Activists mock ‘pro-Russian’ candidates in Ukraine elections

Protesters mock presidential candidates during a protest themed ‘Down with the fifth column of Ukrainian policy’ in the centre of Kiev, displaying cardboard cutouts of persons whom the protesters call “pro-Russian candidates” ahead of the presidential election on March 31. IMAGES of cardboard cutouts of Ukrainian presidential candidates

As conflict drags on, Ukrainians spurn Russian culture

After the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and the outbreak of a deadly conflict with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, many Ukrainians have in recent years turned away from the cultural products of a country increasingly considered as hostile. The movement was also encouraged by the Ukrainian authorities, who sought, through sometimes controversial measures, to support local culture in the face of Russian industry accused of promoting the interests of the Kremlin.

Manafort’s defence attorney arrives at court

President Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort leaving his hotel and arriving at court in Alexandria where lawyers will begin their closing arguments in his explosive trial. Paul Manafort is accused of bank fraud and evading tax on millions of dollars he earned working for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. IMAGES

Ukraine: Italian football hooligan turns pro-Russian separatist

Palmeri, a former leader of a group of supporters for the football team in Lucca, central Italy, faces jail sentence at home for the gang’s neofascist views and violent activities. He fled the country in 2014 to go fighting as a ‘volunteer’ with the separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

Prague: ​Czechs vote in round two of presidential election

Czechs are set to pick their new president in a face-off between pro-Russian incumbent Milos Zeman and liberal pro-European rival Jiri Drahos on the last day of a vote that promises to go down to the wire. IMAGES

Polls open for Czech presidential run-off

Czechs headed to the ballot box Friday and Saturday in a tight presidential run-off in the EU and NATO state pitting pro-Russian incumbent Milos Zeman against pro-European rival Jiri Drahos in a race that promises to go down to the wire. IMAGES of polls opening at polling station where Zenman will vote

Czech president casts his ballot ‘against Femen’ after attack

Czech President Milos Zeman cast his presidential election ballot saying it was “against the Femen movement” moments after a women’s rights activist ran at the pro-Russian incumbent shouting ‘Zeman, Putin’s slut’ before being tackled by security staff and dragged her away.

Half-naked Femen activist crashes Czech president’s vote

A women’s rights activist from the ‘Femen’ group ran at Czech President Milos Zeman as he went to cast his ballot in his country’s presidential election on Friday. The protester chanted ‘Zemen, Putin’s slut’ at the pro-Russian incumbent as security staff tackled her to the ground and dragged her away. IMAGES

Trump’s former campaign chairman surrenders to the FBI

Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump surrendered to federal authorities on Monday.

The charges would be the first from the investigation of Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, who was appointed to look into alleged Russian meddling to sway the election in favor of Trump.

The Times also reported that Manafort associate Rick Gates would also surrender.

Manafort, 68, served the Trump campaign from June to August of 2016 before resigning amid reports he may have received millions in illegal payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

Mueller has been investigating Manafort’s financial and real estate dealings and his prior work for that political group, the Party of Regions, which backed former Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich.

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Emmanuel Macron meets Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko

French President Emmanuel Macron met his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on Monday at the Elysée Palace in Paris, to discuss the 2015 Minsk peace agreements between Kiev and the pro-Russian rebels. IMAGES

Elves vs trolls: Digital swords & bows out in Lithuania in hunt for ‘pro-Russian propaganda’

A group of Lithuanian activists have decided to tackle alleged Russian propaganda online. They aim to chase down tweets and posts, which they claim are spreading disinformation.

RT’s Emily Siu has more

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RT, Sputnik news agency appear at UK govt inquiry into relations with Russia

Britain’s relationship with Russia has been the focus of a Westminster Foreign Affairs Committee session. It comes just over a week after a report was presented to the UK Parliament, which called for public figures with pro-Russian views to be singled out and discredited. Among those who spoke to the panel were representatives from RT, and Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

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RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Corruption and Scandal: Crisis in Moldova (Dispatch 1)

Moldovans have been protesting against their government for months. They allege that their leaders are deeply corrupted after a billion-dollar banking scandal hit the country in 2015. The former prime minister, Vlad Filat, was arrested and detained for suspected involvement.

Pro-European and pro-Russian parties are working together to lead the protests. They demand that the prime minister step down, and that the government hold early elections. But given the influence of powerful oligarchs in the country, it’s far from certain whether new leadership would even bring real change.

VICE News went to Moldova to speak to the opposition parties and find out how the theft of $1 billion from the banking system is affecting people in this impoverished country.

Watch “Protesters Storm French Port: Breaking Borders (Dispatch 8)” – http://bit.ly/1Sjz4a1

Read “Massive Protest Held in Moldova Over $1 Billion That Mysteriously Vanished” – http://bit.ly/1PSc17u

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On The Line: Henry Langston Discusses Ukraine, Russia, and the Baltic States

Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/vicenews) where we’ll announce the next topic for ‘On The Line’.

VICE News correspondent Henry Langston joined ‘On The Line’ to discuss his recent trips to Ukraine and the Baltic States.

As fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels continues in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s neighbors are keeping a wary eye on Moscow. Henry Langston has been following the story for VICE News and has traveled to Lithuania to see the country’s new “Rapid Reaction Force,” and to the front lines of the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday he’ll join On The Line to take your questions.

Watch “The Russians are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike” – http://bit.ly/1H8HzMK

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This Week On The Line: Henry Langston Discusses Ukraine, Russia, and the Baltic States

On Thursday at 12pm EDT VICE News correspondent Henry Langston (https://twitter.com/henry_langston) joins On The Line to discuss his recent trips to Ukraine and the Baltic States.

As fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels continues in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s neighbors are keeping a wary eye on Moscow. Henry Langston has been following the story for VICE News and has traveled to Lithuania to see the country’s new “Rapid Reaction Force,” and to the front lines of the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday he’ll join On The Line to take your questions.

Watch “The Russians are Coming: Lithuania’s Operation Lightning Strike” – http://bit.ly/1H8HzMK

VICE News and On The Line want to hear from you! Let us know your questions for Henry on Twitter with the hashtag #ontheline, or send us a video message on Skype.

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Aftermath of Ambush on Ukrainian Forces: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 75)

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As pro-Russian separatists opened up a new front along Ukraine’s southern coast, threatening the city of Mariupol, they also surrounded a mixture of regular Ukrainian army and pro-government militias in the town of Ilovaisk. To the southeast of Donetsk, Ilovaisk had been the scene of heavy fighting that eventually tipped in favor of the separatists. With Ukrainian forces having little choice, they surrendered and were assured they could leave the city through a safe “green corridor.”

However, the separatists seemed to have reneged on the promise of safe passage, and several Ukrainian columns were caught in devastatingly brutal ambushes, leaving hundreds dead and dozens taken prisoner.

VICE News stumbled upon one of the many Ukrainian ambulance convoys sent to retrieve the dead and wounded from an ambush site at Novokaterynivka, finding a scene of absolute horror and panic.

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Check out “Crimea: A Look Inside the New Russian Territory” – http://bit.ly/1mjdFuH

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The Fight for Ukraine: Last Days of the Revolution

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February 2014, Ukraine’s Euromaidan revolution against the government of Viktor Yanukovych had reached another stalemate after the violence in late January. But on the 18th, massive and fatal clashes broke out between police and protesters outside the Ukrainian parliament building, the Rada.

After hours of fierce fighting, the protesters were pushed back onto their last lines of defense in Independence square and just about forced the police back after an attempt to clear the square. Once the dust had settled almost 30 police and protesters had been killed, on a day where firearms were used openly by both sides for the first time.

Vice News arrived a day later to a city on lockdown and Independence square resembling a dystopian protest nightmare, fires burning, everything covered in black ash and the protesters themselves looked tired and desperate as a fragile truce held throughout the night.

The next day however set of a chain of events that would leave dozens of protesters dead, Yanukovych fleeing the country and the protesters firmly in control of parliament. This film tracks the last days of the Euromaidan revolution, from the mass killings of protesters by the police on 20th February, to the day Yanukovych fled his private estate, leaving behind a wealth of incriminating documents linking him to fraud, corruption and possibly even attempted murder.

Within days an interim government, made up of protest figures and opposition MPs was in power and presidential elections were set for the 25th May. However, since the end of the revolution the new government has had to face a nosediving economy, the Russian annexation of Crimea and now a violent bid for independence by pro-Russian separatists in the east. After a violent and chaotic 6 months, the election gives the country a chance to look towards a future of closer links to the EU and a chance to end the corruption that dominates Ukrainian society.

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