Thursday, October 30, 2014


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Revealed: The Palaces Of Ukraine's Oil And Gas Meni
October 24, 2014
A short drive from Kyiv stand the twin palaces of two Yanukovych-era executives at Ukraine's state energy company Naftohaz. Police have been investigating allegations of fraud at the company worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The two men, who have not explained the origin of their families' spectacular wealth, are now running for parliament -- and with it, the prize of immunity from prosecution. (A special report by Natalie Sedletska of RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Revealed: The Palaces Of Ukraine's Oil And Gas Men

Ukrainian Service correspondent Natalie Sedletska used cars, a boat, and even a drone to track down the mansions of two Yanukovych-era Naftogaz execs who are this weekend running for parliament -- and the immunity from prosecution that goes with it.

Video Archive


Video Kyrgyz Victims Recount Horrors Of Sex Trafficking

Gulnaz and Salima, two young Kyrgyz women, each went abroad to pursue a job offer, only to be abused, threatened, and forced into prostitution by their so-called employers. They are among countless Kyrgyz women who have become the victims of human trafficking.

Video Central Asians Swell IS Ranks

Hundreds of Islamist fighters have traveled from Central Asia to Syria to swell the ranks of Islamic State militants. Governments which have been fighting home-grown militant movements since the fall of the Soviet Union now fear a new threat to their own security.

Video Khodorkovsky's Open Russia Project Aims To Be 'Political Force'

Former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky has relaunched his Open Russia Internet project with the aim of influencing Russia "through political means." He discussed his vision with Voice of America (VOA) correspondent Aleksandr Panov.

Video Ukrainians Balk At Renting Apartments To Displaced People

As growing numbers of displaced people flee the conflict in eastern Ukraine, many find that an earlier atmosphere of solidarity has significantly cooled. In western cities, some landlords are refusing to rent apartments to IDPs, claiming that the displaced are taking advantage of relief efforts.

Video Slovak Roma Grapple With Social Divisions, Real Walls

Despite broad antidiscrimination laws passed a decade ago, Roma in Slovakia continue to feel the effects of years of institutionalized segregation.

Video Life, Death In Ukrainian Foxholes

Ukrainian troops on the front line in Chernokhino, eastern Ukraine, reported coming under mortar and artillery attack despite the cease-fire. Speaking on September 30, they said they had suffered two dead and more than 10 wounded over the previous 10 days. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Video Threats Don't Slow Down Afghan Women's Cycling Team

The members of Afghanistan' national cycling team face frequent criticism and even violence from men who consider their behavior to be un-Islamic. But that hasn't deterred them from training hard, competing abroad, and encouraging other young women to exercise their hard-won freedoms.

Video Fukuyama Says Putin Playing A 'Duplicitous Game'

American political scientist Francis Fukuyama says the time has come to "supply serious military equipment" to Ukraine. During a visit to Tbilisi, he spoke with RFE/RL's Georgian Service Bureau Chief Marina Vashakamdze about his views on Russia's strategy as its troops move into eastern Ukraine.

Video Thousands Rally For Peace In Mariupol

As Ukrainian forces fought pro-Russian separatists just 20 kilometers east of Mariupol, a strategic port city on the Azov Sea, about 5,000 people gathered in the city's center for a peace rally on September 4. The demonstrators sang the Ukrainian national anthem and chanted "Glory to Ukraine! Glory

Video Bosnian Town Celebrates Victory Of Croatian Tennis Champ Cilic

Croatian tennis player Marin Cilic has won the U.S. Open in New York, one of the four major world tournaments in the sport. RFE/RL's Balkan Service spoke to Cilic's friends and relatives in the town of Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Cilic was born to Bosnian Croat parents in 1988.

Video Ukrainian Protesters Hold Mock Funeral With Putin Effigy

A crowd protesting Russian military action in Ukraine held a mock funeral with an effigy of Vladimir Putin in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on September 4th. The coffin was taken to the Russian consulate. (RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service)

Video Vox Pop: How Are Russia's Food Sanctions Affecting Consumers?

Russia's ban on many Western food imports has driven up prices in the country's grocery stores. But not all Muscovites are concerned; some haven't noticed, and some think Russia can easily weather the economic storm.

Video Russians In Latvia

In Latvia, some 13 percent of the population are Russian-speaking noncitizens without the right to vote.

Video Russia's Food Ban

Gulnara Khamzina, a restaurant owner in Kazan, the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan, says that Moscow's sanctions on imported Western foods are already affecting her business.

Video Azerbaijanis Recount Cross-Border Visit That Ended In Death

Azerbaijanis living near the Armenian border recorded a brief video of an Armenian man who had wandered into their village on August 7. The villagers told RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service that they called the military, who came and detained the unarmed man, identified as 31-year-old Karen Petrosyan.

Video Ethnic Turkmen In Afghanistan Take Up Arms Against Taliban

Taliban militants have been gaining ground in Afghanistan's Jowzjan Province on the border with Turkmenistan. Ethnic Turkmen residents say there are no government forces there to protect them, so they have persuaded a 65-year-old former warlord to lead a militia against the Taliban.

Video Soldier's Mother Receives Letter From Son's Killers

A Ukrainian soldier died in June during an ambush by separatists in eastern Ukraine. At the same time, a separatist fighter posted social media messages bragging about the deaths of Ukrainian soldiers caught in an ambush. Days later, the rebels sent the dead soldier's mother a letter.

Video For Pakistani Father, 36 Children Is Not Enough

Despite being displaced by fighting, Gulzar Khan has kept his family united -- no easy task for a man with three wives, a dozen daughters, and two dozen sons.

Video Crippled By Polio, Afghan Official Hopeful For New Law

Sayed Hamid Daqiq, a senior Afghan Finance Mininstry official, hopes that new legislation will help more disabled people meet their full potential.

Video Moldovan Farmer Upbeat Despite Russia's Fruit Ban

Many farmers in Moldova have been hit hard by a ban imposed by Russia in July 2014 on most fruits originating in their country.

Video Iraqi Christians Describe Expulsion From Mosul

Some of the Iraqi Christians who were forced to flee rebel-controlled Mosul spoke with RFE/RL in Dohuk, in Iraq's Kurdish region.

Video Vox Pop: Muscovites On MH17 Crash

RFE/RL asked Moscow residents what they knew from the Russian media about the July 17 crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

Video Remembering A Childhood Meeting With A General, And A Tragedy

Shortly before the July 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica, Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic appeared on television reassuring civilians, patting a boy's head, and giving chocolates to children. The boy he met, Izudin Alic, remembers that day as the last time he would see his father.

Video Empty Beaches At Crimea's Tourist Resorts

The Crimean peninsula has traditionally thrived on tourism along its Black Sea coast. But after Russia's annexation of the region in March, the number of tourists has plummeted, leaving restaurants, hotels, and tourist agencies struggling to survive. (RFE/RL)

Video Yo! How To Swear When The Kremlin Says You Can't

One of the most notorious Russian epithets involves an unpleasant sentiment involving someone's mother -- a phrase that utilizes one of the most pungent sounds in the Russian language, "yo." Russian speakers have invented literally hundreds of G-rated ways to convey the sound without the sentiment.

Video World War I: Gavrilo Princip's Final Days

On June 28, 1914, Bosnian Serb revolutionary Gavrilo Princip assassinated the heir to Austria-Hungary's throne in Sarajevo, setting in motion events that led to the start of World War I. Princip was imprisoned in a fortress near Prague. A historian describes the assassin's torturous years there.

Video Dzhemilev Says Russia Uses Soviet Tactics To Divide Crimean Tatars

Veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, who has been barred from returning to his homeland after Russia's annexation of Crimea, says Moscow is relying "on the old Soviet policy of dividing the Crimean Tatars."

Video Fears Of Violence Drive Tattoos' Popularity In Iraq

Tattoo parlors, once a rarity in Iraq, are increasingly common on Baghdad streets as young men seek out fashionable new looks. But there's a darker side to the trend. Tattoo artists say a growing number of clients are choosing tattoos that could help identify them if they become victims of violence.

Video Hope For Afghan Acid Attack Victim

A donation organized by RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan offers a glimmer of hope to Akhtara, a mother of four, who was left severely scarred after her husband's killer threw acid in her face and who had to resort to begging to make ends meet.

Video Crimea-Themed Putin T-Shirts Go On Sale Near Kremlin

T-shirts featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin's image have gone on sale at the GUM department store near the Kremlin in Moscow. The campaign was organized by a pro-Kremlin group called "Vsyo Putyom" ("It's All Right"), a pun on the Russian leader's name.

Video Released Activist Says Donetsk Rebels Use Captives As Forced Labor

An activist recently released from rebel captivity in Donetsk says pro-Russian insurgents occupying the regional state security headquarters make their captives do menial work.

Video 'One Romany Dance' Across Europe

Ukrainian-born choreographer Petia Iourtchenko, who performs and teaches Romany dances around the world, says dance is a bridge between cultures and a unifying force for Roma everywhere.

Video Ukrainian Activist Family Hopes For Change

During Ukraine's mass antigovernment protests early this year, the Trofanyuk family traveled to Kyiv to join the Maidan movement on Independence Square. Now back in their village in western Ukraine, the Trofanyuks are hoping that the early presidential election on May 25 will bring stability.

Video Kwasniewski Praises Jaruzelski

Former President Aleksander Kwasniewski said late Polish communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating a peaceful transition to democracy in the late 1980s.

Video Chez Yanukovych: Displaced Families In Ukraine

Some Ukrainian families displaced from Crimea and the country's east have settled at the former residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Mezhyhirya, near Kyiv.

Video Lech Walesa Criticizes Protest Leaders

Former Polish President Lech Walesa has criticized leaders of Ukraine's pro-European Maidan protest movement for failing to negotiate with the former government, thus giving Russia a pretext for intervention.

Video Russian Gay Rights Advocates Fear Closure Of NGO

The St. Petersburg-based organization Vykhod -- translated as Exit, or Coming Out -- offers support to the LGBT community in Russia, where laws against "homosexual propaganda" make it a crime to publicly promote gay rights. Leaders of the organization say they are coming under pressure.

Video Evacuees From Flooded Serbian Town Describe Ordeal

Thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes in Serbia amid the worst floods in living memory. Some 8,000 people have evacuated the flooded town of Obrenovac.

Video Iraqi Mandaeans Celebrate Religious Holiday In Kurdistan

Members of Iraq's Mandaean minority, who practice a distinct and ancient monotheistic religion, this week observed one of their holiest rituals, known as the Golden Baptism. The celebration took place in the Kurdistan region, where many Mandaeans from southern Iraq have sought refuge from violence.

Video 1944 Deportation Victim: ‘I Will Never Forgive Russia’

Ali Aliyev was 14 years old when he and his family were forcibly put on a cattle train and moved out of Crimea. On May 18, 1944, the Soviet government deported more than 230,000 Crimean Tatars from their homeland as a form of collective punishment for alleged collaboration with the Nazis.

Video Ukrainian Miner Describes Torture In Rebel Captivity

Oleksandr Hurov, a 36-year-old coal miner from Novohradovka in eastern Ukraine, says he was kidnapped and tortured by pro-Russian rebels after he took down a separatist flag from the main government building in his hometown.

Video Afghanistan's First Female Cabbie

Sahra Bahayi says she is the first female taxi driver in Afghanistan. Though her claim is hard to prove, the teacher and driver in Mazar-e Sharif is among very few Afghan women who drive at all. She faces threats, harassment, and accusations that her behavior is un-Islamic.

Video Ukrainian Teenager Recovers After Limb Amputation

Sixteen-year-old Oleksandr Kozlovsky was brought to the Czech Republic for medical treatment after being shot in the leg during pro-European demonstrations in February.

Video Archive

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RFE/RL Video Roundup - Oct. 30i
October 30, 2014
Kyiv's oldest movie theater gutted by fire, Armenia's only airline suspends its flights, spam messages start Ebola rumors in Tajikistan, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan

Video October 30

Kyiv's oldest movie theater gutted by fire, Armenia's only airline suspends its flights, spam messages start Ebola rumors in Tajikistan, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan

Video October 29

Opposition lawmakers offer mass resignation in Pakistan, a memorial service for unknown soldiers in Ukraine, plus stories from Georgia and Afghanistan.

Video October 28

A $200,000 fine for a controversial advert in Kazakhstan, a journalist knifed in Kosovo, plus stories from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Video October 27

Election observers give their verdict on voting in Ukraine, electricity bills spark protests in Pakistan, Kazakh communists complain of repression, plus stories from Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Video October 24

An arrest for blasphemy in Afghanistan, a food price hike in Tajikistan, protests at an assassination attempt in Pakistan, plus stories from Kazakhstan and Georgia. (RFE/RL)