Russia’s FSB detains ISIS member in ‘Ukraine’ plot to murder Donestsk leader

An alleged member of ISIS was arrested in Russia’s Smolensk region on Sunday over a Ukrainian plot to murder a Donetsk military leader, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Monday.

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Prisoner swap: Largest prisoner exchange since start of Ukraine conflict completed

A major prisoner swap has been concluded, between the Ukrainian government and the two breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Ukrainian authorities were to hand over 306 prisoners to the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk (LPR) and receive 74 prisoners in return, according to the agreement between the sides
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Aftermath of ‘explosive device’ blast at Donetsk university

Several buildings were severely damaged near the University of Commerce in central Donetsk on Thursday. Local sources believe that it may have been an attack caused by an ‘explosive device’. An assembly hall and utility rooms within the university complex were partially destroyed in the attack. ‘Preliminarily, judging from the nature of the damage, this was an explosive device,’ the head of the DPR’s emergency services Aleksey Kostrubitsky told journalists. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8gi4

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And then there were none: Iversky Monastery near Donetsk devastated after 2 years of war

Drone footage captured the condition of the church and cemetery of Iversky Monastery near Donetsk.
Since Monastery is situated close to Donetsk Airport, it sustained heavy damage in January 2015 during a period of heavy fighting for the facility.

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Drone captures endless lines of coal cars held up by blockade of rebel E. Ukraine

Seemingly endless lines of railway cars loaded with coal stuck near Yasynuvata village in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region due to a blockade of rebel-held Donbass by pro-Kiev activists.
The rail tracks were cordoned off a month ago by nationalist MPs and activists, including former members of voluntary paramilitary battalions, which took part in a crackdown on rebels, in parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.
The nationalists have justified their actions by saying that buying coal from mines controlled by the rebels is treason and are not moved by concerns that without the fuel Ukrainian power plants would be forced to shut down.

READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8437

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‘They think we’re terrorists, have no pity’: Eastern Ukrainians to RT as conflict marks 3 years

Marches to commemorate the Maidan activists or soldiers killed in the ongoing civil conflict in Eastern Ukraine are held every year in Kiev.
The main square turns into one large monument to the victims…but only for those from one side of the barricades…
Murad Gazdiev traveled to the OTHER side of the conflict line – this is his report from Donetsk.

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Putin signs decree legalizing some Donetsk, Lugansk documents in Russia

President Vladimir Putin’s decree legalizing some documents issued by authorities in Donetsk and Lugansk, in the territory of Russia, does not signal any change in Moscow’s stance on the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s Foreign Minister has said.

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‘Everything is broken…’: Locals in Donetsk clear debris after days of shelling

The eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk is dealing with extensive damage done by days-long shelling. RT’s Murad Gazdiev has more. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/82cf

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Donetsk shelling aftermath: Residential building, kindergarten bombed

Central Donetsk was under heavy shelling overnight. Several buildings, including a kindergarten have been damaged, and large craters can be seen where shells hit. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/829g

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Journalists caught under fire as Donetsk shelling continues

A number of journalists witnessed heavy shelling in a residential area of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. The Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) says that Ukrainian forces were behind the shelling. Shelling has intensified in eastern Ukraine during the last few days, with reports of several deaths among the civil population and footage showing several buildings reduced into rubble.

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Shell-Shocked: Ukraine’s Trauma

It’s been two years since pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine broke away from the rest of the country, triggering a war that has killed more than 9,000 people, displaced a million civilians, and left entire towns and villages in ruins.

Ukraine’s government was wholly unprepared for the conflict, and its armed forces had been hollowed out by years of mismanagement even before the fighting began. As a result, Kiev has relied on tens of thousands of inexperienced volunteers to fight the brutal civil war. The country’s healthcare system had little experience dealing with the range of physical and psychological injuries sustained by soldiers and civilians. Once demobilized, soldiers are eligible for a number of benefits, but only if they can obtain their official veteran status. With the process slow and bureaucratic, many have been left struggling to deal with the traumatic aftermath of the conflict.

With no clear end in sight to the fighting, VICE News traveled to the country to investigate the war’s impact on soldiers and civilians, and to see how volunteer groups are stepping up to help.

Note: VICE News wanted to also see how the trauma of the war was being handled by the separatist authorities of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, but we were denied access.

Watch “Corruption in Ukraine: Drifting Offshore” – http://bit.ly/1YJVQJa

Read “Putin: Russia’s Problem Isn’t Clinton or Trump, It’s America’s ‘Imperial Ambitions’” – http://bit.ly/1pnmYl9

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The War May Be Over: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 110)

It’s been a few months since VICE News has been in eastern Ukraine, and violence in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions has died down — suggesting that the Minsk ceasefire deal is finally sticking.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky travels from what was once the front line in Luhansk to surrounding towns that were once under constant bombardment to speak with soldiers, government officials, and residents about their hopes for the future.

Watch: Rebel Soldiers Hold the Buffer Zone: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 109) – http://bit.ly/1iPdgWm

Watch: On The DNR Frontline: Ukraine’s Failed Ceasefire (Part 1) – http://bit.ly/1h5LkMI

Read: Ukraine’s President Bans Journalists From The Country — Then Changes His Mind – http://bit.ly/1jg9Qf0

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VICE News Daily: Lebanon’s Garbage Protests Turn Violent

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Donetsk residents rally in support of pro-Russia rebels, Lebanon’s garbage protests turn violent, Kenya considers fertility treatment for endangered rhinos, and Philadelphia prison inmates are hand-carving a gift for the pope.

UKRAINE
Donetsk Residents Rally Support For Separatists
Dozens came out with flags and banners in favor of the pro-Russia rebels, as Ukraine marks Independence Day.

LEBANON
Demonstrations Continue Over Waste Management Crisis
At least one person died and dozens were wounded in violent clashes with police.

KENYA
Rhino Conservancy Seeks Funding For Fertility Treatments
Three females and one male remain alive in the world, but none are capable of natural reproduction.

U.S.A.
Philadelphia Inmates Build Chair For Pope Francis
The inmates plan to give it as a gift during the pontiff’s two-day visit to the city next month.

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The Aftermath of the Battle for Marinka (Extra Scene from ‘Ukraine’s Failed Ceasefire’)

On June 3, forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) attacked the Ukrainian-controlled town of Marinka, around half a mile west of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk. The assault came three months after the signing of the second ceasefire, agreed in Minsk between the DNR and the Ukrainian government after the collapse of the first truce in early January.

This ceasefire though, much like the first, failed to bring an end to the fighting. The attack on Marinka was the first large-scale assault on a Ukrainian-held town since February, and led many to believe a feared DNR summer offensive had begun. The assault failed, however, after the Ukrainian forces swiftly counter-attacked and forced the DNR to retreat — with both sides blaming each other for the escalation.

In this extra scene from ‘Ukraine’s Failed Ceasefire,’ VICE News met DNR soldiers in the trenches and talked to Ukrainian forces to find out more about the attack on Marinka.

Watch “On The DNR Frontline: Ukraine’s Failed Ceasefire (Part 1)” – http://bit.ly/1JbwDhf

Watch “Holding the Line for Another DNR Assault: Ukraine’s Failed Ceasefire (Part 2)” – http://bit.ly/1TLM0D7

Read “In Photos: On the Frontlines of Ukraine’s Failed Ceasefire” – http://bit.ly/1HRglJD

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Holding The Line For Another DNR Assault: Ukraine’s Failed Ceasefire (Part 2)

Watch Part 1: http://bit.ly/1h5LkMI

After seeing the realities of the “ceasefire” in eastern Ukraine from the perspective of so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) separatists, VICE News traveled across the defacto border to visit a number of Ukrainian positions near Donetsk international airport. The site was finally seized by DNR fighters in January after months of heavy fighting.

Along this stretch of the frontline, to the northwest of Donetsk, fighting has been almost continuous throughout two ceasefire agreements, whole villages lie in ruins, and few civilians dare to stay.

With its heavy industry and proximity to other major population centers in the Donetsk region, this area has long been speculated as a possible location for another DNR thrust. Yet so far the Ukrainian soldiers are holding the line.

Watch “The Russians Are Coming: NATO’s Frontier” – http://bit.ly/1KAomXF

Watch “Selfie Soldiers: Russia Checks in to Ukraine” – http://bit.ly/1IiMTwI

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Gun Talk with Young Cadets (Excerpt from ‘Child Warriors of Donetsk’)

Once a relic of the Soviet era, patriotic youth clubs in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are gaining new popularity, offering military training to their members. As young people practice assembling guns, marching, and military drills, a strong sense of allegiance flows through the ranks, with some members holding high aspirations of joining the Russian Federation army.

Up to 15 of these clubs compete in the annual Future Warrior Contest held in a local military academy, which is judged by the academy’s members and former Russian military. The contestants battle each other in displays of military prowess, vying for the prize of a visit to a training camp near Moscow.

In this excerpt, VICE News speaks to young cadets about their experiences with guns, as they take a break from their military training at the Future Warrior Contest in Donetsk.

Watch “The All-Girl Soldier Club: Child Warriors of Donetsk” – http://bit.ly/1BJyiOf

Read “Flexing Its Military Might, Russia Is Pushing Sweden Into NATO’s Arms” – http://bit.ly/1N5eHbC

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Rebel Soldiers Hold the Buffer Zone: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 109)

Caught between Ukrainian government forces and the pro-Russia separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the village of Shyrokyne in the Donetsk region has seen on and off fighting for several months. Despite a ceasefire being declared in mid-February, shelling and sniper fire continue to rain down from both sides. Locals are left behind to watch helplessly as food supplies run low.

VICE News follows the 8th Separate Mobile Brigade, a group of pro-Russia rebel soldiers, as they hold their positions at the buffer zones in Shyrokyne. During an intense exchange of fighting, one of their fighters does not make it back alive.

Watch “Russian Roulette (Dispatch 108)” – http://bit.ly/1IZ5fpz

Read “US Plan for Eastern Europe Is ‘Not Provocative,’ Says NATO Head — Yet Moscow Disagrees” – http://bit.ly/1Lv9OIC

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VICE News Daily: Fighting Ramps Up in Eastern Ukraine

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: heavy shelling killed five and destroyed homes in eastern Ukraine, Spain is correcting a centuries-old ‘historical mistake’ against Jews, Russia and Egypt are conducting naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea, and drought-stricken Californians are calling out neighbors who don’t follow water consumption rules.

UKRAINE
Heavy Fighting Picks Up in Donetsk
Four people including one child were killed when shelling hit homes near Donetsk.

SPAIN
A Path to Citizenship for Thousands of Sephardic Jews
A new bill will make it possible for Jews to obtain dual citizenship.

WAR GAMES
Russia and Egypt Hold Joint Naval Exercises
Operation Friendship Bridge 2015 focuses on air and naval defense capabilities in the Mediterranean Sea.

U.S.A.
California Residents ‘Drought-Shamed’ for Wasting Water
Drought shamers roam around with cell phones in hand to call out people who aren’t following water consumption rules.

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The All-Girl Soldier Club: Child Warriors of Donetsk

Once a relic of the Soviet era, patriotic youth clubs in the Donetsk region of Ukraine are gaining new popularity, offering military training to their members. As young people practice assembling guns, marching, and military drills, a strong sense of allegiance flows through the ranks, with some members holding high aspirations of joining the Russian Federation army.

Up to 15 of these clubs compete in the annual Future Warrior Contest held in a local military academy, which is judged by the academy’s members and former Russian military. The contestants battle each other in displays of military prowess, vying for the prize of a visit to a training camp near Moscow.

VICE News follows the Vityaz Squad as they compete against other patriotic youth clubs at the Future Warrior Contest in Donetsk.

Watch “On The Line: Simon Ostrovsky Discusses the Latest From Russia and Ukraine” – http://bit.ly/1JtjPqu

Read “Beauty Amid the Chaos: The Donetsk Opera Offers Relief to a City in the Grip of War” – http://bit.ly/1MpzVBs

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VICE News Daily: What Ceasefire? Fighting Rages in Eastern Ukraine

The VICE News Capsule is a daily news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: The lull is over in the fight for eastern Ukraine, a new Colombian law promises harsher sentences for crimes against women, what may come of Turkey’s Hagia Sophia, and a food safety scare in India.

UKRAINE
Violence Escalates in the Country’s East
Clashes between government forces and pro-Russia rebels in and around Donetsk.

COLOMBIA
Law to Impose Harsher Penalties for Crimes Against Women
Those convicted can now be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.

TURKEY
The Fate of the Hagia Sophia Hangs in the Balance
The country’s secularists are outraged by Islamist demands for the museum’s conversion to a mosque.

INDIA
Nestle Noodles Banned Over Safety Concerns
Food inspectors found unsafe levels of lead in several packets of Maggi instant noodles.

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