- Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.04.2023
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, 2022, Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate and defend the inhabitants of the Donbass region, where people have been suffering from a blockade and regular attacks by the Kiev regime's forces since 2014.

Winners of Andrei Stenin Contest 2023 Announced in Moscow

© PhotoRussian soldiers in Mariupol by Alexei Orlov
Russian soldiers in Mariupol by Alexei Orlov - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 20.10.2023
Andrei Stenin was a Russian photojournalist, who died in a Ukrainian shelling in 2014, while covering the conflict in the country. In his honor, the Andrei Stenin International Photo Contest was created This year, approximately 3,000 entries from 50 countries were submitted.
The winner of the Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest announced the winner of the Grand Prix as part of a ceremony at the international multimedia press center of the Rossiya Segodnya international news agency in Moscow.
The main award of the ninth competition was won by Russian journalist Alexei Orlov's black-and-white photo series "Blaze."
"The competition was born thanks to a tragic event – the death of our war correspondent in 2014. Back then, we did not yet call our correspondents and photographers that, at the place where the war began. And now we date the beginning of this war to 2014, and then we did not yet understand the scale of the flare-up process, but we already had the first losses in our journalistic corps. Unfortunately, this summer in Yekaterinburg we buried another correspondent of ours, war correspondent Rostislav Zhuravlev. This profession involves such risk and self-sacrifice. And, unfortunately, in this competition there is more war more than before, this probably reflects the global trend where the world is heading," said Dmitry Kiselev, director general of Rossiya Segodnya, Sputnik's parent media group.
He also noted that photographs are the creation of artistic images of the modern world, and thanks to them we understand the world more deeply, more acutely. According to Kiselev, we should expect something new in the next annual competition named after Stenin.
"Blaze" is a report on the events in Donetsk and Mariupol, shot less than a month after the start of the special military operation.
Symbiosis, My Planet, series, by Giacomo d'Orlando - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 03.07.2023
Online Vote Opens on 2023 Andrei Stenin Contest Website
This is how the photographer describes his work in the zone of the special military operation in March 2022:
"Those days were probably the hardest in my life because I saw people who endured through those events in Donetsk and Mariupol. My goal was to show the place as one collective image of a city whose peaceful days had come to an end," Alexei Orlov said.
"It is important to me as a documentary photographer. Of course, it is exciting because it is a major competition with many strong entries. This fact only drives me to give my very best," he added.
Along with the Grand Prix, the prizes won by all the shortlisted competitors were announced at the ceremony.
The awards ceremony also paid tribute to all shortlisted competitors, whose selected works will go on tour in galleries in India and the UAE early next year.
Ayman Yaqoob from Bahrain was singled out for his photo of a Houthi strike on a Saudi oil depot in Jeddah in the Top News category. In the My Planet category, Sayan Adhikary from India won the first prize for a black-and-white shot of Indian stilt-wearing fishermen, while Spanish documentary photographer Adra Pallon won the best series award for her report on the depopulation of rural Galicia.
In the Sports category, the top prize for the best single photo as well as the special prize from Al Mayadeen TV went to Russian photographer Edgar Breshchanov, who documented a football match in Moscow, while his fellow-citizen Sergei Bobylev won the best series award for his coverage of the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
In the Portrait category, a black-and-white phantasmagorical photo of a passerby by Russia’s Vladislav Nekrasov took best single, while French reporter Lucie Hodiesne Darras took best series with her "Inside View of Autism," featuring her brother Antoine.
The event at the Rossiya Segodnya international press-center launched an international tour of the winning works. In early 2024, the exhibition of selected works will be hosted by galleries in India and the UAE.

About the Contest

The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, organized by Rossiya Segodnya under the patronage of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, aims to support young photographers and draw public attention to the challenges of photojournalism today. It is a platform for young photographers – talented and sensitive individuals open to all things new – to highlight people and events near us.
General media partners: VGTRK (National State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company) (Russia), SMOTRIM online-platform (Russia), Rossiya-Kultura TV channel (Russia), Moskva-24 TV channel (Russia).
International media partners: Sputnik news agency and radio (International), RT TV channel and website (International), Independent Media (South Africa). ANA (South Africa), Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG) (China), China Daily (China), The Paper (China), Al Mayadeen (Lebanon).
Industry partners: Russian Union of Journalists (Russia), YOung JOurnalists (Russia), Russian Photo (Russia), Photo-study.ru (Russia).