Former Lexington Herald-Leader reporter now covering war in Ukraine

Frank Langfitt is an international correspondent for NPR, and a former Lexington Herald-Leader reporter.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 4:57 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s been two months since Russian forces first invaded Ukraine. Troops have now moved into the eastern part of the country, and those who live in Kyiv are starting to make their way back to the capital city.

Frank Langfitt is an international correspondent for NPR, and a former Lexington Herald-Leader reporter. He’s been traveling across Europe the past two months, and is now back in Kyiv.

“The war, it’s far from over,” Langfitt said.

While the war in Ukraine isn’t anywhere close to ending, Russian troops have moved out of Kyiv, focusing on eastern Ukraine now.

“The Russians left quite some time ago. There aren’t any Russians troops near here. And the city is coming back to life,” Langfitt said.

Thousands and thousands of people are making their way back to the capital city every day. And that’s where we find Langfitt, who has been working as an international correspondent for NPR since 2016. He’s been reporting all over Europe since the Russian invasion and now safely back in Kyiv, a few hundred miles away from where the conflict is right now.

“I got off the train a couple of days ago. I took a night train. I’m carrying my body armor and a big bag. A guy helped me carry it off the train, and he turned and he said, ‘That’s how we’re winning the war. By helping each other,’” Langfitt said.

Langfitt has been traveling the past two months, reporting on the way the war is changing politics and security architecture across Europe.

“We thought, well maybe they’ll be Russian tanks in the street. As you can see, no Russian tanks. Ukrainians have been very successful. A lot of that has to do with the incredible amount of arms from NATO and from the United States. It’s been probably one of the biggest arms lifts in modern history,” Langfitt said.

But like Langfitt said in the beginning, the war is far from over.

“The Russians seem very intent in taking as much land as they possibly can. They are still a much larger force altogether than the Ukrainians,” Langfitt said.

Langfitt said one interesting way this has differed from others he’s covered is Russian troops didn’t take out the internet or power the day they invaded.

He was still able to do all of his reports for NPR on the ground using his phone and I-rig, which is why we’ve been able to see all of the images coming out of Ukraine in real time.

Langfitt also said it’s been clear that the sentiment is the same across Europe—it’s important to stop Putin and the Russian invasion there.

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