How Svidomi’s Editorial Office Lives and Works during the Blackout

How Svidomi’s Editorial Office Lives and Works during the Blackout

Since the beginning of October, there has been a joke in Ukraine that only those who were students or went on long hikes will survive because since this month the Russians have been shelling the country’s critical infrastructure. But, yes, people remember what it was like to wash in buckets or basins and to heat water with candles or primus. They remember what it was like to work, read or prepare for school by candlelight. They remember where they have put woollen socks from their grandmother to keep warm. It is the rhythm in which the Svidomi team lives now. 

We show you our reality and how we work despite the blackout. 

Our editorial staff are mainly divided between two cities - Lviv and Kyiv. Some more live in Rivne, Kalush, Zhytomyr, Kamianets-Podilskyi and Horishni Plavni. A small part of the editorial staff are abroad - in Austria, Belgium and Slovakia. When there is a blackout in Ukraine, they become our saviours. 

Usually, the news is written by one journalist, edited by one literary editor and designed by one designer. During massive shelling, everyone who has access to the internet contributes to a news release because there is a lot of news (we break the news quickly on Twitter @svidomi_en)

On our workplace chat platform, it looks something like this: (here are screenshots translated as material about the campaign)

Phrases to be translated

On February 24, when almost 90% of the country was re-energised and telephone communication was cut off, a few people carried out the work of the media. Others worked magic to find any power supply.

Our head of literary editing, Katya, wrapped herself in a battery-powered garland to provide everyone with light. Literary editor Olya edited and published news from a minibus while driving to another city to connect to the mobile network.

The designers worked by candlelight and tried to heat water to wash in a basin. 

The editor-in-chief was left without a mobile network for a day, so she read books, illuminating them with a flashlight. Journalists watched the address of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, by candlelight and with some wine to somehow brighten this reality. 


Despite all the difficulties, we keep informing the world about Russian war crimes and what is happening in Ukraine. So support our struggle - subscribe and tell your friends about Svidomi.