Annual report 2021


After the coronavirus vaccine began mass distribution, it was expected that the fight against the corona crisis would unite the world in building back after the pandemic’s devastating effects. However, in 2021, Ukraine had to defend not only against the coronavirus, but also against other "parasites."

"Authoritarianism is spreading in all corners of the earth. Human values are the pillars of civilization that protect the most vulnerable — under threat,” explains The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) of the events of 2021. Authoritarian tactics have taken on even more blurred hybrid forms, making even the strongest democracies vulnerable.

These realities also affected Ukraine. With the growing Russian army on the borders, propaganda attacks, disinformation, and digital threats — we had to defend ourselves from everywhere.

Our team made every effort to effectively confront these challenges. The projects we implemented were designed to simultaneously develop democratic changes and protect those already established. Read on to see how we fought the battle.


In 2021, we implemented the unique international project ARTIFAKE, which promotes media literacy with the help of street art.

The online workshop attracted street artists from Ukraine, Poland, and Armenia. These artists discussed media literacy and the role of art in developing critical thinking. They then created thematic murals and installations in the Ukrainian cities of Kakhovka, Bakhmut, and Tokmak, as well as in Poland and Armenia.

The project also produced a comic about media literacy, Instagram hashtag campaigns, and quizzes on the ability to distinguish the truth from fakes.

Another challenge was the fight against fakes and manipulation from Russian propaganda. We were able to improve Ukrainians’ media literacy and information security with online training "ANTIBOT: How to confront information manipulations," a free online Information security course, and a number of research articles.

We also created a Media Literacy Guide with 10 must-know basic skills to counter fakes and manipulation.


In 2021, our team began to use TikTok in communications for social changes. One of the most successful cases was the #ценорм campaign, a part of our “Visible” information campaign that promotes tolerance of underrepresented groups in the East of Ukraine.

Our short films with stories of outstanding people from marginalized demographics collected more than 5.6 million views. Bloggers and influencers also joined the hashtag campaign.

Our campaign reached twelve cities in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, as well as the city of Kherson. Together with the radio stations Klass, Free Radio, Radio M, and UA: Radio Pulse, our project team prepared 25 programs on various topics, including problems of ethnic communities, immigrants and discrimination, LGBTQ+ issues, inclusion in schools, and support for the elderly.

Another successful social advertising campaign was our campaign fighting against violence against children in Ukraine, implemented with the support of the Council of Europe. Our videos featuring popular TikTok bloggers about preventing sexual violence against children and teenagers received more than 1.3 million views in 2 weeks.

We put out another hashtag, #ПравоБутиСобою (Right to be Yourself) on Instagram as part of the project "Diversity Enriches: Coverage of the contribution of ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT people to Ukrainian society." Social media users talked about why it is important to preserve their uniqueness. Our journalists also covered tolerance and equality in a number of materials for leading national publications.

In order to draw attention to the problem of gender-based violence, Internews Ukraine, together with the United Nations Population Fund, launched two media campaigns. We cooperated with Radio ROKS to create the special project "About What's Personal" and released more than 100 radio segments on healthy relationships.

In November, with the support of our team, 30 cities of Ukraine successfully carried out the "16 Days Against Violence" campaign. We also organized 6 trainings for youth center workers on healthy and toxic relationships.

In addition, we developed a methodological manual on practices to prevent domestic and gender-based violence for communities. It became the basis of a new five-year program from the United Nations Population Fund in Ukraine.


Together with the East Europe Foundation, we developed the Civic Leadership Academy (CLA), a training program to strengthen the capacity of the leaders in the public sector in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson Oblasts.

175 students gained new knowledge in strategy, democratic instruments, project management, communications, and advocacy over the course of 7 months.

During the summer, the Academy held a hackathon of public activity. Under the mentorship of experts, participants developed concepts for future projects as part of a competition, and the winners received 200 thousand UAH to carry them out.

As a result of the training course and a communication audit of our 12 participating organizations, we produced our "Guide for effective Communications for NGOs." It contains professional advice on communication development for NGOs, links to useful materials, instructions, and courses.

To strengthen the potential of young women in 20 communities in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, we told them about “Women, Peace and Security on the Local Level” Agenda. As a result of the offline training event, participants created “Young Leaders of Peace Building of Donetsk Oblast” and “Young Leaders of Peace Building of Luhansk Oblast” informal associations. They also launched an interactive platform to counter gender-based violence as part of the national "16 Days Against Violence” campaign.


In order to overcome stereotypes about Crimean Tatars and share their culture, Internews Ukraine produced the short documentary Mountain Breeze, which we started working on as part of the "Variety Enriches" project.

In April, the film was one of 26 winning submissions selected from 330, which entitled it to receive financial and expert support. The story is based on the stories of three Crimean Tatars who were forced to leave their homeland after the start of the Russian occupation and find new homes in mainland Ukraine.

A private screening took place during the first Crimean Platform summit. Then, in order to attract more international attention to the issue of Crimea, we organized a tour for more than 20 journalists from all over Europe and Canada for this event.

Thanks to our efforts, the participants not only attended the summit, but were also introduced to Crimean Tatar culture and met with activists and cultural figures. As a result of this project, these journalists published articles in international outlets like Le Monde, Politico, EL PAÍS, Gazeta Wyborcza, and more.


In 2021, the English-language media team at UkraineWorld continued to create materials on current events in Ukraine and fight against Russian propaganda and fakes common among foreign and Ukrainian audiences.

As soon as the threat of a full-scale invasion of Russia became clearer, the team of the site started a special live blog which provided constant updates of critical information.

Our "Explaining Ukraine" podcast garnered 38 thousand plays on SoundCloud alone. Guests included famous foreign intellectuals like British journalist Peter Pomerantsev, security expert James Sherr, and historian Ketryn Yanger.

The UkraineWorld team also created two successful video series: "Stories from Ukraine" in English and “Values Through Stories” in Ukrainian. The “Values Through Stories” series included 60 of the most interesting initiatives supported by the International Renaissance Foundation in 2021 from almost all oblasts of Ukraine, and told the stories of people who embody European values on the ground. These include people creating bold cultural objects in Mariupol, Bakhmut and Odessa, promoting responsible consumption, and protecting the rights of national minority communities. These video projects garnered over a million views on Facebook alone.

Also, together with partners in the Czech organization European Values Center for Security Policy, UkraineWorld launched regular English-language informational digests about the influence of the Kremlin in Belarus, as well as Russian-language digests about the main events and trends in Belarus.


As part of a USAID Program, we worked to make the work of the Verkhovna Rada more accessible to Ukrainians. For this purpose, the parliament held Parliament Day information sessions in Volyn, Khmelnytsky, Lviv, and Kharkiv Oblasts; in addition to 15 trainings, online consultations, and other events with the participation of 1657 law-makers; 2 strategic sessions with the staff of the Verkhovna Rada; and 4 meetings with foreign experts in the field of parliamentary communications from Germany, Poland, and the USA.

The USAID “Rada: Next Generation” Program, launched by Internews Ukraine in autumn 2021, will further strengthen parliamentarism in Ukraine. Over the course of 5 years, it will promote next-generation reforms which will allow the Verkhovna Rada to become a modern, effective institution for the democratic development of Ukraine.


Together with the State Property Fund of Ukraine and Prozorro.Sales, we carried out the Privatization for All communication campaign. Speaking about the success of privatization reform in Ukraine, we proved that transparent and fair privatization is possible!

The campaign resulted in special projects on and Ekonomichna Pravda on examples of successful privatization, projects in 5 regional media outlets, videos on positive results of the reform, 5 educational webinars, and 4 round tables.

In 2021, our team completed a two-year communication campaign for the New Ukrainian School (NUS) reform campaign, together with the Learning Together project. Articles in popular online outlets about key changes and new principles of primary education in Ukraine were viewed more than 530 thousand times, while Facebook posts on the project received 2.5 million views.

In addition, 35 Ukrainian journalists received mini-grants to prepare materials on the NUS. The materials produced from these grants were viewed more than 7 million times.

Another component of the project worked to strengthen the positive image of the Ukrainian language and its importance in the life of national minority communities in Chernivtsi and Zakarpattia Oblasts. News outlets in these two oblasts, including Ungvar 21, Slovo Pravdy newspaper, the online editions of Varosh, Kárpá, Infopost, Karpataljalap, BucPress, and Libertatea received 32 grants to create materials promoting the use of Ukrainian. We also carried out a two-day online workshop called UKRAINIAN MOWA: New opportunities for studying devoted to the study of the Ukrainian language.

In order to emphasize the importance of energy efficiency and encourage companies to implement energy saving measures, our team provided communication support to the German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) project, Enterprise Energy Efficiency Consulting.

We presented 5 articles on energy efficiency to important managers and representatives of business, 14 leading Ukrainian companies took part in the #модЕЕрнізовані hashtag campaign for energy-efficient enterprises. The project was viewed by 250 thousand passengers on Intercity+ trains, and the media campaign on energy efficiency promotion received more than 217 thousand views on Facebook.

Our project team also organized a number of lectures on energy efficiency in leading business schools and business associations.


During 2021, we published 472 materials on the platform Internet Freedom, which garnered a total of over 50 thousand views, along with 174 thousand views on its Facebook page. The website continues to advocate for a free Internet, monitors digital rights in Ukraine and abroad, and analyzes Internet legislation.

In September, Internews Ukraine experts presented the Index of Personal Data Protection 2021, which featured the results of a survey of corporate policies of 20 Ukrainian technology companies. Among them were Kyivstar,, Rozetka,, and The study was the first adaptation of the Ranking Digital Rights methodology in Europe.

Lawyers and experts in digital technologies assessed each company’s compliance with Ukrainian and European personal data legislation, examining what data is collected correctly, how it is used, and whether it is stored securely. The project was among the 60 most interesting initiatives supported by the International Renaissance Foundation in 2021.

Over the course of the year, experts from our project Digital Security School DSS380 provided more than 30 consults to journalists and editors on internet security, improving the protection of personal and editorial data. The teams at First Kryvyi Rih,,, local media development agency "ABO," independent television and radio company "IRTA," Ukrainian radio, and other media outlets were able to expand their knowledge on digital security. In cooperation with UP.Zhyttya,,, public radio, and Radio Liberty, we prepared 30 useful articles on digital protection.


Over the course of 2021, our team carried out 58 projects. We organized and conducted 120 events with 5590 participants. In addition, we distributed 566 grants to Ukrainian editors and presented 100 video products. During the year, our site was visited by 167 447 users, and 1395 new subscribers began to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages.

In 2022, we will continue to fight for the free, European future of Ukraine. Thank you for helping us transform ideas and ambitions into real change with us. We are sure that the opponents of the democratic world will suffer a striking defeat, and we "will make our glorious Ukraine rejoice!"