Victoria Roshchyna Bold Ukrainian Reporter Missing Since 3 August

A highly acclaimed journalist Victoria Roshchyna, recognised for her brave reporting on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has mysteriously disappeared.

According to her family and friends, there has been no contact with award-winning Ukrainian reporter Victoria Roshchyna, aged 26, since August 3rd, when she embarked on a journey back to the Russian-occupied territory with the intention of documenting further atrocities committed by the invading forces.

Her family is deeply concerned that she may be in the custody of Russian authorities.

Award-Winning Ukrainian Reporter Escapes Russian Detention

In 2022, the Russian military had previously detained award-winning Ukrainian reporter Victoria Roshchyna twice, who had won the Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation the previous year. However, following each of these incidents, she managed to escape and courageously returned to the front lines to continue documenting the ongoing humanitarian crises.

Award-winning Ukrainian reporter Victoria Roshchyna’s mother, father, and sister are filled with sorrow and grief.“To my daughter, journalism was the most important thing in her life; she was very devoted to her profession,” Vladimir Roshchyn told

“I asked her to slow down after her first captivity, I said, ‘Vika, I can pay your salary, just please don’t go to the front’ but she was firm, unstoppable—she was not able to stop covering the news of this war on the occupied territories for her readers.”

According to her father, Award-winning Ukrainian reporter Victoria Roshchyna set off from Ukraine to Poland on July 27 and was expected to reach Russian-occupied territories in eastern Ukraine—via Russia—three days later. When they spoke to her on Aug. 3, she told them she had made it through days of border checks but did not tell them exactly where she was. She was first reported missing to the Ukrainian authorities on Aug. 12.

On September 21, the family formally reported a missing persons case to the Security Service of Ukraine, the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporary Occupied Territories of Ukraine, and the Ombudsman.

“The Ukrainian security service confirms to us that Victoria has been captured by Russia. Public officials tell us that there are many ‘frozen’ Ukrainian detainees in Russian jails, she might be among them,” Roshchyn told

The Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group, which offers legal assistance to families of Ukrainian citizens who have gone missing, reported that numerous individuals are being held in Russian-occupied areas without any formal recognition, and these undisclosed captives are commonly known as “frozen” prisoners.

“We have many so-called ‘frozen’ cases of our citizens who were detained on the occupied territories during the war but Russian authorities did not register them at any jail,” the group’s attorney, Yevgenia Kopalkyna, . “The missing people can be kept in these jails for months without any help from defence lawyers; it is impossible to find them unless somebody who gets released tells us that they’ve seen them.”

Svetlana Gannushkina’s Efforts to Locate Victoria Roshchyna

Svetlana Gannushkina, a prominent Russian advocate with a history of activism and a co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Memorial Human Rights organization in 2022, stated that she had inquired about Roshchyna’s location from the office of Russia’s Human Rights Commissioner, Tatyana Moskalkova.“Unfortunately, I have not received any response yet,” she told. “The answer can take more than a month, there are many requests.”

Svetlana Gannushkina's Efforts to Locate Victoria Roshchyna
Svetlana Gannushkina’s Efforts to Locate Victoria Roshchyna

Award-winning Ukrainian reporter Victoria Roshchyna, a freelance journalist, was employed by Hromadske Media at the time Russia launched a comprehensive invasion of Ukraine. Her native city, Zaporizhzhia, was under heavy artillery bombardment, and the neighboring Donetsk region was facing extensive devastation. Despite millions of people fleeing the country, Roshchyna remained dedicated to her reporting duties amidst the invasion.

On March 7 of the previous year, she encountered a group of Russian tanks that opened fire in the direction of her vehicle. Despite the danger, she persisted in submitting thorough reports on the tanks, artillery, and violence inflicted on her home by Russia.

One week later, she found herself in a perilous situation. Russian military personnel apprehended her in Vasilivka village, a chilling encounter she later shared with her editors at Hromadske. Desperate to escape, she somehow managed to break free and seek shelter in a basement for the night.

Speaking Truth and Fulfilling Professional Duty

The following morning, with determination coursing through her veins, she approached her driver, urging him to accompany her across a field to safety. Unfortunately, he declined, leaving her with a difficult decision. At first, she braved the uncertain path to freedom alone, her footsteps echoing in the silence of the countryside. However, as she advanced, a change of heart swept over her. With a renewed resolve to find her driver and ensure his safety, she went back the way she had come.

On March 11, 2022, she found herself detained once more, this time by Russia’s FSB, as she was en route to Mariupol, as detailed in her own account of the abduction. She recounted being blindfolded, having her belongings confiscated, and enduring a week-long period of captivity, primarily at the Berdyansk camp. During this time, she was charged with being a Ukrainian intelligence operative.
After her release, she headed back to her hometown of Zaporizhzhia, purchased new equipment, and resumed her coverage of the ongoing conflict.

When she was honoured with the IWMF award, she articulated her reasons for not giving in: “I never hesitated to speak the truth. It’s essential for people to be aware of the facts, and those responsible must face consequences. I view it as fulfilling my professional obligation, not an act of bravery.”

Award-winning Ukrainian reporter Victoria Roshchyna penned heart-wrenching narratives, detailing accounts from occupied Energodar, where Russians seized control of Europe’s largest nuclear power station, and from Huliaipole, depicting life amid relentless bombardment.

She dedicated herself to reporting on the urban occupation within her nation, despite lacking prior experience as a war correspondent. Despite her editors expressing worries about her safety, she consistently asserted, “This is the most crucial narrative.”

Victoria Roshchyna Award-winning Ukrainian reporter
Victoria Roshchyna Award-winning Ukrainian reporter

Sevgil Musaieva, the editor-in-chief of Ukrainska Pravda, collaborated with Roshchyna last year. Musaieva described her as a courageous journalist who fearlessly covers the most contentious issues. Musaieva emphasised that Roshchyna is not a spy but a genuine journalist who is deeply concerned about the well-being of those residing in occupied territories. For Roshchyna, sharing the stories of these people is a crucial and meaningful undertaking.

“I am calling for Ukrainian authorities to do everything to find her and for Russian authorities to immediately release journalist Victoria Roshchyna.”

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