14:19 GMT02 March 2021
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    Contributions by two Sputnik photojournalists have won awards at the world’s oldest photography competition, Pictures of the Year International (POYi), taking the highest awards in two categories, the agency's press service said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Sputnik’s Valery Melnikov won the Award of Excellence in the Portrait Series and Multimedia News Story categories, while his colleague Alexei Filippov took the second place in the Sports Feature category.

    The winning photographs are expected to be included in exhibitions around the world. Among other competition winners are famed photographers such as Scott Strazzante from the United States and  Francesco Zizola from Italy, among others.

    For the Portrait Series category, Melnikov submitted his project titled “Underground” about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine in September 2015.

    “I wanted to show the side of the conflict that is not shown in news… I’m simply showing the faces of Donbass residents hiding in cellars during bombing raids. But behind every face there is a tragic story and a desire to live, no matter what,” Melnikov said, speaking about the series.

    For the Multimedia News Story category, Melnikov submitted the “Black Days of Ukraine” multimedia photo and video testimonial, created in collaboration with photographer Andrei Lyubimov. The project is based on Melnikov’s eponymous photo series that won prestigious international awards, such as the World Report Award 2015, Visual Storytelling Award 2015, Sony WPA 2015 and Days Japan International Photo Journalism Award 2015, among others.

    Filippov participated with a photograph titled “Fencing.”  It depicts the reaction of Italy’s Martina Batini during the senior women’s foil team gold medal match at the 2015 World Fencing Championships in Moscow.

    POYi was launched in 1944. Its main distinguishing feature is that it covers various spheres of photography, including photojournalism, multimedia and visual editing.

    Sputnik Images is a photobank of Sputnik, an international news agency and radio network with multimedia news hubs in dozens of countries. Sputnik broadcasts through its websites, analog and digital radio, mobile apps and social media in over 30 languages. Sputnik newswires run around the clock in English, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.

    Sputnik websites are available in dozens of languages, including English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Serbian, Turkish, French and Hindi. Sputnik websites carry a variety of content, including infographics, video, photo essays, live video and audio streaming and Internet voting. In addition to prompt news release, Sputnik also publishes analytical materials and exclusive interviews.


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