In April 2018, the US Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on industrialist Oleg Deripaska, crippling his businesses and leaving at risk millions of people connected to those businesses.

To justify its action, the Treasury referred to a string of allegations against the businessman, but has produced no supporting evidence. These allegations have been continuously rehashed by the media and the authorities without being substantiated or even substantially questioned.

A prize fund consisting of $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 awards has now been made available to support investigative journalists seeking to discover the sources of these allegations and the real reasons for Oleg Deripaska’s inclusion in OFAC’s SDN list as well as for the imposition of sanctions on companies he founded.

About the Competition

Stage 1
Initial Selection

Applicants should in the first instance complete the online application form detailing their credentials and proposed approach to the investigation, and where they expect their material to be published. The deadline for applications is June 15, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (Moscow time). Successful applicants will be informed on an individual basis, and will receive up to $25,000 to cover the costs incurred during their investigations.

Stage 2
Research Period

Reports detailing the outcomes and conclusions of the journalistic investigation should be submitted by November 15, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (Moscow time). Submissions must adhere to the core principles of journalism generally accepted by leading news organizations and professional bodies.

Stage 3

Submissions will be judged by a panel of experts consisting of leading figures from the fields of journalism, academia, law and politics. The winner will be announced on December 15, 2019 and the prize-giving ceremony held shortly thereafter. Prize money of $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000 will be awarded to first, second and third place winners respectively.

Awards will be made at the discretion of the organizers. No correspondence will be entered into other than to inform the final candidates and the award winners.

Submission guidelines

  1. Work submitted should be suitable for print, online or broadcast.
  2. All submissions must adhere to the core principles of journalism generally accepted by leading news organizations and professional bodies.
  3. Work submitted may be produced by individual journalists or by collaborative teams of journalists, as well as non-profit and commercial organizations.
  4. Non-professional journalists and bloggers may also submit their works meeting the core requirements.
  5. Works may be in written format or use multimedia at the discretion of the journalist. Examples of eligible multimedia formats include but are not limited to video, audio including radio broadcasts, podcasts and live blogs.
  1. All works should be submitted: 1) as a live URL; and 2) as a PDF (for written articles) or audio or video recording; or 3) in combination as appropriate.
  2. Once submitted, applications cannot be withdrawn and will be considered by the organizers.
  3. Certified translations into English or Russian must be provided for work submitted in languages other than English or Russian.
  4. Public officials of any state are not eligible to receive the award.
  5. There is no fee payable for making a submission.

For more information see the GUIDELINES.


Any questions regarding the application form or submission process should be emailed to:

Application deadline is June 15, 2019, 11:59 p.m. (Moscow time).

U.S. persons are required to act in compliance with U.S. sanctions laws and regulations administered by OFAC, including by obtaining to the extent necessary a license from OFAC, in order to mitigate any exposure to liability under causation/conspiracy provision of the E.O.s.

© 2019