As the lights were dimmed at the Kyiv Hilton Hotel’s Dallas room in Kyiv, the crowd celebrated the Kyiv Post’s Top 30 Under 30 awards on Nov. 29.

The newspaper made its choices of young Ukrainian leaders who have won fame, success and acclaim at early ages — the youngest at 19.

The list includes politicians, artists, volunteers, soldiers, journalists, athletes, entrepreneurs and activists. The event took place after the 5th annual Tiger Conference.

“We had so many people to choose from that it turned out to be a very difficult selection,” Kyiv Post’s chief editor Brian Bonner said, introducing the award winners. “We can be optimistic about the future of Ukraine.”

The Kyiv Post called for nominations via social media and print editions. The winners were selected by the newspaper’s staff and given awards by a successful person in a related field.


Medical volunteer Yana Zinkevych, founder of a medical volunteer battalion, was the first to the stage. Despite having to use a wheelchair after a car accident, Zinkevych was determined not to miss the award ceremony, despite traveling 530 kilometers from her home in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast to Kyiv.

“It’s very important for me to feel people’s support, because it inspires me to accomplishments, which, I am sure, will lead to our common victory!” she wrote on social media.  

Zinkevych was presented the award by the head of the reforms office of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, Andriy Zagorodnyuk, who also awarded another winner, Lesia Vasylenko, the founder and head of the Legal Hundred NGO, which provides free legal help to soldiers.

Some of the winners appeared in videos instead.

The youngest Top 30 Under 30 winner was Yana Panfilova, who is 19. Panfiova was born HIV positive and founded the Teenergizer NGO, which provides psychological aid to teenagers, including those who have HIV. The founder of ANTIAIDS Foundation Olena Pinchuk was close to tears when she presented Panfilova her award. Panfilova said the award was opportunity to remind people about HIV, to counter the stigma against people infected with the virus, and to “make the society realize that HIV is not something in Africa, but that it’s right here, right now.”


Another emotional moment occurred when Sevgil Musaieva-Borovyk, the chief editor of the Ukrainska Pravda online newspaper, dedicated her award to slain journalist Pavlo Sheremet, whose 45th birthday was Nov. 28.

Besides the 30 young leaders, Stuart McKenzie, a founder of Kyiv Lions Club, given the Kyiv Post’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kyiv Post’s Top 30 Under 30 winners

Bogdan Globa. LGBT activist


Kateryna Istomina. Paralympic swimmer


Daria Kaleniuk. Civic activist


Olga Kharlan. Sabre fencer


Yulia Kirilova. War veteran


Yulia Klymyshyn. Pediatrician


Yulia Marushevska. Civic activist


Valeriy Chybineyev. Soldier


Sevgil Musaieva-Borovyk. Journalist


Mykhailo Obolonsky. Co-founder of EasyBusiness


Yana Panfilova. HIV activist


Ivan Pasichnyk. Founder of Ecoisme


Ivan Prymachenko. Founder of Prometheus

Anna Rizatdinova. Rhythmic gymnast


Yulia Sanina. Singer


Natalie Sedletska. Journalist


Daria Shapovalova. Fashion expert

Alyona Shkrum. Lawmaker

Oleksiy Skvordyakov. War veteran

Iryna Slavinska. Journalist

Anastasia Sleptsova. IT promoter

Iryna Suslova. Lawmaker

Sviatoslav Sviatnenko. Director of business development at Borsch Ventures

Alina Sviderska. EasyBusiness

Yulia Sychikova. Ukraine Global Scholars

Anastasia Topolskaia. DJ

Yulia Tychivska. Kyiv School of Economics

Oleksandr Usyk. Boxer

Lesia Vasylenko. Lawyer

Yana Zinkevych. War volunteer

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