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.
The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world, but it is also rich in natural resources. One of the official mining sectors has collapsed amid the country’s ongoing conflict, and now both sides are benefitting from the illicit trade of gold and diamonds. Clashes over control of the many mines have also created religious tension in places where there previously had been none.
In this dispatch, VICE News headed back to eastern Ukraine to see the effect this new escalation in the conflict is having on the innocent civilians, trapped between opposing barrages of deadly artillery fire with nowhere to go.
Since 2000, more than 27,000 migrants and refugees have died attempting the perilous journey to Europe. With an unprecedented number of people breaking through its heavily barricaded borders in 2014, the EU continues to fortify its frontiers. VICE News presents Europe or Die, a new four-part series that documents the efforts of those risking their lives to reach Europe, and the forces tasked to keep them out. In part one of the four-part series, VICE News correspondent Milène Larsson travels to the border between Morocco and Spain, where West Africans in their thousands storm the razor-wire-clad fences. Many are beaten back by border police or illegally returned.
In 2013, a Muslim rebel group named the Seleka led a coup in the Central African Republic, overthrowing the Christian President Francois Bozize and bringing the country into an ethno-religious civil war. Later that year, VICE News traveled to the CAR to cover the conflict which has left over 5,000 dead and nearly a million displaced. Due to the combination of the upcoming February presidential election, the looming exit of French peacekeeping forces, and the total handover to the MINUSCA United Nations troops, the situation in the CAR is extremely fragile. With the conflict entering its third year, questions remain about how to quell the violence, which the UN describes as "The Silent Crisis."