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Video shows a pro-Russian separatist ...
Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast
By Yves Choquette
11 Apr 2015

Video shows a pro-Russian separatist Cossack explosives team detonating an unexploded 220mm Uragan missile in a field near Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine on April 11, 2015

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Ukraine Front Lines: No Ceasefire, Mi...
Tonen'ke, Ukraine
By Andrey Samerkhanov
30 Mar 2015

Footage and interviews from Ukraine front lines.

Despite a ceasefire brokered in Minsk between Russia and Ukraine and the pulling back of heavy artillery on both sides, warfare doesn't stop in eastern Ukraine. Russian proxies and regular army continue shelling at Ukrainian forces' positions on daily basis. In the meantime, UA president Poroshenko announced UA volunteer battalions withdrawal from the front lines in eastern Ukraine. Soldiers of the regular UA army fear this decision will turn to many death among UA soldiers that remain to serve there: "The enemy is strong and UA must ensure even stronger defense instead of withdrawal". The following three stories aim to highlight:
1) Who is really supports UA army;
2) What challenges UA soldiers face on the front lines;
3) Why UA soldiers think UA president Poroshenko's decision on "withdrawal" from the front lines is wrong

We have heard and read a lot about volunteers providing food, medical supplies, and other essentials for the Ukrainian soldiers at the front. At the same time the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and government officials have claimed that the government is doing its job in supplying the soldiers with everything they need. EMPR has decided to see for ourselves how things stand in regard to how well the soldiers in the battle zone in eastern Ukraine are being taken care of. In our search for the truth and to bring our readers a firsthand account our correspondent spent two days with a volunteer group in the Donetsk oblast. We want to share with our readers the remarkable, unique system the volunteers have worked out to provide aid to the patriots of Ukraine who with their strength of spirit, desire for justice and often with their own lives are defending our land from the Russian invaders.
Meet the charitable organization "Mother's Watch" in Kyiv. Here volunteers collect aid for the Ukrainian soldiers. Here protective camouflage nets are made, bread and cakes and meat pies are baked, stuffed dumplings and meat balls are cooked, and soup and borshch ingredients are dehydrated. This is where our journey accompanying the volunteers from the "Association of Ukrainian Veterans of Afghanistan" begins. The group of veterans delivers the goods to the soldiers at the front.
We leave Kyiv at night and by morning we arrive in Donetsk oblast. Our first stop is a small village where 11 divisions of a mechanized infantry battalion are based. Here we leave half of the goods. The battalion has been here for three months already. They are tired. And waiting for their rotation to end. Next we're off to the see the "Right Sector."

Story #1
Music is in the air as volunteers from the organization "Mother's Watch" weave camouflage nets for the soldiers and sing their hearts out. Soon the vans arrive. Food, water, and other essentials are loaded into the vans. By the next morning the vans are at the front. They are unloaded and the goods are distributed among the soldiers. The soldiers tell us that if the volunteers did not bring them the supplies they need the army would not be able to keep going for more than two weeks.

Story #2
The soldiers of the Ukrainian Army share with the volunteers all the ceasefire violations the opponent has committed, the problems within the army, and their thoughts on how and by whom Ukraine could be helped in the war against Russian aggression.

Story #3
In February, 2015, Andrei Hrachev, a combat doctor with the 93 Battalion together with other soldiers addressed an appeal to the President of Ukraine in which they called on the president to bring order to the country, to get rid of corruption, and to fulfill the pre-election promises. The appeal was full of obscene language but it hit record highs in popularity. Andrei Hrachev became an Internet star. In March, 2015 Petro Poroshenko issued an order that the volunteer battalions Right Sector and OUN must either become a part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine or leave the battle zone. Here is Andrei Hrachev's response to the President's order.

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Ukrainian Hockey Struggles amid Conflict
Kiev, Ukraine
By ItsBorys
16 Feb 2015

The PHL was once Ukraine's top hockey league but nothing remains of the league after the strains of corruption and conflict caused its demise.

"When all the conflict started in East Ukraine, I realized that we are not going to have our championship," says Alexander Karolyuk, a former PHL player.

Left behind are the young Ukrainian men who returned from leagues around the world to play in the PHL. These established hockey players have few options now that their former strongest hockey ally Russia has invaded their country.

Since the war began many Russian KHL teams simply refuse to sign Ukrainian players, and many Ukrainian players can't even contemplate leaving to play in that country. Many have been forced to retire and find civilian jobs while others have chosen to forego fighting on the ice to fight for their country. Some have died doing so.

[Extra Footage Available]

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Ukrainian Hockey Struggles amid Confl...
Kiev, Ukraine
By ItsBorys
16 Feb 2015

EXTRA FOOTAGE, FULL REPORT AVAILABLE HERE: https://www.transterramedia.com/media/56840

The PHL was once Ukraine's top hockey league but nothing remains of the league after the strains of corruption and conflict caused its demise.

"When all the conflict started in East Ukraine, I realized that we are not going to have our championship," says Alexander Karolyuk, a former PHL player.

Left behind are the Young Ukrainian men who returned from leagues around the world to play in the PHL. These established hockey players have few options now that their former strongest hockey ally Russia has invaded their country.

Since the war began many Russian KHL teams simply refuse to sign Ukrainian players, and many Ukrainian players can't even contemplate leaving to play in that country. Many have been forced to retire and find civilian jobs while others have chosen to forego fighting on the ice to fight for their country. Some have died doing so.

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Ukraine Refugees 21
Donetsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
08 Feb 2015

Actors walk the hallways of the Donetsk Opera during their
performance.

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Ukraine Refugees 22
Donetsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
08 Feb 2015

Actors perform at the Donetsk Opera, as fighting continues on the outskirts of the city.

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Ukraine Fighting Displaces Thousands
Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
07 Feb 2015

Heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine has killed civilians on both sides, while an attempt to reopen peace talks has stalled. The past week has seen by far the worst fighting in Ukraine since the ceasefire was signed five months ago, exacerbating the refugee situation in the country. This comes as rebel forces announced an offensive that Kiev says amounts to a full repudiation of the truce. 

Fighting in the towns of Uglegorsk and Debaltsevo left tens of Ukrainian soldiers and rebel soldiers dead, while civilians from the area fled to a suburb just thirty kilometers from the frontline in Svetlogorsk. Meanwhile in Donetsk, recently the scene of fierce clashes between Ukrainian forces and rebel units, some residents attend a show at the Donetsk Opera while others stay in the safety of makeshift bomb shelters.

So far, fighting in East Ukraine has left 921,640 internally displaced, including 136,216 children, according to a UN report from January 21. Over 600,000 have left the country, 400,000 of whom have fled to Russia.

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Ukraine Refugees 12
Uglegorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
07 Feb 2015

Rebel soldiers prepare to take up their positions outside Uglegorsk.

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Ukraine Refugees 13
Uglegorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
07 Feb 2015

Rebels receive orders from their commander at a check point in Uglegorsk.

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Ukraine Refugees 14
Uglegorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
07 Feb 2015

A rebel soldier covers his face from the cold at the checkpoint in Uglegorsk, recently taken by rebels.

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Ukraine Refugees 16
Uglegorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
07 Feb 2015

Locals walk the streets of Uglegorsk, recently taken by rebels in their push for territory in Ukraine's Donbass region.

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Ukraine Refugees 01
Uglegorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
07 Feb 2015

Destroyed tanks and armored vehicles line the main road in Uglegorsk.

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Ukraine Refugees 03
Uglegorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
07 Feb 2015

Elderly women walk by a destroyed house in Uglegorsk, a small city that was taken by rebels in their push to gain territory in Ukraine's Donbass region.

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Ukraine Refugees 11
Uglegorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
07 Feb 2015

A local man talks with rebel technicians as they try to fix a destroyed Ukrainian armored personnel carrier in Uglegorsk.

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Ukraine Refugees 19
Donetsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
06 Feb 2015

A woman in Donetsk reviews the damage to her house after weeks of fighting rocked the city.

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Ukraine Refugees 08
Uglegorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
06 Feb 2015

People stay in a bomb shelter in Donetsk that was designed during the Cold War. Some local residents have lived in bomb shelters for more than a month, looking for cover from artillery strikes.

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Ukraine Refugees 09
Donetsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
06 Feb 2015

People stay in a bomb shelter in Donetsk that was designed during the Cold War. Some local residents have lived in bomb shelters for more than a month, looking for cover from artillery strikes.

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Ukraine Refugees 10
Donetsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
06 Feb 2015

People stay in a bomb shelter in Donetsk that was designed during the Cold War. Some local residents have lived in bomb shelters for more than a month, looking for cover from artillery strikes.

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Ukraine Refugees 23
Donetsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
05 Feb 2015

A man fixes windows in his apartment that were shattered by a nearby explosion.

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Ukraine Refugees 24
Donetsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
05 Feb 2015

Windows at a school for hairdressers in Donetsk are blocked with mattresses.

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Ukraine Refugees 06
Svetlogorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
03 Feb 2015

Refugees from Debaltsevo wait to depart in the bus that will take them to a shelter in Svetlogorsk.

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Ukraine Refugees 07
Svetlogorsk, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
03 Feb 2015

Refugees from Debaltsevo arrive at the sanatorium in Svyatogorsk that has been made into a shelter, some 30km from the frontline in Svetlogorsk.

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Ukraine Refugees 15
Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
01 Feb 2015

A man walks along the deserted road outside Debaltsevo, the scene of fierce fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia rebels.

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Ukraine Refugees 17
Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
01 Feb 2015

Ukrainian soldiers patrol the streets in Debaltsevo.

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Ukraine Refugees 18
Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
01 Feb 2015

Locals from Debaltsevo wait to board a truck to leave town. They have been without power, water and gas for at least ten days.

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Ukraine Refugees 20
Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
01 Feb 2015

People from Chernukhino, now situated on the frontline of the conflict, wait to be evacuated by bus.

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Ukraine Refugees 02
Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
01 Feb 2015

People from Chernukhino, now situated on front lines of the ongoing conflict, wait for an evacuation shuttle.

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Ukraine Refugees 05
Debaltsevo, Ukraine
By Sergey Ponomarev
01 Feb 2015

Locals from Debaltsevo wait to board a truck to leave town. They have been without power, water and gas for at least ten days.

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Life In A Donetsk Bomb Shelter
Donetsk
By Andrey Samerkhanov
07 Oct 2014

Date: October 7, 2014
Location: Petrovka, Donetsk, Ukraine
Length: 03:18

To survive, local residents of Donetsk are forced to live in makeshift bomb shelters in their basements. Many have lived there for several months.

Nicolay found shelter in a basement more than six months ago together with his mother and little sister. He shows us the living conditions of his family and many other Donetsk citizens who have left their homes and have taken to living underground.

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Biggest Lenin Monument In Ukraine Top...
Kharkiv
By Andrey Samerkhanov
29 Sep 2014

Date: September 29, 2014
Length: 11:22

390 monuments to Lenin have been taken down across Ukraine in the last 10 months.

In 1956, on the 300th anniversary of the City of Kharkiv, the cornerstone of the city’s monument to Lenin was laid in the center of what was then called Dzerzhinsky Square, today Ploshcha Svobody. The monument itself was only unveiled on November 5, 1963 on the 46th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. On this memorable Soviet date, an official wreath-laying ceremony was held at the feet of the Great Leader.
When Ukraine became independent, calls to remove the monument to Lenin, a symbol of totalitarianism, from the city’s center began to circulate. However, for a long time the idea had little support among Kharkiv residents.
Amid the political turmoil gripping Ukraine, on September 28, 2014, Ukraine’s largest monument to the “leader of the proletariat,” standing more than 20 meters high, came down.
At around 19:00 that evening, protesters marched on Ploshcha Svobody, near the Lenin monument. Some demonstrators climbed onto the pedestal and used a grinder to carve out the words “Slava Ukrayini,” meaning “Glory to Ukraine,” into the granite. Then somebody decided to use the tool to carve up Lenin’s legs. The police did not get in the way of the activists who obviously intended to take the statue down.
To speed up the demolition, the monument was wrapped in cables. The crowd began to pull on the 20-meter statue, but nothing happened. The activists tried a few more times to pull Lenin down off his pedestal, and around ten thirty in the evening, the massive monument began to give way. The crowd then threw itself on the fallen Lenin and began to cut the sculpture to pieces.
There is no longer any trace of the monument on Ploshcha Svobody. Freedom Square now contains only the pedestal on which Lenin’s shoes can still be seen. The people of Kharkiv have gathered on at the square to say what they think of this event.

Shot List:

ARCHIVE FOOTAGE
Long shot of the Lenin monument surrounded by people with Ukrainian flags, as well as flags from the famous Azov Battalion and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).
On the monument’s pedestal, men in balaclavas and someone has used a grinder to carve out “Slava Ukrayini” on it.
Medium shot of men in balaclavas cutting off the statue’s legs with a grinder.
Long shot of the Lenin monument. Men in masks continue to cut off the statue’s legs.
People grow impatient near the monument, waiting for it to be toppled.
At Lenin’s feet, people are standing with the national flag and the flag of the Azov Battalion.
An ordinary Kharkivite approaches the monument, looking upset at what’s going on. He’s against toppling Lenin. The men in the balaclavas respond aggressively and push him roughly away from the monument.
A man in a balaclava holds a rope tied to the monument.
The men around the monument continue to dismantle it.
A man points at a fragment of Lenin’s leg noting that it’s bronze.
Men in masks continue to saw off the legs with the grinder while the crowd chants, “Ukraina ponad use.” Ukraine above all.”
Ploshcha Svobody, filled with people.
Medium shot. A man on the monument unwinds a rope.
Long shot. A man on the monument unwinds a rope.
At Lenin’s feet are people with Ukrainian and Azov Battalion flags.
Long shot. The monument is being dismantled.
Close-up. Men in balaclavas cut Lenin’s legs with grinder.
A man in the crowd threatens a woman who says she is against taking down the monument.
A fisticuffs near the monument.
People pull on the Lenin monument with cables.
Men wrap the face up in gauze. As the cables break the monument, Lenin’s eyes pop out.
The statue falls to the ground and people rush towards it, rejoicing.
The crowd chants “Ukraine Ukraine!!”

SOUNDBITE 1
Marharita Vasylieva
“Our opinion is that this was banditry. How can you go and knock down the best monument in Europe? Who was he bothering? The beauty of Kharkiv? This was banditry, and it was taken down by the bandits who came to power. We’re absolutely against this. If we were young, we would defend our Ukraine, but not the bandits. We’re against bandits.” Journalist: Tell me, what’s going on there now? Marharita Vasylieva
“They’re washing it, but you can see for yourself that they scratched ‘Slava Ukrayini’ on it. It’s all scratched up, but the tryzub [trident, Ukraine’s coat of arms] is being washed off.” Journalist: You don’t know who’s washing it down? Marharita Vasylieva
“Some young people. Two young guys with foreign faces, they’re dark. We’re standing pretty far away and it’s hard to see. We’re crying, we’re in mourning.”

SOUNDBITE 2
Sasha
“For these pensioners, these communists, Lenin is their leader, their idol. But I have to live in this country. Of course it’s a shame for them, but when they die, I don’t plan to live my life under these symbols or under this idol who killed the Ukrainian people. I have different ideals. The flag of Ukraine is in my heart, while their hearts have the flag of Russia. We’re from different countries. They’re from the Soviet Union and I’m from Ukraine.”

SOUNDBITE 3
Anatoliy Petrovych
“Well, I think evolution led to this situation. The situation brought about an evolutionary process. It had to happen sooner or later.” Journalist: How about you, are you for or against knocking down the monument?
Anatoliy Petrovych
“Well, if this monument represented the solidarity of the Ukrainian nation, I’d have been against demolishing it, but because it actually represents discord in our country... well, you can draw your own conclusions.”

SOUNDBITE 4
Oleksiy Vasyliovych
“I think this is the real face of the government today—barbaric.” Journalist: Tell me, what’s the square like today, without Lenin?
Oleksiy Vasyliovych
“Ah, not to worry, it’ll be replaced. This is barbaric. When somebody takes something down, those in power are at fault. It’s a real shame.” Journalist: Tell me, why is all this happening anyway?
Oleksiy Vasyliovych
“I don’t get you. It’s barbaric, do you understand? They want to piss people off, so that we start attacking each other.”

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Kindergarten shelled in Donetsk despi...
Donetsk
By Andrey Samerkhanov
16 Sep 2014

Kindergarten shelled in Donetsk
Fortunately, there were no children in this kindergarten during the shelling because the parents don’t trust to ceasefire agreement and are keeping their children at home.

Background
Despite the declared ceasefire signed by both sides of the conflict in Minsk on Sept. 5, 2014, Russian-sponsored militants continued to shell residential areas and other civilian buildings in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. In addition to rocket and artillery fire aimed at Ukrainian Armed Forces units, residential areas and buildings such as kindergartens, schools, hospitals and supermarkets are also being hit.

Russia’s Armed Forces are using militants from DNR and LNR, terrorist organizations disguising themselves as local militia, to carry out various provocations such shelling as civilian areas while supplying these militants with the latest in Russian military hardware.

Local civilians in eastern Ukraine trying to survive the rocket and artillery fire have no way of really knowing which side is shelling them, so they often express opinions that completely contradict each other.

Shot list:
Kindergarten staff clears up the rubble after shelling that can be seen throughout the video
The building itself has been damaged, as well as the playground and surrounding area.

Stand up #1
Kindergarten Director interview
(Voice over) “As you can see our equipment is damaged”. There were three volleys.
How they were shooting and what they were shooting at, I have no idea, but they hit our kindergarten.
Where’s the [Donetsk International] airport and where are we? Why us?
I get the feeling that our kindergarten was shelled on purpose.
But how do I know? I just... (crying)
Why is this happening? What the heck is this anyway? I don't know!
We’ve been killing ourselves here.
I’ve worked in this kindergarten for 35 years, and now we have to build it from scratch again.
I really don’t know what we’re going to do now...
And when will this planet of ours finally find peace?
All we want is peace. Just peace. That’s all!
No one’s rich here. We’ve been living on a teacher’s salary all our lives.
And we want peace, not war.

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Ukraine Ceasefire Breached Again
Donetsk
By Andrey Samerkhanov
16 Sep 2014

Date: September 16, 2014
Location: Donetsk, Ukraine
Length: 3:52
Despite the ceasefire agreement signed by both sides of the conflict in Minsk on Sept. 5, 2014, Russian-sponsored militants continued to shell residential areas and other civilian buildings in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. In addition to rocket and artillery fire aimed at Ukrainian Armed Forces units, residential areas and buildings such as kindergartens, schools, hospitals and supermarkets were also hit.
Russia’s Armed Forces are supplying militants from DNR and LNR, terrorist organizations disguising themselves as local militia, with the latest in Russian military hardware to carry out various provocative actions, including shelling as civilian areas.
Civilians in eastern Ukraine trying to survive the rocket and artillery fire have no way of really knowing which side is shelling them, so they often express contradictory opinions.
Story #1
Kindergarten shelled in Donetsk
Fortunately, there were no children in this kindergarten during the shelling because the parents don’t believe the ceasefire agreement and are keeping their children at home.
Shotlist:
Kindergarten staff clears up the rubble after shelling
The building itself has been damaged, as well as the playground and surrounding area.
SOUNDBITE 1
Kindergarten Director
“As you can see our equipment is damaged. There were three volleys. How they were shooting and what they were shooting at, I have no idea, but they hit our kindergarten.
Where’s the [Donetsk International] airport and where are we? Why us?
I get the feeling that our kindergarten was shelled on purpose.
But how do I know? I just... (crying)
Why is this happening? What the heck is this anyway? I don't know!
We’ve been killing ourselves here.
I’ve worked in this kindergarten for 35 years, and now we have to build it from scratch again.
I really don’t know what we’re going to do now...
And when will this planet of ours finally find peace?
All we want is peace. Just peace. That’s all!
No one’s rich here. We’ve been living on a teacher’s salary all our lives.
And we want peace, not war.”
Story #2
Residential areas shelled in Donetsk
This residential district in northern Donetsk has long been a popular battlefield between the Russian Army and Ukraine’s National Guard.
Shotlist:
Damaged high-rise apartment buildings after artillery shelling.
Traces of falling shells can be seen on the walls of these buildings.
The area around the buildings has traces of multiple explosions.
SOUNDBITE 2
Owner of a private house
(In front of the ruins of his home, he talks about shelling the previous night.) “Earlier the shelling went only in one direction but now the direction is hard to figure out. Shells and rockets are coming from all sides now.
There was smoke right at the corner of my house.
Let me tell you, just in the last three weeks, five shells have hit our house alone.
You can see that there’s nothing left now.
Otherwise, they just shell everywhere.”
Story #3
A Market is shelled at night in Donetsk
With most grocery stores shut down, this market was the main source of both food and income for many residents of Donetsk.
The market is only about three miles away from Donetsk International Airport, where fierce fighting has been going on for a long time.
Shotlist:
Damaged and completely burned market building.
This building is completely destroyed and it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to restore it now.
Local residents help remove the rubble from the previous night’s shelling.
SOUNDBITE 3
Entrepreneur
“The most interesting thing is that I was the only one who managed to jump out. You can say that Ukrainians are fighting Ukrainians. Back then it was one country (i.e., the Soviet Union), and now it’s something not understandable (i.e., Ukraine).
Now we’re killing each other.
This is just your typical civilian war.”

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Volunteers Upgrade Ukrainian Tanks, S...
Sloviansk
By Andrey Samerkhanov
07 Sep 2014

Date: September 8, 2014
Location: Sloviansk, Ukraine
Length: 3:51

When a shaped charge penetrates the armour of a vehicle, there is a massive build-up of heat that burns through the armour and threatens to kill the crew. Shaped charge protection prevents the round penetrating the vehicle armour and triggers the explosion outside the vehicle, in which case, the vehicle is likely to remain combat ready. A resident of Vinnitsa Oblast, Leonid, organized a team of volunteer welders after seeing his fellow countrymen die in conflict. He lead the team to Sloviansk where they are installing shaped charge protection onto Ukrainian combat vehicles.

Myroslav Gai from Kiev served in the National Guard of Ukraine as a volunteer and took part in the ground action in Sloviansk. After being rotated out, he organised a charity to provide aid to servicemen and refugees. Donations from people around the region have been used to buy the necessary materials for Leonid’s team of welders to manufacture and mount the shaped charge protection. Myroslav and Leonid’s objective is to equip 100 armoured vehicles with the potentially life-saving cage.

Shotlist:
A craftsman cuts the metal bars.
A craftsman takes measurements for the protective screens.
Craftsmen welding.
A craftsman demonstrates the mechanical window in the shaped charge protection.
Craftsmen assemble the shaped charge protection screen.
Craftsmen install the shaped charge protection.

SOUNDBITE 1
Myroslav, former National Guard serviceman
“The shaped charge protection screen. In simple terms – it is a metal cage encircling the armoured vehicle, which traps the charge, for example a rocket from a RPG (handheld launcher).”

“An incoming RPG charge explodes and burns out between the cage and main armour. The crew, therefore, survives.”

SOUNDBITE 2
Leonid, professional welder
“After losing some of our fellow countrymen, who burned alive because shaped charges hit their armoured vehicles, we decided to create a shaped charge protection. We did all the designing, manufacturing and testing. The live fire test revealed that the armour on the vehicle stays intact.”

SOUNDBITE 3
Myroslav, former National Guard serviceman
“The main thing is that these folks can install the protection in the field. There are not many people who would agree to go to a military base, where military action could start at any time.”

SOUNDBITE 4
Leonid, professional welder
“Every protective cage is being welded independently, after which they are all put together and bolted as a single structure. Afterwards, they are welded strongly to the armoured vehicle.”

SOUNDBITE 5
Myroslav, former National Guard serviceman
“Our target is to fix the protection to as many armoured vehicles as possible, since the Ukrainian army has only a limited quantity of such vehicles and those get destroyed in combat, along with the people in them.”

SOUNDBITE 6
Leonid, professional welder
“In a very short period of time we installed the protection onto seven armoured vehicles. At the same time, we install protective screens and repair the vehicles damaged in action.”

SOUNDBITE 7
Myroslav, former National Guard serviceman
“We have managed to collect significant amounts of money through donations. Only the materials used in manufacturing the protection for one vehicle is 24,000 UAH. Leonid thanks God and will take money only to reimburse the materials. The real costs are paying craftsmen’s hours and transportation, which we can’t afford. Therefore, their assistance is appreciated.”

SOUNDBITE 8
Leonid, professional welder
“I receive many text messages from the army unit for which we installed the protection screens. As a rule, I receive them at night. In the morning, my phone is bursting with the phone calls: ‘Thank you so much, uncle Lyonya. We got entrapped and shelled, but all are alive.’ Such gratitude is the most valuable thing I ever encountered in my life.”

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The Talisman
Krasny Partizan
By Andrey Samerkhanov
07 Sep 2014

Date: September 7, 2014
Location: Krasny Partizan near Horlivka, Ukraine
Length: 2:06
Ukrainian volunteers supply National Guards and the Ukrainian Army with all necessary equipment – they collect money for medical supplies, kevlar helmets, body armors, etc.. The equipment is then delivered to the troops on the front line.
Ukrainian soldiers also receive support letters from children from all over the country.
Each envelope also contains a talisman; the Swallow in the colors of the national flag of Ukraine.

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The Black Men: European Fighters in U...
By laura.lesevre
24 Jul 2014

European volunteer fighters and far-right activists have travelled to Ukraine to fight along side pro-Ukrainian forces against pro-Russian separatists. They come from France, Sweden, and other parts of Europe. They have different motivations for participating in the conflict, but they all say that they are not paid to fight.

Journalists Fausto Biloslavo and Laura Lesevre travelled to Ukraine and interviewed, among others, Mikael Skillt, a Swedish sniper, with seven years' experience in the Swedish Army and the Swedish National Guard. Mikael is currently fighting with the Azov Battalion, a pro-Ukrainian volunteer armed group in eastern Ukraine. He says there is a bounty of nearly 5,000 euros on his head.

This 11:26 minutes video story includes footage of the Azov Battalion training and fighting against pro-Russia separatists. It also include interviews with an Italian and a Russian volunteer fighter. It also includes an interview with Mikael Skillt, a Swedish sniper.

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The Black Men 14
By laura.lesevre
20 Jun 2014

A volunteer fighter wearing the t-shirt with the emblem of the Azov Battalion. The battalion is under the control of Kiev’s Interior ministry.

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The Black Men 9
By laura.lesevre
20 Jun 2014

46 year old Gaston Besson from France says he wants to defend Ukraine’s independence. Besson, who has also fought in Croatia, Bosnia, Burma and Laos, is in charge of recruiting foreign European volunteers to fight against pro-Russian rebels. "Every day I get dozens of e-mail with requests of enlistment, but I reject 75% of them. People who want to join us are to buy the plane ticket with their own money. Then they go over an initial period of training in Kiev before being sent to the front line. We do not want fanatics, trigger-happy people, drunkards or druggies. We need unpaid idealists, not hired mercenaries”, he says.

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The Black Men 12
By laura.lesevre
18 Jun 2014

Volunteer fighters from the Azov battalion during urban warfare training.

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The Black Men 11
By laura.lesevre
18 Jun 2014

Francesco F, an Italian volunteer fighter in the Azav battalion's base in Berdyansk.