Russian photographer among Pulitzer prize winners

Thomson Reuters photography received a special Pulitzer for their migrant photos. © Yannis Behrakis
A Russian photographer has been honored with the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the migrant crisis. Sergey Ponomarev was one of the New York Times shutterbugs who won the Breaking News Photography category at the ceremony Monday night.

Ponomarevs’ photographs taken throughout Europe, including the Greek Island of Lesbos, Slovenia, and Hungary chart the plight of migrants as they arrive on boats across the Mediterranean before traveling across the continent.

He’ll take US$10,000 for “photographs that captured the resolve of refugees, the perils of their journeys, and the struggle of host countries to take them in.”

The 35-year-old freelance photographer already won acclaim this year in the General News category at the World Press Photo Awards for his images of overcrowded boats of migrants arriving on the shores of Lesbos.

That was his second World Press Photo win in a row after picking up the same prize last year for his image from Gaza which showed two brothers mourning their father who had been killed during shelling of their town.

Based in the Russian capital, Ponomarev is a graduate from the Moscow State University and worked as a staff photographer at the Associated Press Moscow bureau from 2003 to 2012, before going freelance.

His photojournalism features Russian life and culture as well as conflict in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt.

Ponomarev worked alongside Mauricio Lima, Tyler Hicks, and Daniel Etter, who shared in the prize.

Thomson Reuters photography received a special Pulitzer for their migrant photos while the Los Angeles Times picked up their 44th Pulitzer, this time for "Breaking News Reporting" during San Bernardino shooting.

The Broadway sensation Hamilton won the Pulitzer for Drama. The musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers, through hip-hop.

The show’s creator said he connected Hamilton’s story to his rap heroes including Jay Z and Notorious B.I.G., inspiring him to make the show, the cast of which is almost entirely African-American and Hispanic.