With Ukraine's Kyiv Post shut down, journalists launch new independent media outlet

The day Kyiv Post was no longer in print. Image by SaveKyivPost from Twitter, used with permission.

The day Kyiv Post was no longer in print. Image by SaveKyivPost on Twitter, used with permission.

Kyiv Post, Ukraine's top English-language newspaper that had operated for over 25 years, suddenly stopped operations on November 8, 2021.

On the day, a cryptic update appeared on the newspaper's website, titled “Kyiv Post closes on Nov 8 for a short time.” In the update, owner Adnan Kivan thanked the newsroom team for their service and said he “hope[d] to reopen the newspaper bigger and better.”

Soon after, Kyiv Post journalists reported that the whole newsroom, with editor Brian Bonner at the helm, had been fired and said Kyiv Post “has been killed.” One of the reporters, Illia Ponomarenko, tweeted a statement from the editorial staff.

In the statement, reporters accused Kivan of seeking to limit their editorial independence by appointing a “hand-picked” editor to head the proposed Ukrainian-language expansion of the newspaper. They claimed that Kivan's plans to “reorganize” the newsroom amounted to “the owner getting rid of inconvenient, fair and honest journalists.”

Kivan, an Odesa-based construction tycoon who bought Kyiv Post in 2018, had previously promised to protect the newspaper's editorial independence.

Polina Sadovskaya, Eurasia program director for free expression advocacy group PEN America, cautioned that the closure of Kyiv Post served as “a warning signal about the state of independent journalism in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian journalists expressed solidarity with the Kyiv Post staff, highlighting their outsized role in covering Ukraine for English-language audiences. Myroslava Petsa, a reporter with BBC Ukrainian service, tweeted:

Writing for New Europe, Igor Kossov, former Kyiv Post news editor, said:

Even the death of a relatively small publication like the Kyiv Post makes independent media poorer, investigations less frequent, checks to power more dilute.

A new media outlet is born

On November 12, former Kyiv Post journalists and allies launched a new Twitter account and campaign, @savekyivpost, to rally against the unjust disbanding of their newsroom, and said they were exploring the idea of a new independent media outlet.

On November 15, the former newsroom team announced they were launching a new publication, with former deputy editor Olga Rudenko at the helm, and in partnership with Jnomics, a British-Ukrainian media consultancy company founded by two Kyiv Post alumni, Jakub Parusinski and Daryna Shevchenko.

Finally, November 22 saw the official launch of the new media outlet, The Kyiv Independent, founded by the exiled Kyiv Post reporters and editors. The team also launched a Patreon campaign to solicit crowdfunding support for the new publication.

By November 29, the newly launched Patreon already had over 500 subscribers who signed up to support the independent newsroom and consume its newly launched newsletter, Ukraine Daily.

The Kyiv Independent reporters also released a podcast, Media in Progress, documenting their work of building a new media outlet from scratch.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.