Gorsad Kiev, Child Exploitation, and the United States


January 15, 2023  

Members of Counter Trafficking Alliance have been made aware of a fashion photography collective, “Gorsad Kyiv”. This trio is a Kiev (Ukraine)-based collaborative that works with high fashion entities such as Vogue, I-D, Dust, Dazed, many other publications and fashion brands.  

The optics that have sparked concern are their self-proclaimed subject matters, “youth, feelings, and sexuality…” ¹ being their focal point in their photography. We have seen their works reflect this very description, with what appears to be minors, prepubescent children inappropriately posed, dressed, sexualized, and objectified in photoshoots. Of which, one of their works even selected in Vogue’sPhotoVogue Fashion 100” ², global open call. Out of about 3,000 artists, Gorsad Kyiv’s submission was selected under trio member, Viktor Vasyliev.  

Our concerns intensify as we realize that many of these children seem unaccounted for in war-torn Ukraine. According to UNICEF³, displaced youth in times of disaster or war are easily exploited by nefarious characters, globally. In several given interviews⁴ the trio alludes to this possibility with their seemingly underage models.

Progressing our research with this in mind, it is further concerning with recent events in Ukraine, that further exploitation could be taking place in the name of war. We have learned that Gorsad Kiev partnered with EEP Berlin, an online artist exhibition, to sell prints of said minors to benefit the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund. EEP Berlin utilizes U.S. based payment tools such as PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, etc. The Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund transacts through JP Morgan Chase Bank, and The Bank of New York Mellon for USD, and is partnered with other NGO’s such as ‘MOCA NGO’.

Counter Trafficking Alliance is in the movement to protect the most vulnerable in our society, in the United States or abroad. We hope that these named matters provoke thought to instated laws, and their violations to take action for.

²https://www.vogue.com/article/meet-the-photovogue-fashion-100 ³https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/nearly-quarter-worlds-children-live-conflict-or-disaster-stricken-countries