Family Foundation
• Private donations


Systematic information manipulation and disinformation have been applied by the Russian government as an operational tool in its assault on Ukraine. While the situation has been particularly alarming for journalists in the occupied areas, all of the Ukrainian media have been hit hard by the war and its repercussions. 15% of Ukrainian media have been forced to close and the press has lost 90% of its advertising revenues.

Since April 2022, Fondation Hirondelle has been implementing the project “Emergency response to support independent information in Ukraine.” It offers a wide range of support, including training and a financial contribution that allows Ukrainian media, based in the east and south of the country, to survive.

Thanks to your support, we have relocated Vpered newspaper editorial office outside of Bakhmut, but continued its distribution inside the besieged city. Its inhabitants had access to up-to-date and essential information.
Svitlana Ovcharenko, editor-in-chief of “Vpered”.

It also ensures the coverage of justice issues in the context of this conflict. It relies on a network of journalists based in Ukraine and supervised by the editorial staff of Justice Info, Fondation Hirondelle’s media that covers international justice news. Reporting on violations of international law produced within the framework of this project is disseminated by local media and on the website, which makes available to the public all of its articles devoted to the international judicial front and war crimes in Ukraine. “Telling the story of the trials is telling the story of the occupation,” said Thierry Cruvellier, the editor of Justice Info, at a panel in The Hague in late 2022.

In 2023, the evolution of the war and the liberation of cities occupied the Russian army are likely to exacerbate problems of social cohesion already present before the invasion. It is not impossible that internal tensions will worsen, depending on the perceptions that inhabitants have of each other’s attitudes during this period of occupation. Our project, guided by regular needs assessments of the partner media, will enable them to be as prepared as possible to respond to these challenges and foster the resilience of an entire people.