Frame 0004
Interview with a Young Ukrainian
Krakow
By tobiasero
03 Apr 2015

Victoria is a young Ukrainian girl who moved to Poland in order to begin her studies. She speaks about the situation in Ukraine; her father is part of the Ukrainian military, injured during the fight with pro-Russian separatists.

Frame 0004
Ukraine: Bomb Attack Kills Three at K...
Kharkiv, Ukraine
By Andrey Samerkhanov
22 Feb 2015

A bomb blast (captured in this video) kills three people during commemoration rally for fallen Ukrainian soldiers in Kharkiv, Ukraine on Feb 22 2015 around 13:14. More then 10 people were injured in the attack.

Thumb sm
Pravy Sektor 01
Donetsk, Ukraine
By KatArgo
11 Feb 2015

Pravy Sektor have their flags on the wall in the basement of an empty house in the front lines of the Ukraine war.

Thumb sm
Pravy Sektor 02
Donetsk, Ukraine
By KatArgo
09 Feb 2015

Most of the interior was made from scratch. They live on mattress-less wooden bunks and pile their winter gear in the shared sleeping quarters in the basement of an abandoned home in order to shelter them from Grad attacks.

Thumb sm
Pravy Sektor 03
Donetsk, Ukraine
By KatArgo
09 Feb 2015

Pravy Sektor Soldier signs a Ukrainian flag that will be sent home with their supporters in Kiev.

Thumb sm
Inside Ukraine's 'Pravy Sektor'
Donetsk, Ukraine
By KatArgo
03 Feb 2015

Near Donetsk, Ukrainian fighters make their home among the wreckage of an old, abandoned home. Now the residential neighborhood had been reduced to frames of brick and rubble, pock marked by the impact of shrapnel. A child’s purple bike, an full-length brass mirror and a green-and-red sled are just some of the abandoned reminders of a life that existed here before the war came to their doorstep.

After a Grad rocket landed nearby, I took shelter in one of these abandoned mansions where the soldiers of the Pravy Sektor have made a home inside the basements. The Pravy Sektor, or the Right Sektor, is largely seen as an ultra-right wing nationalist organization, also having, some say, collaborated with the Nazi regime against the Soviets in WWII.

For security reasons, they requested that their names and identities be kept secret. “It is too dangerous to live on the first, second or third floors,” said a Crimean soldier in his 40’s, “We used to live across the street but that house is now destroyed. You can hear the grads landing all night.”

They have made a comfortable home, with improvised stoves whose pipes cut into the windows and are sealed air tight with silver electrical tape. An old, gas-powered stove sits in one corner, and they manually need to crank open a tank of gas in order to use it.

Along the wall are the flags of Ukraine, Pravy Sektor and the letters of support from young children. Because it is too dangerous to go outside to smoke, many of them huddle around a small garden table that was brought indoors and tap their ash into empty tin cans and ignore the chorus of artillery fire that is just outside.

When I asked if they were Nazis or Nazi sympathizers, a soldier from Crimea who had previously been a member of the Aidar battalion, laughed and screamed “Hitler kaput! Like Putin kaput!”
Many, it seems were apolitical, and their only uniting conviction was the need to stop Russia from turning the whole of Ukraine into Crimea.

A soldier in his fifties had once served in the Soviet Army. He was a painter, doing metalwork for a museum in Crimea. He studies and practices Zen Buddhism, dreams of being in a monastery in Thailand after the war is over, and says that though he is generally a pacifist, the events and the current state of Crimea convinced him that there was a need to fight.

“It is horrible in Crimea now,” he says, “The friends I left behind there tell me they are horrified.”
I asked them if they truly hated Russians, and a young man who looked to be in his late twenties laughed, “No we do not hate Russians. It is Russian policies we are against. I was born in Russian. I am Russian. There are others like me here.”

After I asked them my questions, one of their young team leaders in his late twenties looked at me and asked me, as an American, why my country did not help Ukraine against the Russian “terrorists”. I had no answer.

“Men are dying in this war, and still, no one helps,” he says, exacerbated.

Frame 0004
From Maidan to Donbass: '10 Days in F...
Sumy, Ukraine
By lordcob
26 Jan 2015

Text by : Johannes Sporrer

Italian photographer Jacob Balzani Lööv followed a self-defense unit in Kiev's Maidan for ten days up to the bloody events of 20 February 2014. He recently visited one of the protagonist of the revolutionary current that swept Ukraine at that time.

"I was in Kiev to meet some friends," says Balzani Lööv, who at the end of November 2013, found himself suddenly in the middle of Independence Square in Kiev. "I was surprised by how peaceful, determined and full of hope the protest was throughout the month of December, but that changed with time. People started to wear masks and to protect Maidan with clubs and shields, upgrading their defense to the violence of the police."

On the 10th of February 2014 during a protest to demand the release of some arrested activists, Balzani Lööv saw a masked, red-haired young woman and organized to meet her. Olesja Goriaynova, a then 19-years-old, was a journalism student from Sumy.

"I wanted to know if the attitude I loved in December in Maidan was still there," he recalls, "and Olesja told me that it was still there, but under wraps in the compounds where the defense units were living." After few days the photographer was granted access to the group, the 14 Sotnia.

These so-called self-defense units of the Maidan were founded to protect unarmed protesters from the increasing violence of the police.

"The central demand of the group was an independent Ukraine, without Yanukovych," says Balzani Lööv, "and a Ukraine without corruption, leaning towards Europe. Often its members were upset by the fact that newspapers were discussing only the geopolitical interests of the US and Russia, as if the Ukrainians had no say." He felt that the atmosphere in these days was tense. "It seemed quite possible that the police could have broke into the headquarters of the 14th Sotnias anytime and commit a massacre," he said.

To protect the group, Balzani Lööv promised that he would publish pictures showing unmasked members of the defense units only if the revolution would succeed or if there were to no longer be any threat.

Now, a year later, the immediate threat is over for the activists, but whether or not their revolution was actually successful, however, is far less clear. Balzani Lööv has met again with the activist Olesja Goryainova to ask her about the consequences of the protests. Olesja has moved back to her hometown, Sumy, some 300 kilometers east of Kiev. She is studying again, but she cannot fully return to her old life.

"Olesja now collects money and materials for the fighters in the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine," says Balzani Lööv. She is also a member of the Young Nationalist Congress, an organization that aims to strengthen the "patriotic spirit" of the youth. Olesja doesn't regret the Maidan.

"We just couldn't go on living that way," she says, though with a hint of disappointment in her voice.

Yanukovych is gone, but the reforms desired by the Maidan protestors did not materialize. As before, there is a lot of corruption in the country, and the war in the East has overshadowed the original goals of the young revolutionaries. The profound changes they sought for, postponed.

Frame 0004
Libyans Celebrate Feb 17 Revolution
Zuwara
By Mourad TEYEB
31 Oct 2014

Libyans celebrate the 5th anniversary of the February 17 Revolution in Zuwara, Libya.

Thumb sm
Inside the 969 Movement - The Myanmar...
Mandalay
By Ruom
04 Jul 2014

There is renewed tension between Buddhists and Muslims in parts of Burma. In March 2014 targeted violence, towards the Muslim minority in Myanmar, claimed the 45 lives and led to many homes being burnt to the ground.

In the Burmese streets, stickers sporting the numbers “969” are seen on taxis, shop windows, betel nut carts. These three ominous numbers are the symbol of a fast-rising Buddhist pride movement, presenting itself as a return to Buddhist roots and the teachings of the Lord.

But, in the new Myanmar, 969 is actually a vehicle of anti-Muslim hatred and Buddhist brainwashing.

“Muslims are fundamentally bad. Mohammed allows them to kill any creature. Islam is a religion of thieves, they do not want peace”, declares Ashin Wirathu the saffron-robed monk nicknamed the “Burmese Bin Laden.”

Far from the iconic images of the 2007 “Saffron Revolution”, popular Buddhist monks like Wirathu are travelling the country, preaching in front of thousands, urging Buddhists to boycott Muslim businesses, to avoid marrying them, hiring them or to sell property to them. The 969 movement is appealing to a deep anti­‐Muslim resentment implanted in Buddhist minds by fifty years of military propaganda. Burmese activist Maung Zarni recently confessed in a blog post: “Like millions of my fellow Burmese Buddhists, I grew up as a proud racist. For much of my life growing in the heartland of Burma, Mandalay, I mistook what I came to understand years later as racism to be the patriotism of Burmese Buddhists”.

By depicting a Myanmar on the verge of an Islamist invasion, the 969 movement is creating a framework for the wave of Islamophobic violence that has swept through Myanmar in the last months. In March, the bloodiest clashes to-date claimed the lives of forty-five people in the town of Meiktila. “At night, we sleep terribly. We are wondering when they will be coming. It is dark, it is scary. Our ears pay attention to every little noise”, said a Muslim resident of the city. Throughout the country the Muslim communities are living in the constant fear of new attacks.

Currently, 969 has seen little resistance from local or international governments. The movement is currently drafting a law proposal that would ban interfaith marriage, and four 969 monks have been working on a curriculum aimed at educating lay people and children about the ins and outs of protecting Buddhism from Islam. Set to take place in a Sunday school manner, the monks hope this new form of education will save their faith in this majority Buddhist nation but what implications will this have on cross-religious relationships? And will it instigate more religious violence?

Afraid of alienating the Buddhist vote for the 2015 elections, the democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is staying silent on this subject. Many see, behind 969 and the religious riots, the hand of hardliners from the army trying to destroy the fragile change Myanmar is going through as the country stumbles towards democracy.

Thumb sm
Ukraine's Hunger Games
Gurba and Antonivtsi
By lordcob
19 May 2014

Every year since 2004, over 300 young men and women aged between 17 and 28 years old from the Young Nationalist Congress (MNK), an organization promotes Ukrainian nationalism, fight in extreme conditions for 60 hours in the middle of a western Ukrainian forest, between the villages of Gurba and Antonivtsi. The game takes place where the Ukrainian Revolutionary Army (UPA) fought the Red Army in 1944.

The rules derive from Zarnitsa (Summer Lightning), a game commonly played during Soviet times by the Young Pioneers (a Soviet organization similar to Scouts). Two teams have to defeat each other by capturing the other team's flag. Despite the intensity of the fight, injuries are minor. Punches and weapons are forbidden. A referee makes sure that no rules are broken and collects the colored ribbons, which are velcroed on the players’ arms and symbolize their “life”.

According to its website (http://gurby.org.ua), the game aims at training and preparing the youth in case of military intervention by Ukraine’s Eastern neighbors.

This year’s event was tainted by the Ukrainian revolution. Many of the players have been protesting in Maidan Square for months.

Frame 0004
Seminar on “Development and Democracy...
Cairo, Egypt
By Video Cairo Sat
10 May 2013

An international seminar on the development of democracy in the Arab world held on May 9, at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo.

The event titled “Development and Democracy and Developing the System of Arab Region”.

The seminar was attended by Arab League Chief Nabil al-Araby, a number of prominent figures, headed by former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros-Ghali, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Arab parliament chairman Ahmed al-Garwan.

They discussed a number of issues including implementation of good governance in the Arab region and the transition to democracy.

SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Arab League Chief, Nabil al-Araby:
“The political and partisan pluralism became not only one of the most important features of societal change in recent years but it also has become political and social necessity. Due to the Arab League desire to be at the forefront of the democratic scene, it worked to take advantage of their expertise from its contribution on the monitoring of electoral processes in many countries. The Arab League is monitoring electoral processes not only in Arab countries but also at Europe and Latin America.”

SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) – Arab parliament chairman Ahmed al-Garwan:
“There is no development without democracy and there is no democracy without the real activation of the real development. The main system of the Arab parliament which was adopted by the Arab summit in its 23th meeting in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on March 26, 2012, emphasized the importance of developing the common system of Arab action, strengthening its components and enhancing its mechanisms.”

The seminar organized by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Institutions (ANHRI) led by Qatar’s NHRC in collaboration with Arab League, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Arab Organization for Human Rights.

SOUNDBITE 3 (Arabic) – former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros-Ghali:
“The civil society is now playing a significant role which sometimes is considered more important that the role of the state, hence we have to enhance the role of the civil society whether scientific associations, universities and political parties.” Several Arab issues including, task of transferring into democracy and its connection with good governance, methods of development, and how to achieve social justice were discussed in the seminar.

Nationalism and development are basic factors for social justice, empowerment of women in Arab region and upgrading them in the Arab League was also in the list of discussion.

Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: May 9, 2013
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: May 9, 2013
Length: 00:02:47
Video Size: 137 MB
Language: Arabic
Column:
Organized by:
Correspondent:
Camera: VCS

SHOTLIST:

  1. Medium shot of the logo of the Arab League
  2. Medium shot of flags of participant states at the meeting
  3. Various shots of attendees during the seminar
  4. SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Arab League Chief, Nabil al-Araby:
    “The political and partisan pluralism became not only one of the most important features of societal change in recent years but it also has become political and social necessity. Due to the Arab League desire to be at the forefront of the democratic scene, it worked to take advantage of their expertise from its contribution on the monitoring of electoral processes in many countries. The Arab League is monitoring electoral processes not only in Arab countries but also at Europe and Latin America.”
  5. SOUNDBITE 2 (Arabic) – Arab parliament chairman Ahmed al-Garwan:
    “There is no development without democracy and there is no democracy without the real activation of the real development. The main system of the Arab parliament which was adopted by the Arab summit in its 23th meeting in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on March 26, 2012, emphasized the importance of developing the common system of Arab action, strengthening its components and enhancing its mechanisms.”
  6. Various shots of attendees during the seminar
  7. SOUNDBITE 3 (Arabic) – former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros-Ghali:
    “The civil society is now playing a significant role which sometimes is considered more important that the role of the state, hence we have to enhance the role of the civil society whether scientific associations, universities and political parties.”
  8. Various shots of attendees during the seminar
  9. Various shots of attendees leaving after the seminar
Thumb sm
BARCELONA: AGAINST INDEPENDENCE OF CA...
Plaza de Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
By Editor's Picks
13 Oct 2012

Massive demonstrations took place all weekend in Barcelona, Spain, with national sentiment taking the stage in a protest against the independence of Catalonia, followed by a noisy rally as demonstrators rode the #Globalnoise wave of rallies worldwide.