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The exhibition "The Siege of Mariupol - The last journalists in the occupied city"

As part of this year's Czech Photo Festival, on October 12, an exhibition titled "The Siege of Mariupol - The Last Journalists in the Occupied City" was opened at the Czech Photo Center Gallery in Prague. The exhibition features world-renowned works by Mstislav Chernov and Yevhen Maloletka. The project was realized by the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers (UAPP) in cooperation with Czech Photo and the Association of Professional Photographers of the Czech Republic (APF).

Using satellite phones in a city that had nearly half a million inhabitants before the war, journalists reported on survival without electricity, communication, water, and food. Thanks to their work, the world learned about the bloody atrocities committed by the Russians during the city's occupation, including the attack on the Mariupol Maternity Hospital, which became one of the symbols of the cruelty of this war.

Their vivid visual testimonies, which appeared in media outlets worldwide, drew disapproval from the Russian establishment. This revealed a stark contrast to their propaganda, which led to the journalists being blacklisted. In critical moments, they hid in a hospital in Mariupol, disguising themselves as medical professionals. From there, they were evacuated by the Ukrainian military.

"We were doing a reportage in the hospital when armed people appeared in the corridors. Surgeons gave us doctor's coats as camouflage. At dawn, a dozen soldiers burst into the hospital again. 'Where the hell are the journalists?' they asked. I looked at the bandages on their arms - blue, Ukrainian - and wondered how likely it was that they were disguised Russians. I stepped forward to introduce myself. 'We came to rescue you,' " says Mstislav Chernov, a photographer and filmmaker.

Both authors became members of the international jury of the 28th Czech Press Photo contest this year.

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