Donbas Frontliner reporters media project about Russian-Ukraine hybrid war 2021


We are raising funds to create an independent interactive media outlet covering the military conflict and the hybrid warfare of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. Project reporters will be physically present on the front lines 24 hours a day seven days a week. 

(read Ukrainian language version of the Donbas Frontliner project at the crowdfinding society)

Donbas Frontliner explainer video by Andriy Dubchak


It has been almost seven years since the Russian-Ukrainian War broke out. Yet it seems as if the amount of relevant interactively presented information and comprehensive frontline reports is decreasing on daily basis. Currently the conflict receives almost no coverage in the international media.

Why is this and what is the issue?

The issue is that there are no reporters physically present at the front lines. Even if they are present there, most of their work is done in a non-interactive manner, suitable for cliché TV coverage. Today, the TV viewers and social media viewers are two completely different target audiences.

I personally believe that if Ukrainian civil society was able to stop the Russian war machine by the means of volunteer efforts, it is more than capable of stopping the information aggression. I have a great deal of practical experience as a reporter. I was the first video streamer of the Euromaidan Revolution, I filmed and streamed most of the events during the revolution of dignity, including the atrocities that took place on February 18th, 19th and 20th of 2014. I covered the annexation of Crimea. I have been covering the Russian-Ukrainian war in Eastern Ukraine since the very beginning. 

Today I see an urgent need to create an innovative interactive media outlet about the Russian-Ukrainian war – Donbas Frontliner. A media outlet that will provide you with up-to-date information in a contemporary interactive manner ensuring ethical journalistic practices.  


“Forewarned is forearmed”

The project reporters will provide you with relevant, interesting and accurate information on the situation on the front line and in the adjacent areas.

Donbas Frontliner - soldier at the Russian - Ukraine war
During a firefight near Horlivka in June 2018, as bullets “buzz and squeal” overhead, a soldier races to replace a belt of machine-gun bullets (read: One Photographer’s War In Ukraine)
  • The information will be delivered in an interactive manner (more on that later).
  • It will be delivered in bite-sized forms – pictures, videos, text.
  • It will also be delivered in more detail – in the form of comprehensive long-reads with pictures and videos.
  • We will deliver video surveys that will provide an overview of social attitudes of the local population of different regions.
  • Everything will be delivered with the convenience of social media – Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter, YouTube, and websites.
  • It will be easy to digest, while at the same time ensuring ethical journalistic practices.

We will show you the whole picture of the subject (for example):

Donbas Frontliner - war children
Sofia, 6, is shy with visitors in Krasnohorivka
  • The war;
  • The military service members;
  • The civilians;
  • The social attitudes of different regions;
  • Current issues and different solutions;
  • The good.

Donbas Frontliner will also have products in English, delivering reliable up-to-date information on the conflict in the Eastern Ukraine to foreign media and representatives of foreign institutions.  

Donbas Frontliner interactivity example english
Example of English language interactivity in Social networks

Another crucial objective of the project is to show the social attitudes and daily life of people living in close proximity to Donbas, in crisis prone areas, such as Mykolaiiv, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and Kharkiv oblasts. These regions are the so-called terra incognita for the Ukrainian mass media. What is going on there? What are the locals thinking? What can we expect? And if there are issues, how can we tackle them?

By covering different events, we will be able to not only increase situational awareness, but also actually influence the situation in the most critical hot spots of the information war as well as the physical conflict with the Russian Federation in the East of Ukraine.  

“Speak, so that I may see you”

Interactivity is one of the key features of the contemporary media.

Instead of a traditional reporting approach “event-news-discussion” we will use a different approach “question to the community-reality (issue)-research-discussion”.

Donbas Frontliner project - real interactivity example
Real-time interactivity example

Our reporters are always online (if the security situation allows!). We are always available on Facebook and Instagram. We will announce all of our trips and research topics. So that you can always ask a reporter and talk to a real person, not a brand. You can ask clarifying questions. You can give advice or a comment. You can report an issue. You can actually help the people, whose stories we will be covering.

Together with us you can make a difference!

Project reporters and the outlet itself will become a functional platform for dialogue between Donbas and the rest of Ukraine, between locals and the government.  

“One in the field can stand with the shield, but victory always takes a team”

We are well aware of the fact that our resources will be very limited at the beginning. Therefore, the project will actively advertise our trips to other media. We will highlight topics and issues that might be later further explored by TV channels and internet-based media that have enough resources. 

Donbas Frontliner will actively assist international and Ukrainian reporters on the front lines, providing access, points of contact and topics (if you are interested, please contact me personally). All of that will be done to ensure the most comprehensive coverage of both, the physical and information aspect of the Russian-Ukrainian war, by Ukrainian and international media.

“If you want peace — keep your gunpowder dry”

Donbas Frontliner will support campaigns designed to combat Russian fake news and informational narratives. We ought to be ready and be there in case in case the conflict is exacerbated. If needed, our team will provide situational awareness and coverage of potential threats all over Ukraine.

Just small example of the reporting from the filed in real time:



There are many things we need.

Expenses during the trips:

  • fuel (a lot of it);
  • housing and food;
  • driver fees;
  • reporter salaries;
  • communication and Internet.


  • personal protection (body armor, helmets, accessories);
  • modern photo and video equipment for reporters (camera, lenses, accessories);
  • powerful laptop with software suitable for multimedia processing in the field;
  • laptop of the second reporter;
  • two action cameras;
  • compatible smart phones that can film high-resolution videos and pictures;
  • transport (rent a vehicle or a driver with the vehicle);
  • satellite internet antenna to scale activity in accordance with the scale of hostilities (long-term perspective);
  • High-zoom camera (long-term perspective);


  • licensed software for editing;
  • web-site (hosting).

Donbas Frontliner project is supported by the crowdfunding grant of the International Renaissance Foundation. What does that mean? If you help us and we raise the amount of money specified above the foundation will double it.

After the project launches and all of the processes are running smoothly in the field we are planning to conduct scaling.  



  • mobile team — two journalists doing everything and a driver (preferably).

Midterm perspective (three months after the launch):

  • mobile team;
  • another person added to the team for editing, site management and distribution.

Long-term perspective (6 months to a year after the launch):

  • two mobile teams: one covering Donbas, another one – other regions of Ukraine;
  • person working on editing and graphics;
  • person managing the website and distribution;
  • person managing social media.

The project is volunteer-based, but we will attempt to make a small profit after launch, which is quite difficult to do considering the limitations of the existing media market. But not all hope is lost.

Our Patreon:

Donbas Frontliner patreon link

We will be grateful if you tell your friends about us!

Thank you for participating in the project!

P.S. This an ambitious long-term project, so if you would like to participate not only by making a donation, but also by sharing ideas, contacts or equipment please reach out to me personally through:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *