Free Media Awards 2023
Vazhnye Istorii

The challenges of exile journalism are also familiar to the editorial staff of Vazhnye Istorii (Important Stories, in short: IStories).

The independent Russian website was founded in 2020 by Roman Anin, previously a reporter for Novaya Gazeta. Two years later, IStories had to discontinue its activities in Russia following its designation by the Russian government as a ‘foreign agent’ and an ‘undesirable organisation’, and the Russian secret services conducted raids on the newsroom and Anin’s flat. The office of IStories is now located in Europe, and the team continues to provide independent reporting from there. Since the beginning of the heinous Russian war on Ukraine, IStories has focused on investigating Russian war crimes in Ukraine. It has conducted research on the names and identities of Ukrainian children abducted from Ukraine and taken to Russia. Just recently, it reported on an investigation of how nearly 2500 Ukrainian orphans have been forcibly deported to Russia. Another research project shows how Kazakhstan has become a major conduit for supplying Russia’s war machine, despite international sanctions. The platform is also strongly committed to working in partnership with other international and regional media entities, a fact confirmed by the participation of IStories journalists in the efforts that led to publication of the Pandora Papers.

Read the announcement of all award winners from June 2023

See interview with FMA winners 2023