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Ukraine: Supporting access to vital information in a country at war

The war in Ukraine is also being fought on the news front. It is marked by media takeovers in areas occupied by the Russian army and active propaganda by the belligerents.  Launched in April 2022, less than two months after the start of the Russian invasion, the "Supporting the resilience of the Ukrainian media" project aims to promote access to reliable information on the humanitarian, security and social situation for the Ukrainian population, including in areas of armed conflict and in homes for internally displaced people.

To implement the project on the ground, Fondation Hirondelle has entered into a partnership with the Ukrainian organisation IRMI, International Institute for Regional Media and Information, to offer à la carte support to local media, mainly active in the east and south-east of the country.

These media benefit from:

  • Financial support to enable them to meet their priority expenses and continue their mission of providing information
  • Tailor-made training to enable them to adapt to the editorial and managerial constraints of journalism in wartime (particularly in terms of ethics and independence, key skills such as digital and income generation, but also tackling security and technical challenges, etc.), and to put in place a strategic vision that also anticipates the reconstruction phase.

The project is also looking at a more specific issue: the coverage of war crimes trials and processes relating to national and international justice. A network of local journalists has been set up, with ongoing support from an editorial coordination unit based in the country and the editor-in-chief of our specialist website

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  • To enable the Ukrainian media to pursue their mission of providing information under minimum conditions of security, including financial security. The regional and national media supported under this initiative are selected on the basis of criteria defined in agreement with our partners in Ukraine, and receive a financial contribution that enables them to maintain their operations.
  • To inform the Ukrainian population about the basis of international law and about national and international initiatives to document and judge war crimes. The Justice info editorial staff and correspondents provide specific coverage of justice issues and challenges in Ukraine.


  • 19 media supported in occupied or liberated zones
  • 32 journalists trained to cover the justice process
  • 18 journalists trained in image, sound and video editing techniques
  • More than 100 articles produced in Ukraine and internationally on war crimes trials and related justice processes.


Team: 1 local project coordinator, 2 Ukrainian journalists-editors, translators, correspondents

Budget : 1,025,000 CHF

Sources of financing:

  • Swiss Solidarity
  • Switzerland (Programme Contribution)
  • Geneva Charitable Foundation "Valeria Rossi di Montelera
  • Fondation Alfred et Eugénie Baur
  • Büchi Foundation
  • Fondation Jan Michalski pour l’écriture et la littérature
  • Fondazione aiuto alla cooperazione e allo sviluppo
  • Fondation Philanthropique Famille Sandoz
  • Private donations


"Thanks to your support, we were able to relocate the editorial office of the Vpered newspaper outside Bakhmut, but continue its distribution inside the besieged town. In this way, its residents have continued to have access to essential information."

Svitlana Ovcharenko, editor-in-chief of Vpered

"We need to share the experience of our coverage. I have many more questions than answers. It's not helped by the fact that we're living the war in real time: we're in court and the sirens are sounding. We are the actors and potential victims of what we are talking about. We have acquaintances and friends who are affected and who are fighting. It's a test of our professional ethics to remain impartial."

Irina Salii, director and editor-in-chief of Sudovyireporter (Ukraine)

For more information: Sandra Fontaine, Program manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.