LONDON – The Associated Press has named Peter Leonard to be its correspondent for Ukraine, whose Western-leaning government is struggling to unite the nation in the face of a deadly insurgency.
The appointment was announced Tuesday by Caro Kriel, AP's incoming Europe news director.
From a base in Kiev, Leonard will lead AP's coverage of the government's attempts to build a new nation and a pro-Russian insurgency's efforts to achieve greater autonomy in the east of the country.
"Leonard has covered Ukraine and the troubles in the east intensively over the last three months as a freelancer for the AP. He has shown courage and clarity in his reporting of a complicated story," Kriel said.
Leonard, 35, previously worked for the AP from a base in Kazakhstan from 2007-13 as the news cooperative's Central Asia correspondent. He traveled extensively to cover major stories in the region while managing a small team of stringers. There, he received the Associated Press Managing Editors' John L. Dougherty Award for exemplary work by a younger staffer.
Prior to joining the AP, Leonard was deputy business editor of the Moscow Times and managing editor of Neweurasia.net, a blogging network.
A native of Ireland, Leonard speaks fluent Russian, Italian and Maltese as well as some French. He graduated from Oxford University in 2006.