18:29 GMT22 June 2021
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    Sputnik photojournalist Valery Melnikov was awarded first prize in the World Press Photo 2017 competition.

    AMSTERDAM (Sputnik) – Valery Melnikov's collection of photographs, titled "Black Days of Ukraine", won the top award in the Long-Term Projects category at the prestigious photojournalism event. The winning photos, depicting the human cost of the conflict in Ukraine, were taken over a three-year period, starting in 2014 during Melnikov’s assignments to South East Ukraine.

    Local residents escape from a fire in the house destroyed in the Ukrainian armed forces' air attack on the village of Luganskaya
    © Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov
    Local residents escape from a fire in the house destroyed in the Ukrainian armed forces' air attack on the village of Luganskaya

    Sputnik photojournalist Valery Melnikov said: "Looking through the camera lens, I tried to show the horror of what was happening. I have mixed feelings about this award: on the one hand, I'm happy to be recognized as a journalist and professional, while at the same time I feel sorrow for the people and civilians facing hardship. Many journalists across the world perform the essential task of providing photo coverage of military conflicts and tragedies, often risking their lives."

    Valery Melkinov's powerful and evocative photo-series, "Black Days of Ukraine," offers a stark depiction of the human side of the conflict between rebels and the government-led army in the country. The series brings the lives of civilians, children, soldiers, and many others living in the war-torn country into sharp focus, with an emphasis on the impact on the lives of the people living there. An accomplished photojournalist, Valery Melnikov's work in Ukraine has seen him win awards including the Bourse de Talent in France and the Magnum Photography Award in the United States.

    The World Press Photo competition is the largest and most prestigious annual collection of awards given in the photojournalism profession. The competition, founded in Amsterdam, dates back to 1955; a separate annual competition for multimedia productions was created in 2011. Since 1994, World Press Photo has also run the Joop Swart Masterclass, which offers mentoring to aspiring young photographers.

    Sputnik Images is the photo bank of Sputnik International News Agency and Radio. Its award winning photojournalists have won a litany of awards in the field, including the World Press Photo, Magnum Photograph Award, and the Picture of the Year International Award.

    Sputnik (sputniknews.com) is a news agency and radio network with multimedia news hubs in dozens of countries. Sputnik broadcasts through its websites in over 30 languages, as well as on analogue and digital radio, mobile apps, and social media. Sputnik newswires are available by subscription, 24/7 in English, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.


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    photography, photo contest, World Press Photo, Valery Melnikov, US, Ukraine, Russia
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