Friday, April 25, 2014

Fellowship News

Ukraine -- Natalie Sedletska Reports From Euromaidan, December 2013.

Recovered Yanukovych Documents Dripping With Secrets

Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow Natalie Sedletska has been combing through a soggy paper trail left by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych when he fled to Russia in February. More

Ivan Beliaev

Thinking Globally, Reporting Locally

A Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow uses his mic to remind Russians that there is civic life beyond the capital. More

2013-2014 Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellow Ildar Gabidullin.

Tartar Journalist Covers Crimea For Audiences East And West

Ildar Gabidullin has been reporting on events in Crimea for Tatar-speaking audiences, while explaining the region’s minority politics to audiences in the West. More

More Fellowship News

Havel's Legacy

Czech Republic -- Former Czech President Vaclav Havel speaks at RFE/RL editorial meeting, Prague 27Mar2007

U.S. Congress Pays Tribute to Havel

In a tribute to Vaclav Havel, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution to place a bust of the former Czech president in the U.S. Capitol's Freedom Foyer. More

Meet the Fellows

Class of 2013-2014

Ivan Beliaev
Ivan Beliaev
Ivan Beliaev is a regional political and business editor from Russia’s northwest Vologda region who is fulfilling his Fellowship with RFE/RL’s Russian Language Service.  Among his accomplishments during the Fellowship, he has pioneered a weekly radio show called “Russia in Motion,” which reports on grassroots movements -- from veterans movements, to soccer fan clubs, to independent labor unions -- in small towns across Russia.  Previously, Beliaev was a co-editor and presenter of the daily news talk show “Agenda” on Vologda’s Radio Premier, and was a commentator on regional politics and economics for Premier’s print edition.  He also contributed to several regional magazines, including "Business and Power" and "Parliamentary Dialogue." Over the last six years, he has held numerous other editorial positions with online, radio and print outlets, providing a rare independent perspective in a region overwhelmingly controlled by State-run media. Beliaev studied philology at the Vologda State Pedagogical University. He is a native of Vologda, a province in northwestern Russia and, in addition to Russian, speaks English.

Ildar Gabidullin
Ildar Gabidullin
Ildar Gabidullin, a journalist with extensive experience reporting on politics and cultures East and West, is fulfilling his Fellowship in Prague with RFE/RL’s Tatar-Bashkir Language Service.  During his Fellowship, he has reported on the Crimean Tartar minority in Ukraine and ethnic politics in the Russian Federation. Previously, Gabidullin worked as a news reporter for Kazan’s Tartar-language TNV television channel. During 2011 - 2012 he lived and worked in Turkey, where he freelanced for several media outets in Tatarstan on issues relating to politics, culture and minority rights.  He has also reported from Syria, Egypt and Iran. Gabidullin started his journalistic career in 2009, covering politics and economics for Kazan’s “Shahri” newspaper. He has a Masters degree in Journalism from Turkey’s Marmara University, and is currently studying journalism at Kazan Federal University, where he received a degree in Oriental Studies in 2010.  A native of of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation, Gabidullin has command of several languages in addition to Tatar, including Russian, Turkish, Arabic and English.

Natalia Sedletska
Natalia Sedletska
Natalia Sedletska is an investigative journalist in Ukraine who is fulfilling her Fellowship with RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Language Service.  During her Fellowship, she reported actively on the country's "Euromaidan" protests, and was among the first journalists to gain access to former President Viktor Yanukovych's residence and report on troves of secret documents found there.  From 2012-2013, Sedletska produced and anchored “Tender News,” a hard-hitting program on corruption and public procurement on Kyiv’s TVi channel.  From 2009 - 2012 she was a special correspondent for another investigative program on TVi, and contributed to the English-language service of Iran’s Press TV.   She began working as a journalist in 2005, covering Ukrainian parliament, politics, social and youth issues for several television and online outlets. Sedletska has won top awards for her reporting from the Ukrainian Center for Political Studies and Analysis in February 2013 and from the US Embassy in 2012. She is a member of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community and the “Stop Censorship” journalism movement in Ukraine. She has a Masters degree from the Institute of Journalism at Kyiv National University. She is a native of Ukraine and, in addition to Ukrainian, speaks Russian and English.

About the Havel Fellowship

The Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellowship (VHJF) is an initiative of RFE/RL and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and is generously supported by the Prague Freedom Foundation. Launched in 2011, it is inspired by the late Czech leader’s belief in the transformational power of free speech and builds on RFE/RL’s legacy of promoting more open societies through journalism.

Learn more about the VHJF here.


About Vaclav Havel

Vaclav Havel was the first post-revolutionary president of independent Czechoslovakia in 1989, and the first Czech president in 1993. He was also a renowned playwright, poet and essayist. Vaclav Havel's name is synonymous with peaceful resistance to authoritarianism and commitment to individual liberty and dignity. In his career as a writer and playwright, Havel established himself as Europe’s most renowned dissident voice. During his time as president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, Havel used his position of influence to speak out as an unyielding advocate for democratic voices the world over. Long a listener and supporter of RFE/RL, Havel invited RFE/RL to take up residence in Prague in 1995, planting RFE/RL’s headquarters in a city where its broadcasts were once banned.
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  • Vaclav Havel in 1975 at his country cottage, called Hradecek, in North Bohemia
  • Havel and his first wife, Olga, at Hradecek in 1974. Olga, who died in 1996, was a fellow dissident and signatory of the Charter 77 human rights initiative.
  • The Havels with friends Jan and Karla Triska in 1975
  • A photo taken during a long night of conversation at Hradecek in 1975
  • Friends and actors gather for a reading of Havel's play "The Garden Party."
  • Havel prepares for a summer gathering at the cottage, 1975.
  • A private staging of Havel's play "Audience" in 1976, with the author in one of the main roles
  • Havel appears in a window of Prague Castle in the early days of his presidency, on February 25, 1990.
  • The president addresses crowds at Prague Castle on February 25, 1990. He had just returned from a visit to the United States, where he spoke before the U.S. Congress.
  • Havel, a rock fan, meets members of the Rolling Stones on August 18, 1990, the day of the music legends' first concert in postcommunist Czechoslovakia.
  • British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher accompanies the Czechoslovak president on Wenceslas Square during an official visit to Prague on September 18, 1990.
  • Havel wades in the Atlantic Ocean in Cabo da Roca, Portugal, near the westernmost tip of the European continent, on December 14, 1990.
  • Havel and his wife, Olga, pray alongside Polish President Lech Walesa at Prague Castle on September 16, 1991.
  • A photographer takes an official portrait of the Czechoslovak head of state in 1992.
  • Havel with his second wife, Dagmar, whom he married in 1997, at Hradecek around 2000
  • Nearing the end of his presidency in January 2003, having already moved of the president's residence, Havel appears to breathe a sigh of relief.