The Kyiv Post announced the winners of the 2018 Top 30 Under 30 award in a ceremony that followed the newspaper’s annual Tiger Conference that took place on Dec. 11 at InterContinental Kyiv.

Top 30 Under 30 is a prize awarded to young Ukrainians achieving outstanding results in different fields. The Kyiv Post established the award in 2016. Since then, 30 young Ukrainians received it, among them human rights activists, startups’ founders, politicians, stars of show business, artists, and high-achievers from other fields.

A jury that included the Kyiv Post staff, past winners and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation — sponsor of the ceremony — picked the 30 winners in 2018.

See also: The Top 30 Under 30 winners of 2019

The Top 30 Under 30 winners of 2017 

and the Top 30 Under 30 winners of 2016.


Meet the 2018 winners:

Kateryna Akymenko, 29

A graduate of National Pedagogical Dragomanov University in Kyiv, 29-year-old Kateryna Akymenko helped found the Emerging Leadership Program in 2016. This educational program, that she set up with her husband, helps Ukrainians to get an opportunity to study at Stanford University. She helped to set up sponsorships in Ukraine to fund deserving students.

Ruslan Baginskiy, 29

29-year-old hat designer Ruslan Baginskiy, a native of Lviv, has taken the world by storm as his products supplements the wardrobes of celebrities, such as Madonna, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, and others. Around 200 retailers from various countries sell his products today.

Zhan Beleniuk, 27

“I just belong here,” says 27-year-old multi medal winner wrestler Zhan Beleniuk explaining his allegiance to his home country of Ukraine. The son of an African father and Ukrainian mother, Beleniuk won a silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Anna Bondarenko, 23

23-year-old Anna Bondarenko is already a CEO, as the founder of Ukrainian Volunteer Service, an organizing volunteer management seminars, which seek a more socially active Ukraine. Ever since she was 15, Bondarenko has set up various organizations devoted volunteering, hoping this giving spirit will rub off on others.


Serhiy Breus, 27

A lawyer with a social conscience, 27-year-old Serhiy Breus is a human rights activist that continues to defend some of Ukraine’s most vulnerable people.  Breus has set up activities that cooperate with unions and societies that help people with disabilities, orphans, victims of violence, and the elderly throughout Ukraine.

Anastasia Deeva, 26

A precocious millennial, 26-year-old Anastasia Deeva is the executive director of the Network of People Living with HIV charity organization, in support of those afflicted with the horrible disease. She also presides as head coordinator for the UN Women Ukraine program, and is a graduate of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Yuriy Didula, 28

28-year-old Yuriv Didula, a native of Lviv, manages We Build Ukraine Together at L, a volunteer network that rebuilds homes damaged in Russia’s war on Ukraine in the Donbas. Having received his Masters Degree from LaSalle University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Didula found his calling after his first volunteer job when he repaired the balcony and windows in an apartment in Kramatorsk.


Vladyslav Greziev, 28

A business leader with his hand in multiple projects, 28-year-old Vladyslav Greziev is the co-founder of the recruiting agency Lobby X and –an election monitoring platform. He is also the head of TedxKyiv, which is an independently organized Ted Talks event. He is 28-year-old Kyiv native with a background in economics, and continues to organize networking meetings for young professionals.

Olesia Kholopik, 29

29-year-old attorney Olesia Kholopik’s mission is campaigning for safe roads to save lives and clean courts with new judges.  She left corporate law to work on such advocacy campaigns in the voluntary sector. Her current profession is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law, or CEDEM.

Daria Korzhavina, 26

Daria Korzhavina is a 26-year-old co-founder of Fight for Right, a Kyiv-based non-profit organization that promotes inclusion supporting people with disabilities and their rights for education and employment. She suffered from a rare cancer that has caused her to lose her eyesight.

Ivona Kostyna, 22

A passionate activist, Ivona Kostyna is a 22-year-old who opened Veteran Hub that brings together several non-profits helping veterans. She was one of about 400 people whom Berkut riot police brutally dispersed during the EuroMaidan Revolution in late November 2013.



Nadiia Kushnir, 25

As a creative artist, 25-year-old Nadiia Kushnir is an illustrator of over 50 children’s books. She has published two children’s books written and illustrated by her, called “Tooth” and “Belly Button, and is a graduate of Ukrainian Academy of Printing in Lviv. She is the creator of a popular cartoon character, the Goose.

Myroslav Laiuk, 28

28-year-old Myroslav Laiuk is a poet, author and novelist. “I’ve been writing since a preschool age,” says the Ivano-Frankivsk native. The prolific writer has already seen his works publish in various languages, and in 2016, his work was shortlisted for the British BBC’s Book of the Year.

Sofiia Lapina, 28

28-year-old Sofia Lapina, who studied sociology at the Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University, has become a leading voice for the LGBT community. In 2017, she moved to Kyiv and joined the KyivPride NGO, which organizes the March of Equality. “Its about my rights, and about helping others who still don’t dare to come out,” she says.

Oleksandr Lemenov, 29

Seen as one of Ukraine’s leading anti-corruption activists and law enforcement experts, 29-year-old Oleksandr Lemenov founded Statewatch in 2015. The nongovernmental organization monitors the performance of law enforcement agencies and defense procurement.

Dariya Loseva, 28

After earning her Master’s degree from the Biological Institute at Taras Shevchenko University, and currently enrolled in a Ph.D program in food biology from the National Academy of Science, Dariya Loseva started Myhelix in 2014. It’s a company, akin to the American biotech company 23andMe, that creates a nutrition plan based on the information accumulated by DNA testing. She has said that she has plans to put Myhelix entering the U.S. market, with projects currently in development.


Vladyslav Malashchenko, 22

The 22-year-old Vladyslav Malashchenko is the founder of Good Bread from Good People, a social enterprise that helps adults with mental disabilities. An actor by training from the Institute of Screen Arts, Malashchenko’s Good Bread from Good People employs 13 people, nine of whom have mental disabilities between the ages of 24 to 55.

Victoria Marchuk, 28

Raised in an orphanage in Zaporitzhia, 28-year-old Victoria Marchuk did not let her physical handicaps keep her from success. She has been a para-taekwondist for six years, and has won a world championship on average every year. She received the title of Ukrainian Master of Sports in 2014.

Maiia Moskvych, 28

A graduate of Lutsk National Technical University, Maiia Moskvych is a 28-year-old former volunteer fighter.  She volunteered during the Donbas war, where she was injured while in the Garpun Battalion, and then the Myrotvorets. She switched to sports, and became a gold medalist in Archery at the Invictus Games, the international sports competition for disabled veterans.


Yuriy Pitchuk, 29

Yuriy Pitchuk, a 29-year-old artist has created nearly 30 murals, which have been appeared throughout Ukrainian cities. Pitchuk’s background is in computer engineering from the Ivano-Frankivsk National Technical University of Oil and Gas.  “I’ve always enjoyed the process of drawing,” he says.

Taras Prokopyshyn, 27

27-year-old Taras Prokopyshyn is a media enthusiast who builds responsible business with aims to build a large conglomerate. He gained experience as a leader during the EuroMaidan, beginning with the recurring publication of the online magazine The Ukrainians. Within months, The Ukrainians took a break to run a fundraising campaign and to sell two books of interviews.

Illia Razumeiko, 29

A native of Zaporizhia, 29-year-old Illia Razumeiko is a talented composer who has formed a musical bridge between Ukraine and Austria. He has brought unique sounds to both countries while he is currently finishing his studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. His own pieces, which is largely instrumental music is written under his pseudonym Elias Spricht. Ukrainians can download his music from cloud apps on the Internet.


Kateryna Sadovaia, 29

Kateryna Sadovaia is a 29-year-old who is a philanthropist helping to save babies born prematurely. Reaching out to the organization sponsored by Ukrainian oligarch and philanthropist Victor Pinchuk – the Ukrainian Philanthropic Marketplace – she learned about what equipment was lacking in Ukrainian hospitals. Ultimately, she found various campaigns to help raise money for this cause and to continue raising public awareness.

Hlib Stryzhko, 22

At just 22, Hilib Stryzhko proudly calls himself a Ukrainian nationalist. He joined the Youth Nationalists Congress of Ukraine when he was 17, and is the founder of the Ukrainian Intelligentsia Forge, while also serving as a mentor at a local branch of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy.

Yevhen Tryhub, 29

With his profession as a member of Krolevets city council and a recycling activist, 29-year-old Yevgen Tryhub set up the non-profit organization Rodynne Misto in 2015. He began by working to clean up trash in the city, and ultimately installed garbage cans, and cleaning up various parking and recreational sites. Also in 2015, he won the city council where he says he will continue to fight for ecologically clean practices.

Vitaliy Ustymenko, 25

25-year-old Vitaliy Ustymenko is a civic activist seeking to stop illegal construction despite numerous threats and physical violence leveled against him. He’s soldiered through, and leads the Odesa branch of the AutoMaidan civic moment, a group of 50 active members protesting against illegal construction and embezzlement of public funds.

Andriy Verkhoglyad, 23

Badly hurt in an anti-tank grenade explosion in late 2016, First Lieutenant Andriy Verkhoglyad became a company commander at 21. With his platoon, Verkhoglyad was deployed near Avdiyivka, one of the worst killing zones along the Donbas front line. 2 years later, he is still bravely in charge of his company – the 72nd Mechanized Brigade – which continues to fight Russian-led forces on the front near Debaltseve.

Oleksandra Zaritska, 26

Oleksandra Zaritska is a talented singer with a law degree. After graduating from Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, 26-year-old Zaritska moved to Odesa where she performed in pubs with a few bands, while learning music by practice. In 2018, she released her debut album, “Karma,” while also giving her first solo shows. Many of the songs are in the experimental pop genre, blending in many other forms.

Natalia Zharkova, 29

A world champion in freediving, 29-year-old Natalia Zharkova owns this specialty school called Deep Division in her native city of Kharkiv. Coming from a family of athletes- her father took parts in various cycling events, and her mother was a figure skater – she started swimming at 7. Zharkova also earned her Master’s degree in architecture.

Oleksandr Zhuk, 29

For 29-year-old Oleksandr Zhuk, winning the national Global Teacher Prize in 2018 is not his only accomplishment. He continues to work with students with hearing problems and the deaf at Dzherelo, and they have won prizes in graphics, web designs and ecology competitions. By the end of the year, Zhuk’s students plan to visit Poland.

See also: The Top 30 Under 30 winners of 2019

The Top 30 Under 30 winners of 2017 

and the Top 30 Under 30 winners of 2016.

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