Newsroom Mezhyhirya: The Story of YanukovychLeaks

This compelling 15-minute documentary tells the inside story of Yanukovychleaks, the extraordinary team investigation that recovered thousands of documents left behind by Ukraine’s fleeing ex-president. Here’s how a group of young Ukrainian journalists from competing outlets banded together for one the great scoops of the decade. The video, sponsored by GIJN members OCCRP and Scoop, was released at last weekend’s Mezhyhirya Festival, in which more than 300 journalists, data experts, and activists gathered at Yanukovych’s former estate.

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YanukovychLeaks: After The Ousting, A Festival

It’s been three months since ex-president Viktor Yanukovych fled in the dead of night, after a last, desperate attempt to cover his tracks by destroying documents. It’s not going to be that easy, Mr. President. For the past three years, Ukraine’s “Journalists Day” has been commemorated with an anti-censorship rally in front of his former Mezhyhirya residence. This year, the sprawling compound itself has been hacked. From June 6-8, the Mezhyhirya Festival on investigative journalism, digital activism, and leaks will celebrate a new era of freedom of expression with those who were on site to help usher it in.

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Ukraine: Amid Attacks, Crimea Center Returns, New Sites Archived

We have several reports on Ukraine today. First, some good news: GIJN’s member in Crimea, the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism, is back in its office after vigilantes seized it on March 2. Spurred by the attack, GIJN worked with the Internet Archive to back up its site, and now we’ve helped preserve seven more independent media sites in Ukraine. And then the bad news: attacks continue on the media there, chronicled in a harrowing list of incidents compiled by the Crimean Center.

Masked Gunmen Seize Crimean Investigative Journalism Center

As Russian troops streamed into Crimea, Ukraine, yesterday, masked gunmen broke into and seized the office of the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism in the region’s capital, Simferopol. The group of about 30 men, dressed in military fatigues, targeted offices housing the Information and Press Center, a hub for independent media in the region, and the Crimean investigative center. After breaking a window and forcing their way through the front door, militia leader Konstantin Knyrik announced that the offices would now house representatives of “The Crimean Front,” because from “this building does not come true information.” “We do not need to escalate this,” Knyrik told the journalists, according to the Crimean investigative center’s website. “All employees can come to work. We promise them, if their sponsors refuse to pay the salary, we will find them entrepreneurs.


YanukovychLeaks Update: “The Project Is Becoming Bigger”

The extraordinary story of how Ukrainian investigative reporters saved thousands of documents left by fleeing ex-president Viktor Yanokuvych has gone viral., the site thrown together by an impromptu team of journalists and hackers, has received more than 600,000 visitors since going live on Tuesday – and those documents have been viewed 3.8 million times. “That means people really do care about transparency. It is valued,” says Drew Sullivan of the nonprofit Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which is helping provide resources for the project.

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“The Walls Have Fallen” – Inside YanukovychLeaks Investigation

This is a great time to be an investigative journalist in Ukraine. It is a moment of big disclosures. We had been reporting on the ultra-luxurious style of Yanukovych’s life and his corrupt ties for a long period, when this information was very well-guarded and kept as a big secret. It’s like one was trying to get into a closed, dark room for a long time. And then suddenly the walls have fallen.

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YanukovychLeaks: How Ukraine Journalists Are Making History

In the hours after Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, reports started surfacing that there were documents floating in the reservoir on his palatial 350-acre estate outside the capital. The estate is well known to the media as an off-limits location; journalists, in fact, had never entered more than 300 yards past the front gate, and even at the height of Yanukovych’s openness and good relations, journalists had only been allowed to the front door to receive cakes on journalism day.