vice news best of 2015


The Priest, the Pianist, a Cat, and a DIY Sauna—One Week in Ukraine’s Forgotten War

VICE News spent seven days in the trenches and bunkers of Ukraine's frontline, getting to know a platoon whose soldiers — and pets — have found flashes of luxury amid a ramshackle existence.
Jack Losh

How a 19-Year-Old North Korean Escaped and Became a Sushi Chef in America

Keegan Hamilton
korean peninsula

How a 19-Year-Old North Korean Escaped and Became a Sushi Chef in America

In the past 10 years, 186 North Korean defectors have settled in the US. After facing months or even years of danger and hardship on their journey to America, they often must deal with intense isolation as they struggle to forge new lives.
Keegan Hamilton

'Those Who Arrive Here Want to Become Ghosts'— Milan's People Smuggling Trade

VICE News spoke to refugees and aid workers in and around Milan's Central Station, one of Europe's largest railway hubs, which has now become a thriving marketplace for people smugglers.
Matteo Congregalli
defense & security

Tequila, Painted Pearls, and Prada — How the CIA Helped Produce 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Documents obtained exclusively by VICE News detail how closely CIA officers worked with filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal as they made their movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Jason Leopold and Ky Henderson
defense & security

The Google Search That Made the CIA Spy on the US Senate

More than 300 pages of declassified documents released to VICE News reveal what occurred after a Senate staffer accidentally stumbled upon damning internal CIA documents related to the agency's torture program.
Jason Leopold
crime & drugs

The US Military Contractor Accused of Sex Crimes — Then Convicted of Espionage

Christopher R. Glenn pleaded guilty to crimes he committed while working as a US military contractor in Honduras. But he may never face accusations in that country that he preyed on young girls in his off hours.
Nicholas Phillips

'Even God Forgot This Place': Welcome to the Oilfields of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan spent billions to host the European Games, but residents of the area that provides much of the country’s wealth live anything but a life of luxury. VICE News visited the Balakhani oilfields.
Andrew Connelly
crime & drugs

Rape and Punishment: How a Campaign to Analyze Old DNA Evidence Is Affecting Survivors

America’s massive backlog of DNA evidence collected after rapes is finally being analyzed and run through a national database. But what happens when survivors are told their rapist has been found — sometimes decades after the attack?
Liz Fields
climate change

Polar Bears Are Now Eating Dolphins in the Arctic

Climate change appears to be driving dolphins farther north, where they become prey for polar bears, which are finding fewer and fewer seals to consume.
Matt Smith

How Women Helped Lead the Fight Against Ebola in Liberia

With the help of her granddaughters, a tribal elder named Mama Tumeh implemented community-based solutions that have been recognized as the driving force behind Liberia’s success in fighting Ebola.
Kayla Ruble

Anatomy of a Killing: How Shaimaa al-Sabbagh Was Shot Dead at a Cairo Protest

The 31-year-old liberal activist died on January 24, almost certainly at the hands of Egyptian security forces. Based on an extensive series of interviews, VICE News pieced together how that fateful day unfolded.
John Beck