Ukrainian war journalist Illia Ponomarenko to speak at the World Village Festival at the Foreign Ministry’s invitation on 25 May

Illia Ponomarenko, one of the internationally best-known Ukrainian war journalists, will arrive in Helsinki at the invitation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and speak at the World Village Festival in Suvilahti, Helsinki, on Saturday 25 May. During his visit, Ponomarenko will also meet Finland’s political leaders, experts in the field of combatting information influence activities, and volunteers supporting Ukraine.

Illia Ponomarenko has reported on the war in Ukraine since 2014, and in this role, he has visited war zones in Ukraine several times with Ukrainian combat forces. In 2021, Ponomarenko was involved in founding the Ukrainian English-language media outlet The Kyiv Independent, which rapidly gained international reputation after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ponomarenko himself became a prominent figure especially on social media and currently has over 1.2 million followers on X.

Ponomarenko’s memoir I Will Show You How It Was: The Story of Wartime Kyiv was published on 7 May.

The role of communications in the war

Ilia Ponomarenko will speak to the World Village Festival about the importance of communications in Ukraine’s struggle for survival in the era of information influence activities. The theme of this year’s festival is courage.

The war in Ukraine is the first war that is being fought in real time on social media and that has successfully crowdsourced information influence activities to people as well as to decision-makers. Ponomarenko will talk about real-time social media communications, counter-influence and disinformation in the midst of the war and share his views on Ukraine’s future.

“What Russia is doing to Ukraine now is one of the most absurd, unnecessary, and pointless wars in human history.  But this is also the largest and the most barbaric war of conquest since World War II, and we in Ukraine are in desperate need for aid from our friends, so that our military could curtail this nightmare and bring peace back to our continent.”

- Illia Ponomarenko

The interview with Ponomarenko will take place at the Speaker’s stage at the World Village Festival at 13.55–14.20. He will be interviewed in English. More information at World Village Festival webpage(Link to another website.).


  • Ainomaija Mikola, Communications Officer, Unit for Communications on Sustainable Development and Trade, tel. +358 50 304 2238
  • The email addresses of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are in the format