04 The Olivier Rebbot Award 2022

Best photographic news reporting from abroad published in any medium

AWARD NAME: The Olivier Rebbot Award 2022
RECIPIENT: Justyna Mielnikiewicz
AFFILIATION: The Wall Street Journal
HONORED WORK: “The War in Ukraine: Portraits of Resilience and Resistance”

Justyna Mielnikiewicz’s coverage of the war in Ukraine shows us strength, resilience, the devastation of loss, humor, and, above all, humanity. In a conflict that has been covered by dozens if not hundreds of photographers, Mielnikiewicz’s visual and storytelling style is uniquely her own. She expertly manages the most difficult challenge of news photography: her work is both an intimate view of the lives of Ukrainians and a showcase of the larger geopolitical implications of the war.

See a slide show of the winning images:

Four days prior to the Feb. 24, 2022 invasion, civilians lined up to learn how to administer first aid, create Molotov cocktails and use weapons. Around the time of the start of the conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Ukraine as a country led by a “gang of drug addicts and neo-Nazis." Instead, the invasion sparked a year of Ukrainian defiance in the face of Russian aggression, as many civilians joined territorial defense groups, took in refugees and persevered in the face of widespread power cuts caused by Russian attacks on infrastructure. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Eva is a gaming developer taking a combat-training session in Lviv, Ukraine, March 2. 2022. She  fled Crimea when the Russians annexed the peninsula in 2014 and then escaped Kyiv in the first days of the invasion. She was later sent to the frontline to fight. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

The invasion of Feb 24, 2022 is an escalation of a war that began with the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 following the Maidan Revolution. Kravchenko Ludmyla photographed in Nosivka, Ukraine, on May 18, 2022 is a veteran of the 2014 war. When Russian troops advanced on Chernihiv in February, Ludmyla organized local civilians to build checkpoints and patrol the village with nothing more than hunting rifles and homemade Molotov cocktails. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Nelya Shastun photographed in Kyiv April 30, 2022. The older of Nelya Shastun’s two sons died fighting invading Russian forces in Mariupol. Her younger son, 24-year-old Nikita, was stuck in the city’s besieged Azovstal steel plant. For weeks she received messages from him during the siege, voicing fears of death from starvation or enemy fire. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

City officials in Kyiv ordered the removal of a Soviet-era sculpture dedicated to Ukrainian-Russian friendship.  Spectators watched the removal from atop a memorial to Ukrainian Cossacks April 26, 2022. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Svistun Yuri was injured in a rocket attack on his building in November, 2022. Russian attacks on the local hydropower station have left the hospital where Mr. Yuri has been staying with power outages. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

A man works out in Kachalka, an outdoor gym in the center of Kyiv made of scrap metal and other found objects, May 20, 2022. Built during the Soviet era, it is maintained by those who use it and is often called the world's most hardcore gym. People continue to work out here despite the war and recent attacks on Kyiv. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

A worker in the luxury Kyiv Premier Palace Hotel removes 'Moscow' from one of the reception clocks, May 16, 2022. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Marina Stanietskaya photographed in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, August 18, 2022. Originally from Mariupol, Ms. Stanietskaya transformed the nightclub where she worked into a shelter and hospital early in the war. She now manages a restaurant in Zaporizhzhia, hiring workers who, like her, fled from Mariupol. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

On Ukrainian Independence Day, the government opened an exhibition where locals can see the remnants of cruise missiles and other conventional rockets laid out on the streets of Kyiv, Aug. 24, 2022. Six months into the war, cruise missiles remain the most feared of Russian weapons. As of August 2022, the Ukrainian Government estimates Russia has fired close to 3500 rockets at Ukraine. Though some have targeted military infrastructure, the majority have hit civilian targets. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Petro Korol photographed in Bucha, Ukraine, May 21, 2022. Korol is the owner of a local funeral parlor named King, which serves the Bucha community and is located next to Bucha morgue. He has taken care of funerals for soldiers and civilian victims of the Russian invasion. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Mikhayl, the 9-year-old son of a member of the Zaporizhzhia Territorial Defense Unit, tries on a gas mask at the Military Sport Club Vognik in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, May 24, 2022. The school switched its operation to safety training for civilians and soldiers as well as becoming a volunteer center for collecting and providing a wide spectrum of the aid to soldiers following the Russian invasion. Photo: Justyna Mielnikiewicz

Citation for Excellence:
Oded Balilty
The Associated Press
“The Separation Barrier”