Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Ukrainian Women on the Front Lines but Not in the Headlines

By Luba Kassova and Xanthe Scharff

20 Mar 2022 · 5 min read

Iryna Slavinska shelters underground in Ukraine at a location she cannot disclose. Her voice sounds steady, undeterred by the wail of sirens in the background. An executive producer for Radio Culture at Suspilne, Ukraine’s public broadcasting company, she is normally responsible for a team of reporters, producers, and editors. Now, in war, she has become “an ordinary radio presenter.”

While reporting, Slavinska learned that her colleague Oleksandra Kuvshynova was the fixer killed alongside Fox News cameraperson Pierre Zakrzewski. “Unfortunately, this happens a lot to Ukrainian women journalists in war,” Slavinska said. Women reporters on the ground face the impossible trade-off of working or fleeing with their children and parents, she said. “And then, of course, there’s the issue of security in terms of sexual violence.”

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content