Inna Popovych

Entry type: Portfolio

Country/area: Ukraine

Publishing organisation: hromadske
Trap Aggressor

Organisation size: Small

Cover letter:

For 8 years, I was engaged in investigative journalism in the field of political corruption in Ukraine.

After the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Russia on the territory of our country, I began to investigate the crimes committed by Russian soldiers in our country. In particular, to study the origin of the details of the weapons used by Russia in this war. I was able to investigate elements of European and American origin in the Iranian Shahed-136 drones and in the Russian Iskander missiles. Canadian and US authorities responded to these investigations. Internal investigations are currently underway in these countries. They are investigating how components produced in the United States and Canada could end up in Iran and Russia.

I also worked on documentaries in 2022. In particular, I collected information and eyewitness accounts about the Russian occupation of the Chernobyl zone. In another material, I recorded the testimony and reproduced data from the diary of a woman who survived three months of occupation in Mariupol.

I believe that Ukrainian journalists have done a lot of important work in this difficult year of 2022. We documented crimes, collected testimonies, recorded important interviews and cooperated with law enforcement investigators. I sincerely hope that our work was not in vain.

Description of portfolio:

1. **”As if they kept a beast in a cage, and then let it out”: chronicles of the occupation of the Chernobyl zone**
_Inna Popovych – journalist, screenwriter, author._

I filmed my material in the already de-occupied territory, that is, I did not have to deal directly with military actions. But our country lives in a constant state of caution.
– The Chernobyl zone is an object of increased protection. To make filming possible, I had to obtain many permits from various special services, approvals, draw up many documents and pass several checks. At this stage, we succeeded!
– Next, I recorded interviews with several people who survived the Russian occupation. Such interviews also require special preparation and caution (it is necessary to take into account the traumatic experience that these people have experienced).
– It was difficult to find and obtain surveillance video and operational footage taken directly by the military or special services, but we did it.

2. **”I was there. Every blow of the bomb was on my heart!” — the mother of the deceased Azov man**
_Inna Popovych – journalist, screenwriter, author._

For almost three months, two women have been waiting for one body. For one it is the body of her son, for the other it is her husband. Natalya and Olya are the mother and wife of a soldier of the “Azov” regiment. Since 2015, he has been defending Ukraine. In the spring of 2022, together with other fighters, he defended Mariupol and Azovstal.

From the windows of her own house, Natalya Lepina saw bombs falling on Azovstal, a black mirage covering the horizon. She prayed, because she knew that her son was somewhere there, and she described her feelings in a diary. On April 15, all words lost their meaning.
“I live one day at a time. I don’t even fear for my life. I do not care. Rashka broke my life. My environment. They’re just beasts.”
Natalia knows strength. It passed “filtration”, got out of the occupied hell and is waiting.

3. **How did American parts get to Iran’s Shahed drone? | Trap Aggressor investigation**
_Inna Popovych – journalist, screenwriter, author._

Three hundred Iranian kamikaze drones have attacked Ukraine since September. While the leadership of Iran continues to deny deliveries of “mopeds” to Russia, the occupiers launch them at energy facilities and civilian homes.

Ukrainian intelligence officers disassembled the Shahed-136 in detail and found out that almost all components, as in other Iranian drones, are of American or European origin. Some of these parts are not under export control, so they can easily be bought online. However, in order to supply others, the Iranian manufacturer of kamikaze drones had to make machinations and enlist the support of third countries to circumvent sanctions.

Project links: