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NPR’s Brian Mann was injured covering the war in Ukraine. He wants to go back

NPR correspondent Brian Mann, right, and Polina Lytvynova, a Kiev-based journalist and translator, center, speak with a villager in a frontline Ukrainian community hit by Russian artillery.
Brian Mann
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NPR correspondent Brian Mann, right, and Polina Lytvynova, a Kiev-based journalist and translator, center, speak with a villager in a frontline Ukrainian community hit by Russian artillery.

Several months ago, a local grade school student named Hannah wrote to St. Louis Public Radio. Writing in blue marker, she implored us and others to keep the war in Ukraine and the Ukrainian people top of mind. She wrote about the effects of warfare there on her friends here. She feared that attention to the war was beginning to fade in the minds of many Americans.

Hannah had a point.

According to polling from the Pew Research Center from this past fall, Americans are expressing less concern about Ukraine being defeated by Russia. Interest in events transpiring in Eastern Europe has declined among people in the U.S.

Russia invaded Ukraine last February, and since that time, the U.S. government estimates that at least 100,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded. At least 40,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed by Russia.

NPR is among the journalism outlets that is committed to reporting what’s happening in Ukraine. Last year, NPR correspondent Brian Mann reported from the frontlines.

Mann usually covers the opioid crisis and U.S. drug policy. He’s also part of the NPR team that reports from hostile environments, including natural disasters, mass shootings, protests and other events.

In Ukraine, Mann waited in a bomb shelter in Odessa as people tried to flee the city, and he was on the frontlines during shelling near Mykolaiv. He brought stories of children in the war zone to the world, and much more. Mann was also injured near the frontlines when the driver of a military vehicle crashed near the frontlines after attempting to evade Russian surveillance.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Rod Milam talked with Mann last month about his experience covering the war. The virtual event was part of STLPR’s participation in the American Homefront Project, a major public media initiative that reports on the lives of military personnel, veterans and their families.

The full video of the event is below. Click the 'listen' button at the top of this story to hear the version of this program that aired on "St. Louis on the Air."

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Miya Norfleet, Emily Woodbury, Danny Wicentowski, Elaine Cha and Alex Heuer. Avery Rogers is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr. Send questions and comments about this story to talk@stlpr.org.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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