Finalist, Rory Peck Award for NewsSponsored by Rory Peck Award for News

Mstyslav Chernov (Ukrainian)

November 2016 - March 2017, Iraq


Commissioned and broadcast by Associated Press

Mstyslav was embedded with the first division of the Iraqi special forces as they moved into east Mosul in November 2016, encountering fierce resistance from so-called Islamic State (IS) fighters and sending thousands of civilians fleeing. He returned in March, 2017 where Iraqi forces battling IS group militants continued their approach on the mosque in the western part of the city. This series of video stories, shot and edited for Associated Press, shows the difficulties encountered by Iraqi forces, the complexities and dangers of urban warfare and the plight of vulnerable civilians and families caught up in the conflict. 


Mstyslav began his professional career at the Ukrainian News Agency. As a photographer he was a member of ‘Unframe’ - a collective of international photojournalists, working with Le Monde, The Times, Guardian, Independent and BBC. He started freelancing for Associated Press in 2014, working as a fixer in eastern Ukraine before becoming a major contributor to its visual and text report. He has also participated in projects for the United Nations, the International Red Cross Society and other international NGOs related to health care and social services in Ukraine. He has spent the past three years covering the biggest stories in Europe and the Middle East. 

The Rory Peck Award for News is sponsored by:

Judges Comments

“All of Mstyslav’s images are captured so cleanly and clearly. Sharp as a pin; he has a real photographer’s eye. His quick-thinking decision to jump onto the humanitarian aid truck as it pulls away shows what an instinct he has for the right image. Every sequence is a vignette, and shot after shot after shot gives the complete story without narration - I was quite overwhelmed by that. This is hugely impressive in a collation of agency rushes.”