Meet the Texan Fighting for the DPR: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 107) – Vice News Published on Apr 23, 2015


Among the thousands of foreign soldiers who are fighting alongside the pro-Russia separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic is an American fighter known simply as “Texas.”

In this dispatch, VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky speaks with Texas about the reasons behind his involvement in Ukraine’s ongoing conflict.

Civilians Return to Debaltseve: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 96) – Vice News Published on Feb 27, 2015


After a month of heavy fighting, the pro-Russia separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) finally took the strategically important rail hub town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine.

In early January, the DNR had launched a winter offensive on Ukrainian positions, seizing the Donetsk airport and attacking Ukrainian checkpoints across the line of control separating the two sides. Once the airport had fallen, the DNR focused its attention on Debaltseve, surrounding the town on three sides and pounding it with artillery for four straight weeks. The attack killed dozens and forced thousands of residents to flee.

VICE News traveled to Debaltseve a few days after it fell to the DNR to speak to some of the civilians who were slowly returning to their town, which now lies in ruins.

Civilians Return to Debaltseve: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 96) – Vice News Published on Feb 27, 2015


After a month of heavy fighting, the pro-Russia separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) finally took the strategically important rail hub town of Debaltseve in eastern Ukraine.

In early January, the DNR had launched a winter offensive on Ukrainian positions, seizing the Donetsk airport and attacking Ukrainian checkpoints across the line of control separating the two sides. Once the airport had fallen, the DNR focused its attention on Debaltseve, surrounding the town on three sides and pounding it with artillery for four straight weeks. The attack killed dozens and forced thousands of residents to flee.

VICE News traveled to Debaltseve a few days after it fell to the DNR to speak to some of the civilians who were slowly returning to their town, which now lies in ruins.

On the Front Lines with the Ukrainian Army: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 89) – Published on Jan 30, 2015


Since mid-January, fighting between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed rebels in Eastern Ukraine has escalated. Dozens of civilians have died due to the heavy shelling.

The rebels of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) have been attacking Ukrainian Army positions in an effort to reach the city of Sloviansk. In this dispatch, VICE News travels to the Ukrainian Army’s front lines in the village of Kodema to see how soldiers there, clad in German and British gear that has been donated to them, are preparing for the much talked-about DNR offensive.

We also visit the Ukrainian-controlled mining town of Dzerzhynsk to see firsthand what effects the fighting between the two sides has had on the local population.

Watch “Trapped by Artillery Fire: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 88)” – http://bit.ly/1zoiCuY

The Battle for Donetsk International Airport: Russian Roulette (Dispatch 44) – Published on May 28, 2014


 

 

 

Only hours after Petro Poroshenko was announced the winner of Ukraine’s presidential elections, the worst violence of the two month long crisis in eastern Ukraine exploded at Donetsk’ Sergei Prokofiev airport.

Early Monday morning, gunmen of the Donetsk Peoples Republic arrived at the airport and took over the terminal building, prompting the Ukrainian military based there to issue an ultimatum to the rebels to lay down their weapons and leave. A massive firefight broke out which both fighter jets and attack helicopters were used by the Ukrainian military. The sound of gunfire and explosions filled the air as rebels and journalists ducked for cover along the access road to the airport terminal.

VICE News found a small unit of DPR gunmen among the trees along the access road who had pulled back from their earlier positions closer to the airport. Gunfire seemed to follow them as shots hit the wall on the other side of the road and one of their wounded fighters, who had been shot in the upper thigh was evacuated in a civilian car. The gunfire intensified and the unit was forced to withdraw.

The next morning gunfire could still be occasionally heard but the situation still remained unclear. Both sides claimed they controlled the airport, though it was clear that the Ukrainians had taken control and casualty figures were fluctuating, as more bodies were brought into the local morgues. At least 33 DPR gunmen had been killed in the assault, while the government was claiming 150 perished in the fight.