Russian War Crimes House
Victor Pinchuk Foundation
Agency: FINN Partners
Victor Pinchuk is a Ukrainian businessman. His eponymous Foundation is a philanthropic organisation with a goal to empower future generations to become the change makers of tomorrow. Russia’s declaration of war on Ukraine on 24 February led the foundation to tweak its strategy and, in doing so, expose the myriad war crimes and human rights atrocities taking place in its homeland.
Working with the PinchukArtCentre, Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers, the Office of the President of Ukraine and the PR agency FINN Partners, the foundation staged an exhibition of wartime brutalities by the Russian army.
Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Russian War Crimes House took over the Russian House, which historically has hosted elaborate parties for Russian diplomats and oligarchs at the event. But with Russia blacklisted and its delegation uninvited, the venue was destined to stand empty, until the Victor Pinchuk Foundation stepped in.
Restricting the exhibition to content that had been officially verified, and that focused on war crimes committed against Ukrainians, the Russian War Crimes House displayed more than 4,600 images and digital films during the five-day summit.
Against this backdrop, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation hosted a series of events – both at the Russian War Crimes House and the Ukrainian House – designed to demonstrate what the world can learn from Ukraine as it battles against the aggression, as well as think about how it will rebuild for the future.
Topics under discussion included protecting human rights during war and how to return after suffering, and involved former and current politicians and leaders, such as former president of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, considering Ukraine’s future.
The media already attending the World Economic Forum were invited, as well as other interested titles. Press releases were issued for each event, while interviews with key spokesman, including the curator of the exhibition, were organised. All press releases and media alerts were also translated into Ukraine/
The Russian War Crimes House generated more than 120 pieces of coverage from 35 tier one titles, across the UK, French and German media. Reuters livestreamed the opening of the house, which generated more than 12,400 views while a breakfast panel discussion received more than 4,600 views.
This was a powerful campaign that shone a spotlight on a vitally important issue and reminded observers of the realities and cruelties of war. While it did not fit naturally into any of the traditional categories of the CorpComms Awards, the judges recognised its impact which led it to receive the Editor’s Award.