Aleksei Aleksandrov, 2021 winner
Aleksei Aleksandrovwas Current Time’s first full-time correspondent in Moscow, joining the team in 2017. He reported live from numerous opposition demonstrations, often risking his own safety; he was once detained by police live on the air while covering a rally in Moscow. Despite pressure from Russia’s FSB security service. Aleksei fearlessly reported from Crimea about the oppression of Crimean Tatars and resistance to Russia’s forcible annexation. He made a documentary for Current Time about the people who survived the 2004 Beslan school siege and produced a series of reports from Vladikavkaz about the anniversary of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict and from Abkhazia about how people in the self-declared republic now live.
In June 2021, Aleksei was the first Current Time reporter to be moved to Kyiv, Ukraine where – underscoring his commitment to getting the story – he conducted an exclusive interview within hours of arrival with a prominent Russian opposition politician who was also fleeing a near-certain prison sentence in Russia. Aleksei now co-hosts Current Time’s daily Morning program, produced in Kyiv; continues to vital news stories in Russia, such as a recent prison abuse scandal; and hopes to return to Russia one day to resume news reporting on the ground without pressure from authorities.
For security reasons, we cannot disclose the full list of names of staff who have been forced to leave their countries, but in the past year a significant number of RFE/RL journalists working in Russia, Afghanistan, and Belarus have had to flee their native lands as a direct result of their dedication to reporting the news in countries that seek to suppress a free press.
As it has for more than seven decades, RFE/RL and its journalists serve as a beacon of truth and freedom in societies like those in Russia, Afghanistan, and Belarus where the governments in power seek to control what their people—our audiences—can and can’t know. The continuation of this work outside the borders of those countries by RFE/RL’s brave and committed journalists, represented here by Aleksei and Maryana, will have an enormous impact on the communities that our journalists have left behind, who otherwise would not have access to objective news and information.