The results of Cross Border Journalism project, winter session 2015-2016


Participants of the Cross Border project Natalia and Emine are discussing their project idea at the first meeting with their mentor.


Journalistic materials created by the first season participants of the Cross Border Journalism project were recognized by British The Guardian, broadcast on TV channels in several countries, and nominated for an international journalism award.

Hundreds of thousands of readers and viewers learned about the life stories of people for whom there are no borders, commented and discussed Kazaks and Russians living along the youngest land border, Belarusians who left for Siberia, migrants from Donbas, and life in the Russian regions under food embargo.

The participants told us about their projects:

Natalia Kostyukevich, Belarus

“Together with photographer Emine Ziyatdinova we worked on the project about migrants from a town in Donbas shaken by armed conflict. In three weeks we visited Siberia in Russia, Grodno in Western Belarus, Warsaw in Poland and Lvov in Ukraine. No matter where people migrated running from military operations, they had to start their lives from scratch looking for housing, job, friends…       

We tried to honestly tell previously untold stories of people, who are building their home in a new land”. 

A series of materials under the title “Shelter” is published in

Elena Ostanina, Kiev

“Last summer I moved from Moscow to Kiev. There was just one hour time difference between the cities back then, but the people had less and less information on how their neighbors live and it seems they had no interest in learning. Even small neighboring border towns located just a few kilometers from each other seemed to be divided by a real border that was far from being just a formality. That’s why I got interested in Cross Border Journalism program and together with another project participant Vasily Belko made my way to borderline provincial Ukrainian town of Glukhov in order to tell how the neighbors divided by a real border live there now”.

The article titled “Ukrainian town with a French mayor” appeared in EUROMAG. It’s about the Ukrainian borderline town of Glukhov, where local citizens elected French Michele Tereshchenko as a mayor and now together create a new image of this provincial place.

Elena, Perm, Russia:

The project on the consequences of food embargo titled “Without cheese, but with tomatoes: comparing the effect of two waves of sanctions on Prikamye” published by our participant in “News of Perm” Internet portal.

Maxim Kurnikov, Orenburg, Russia:

Mini-series road story “Orenburg – Orenbor. 6500 km” produced by Maxim.

In his blog Maxim explained the project idea: “I decided to see what’s on the mind of people living along the border between Russia and Kazakhstan, what languages they speak at home, what religions coexist there, what traditions they have preserved”.

Together with the cameraman, we covered as much as 6500 km from Orenburg in the West to Ridder in the East and back. We crossed the border six times, visited 5 Russian and 5 Kazakhstan regions, interviewed dozens of people. We planned to produce a 30 minutes coverage, but we ended up with 8 series”.

Video feedback by the participants of Cross Border Journalism project.