Year Two: New Directions in Reporting from Ukraine and Moldova


Room 2.07 and Online

A distinguished panel of journalists and former journalists will offer ideas in a public forum and debate at Anglo-American University.

Year two of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine affects not only that nation, but also neighboring nations Belarus and Moldova. What are some new directions in covering all three countries?

This event will take place on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at 6.30 PM (CET) in room 2.07 and online.

Each panelist will offer a short presentation (15 minutes) on current work they are doing or would suggest regarding Belarus, Ukraine, or Moldova. All panelists except for Will Tizard, Mike Eckel, and moderator Andrew Giarelli will appear online. There will be time devoted to questions and discussion after the presentations are finished.

Moderator: Andrew Giarelli
Andrew L. Giarelli, Ph.D, is a literature and folklore scholar as well as a journalist. He has taught at New York University, Utah State University, and Portland State University in the United States; he has twice been a senior Fulbright lecturer (Malta 1993, Slovakia 2011). He is a senior lecturer in literature and journalism and chair of the Department of Arts, Culture, and Society at AAU. He also teaches in the Comparative Literature department at the University of Vienna. He has been following the War in Ukraine since before its beginning having published numerous articles from events in Slovakia and Moldova.

Speaker: Ksenia Churmanova
Ksenia is a reporter for BBC’s Russian news service. She recently published an investigative story on the young Chechen entrepreneur and crony of Chechen strongman, Ramzan Kadryov who has now being given partial ownership of the devastated Mariupol steel works that Russia says it will rebuild. Churmanova was previously a panelist at an AAU forum along with other Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Vaclav Havel Fellows, in 2016.

Speaker: Mike Eckel
Mike is a senior correspondent with RFE/RL, reporting on political and economic developments in Russia, Ukraine, and around the former Soviet Union, as well as news involving cybercrime, espionage, and corruption. Formerly based in Moscow, he’s reported on the wars in Chechnya and Georgia, the 2004 Beslan hostage crisis, the rise of the Putin regime, and the 2014 annexation of Crimea. He was reporting from the Donbas, and Kyiv, at the time that Russia launched its invasion on February 24, 2022. His latest story is about how Russia is quietly moving toward a new recruitment campaign, to bolster the ranks of its military fighting in Ukraine.

Speaker: Alina Koushyk
Alina is a former anchor of the Belsat TV international politics show PraSvet, has recently been appointed by legitimate President-in-exile Sviatlana Tsikhanouskayaya to the Belarus United Transitional Cabinet as Representative for National Revival. She was previously a guest in AAU’s International Media class in Fall 2021, just before Russia’s Ukraine invasion. Koushyk will discuss how journalists and students can cover and expand their knowledge of Belarusian culture even as it now suffers under a ruthless pro-Putin dictatorship.

Speaker: Irina Sterpu
Irina is a Chisinau-based digital media journalist for Moldova’s Vocea Basarabiei. Previously she has worked as a social media journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Moldovan Bureau for 4 years. She is reporting about international news currently, but also is responsible for some reporting linked with the Russia-Ukraine war at the border of Moldova.  She earned her BA in journalism and media studies from AAU. Last April she organized a visit by Professor Andrew Giarelli, panel moderator, to her endangered country’s borders with Ukraine and close to the territory controlled by Russia, called Transnistria. 

Speaker: Will Tizard
Will is a multimedia producer for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague. He versions RFE/RL’s dramatic reports coming from the war’s front lines for international audiences, with stories ranging from Bakhmut battles to features on subjects like a 65-year-old Ukrainian volunteer, done together with correspondent Yevhenia Nazarova. Tizard was previously a journalism lecturer at AAU and faculty advisor to the student newspaper Lennon Wall.

Speaker: Oleksandr Zamkovoi
Oleksandr is a fact-checker and analyst at, a project of the Ukrainian media NGO Media Reforms Center founded in 2014, with TV and radio shows and a strong social media presence. He has been combating Russian propaganda since 2020.