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Gil Skorwid

Vilnius, Lithuania
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About Gil
Freelance journalist based in the Baltics. Taking assignments in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. Covers international relations, migration, media policies, social movements. Winner of Prix Philippe Chaffanjon 2017 award for the best multimedia story in France.x
Languages
German English Lithuanian
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Services
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
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Skills
Business Finance Politics
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Portfolio

On Assignment (2024). ITV News' International Editor Rageh Omaar revisits Lithuania, a small country that has shown considerable support for Ukraine.

Documentary show for TG4 (2022): Beginning his travels in the capital Vilnius Hector Ó hEochagáin Irish traveller and TV show presenter explores the once divisive Jewish Ghetto, learns more about Lithuania's impressive laser technology.

Documentary for ZDF (2023): The small Lithuanian town of Rukla is the seat of a NATO base under German command. The feature film No Enemy in Sight is the German filmmakers' perspective on how the deployed soldiers and local population interact.

The city that became an open-air café

01 Apr 2023  |  www.bbc.com
Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, has implemented a policy to revitalize its economy during the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing cafés and bars to use public outdoor spaces for business. This initiative aimed to alleviate the economic strain on local establishments caused by the lockdown. While some business owners and patrons have welcomed the move, others, including local residents and owners of cultural venues, have expressed concerns about noise, pollution, and the impact on the city's liveability and cultural heritage. The policy has also been criticized for disproportionately benefiting bars over other businesses such as high-end restaurants and concert venues. The article explores the various perspectives on the initiative and its implications for the city's future resilience and economic recovery.

'We, the Europeans'. Lithuania: facing the Russian ogre

18 Nov 2022  |  www.francetvinfo.fr
In the latest episode of 'We, the Europeans,' the focus is on Lithuania, a country sharing a 700-kilometer border with Belarus, an ally of Moscow. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda warns that if Russia wins in Ukraine, it could target Lithuania next. As a former Soviet republic that declared independence in 1990 and joined the EU and NATO in 2004, Lithuania has tense relations with Russia. Despite international tensions, Lithuania is also home to many dynamic startups and young companies, including the second-hand clothing sales site Vinted, valued at over a billion euros. The report includes a military training exercise in Lithuania's east, attended by the Lithuanian president and the king of Belgium, whose country has deployed troops there, along with Norway, the Czech Republic, and Germany.

Grandmother of nine-year-old Lincolnshire stabbing victim set fire to hotel with relatives inside

27 Aug 2022  |  www.telegraph.co.uk
Inga Papstaitiene, the grandmother of Lilia Valutyte who was stabbed to death in Lincolnshire, was convicted of arson for setting fire to a hotel with her daughter and other family members inside during a family dispute. The incident occurred in Lithuania in 2019, and Papstaitiene was sentenced to eight years in prison. Lilia's murder took place three months after the sentencing, and Deividas Skebas has been charged with the crime. Lilia's family is now fundraising for a statue in her memory. Papstaitiene denies the arson charges and is appealing her sentence.

How a Chicago teacher sparked a 'memory war,' forcing Lithuania to confront its Nazi past

03 Apr 2021  |  www.nbcnews.com
Silvia Foti, a Chicago teacher, uncovered evidence that her grandfather, Jonas Noreika, a celebrated Lithuanian hero, collaborated with the Nazis during the Holocaust. Her findings, detailed in her book 'The Nazi's Granddaughter,' have sparked a heated debate in Lithuania about the country's role in the Holocaust. The controversy has led to the dismissal of the head of Lithuania's Genocide and Resistance Research Center and calls for a reevaluation of Noreika's legacy. The article highlights the ongoing struggle in Lithuania to reconcile its national identity with its historical actions during World War II.

A Job for Elves

09 Jun 2020  |  Are We Europe
The article discusses the efforts of healthcare professionals and civic groups in the Baltic states to combat disinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic. In Lithuania, a group of medics known as the 'Elves' is actively debunking myths on social media. The Elves, who work in the healthcare sector, have gained a significant following on Facebook. Tech platforms are also taking steps to address disinformation, with Google and Facebook partnering with local initiatives. In Estonia, Russian-speaking activists are spreading anti-quarantine messages, and the Estonian Ministry of Defense-funded website Propastop.ee is working to debunk these claims. The article also touches on the challenges of fact-checking and the risk of inadvertently spreading hoaxes by debunking them. Despite these challenges, the pandemic has strengthened civic organizations like the Elves, who are now united in their efforts against disinformation.

Covering up cross-border co-operation between Lithuania and Kaliningrad (2019): On the Eastern border of the European Union, a new stage of cross-border co-operation with Russia has begun. Yet, new joint initiatives are unraveling in a tense atmosphere.

Kaliningrad's World Cup facelift came at a price

22 Jun 2018  |  www.euronews.com
The World Cup in Kaliningrad brought infrastructural changes and a business boom, but also sparked controversy over civil rights and urban development. Mariya Petuchova faced trial for protesting against President Putin, reflecting suppressed dissent. Natalya Strezhniova, a lawyer, was evicted from her land for stadium construction, receiving inadequate compensation. Despite some residents benefiting from renovations, issues like poor housing conditions persist. The regional governor, Anton Alikhanov, remains optimistic about future projects and economic renewal. The event has had a mixed impact on the city, with some residents embracing the changes and others left with grievances.

NATO soldiers bring support and defence to Lithuanian village

01 Apr 2018  |  euronews
The article by Gil Skorwid focuses on the impact of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup on the small Lithuanian village of Rukla. Since 2017, 1,200 soldiers from various NATO countries have been stationed in Rukla, joining the Lithuanian Army's Iron Wolf Brigade. The presence of the military has increased the geopolitical significance of the region but has not resolved local issues such as poverty and infrastructure degradation. The article highlights the efforts of the local mayor, Gintas Jasiulionis, to manage the village's affairs amidst these challenges. It also covers the positive interactions between the soldiers and the community, including charitable initiatives like Red Noses and support from Caritas. The soldiers contribute to local projects and donate leftover food to those in need. However, the article also touches on the nostalgia and anti-NATO sentiment among some former Soviet residents, illustrating the complex dynamics at play in Rukla.

The sounds of war in the heart of Europe

23 Jul 2016  |  Mediapart
The article explores the heightened military tensions and preparedness in the heart of Europe, particularly focusing on the enclave of Kaliningrad, Lithuania, and Poland. It discusses the geopolitical significance of Kaliningrad, NATO's response to perceived Russian aggression, and the resurgence of military conscription and patriotism in Lithuania. The piece includes perspectives from various stakeholders, including military personnel, political figures, and academics, highlighting the complex interplay of fear, defense strategies, and the legacy of historical conflicts in the region.
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