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Svitlana Oslavska: Documenting war on her home front

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Before Russia invaded her home country, Ukrainian journalist Svitlana Oslavska was reviewing books for Krytyka, a Ukrainian magazine, and writing nonfiction books. Now she’s documenting war crimes committed by the Russians for the Reckoning Project, an organization of journalists and researchers committed to collecting and preserving historical evidence of the war in Ukraine. 

Since Oslavska joined the Project, which Feven Merid covered in the Columbia Journalism Review’s Authoritarian Issue, her reporting has served two purposes—to provide detailed witness testimonies for court cases against the Russians and to publish accounts of the war in international media. In this episode of The Kicker, Oslavska recounts the war crimes she documented for the Project and later published as a story in Time.

Oslavska tells Kyle Pope, CJR’s editor and publisher, about how conducting detailed interviews with survivors of war crimes, asking tough and specific questions, has improved her journalism. “Sometimes the answers you get are unexpected,” Oslavska said. “But they are valuable.”

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Emily Russell is a CJR fellow.

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