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“When the infantry trusts you to walk beside them, it is more than any honors and awards.” Marian Kushnir and Serhii Nuzhnenko won the “Honor of the Profession” contest

Photos of the “Honor of the Profession” contest

Kyiv hosted an award ceremony for the winners of the "Honor of the Profession" professional journalism contest. The winners of six main nominations and five special nominations were chosen from among 700 journalists and 1,240 submissions.

Journalist Marian Kushnir

“Undoubtedly, these are journalists who, thanks to their material, managed to create a discussion, cause a resonance, raise important topics for civil society, and tell the world the truth about the war in Ukraine and its consequences for all Ukrainians. They are also professionals in their field, people who are not afraid to speak, write, listen, eyewitnesses and chroniclers of the life of the country and its people,” reads the post on the award's Facebook page, where you can find the full list of winners in the nominations.

Screenshot from the story that won the Honor of the Profession award

This year's winners in the Best News Coverage of a Resonant Event category are journalists, videographers and photographers Marian Kushnir and Serhiy Nuzhnenko. They showed exclusive footage from the battlefield near Bakhmut. Before the assault began, the journalists attached video cameras to the soldiers to record everything that was happening. The Edelweiss assault unit conducted a successful operation, and the troops managed to advance. Their report “Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a counterattack near Bakhmut: first footage from the battlefield” was published by Radio Liberty.

Photojournalist Serhiy Nuzhnenko

“It is important that the professional community appreciated my work, because this material is about the everyday life of the military, who until recently were civilians and had no intention of taking up arms. It is about the reality of many who are at the front today. It is also about relevance. After all, is there anything more relevant than war? So I am glad that it has been noticed and, in particular, will help more people to see it,” says Marian Kushnir.

Serhiy Nuzhnenko notes that, unfortunately, among the soldiers who took part in the assault, there are dead, missing and wounded. “The history of Ukraine is not made in Kyiv or other cities, it is made in the plantations of Donbas, Kharkiv region, steppes in Zaporizhzhia or in the floodplains in Kherson region,” says Serhiy Nuzhnenko, “as the military man and poet Maksym Kryvtsov said: “When I am asked what war is, I will answer without hesitation: “Names”. During this assault, one of the soldiers was killed, and I carried his body, along with his comrades, to the evacuation site for about a kilometer. Through the bushes and under fire. The guys lacked arms and needed help. And no matter how much these stretchers cut your hands, you can't leave them. When the infantry trusts you to go alongside them, this trust means a lot to me. This is more than any honors and awards. They are with a rifle, we are with a camera to create the history of Ukraine.”

Screenshot from the story that won the Honor of the Profession award

In total, Serhiy and Marian, together with the military, filmed counterattacks by Ukrainian defense forces at least 5-6 times during the full-scale invasion.

“Honor of the Profession is a Ukrainian professional journalism competition that has been held since 2010. The award is organized by the National Media Association. This year, journalistic materials that were published in the media from February 1, 2023, to January 31, 2024, were submitted for the competition.


How to take pictures where it is dangerous and scary? A frank conversation with military commander Marian Kushnir about shooting in hot spots.  

Marian Kushnir (30) is a Ukrainian journalist, videographer, and photographer who has been working at the Ukrainian edition of Radio Liberty since 2015. Since then, he has been traveling to the frontline to cover the fighting in Ukraine and preparing reports on mass actions. After Russia's open military attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, he covered events from hot spots where active hostilities were taking place. On March 11, 2022, he received a concussion in the Kyiv region, in the village of Baryshivka. He was awarded the Order of Merit III class (2022).

Social networks of the photographer: Facebook Instagram 

Serhiy Nuzhnenko is a reportage photographer. He has been a photojournalist for Radio Liberty since 2016. Since February 2022, he has been a war correspondent: he has photographed events in Kyiv, Chernihiv, and Kharkiv regions, and now he mainly works in Donbas. He is the author of the photos from Bucha and Irpin, which were used by Ukrposhta in its stamps for the anniversary of the liberation of Kyiv region in March 2023. Serhiy Nuzhnenko's works complemented the international exhibition #OntheFrontlinesofTruth, organized by the NGO Institute of Mass Information and the international organization for the development of independent media Internews. The photos were exhibited at the railway station in Vilnius. Nuzhnenko's photo of Russian aggression in Ukraine was also included in Time magazine's 100 Photos of 2022. During the Revolution of Dignity, Nuzhnenko was one of the nine “prisoners of Bankova”.

Social networks of the photographer: Facebook Instagram  


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