Polish journalist wins US Secretary of State's award for courage
Polish war correspondent Bianka Zalewska has received the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award which recognises outstanding women from around the world for their courage, the US State Department announced on Monday.
The award will be presented to Zalewska by US First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Wednesday at the White House.
According to a statement from the US State Department, "Zalewska is a Polish humanitarian and journalist who has selflessly documented Russian aggression in Ukraine since 2014 and advocated for the people of Ukraine for more than a decade."
In 2014, she was injured by Russian forces in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, she showed courage and determination despite threats and disinformation campaigns against her. Her humanitarian activities and documentation of evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine were also recognised.
"In the face of ever-present threats, Mrs. Zalewska remains unintimidated and continues to welcome refugees from Ukraine, bring to light Russian atrocities, report truthfully and responsibly from the frontlines, and personally deliver aid inside Ukraine," the statement read.
Zalewska works for the private Polish TV broadcaster TVN. She has also collaborated with Ukrainian Espreso TV.
On Wednesday, along with Zalewska, ten other women will receive the IWOC Award including Yuliia Paievska, a well-known Ukrainian medic and volunteer, and women protestors in Iran.
Now in its 17th year, the IWOC Award "recognises women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, and the empowerment of women and girls, in all their diversity – often at great personal risk and sacrifice," the US State Department said in the Monday statement.