luhansk people's republic
VICE News went undercover to investigate how smugglers are profiting from the war in eastern Ukraine as a blockade of separatist territories spawns a black market trade in fuel, food, and medicine.
In exclusive interviews with commanders, VICE News reveals the extrajudicial killings and atmosphere of Soviet-style paranoia that have subsumed the rebel-held areas in Ukraine.
VICE News visited Ukrainian army positions to gauge the mood among fighters and the temperature of the frontline, 24 years after independence and more than a year into a conflict with pro-Russia rebels.
VICE News watched an hourlong initiation rite where a band of rebels fighting in Eastern Ukraine officially become Cossacks, renowned for centuries for their battlefield prowess.
The two alleged Russian troops that were captured over the weekend refused to be sedated during medical treatment out of fear that Ukrainian doctors would harvest their organs.
Russian officials including President Vladimir Putin have repeatedly denied that their soldiers are in Ukraine, arguing that the Russians who are fighting there are all volunteers.
VICE News reports from Donetsk, where humanitarian conditions are getting worse as essential food and medical supplies become increasingly scarce.