Russia set to unveil giant ‘Orthodox Cathedral of Armed Forces’ | AFP

A giant Orthodox cathedral located at Patriot military park outside the Russian capital is slated to be unveiled next month to celebrate victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. Besides the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, the church also glorifies other “feats of arms of the Russian people” including Moscow’s takeover of Crimea in 2014, according to Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson. Standing 96 meters tall and crowned by six golden globes, the cathedral will be Russia’s third-largest Orthodox Christian church. The unprecedented project has been steeped in symbolism, with the bell chamber’s height — 75 meters — symbolising the 75th anniversary of victory over the Nazi. Melted-down elements of Nazi tanks and planes have been used to build the cathedral’s steps, the defence ministry spokesman said. Even before its formal opening on May 9, the church has become the target of fierce criticism and ridicule. It will be the first time that the Russian Orthodox Church has agreed that the image of Stalin — who famously clamped down on religion — appear in a cathedral, historians said.

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Russian town dredges up Stalin statue, old divisions | AFP

The discovery of a Joseph Stalin statue at the bottom of a pond has divided a remote Russian town and dredged up a debate about the Soviet dictator’s legacy.

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Russians remember victims of Stalin’s terror

Hundreds of Russians gather in central Moscow to remember the victims of Stalin’s terror, despite questions over whether city authorities would allow the annual ceremony to go ahead. Participants in the “Return of the Names” event, which has been running for more than a decade, wait in line to read out the names of those killed during the Soviet period of political repression beginning in the 1930s.

Police raid Moscow cinema for showing banned ‘Death of Stalin’

Russian police on Friday raided a Moscow cinema after it screened British comedy “Death of Stalin” in defiance of an official ban. The culture ministry withdrew permission for British director Armando Iannucci’s film, which satirises the death of the dictator, on Tuesday after Russian officials labelled it offensive and “extremist.”

Stalin statue centrepiece of new Berlin exhibition

A statue of Stalin briefly appears on the Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin, before being transported to the former Stasi prison in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. The statue, a reproduction of the original which stood in the German capital from 1951 to 1961, is a central part of the exhibition “Stalin – The Red God” which will open on January 26.

Moscow holds traditional New Year’s ‘Snow Maiden’ parade

A parade in Moscow celebrates Snegurochka, or the Snow Maiden, a Russian folklore character who has been part of Russian New Year’s celebrations since the 1930s when Stalin’s regime encouraged the marking of the New Year in place of Christmas festivities. Snegurochka symbolises frozen waters, embodies purity and kindness and is the grand-daughter and helper to ‘Father Frost’, a Father Christmas-type character.

Remembering 1917: Revolution parade held in Berlin

The 100-year anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia was commemorated with a small privately organised military parade in central Berlin, Tuesday. Soviet-era vehicles were driven through Potsdamer Platz flying Communist flags and bearing images of historical leaders including Stalin and Mao. The event was reportedly registered with authorities under the name ‘Association for the Unilateral Use of Literature and Exceptional Brecht Projects.’ READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8ro7

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Russians honour the victims of Stalin-era purges

Hundreds of Russians gather in central Moscow to honour the victims of Stalin-era purges. Historians estimate about one million people perished in Stalin’s Great Purge in the 1930s out of around 20 million who died under his three-decade rule before his death in 1953.

Crimea: March of the Tatars

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In one of history’s most severe and efficient incidents of mass exile, the Tatars in Crimea were removed from their homeland by Stalin in 1944. Within just three days, 200,000 Tatars were forcibly deported. After spending 50 years in exile, the Tatars returned to their homeland in Crimea at the collapse of the Soviet Union, and have since felt generally protected under Ukrainian rule.

Following a fraudulent and illegal referendum earlier this year on whether to become part of Russia, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation — a move that brought back painful memories of persecution and oppression for the local Tatar community.

VICE News spent time with Tatars around the time of the commemoration of their exile, and found a community already under pressure from new Russian authorities. It’s unclear what their future will hold under Russian rule again, and many fear that history could repeat itself.

Read more on VICE News: Crimean Tatars Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands – http://bit.ly/1pqWDhQ

Watch “Tatar Nation: The Other Crimea” – http://bit.ly/1u0NnT5

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Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Full Length)

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America is locking up more people than any other nation on earth. Home to just 5 percent of the world’s total population, the United States houses more than 20 percent of the world’s prisoners. In the last three decades, fueled in large part by a national drug policy and legislation like three strikes laws, America has imprisoned more people in local jails, federal penitentiaries, and private correctional facilities than Stalin put in the Gulags. New court rulings have declared overcrowded prisons to be unconstitutional, and the sheer cost of incarceration is forcing prisons to let prisoners back out on the streets.

VICE News was granted rare access to go inside one of the most maximum-security prisons in the country, a place that’s on the frontline of what could be a sea change in prison policy. Salinas Valley State Prison is home to America’s most powerful prison gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. It’s a place that’s projected to have more than 700 assaults this year. In an institution that houses the worst of the worst, we see how one maverick warden is trying to turn the system around by rehabilitating murderers before they get returned to the streets.
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Getting Out: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 5)

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America is locking up more people than any other nation on earth. Home to just 5 percent of the world’s total population, the United States houses more than 20 percent of the world’s prisoners. In the last three decades, fueled in large part by a national drug policy and legislation like three strikes laws, America has imprisoned more people in local jails, federal penitentiaries, and private correctional facilities than Stalin put in the Gulags. New court rulings have declared overcrowded prisons to be unconstitutional, and the sheer cost of incarceration is forcing prisons to let prisoners back out on the streets.

VICE News was granted rare access to go inside one of the most maximum-security prisons in the country, a place that’s on the frontline of what could be a sea change in prison policy. Salinas Valley State Prison is home to America’s most powerful prison gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. It’s a place that’s projected to have more than 700 assaults this year. In an institution that houses the worst of the worst, we see how one maverick warden is trying to turn the system around by rehabilitating murderers before they get returned to the streets.

Inside Maximum Security: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 1): http://bit.ly/VcZLne
The Grip of the Gangs: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 2): http://bit.ly/VFjBYE
Goodbye to the Mafia: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 3): http://bit.ly/TFey8R
A Thousand Lifers: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 4): http://bit.ly/1kjwAo1
Getting Out: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 5): http://bit.ly/1olIn7W

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A Thousand Lifers: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 4)

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America is locking up more people than any other nation on earth. Home to just 5 percent of the world’s total population, the United States houses more than 20 percent of the world’s prisoners. In the last three decades, fueled in large part by a national drug policy and legislation like three strikes laws, America has imprisoned more people in local jails, federal penitentiaries, and private correctional facilities than Stalin put in the Gulags. New court rulings have declared overcrowded prisons to be unconstitutional, and the sheer cost of incarceration is forcing prisons to let prisoners back out on the streets.

VICE News was granted rare access to go inside one of the most maximum-security prisons in the country, a place that’s on the frontline of what could be a sea change in prison policy. Salinas Valley State Prison is home to America’s most powerful prison gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. It’s a place that’s projected to have more than 700 assaults this year. In an institution that houses the worst of the worst, we see how one maverick warden is trying to turn the system around by rehabilitating murderers before they get returned to the streets.

Inside Maximum Security: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 1): http://bit.ly/VcZLne
The Grip of the Gangs: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 2): http://bit.ly/VFjBYE
Goodbye to the Mafia: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 3): http://bit.ly/TFey8R
A Thousand Lifers: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 4): http://bit.ly/1kjwAo1
Getting Out: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 5): http://bit.ly/1olIn7W

Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com

Follow VICE News here:
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Goodbye to the Mafia: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 3)

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America is locking up more people than any other nation on earth. Home to just 5 percent of the world’s total population, the United States houses more than 20 percent of the world’s prisoners. In the last three decades, fueled in large part by a national drug policy and legislation like three strikes laws, America has imprisoned more people in local jails, federal penitentiaries, and private correctional facilities than Stalin put in the Gulags. New court rulings have declared overcrowded prisons to be unconstitutional, and the sheer cost of incarceration is forcing prisons to let prisoners back out on the streets.

VICE News was granted rare access to go inside one of the most maximum-security prisons in the country, a place that’s on the frontline of what could be a sea change in prison policy. Salinas Valley State Prison is home to America’s most powerful prison gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. It’s a place that’s projected to have more than 700 assaults this year. In an institution that houses the worst of the worst, we see how one maverick warden is trying to turn the system around by rehabilitating murderers before they get returned to the streets.

Inside Maximum Security: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 1): http://bit.ly/VcZLne
The Grip of the Gangs: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 2): http://bit.ly/VFjBYE
Goodbye to the Mafia: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 3): http://bit.ly/TFey8R
A Thousand Lifers: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 4): http://bit.ly/1kjwAo1
Getting Out: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 5): http://bit.ly/1olIn7W

Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com

Follow VICE News here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews
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The Grip of the Gangs: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 2)

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America is locking up more people than any other nation on earth. Home to just 5 percent of the world’s total population, the United States houses more than 20 percent of the world’s prisoners. In the last three decades, fueled in large part by a national drug policy and legislation like three strikes laws, America has imprisoned more people in local jails, federal penitentiaries, and private correctional facilities than Stalin put in the Gulags. New court rulings have declared overcrowded prisons to be unconstitutional, and the sheer cost of incarceration is forcing prisons to let prisoners back out on the streets.

VICE News was granted rare access to go inside one of the most maximum-security prisons in the country, a place that’s on the frontline of what could be a sea change in prison policy. Salinas Valley State Prison is home to America’s most powerful prison gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. It’s a place that’s projected to have more than 700 assaults this year. In an institution that houses the worst of the worst, we see how one maverick warden is trying to turn the system around by rehabilitating murderers before they get returned to the streets.

Inside Maximum Security: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 1): http://bit.ly/VcZLne
The Grip of the Gangs: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 2): http://bit.ly/VFjBYE
Goodbye to the Mafia: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 3): http://bit.ly/TFey8R
A Thousand Lifers: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 4): http://bit.ly/1kjwAo1
Getting Out: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 5): http://bit.ly/1olIn7W

Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com

Follow VICE News here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews
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Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/

Inside Maximum Security Prison: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 1)

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News

America is locking up more people than any other nation on earth. Home to just 5 percent of the world’s total population, the United States houses more than 20 percent of the world’s prisoners. In the last three decades, fueled in large part by a national drug policy and legislation like three strikes laws, America has imprisoned more people in local jails, federal penitentiaries, and private correctional facilities than Stalin put in the Gulags. New court rulings have declared overcrowded prisons to be unconstitutional, and the sheer cost of incarceration is forcing prisons to let prisoners back out on the streets.

VICE News was granted rare access to go inside one of the most maximum-security prisons in the country, a place that’s on the frontline of what could be a sea change in prison policy. Salinas Valley State Prison is home to America’s most powerful prison gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. It’s a place that’s projected to have more than 700 assaults this year. In an institution that houses the worst of the worst, we see how one maverick warden is trying to turn the system around by rehabilitating murderers before they get returned to the streets.

Inside Maximum Security: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 1): http://bit.ly/VcZLne
The Grip of the Gangs: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 2): http://bit.ly/VFjBYE
Goodbye to the Mafia: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 3): http://bit.ly/TFey8R
A Thousand Lifers: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 4): http://bit.ly/1kjwAo1
Getting Out: Murder, Mayhem, and Meditation (Part 5): http://bit.ly/1olIn7W

Check out the VICE News beta for more: http://vicenews.com

Follow VICE News here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews
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Rocks and Rubber Bullets in Donetsk Police Standoff: Russian Roulette in Ukraine (Dispatch 32)

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On International Workers Day, pro-Russia protesters marched through central Donetsk in eastern Ukraine calling for a referendum on the region’s future. Some want to join Russia, while others to become a federal republic inside Ukraine — all want to separate from the interim government installed after the Euromaidan revolution. Around 3,000 protesters first gathered on Lenin Square before marching on to lay flowers at a WW1 memorial. The protesters chanted in support of the planned May 11th referendum and denounced the government in Kiev as a “fascist junta” while waving Stalin flags. The crowd wasn’t entirely friendly, with one journalist, who was accused of being a “provocateur,” was bundled into a car and driven away by protesters in body armor, his destination unknown.

The march moved on to a police station where they were able to negotiate installing the Donetsk republic flag before speakers called to take over the nearby prosecutors’ office.

Outside the office, around 60 cops in riot gear were formed up, protecting the entrance. The protesters called for the prosecutor to come and meet them, but after five minutes clashes suddenly broke out. Stones were thrown and the police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Eventually the police were forced back by the onslaught, and there was a brief lull while the wounded were evacuated and the captured police were let go.

The crowd then moved to the back of the building, where about 100 police were gathered. Very quickly the protesters were able to hop the fences and force open the gate, surrounding the police and eventually forcing them to surrender. Police were then humiliatingly forced to hand over their shields, helmets, and batons before being lead out through the crowds, getting kicked and spat upon as they went.

The day before, acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said his government is “helpless” in dealing with the security situation in eastern Ukraine. The events on May 1st clearly backed that up. The police had little fight in them, and morale was surely worsened after such a humiliating clash. Today though, the Ukrainian government re-launched an operation to take the separatist stronghold of Slovyansk. Is this the start of a government fight back?

Watch all of VICE News’ coverage of the conflict in Ukraine here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw613M86o5o7DfgzuUCd_PVwbOCDO472B

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Tatar Nation: The Other Crimea

Crimea’s Tatars — who amount to 12 percent of the peninsula’s 2.2 million residents — overwhelmingly boycotted the March 16th referendum for Crimea to become part of Russia. The Tatar’s bad history with Russia was a major factor of their decision, as Stalin persecuted and deported them en masse from the Crimean Peninsula in 1944. After the collapse of the Soviet Union Tatars trickled back into Crimea, but their status there was always temporary. With Crimea’s much-disputed status as part of Russia following the referendum, the future of the Tatars is a big question mark. VICE News’ Simon Ostrovsky spent some time with Tatars in Simferopol in the week leading up to the referendum to get their side of the story.

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