Ukraine nationalists seize just-released Brazilian jailed for fighting with LNR/DNR forces

Ukrainian nationalists captured Brazilian citizen Rafael and brought him to the Security Service of Ukraine building in Kiev on Friday. Lusvarghi stood accused of fighting alongside Luhansk (LNR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) forces. The Brazilian was convicted on terrorism charges and released in December after serving 14 months in prison, later the Ukrainian nationalists found his whereabouts in a monastery on Thursday.

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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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Liberia Schools Reopen Following Ebola Shutdown: VICE News Capsule, March 3

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Pro-Russia rebels help villagers cope with a food shortage in eastern Ukraine, Bangladeshi authorities make arrest in hacking death of atheist blogger, fires destroy hundreds of homes in the Philippines, and Liberia’s school officially open following seven-month Ebola shutdown.

UKRAINE
Rebels Distribute Bread Amid Food Shortage in Luhansk
Fighters of the Luhansk People’s Republic are using a ‘field kitchen’ to feed residents of a village near Debaltseve.

BANGLADESH
Authorities Detain Man in Hacking Death of Blogger
Islamist blogger Farabi Safiur Rahman allegedly threatened Avijit Roy multiple times before his murder.

PHILIPPINES
Fires Destroy Hundreds of Homes
As temperatures rise with the arrival of summer, thousands of people have been impacted by recent blazes in and outside the capital Manila.

EBOLA
Schools Reopen in Liberia, U.S. Nurse to Sue Texas Hospital
Students are back in the classroom after seven months at home. And 26-year-old Nina Pham, who contracted Ebola from a patient last year, says her employer failed to adequately prepare.

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No Letup in Fighting Across Eastern Ukraine: VICE News Capsule, February 11

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Shelling kills dozens on both sides of Ukraine’s conflict ahead of peace talks, Amsterdam announces plans for brothel run by prostitutes, report says lynchings were more widespread in America’s Jim Crow era of racial segregation, and U.S. Navy is using drone boats to protect its assets at sea.

UKRAINE
Intense Shelling Kills Troops and Civilians Days Before Minsk Talks
Over the past few days, rocket attacks by separatists and Ukrainian military forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have killed dozens of people.

NETHERLANDS
New Brothel Plans Will Leave Amsterdam’s Pimps in the Dark
City officials hope to protect and empower sex workers by giving them a chance to work at a business they actually run.

U.S.A.
Report Estimates Nearly 4,000 Lynchings in the Jim Crow South
That figure is about 700 more than previously thought.

WAR GAMES
U.S. Navy Looks to Use Unmanned Boats to Defend Ships
​Self-guided drone boats equipped with Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing (CARACaS) can coordinate synchronized attacks and won’t crash into each other or fire on friendly ships.

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Sentenced to Death by a Crowd: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 86)

During the war, various areas of eastern Ukraine under separatist control have been under the jurisdiction of field commanders, who run these areas under their own laws.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky traveled to Alchevsk in the Luhansk region to interview Alexei Mozgovoi, who’s been running a “people’s court” in which people are tried for various crimes, from rape to theft, with residents acting as the jury.

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Click to watch “The Firefighters of Donetsk: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 85)” – http://bit.ly/1qCEyMH

Check out “Military Convoys on the Move in Rebel-Held East Ukraine as Donetsk Fighting Intensifies” – http://bit.ly/1wcgj9L

Click to watch “The Donetsk People’s Republic” – http://bit.ly/1wLO6vN

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Ukrainian Military Recaptures Occupied Cities: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 64)

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After the Ukrainian military recaptured various cities across eastern Ukraine this week, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky visited Debaltseve, a town at a strategic crossroads between Donetsk and Luhansk. The army appeared to be using the victory in Debaltseve to isolate those two rebel-held cities while it prepared to retake the MH17 crash site. Its successful campaign has come at a high cost of civilian deaths and troop casualties, however, forcing refugees to flee the fighting as the army works its way south.

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Check out “Crimea: March of the Tatars” – http://bit.ly/1sdpgkA

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Searching Through the Debris of Flight MH17: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 61)

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Last week, a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. It has yet to be confirmed who shot it down, but US and Ukrainian officials have blamed the pro-Russia rebels.

VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky is in the Luhansk region with the Ukrainian military to see what, if anything, has changed in the conflict after the plane disaster.

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Rebels Shoot Down Ukrainian Military Plane: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 59)

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Weeks into the separatists’ siege of Luhansk airport, the Ukrainian military attempts a risky plan to lift the siege and resupply their stranded comrades. Although the bid to break through rebel lines is successful, it comes at a heavy price; the following morning, rebel forces celebrate their kills.

And just three days before Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is shot down over eastern Ukraine, rebel forces shoot down a Ukrainian military transport plane. VICE News arrives at the still-smoldering crash site as locals pick through wreckage looking for souvenirs to keep and scrap metal to sell.

Malaysian Passenger Jet Shot Down Over Eastern Ukraine: http://bit.ly/1moQqyj

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Civilians Suffer from Bloody Military Campaign: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 57)

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Two weeks after the separatist rebels of the Donetsk People’s Republic fled their stronghold of Sloviansk, Ukraine’s anti­-terror operation continues. In the neighboring region of Luhansk, the Ukrainian military has been battling with separatists for control of Luhansk city and its strategically important airport — but with both sides using artillery, homes are being destroyed and people are being killed. Meanwhile near Donetsk, fighting has reached outlying villages as the military looks to encircle separatist forces inside the city, who vow to make their last stand among its 1 million inhabitants.

VICE News speaks to the civilians in Luhansk and Donetsk who find themselves in the middle of the bloody campaign — and who are dying as a result.

Malaysian Passenger Jet ‘Shot Down’ Over Eastern Ukraine: http://bit.ly/1mYjUaB

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Hunting Separatists in Eastern Ukraine: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 56)

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Although Pro-Russia separatists have been largely driven out of Donetsk and Luhansk, they still control significant parts of eastern Ukraine. In this dispatch, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky goes hunting for separatists with Oleh Lyashko, a Ukrainian politician who placed third in the most recent presidential election. Ostrovsky embeds with Lyashko’s personal security forces as they successfully track down Viktor Rybalko, a pro-Russia separatist who organized the referendum in Luhansk calling for independence and allegiance with Russia. What Lyashko does is technically illegal, but he believes that the police are not doing their job and has taken it upon himself to bring order back to eastern Ukraine.

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Separatists Shoot Down Ukrainian Plane: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 50)

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Last Saturday, pro-Russia separatists shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane in the eastern city of Luhansk, killing 49. It was the deadliest incident since the conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out in April.

The country’s military has been struggling to regain control over the porous border with Russia as separatists continue to set up checkpoints and engage in sporadic fighting. Meanwhile, civilians are fleeing from towns in the area to avoid being caught in the crossfire.

VICE News is in Luhansk to meet some of the separatist men and women who are determined to keep battling the government at any cost.

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Surrounded by War In Sloviansk: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 48)

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On Sunday, recently elected President Petro Poroshenko vowed he would end two months of fighting with rebels in eastern Ukraine by the end of the week.

Last week, however, the Ukrainian army suffered a series of setbacks in the Luhansk region and lost control of several checkpoints along the Russian border. Separatist groups now say they have occupied up to 125 miles of the frontier, allowing for fighters, weapons and other goods to move across from the east. VICE News headed to a checkpoint in Luhansk to talk with a Cossack commander about his group’s operations there and find out how he is “preparing for war.”

In the towns of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, shelling is on the rise. Some civilians in the area were able to pack their belongings and flee, yet many more local residents are unable to leave. From housewives, to students, to local farmers, all are feeling the effects of the continuing crisis.

Sloviansk’s ‘People’s Mayor’ Rumored to Be Detained By Own Forces in Ukraine: http://bit.ly/1phpkA7

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Taking The Temperature Ahead Of Ukraine’s Election: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 41)

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The Ukrainian elections are Sunday, and there’s still uncertainty that they will actually take place in eastern Ukraine. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky travels around the eastern part of the country to gauge the vibe before election day.

He interviews Ukraine’s Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov about plans to make sure everything goes smoothly in Donetsk and Luhansk — areas which have a heavy presence of pro-Russia forces. He then visits a polling station in Donetsk where nearby a Ukrainian checkpoint was attacked a few hours earlier resulting in at least 11 deaths, and meets up with the Donbas Battalion, who are working to ensure that everyone will be able to participate in the elections. Despite the measures that are being taken by Ukrainian troops and officials, it’s still unclear what tomorrow will bring.

“Deadliest Rebel Attack on Ukrainian Military Kills at Least 14” – https://news.vice.com/article/deadliest-rebel-attack-on-ukrainian-military-kills-at-least-14

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – May,23 2014

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Ukraine’s government says at least 14 soldiers were killed in fighting with pro-Russia separatists, Syrian government and opposition forces fight for a suburb of the capital, China sentences nearly 40 on terror charges in Xinjiang, and Honduras moves inmates out of its overcrowded prisons.

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UKRAINE
More than a Dozen Soldiers Killed in East
Government officials blame Russia for supporting rebels to destabilize the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Read more on vicenews.comhttps://news.vice.com/article/deadliest-rebel-attack-on-ukrainian-military-kills-at-least-14

SYRIA
Fighting Continues for Damascus Suburb, Prison Siege Broken
Bashar Al Assad’s government seeks to take back territory ahead of next month’s presidential vote.

CHINA
Government Sentences Dozens on Terror Charges
Ethnic Uyughurs will be jailed up to 15 years in a region recently hit by a string of attacks.

HONDURAS
Inmates Moved Out of Overcrowded Prisons
Some of the country’s 13,000 inmates will be transferred to government buildings.

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Detained in Donetsk on Referendum Day: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 38)

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On Sunday, a referendum was finally held by the breakaway Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine on whether to declare independence. Polling stations were set up all over the city. With no independent monitors present, the DPR used locals to ensure that the vote was free and fair — a provision that hardly inspired confidence.

VICE News correspondent Henry Langston visited Donetsk to witness the ballot and ask people what they were voting for, but he and his crew quickly ran afoul of masked gunmen who were patrolling the station. They forced the crew inside the occupied administration building, where they were detained, searched, and interrogated for three hours before being allowed to leave. The experience offered some indication of what press freedom in the DPR would look like should it ever become independent.

Preliminary results announced around midnight showed a voter turnout of 74 percent, of which 89 percent voted yes. While seemingly suspect, the results were cheered by the DPR, which declared itself an independent state on Monday. But people are unsure of what the future holds for the separatist ambitions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Just last month, a poll showed that only 18 percent of people in eastern Ukraine wanted independence. With the Ukrainian government refusing to recognize the referendum and Russia backing its result, the next few days could prove pivotal for the entire region.

Read more about our new experiment #UkraineDesk: https://news.vice.com/article/welcome-to-ukrainedesk

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – April, 30 2014

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Iraq votes in its first national election since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. forces, pro-Russia separatists storm more government buildings in eastern Ukraine, security forces in Pakistan destroy hundreds of acres of poppy fields, and the White House urges colleges to step up efforts to battle sexual assault.

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IRAQ
Parliamentary Vote Under Way
No party is expected to win the majority in the first national ballot held since the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

UKRAINE
Separatists Seize Government Buildings in Luhansk
The provincial government building, police headquarters, and prosecutor’s office are taken over by several hundred pro-Russia separatists.

PAKISTAN
Poppy Fields Destroyed in Anti-Drug Operation
Security forces take on hundreds of acres of farm land in the tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan.

U.S.A.
White House Bolsters Campaign Against Campus Sex Assault
A special task force report calls on universities to make changes to the way they handle the growing issue.

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Pro-Russian Protesters Occupy State Security Service Building: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 24)

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Pro-Russian protestors in Luhansk, the most Eastern city in Ukraine, took over the headquarters of the state security services on April 9. Armed with guns they found in the building, the demonstrators were determined not to leave. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky visited the occupied building, which despite the occupation, was surprisingly calm.

But not everyone in Luhansk wants to join Russia — and some who express that sentiment are suffering dire consequences. We spoke to one resident who said he was severely beaten for siding with Ukraine, and another who is determined to leave the area if Luhansk becomes Russian. Amid calls for parts of Ukraine to join Russia, the tension and unrest across the country is spreading — and it is becoming increasingly difficult to predict what will happen next.

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