New Hot Thing in Minsk: Sniffing

You wouldn’t believe it in a dictatorship: Designer drugs are advertised on the internet, delivered to your home in less than an hour and are – mostly – not forbidden.

In Belarus, designer drugs are advertised on the internet.

Reporter: Yavgen Valoshin, published June 22nd, 2011
“Invasion of “designer drugs:” How the dealer sold me some ‘euphoric powder’ is a story that shook the Belarusian public. The reporter started the story by retelling how in just an hour and a half he went from looking up drugs online to making a deal with a drug dealer and holding the package in his hand.

The article describes the ways drugs get into the country and how the Belarusian authorities fight distribution. However, nobody is able to overcome the fact that drugs are offered openly online under various names via social networks. Everyday hundreds of young people try them out.

The author also interviewed doctors and psychiatrists who described the severe consequences these drugs can cause. However, as everyone states, the main problem is that narcotic labs constantly invent new formulas for ‘designer drugs’, thus once the old ones get prohibited by law, new ones appear on the market.

The investigation was published in the newspaper Zvezda number 94 on 24th of May 2011. Read the original story
The story was republished at:
TUT.BY, News.21.by and aljans.org

Read the English translation.

Fights Corruption to Continue Corruption

Briebing goes on. Even though they say they fight corruption at the customs in Lviv it is just a cover up.

A great cover up at the customs in Lviv in Ukraine has distracted media and public from the what is really going on: a ‘war’ for the power to continue corruption and accept bribes.

Reporter: Taras Zozulinskyi, posted May 17th, 2011.
It is well known to the public and law enforcement how customs officers earn cash – devaluing cargo, roofing `black’ goods, reloading trucks into personal cars – these are a few of the schemes that bring untaxed cash to customs.
Each officer has to share the `income’ with their supervisors up the chain – there is an entire system of rules and oversight inside the customs system.

Furthermore, the investigation showed how the “fight against corruption” at customs is a nice way to cover up a `war’ for the power at the Lviv customs.
It appears that recent arrests of customs officers who accepted bribes was only a way to get rid of the staff at specific customs posts on the western border and bring in new groups.
The whole process of arrests and catching bribes was just another scheme created by head customs officials, distracting the media’s and public’s attention.

The general conclusion is that public as well as the Ukrainian treasury has been and are still being cheated while certain people are taking turns making fortunes on customs activities.

The story was published by Informator, the newspaper of the Agency for Investigative Journalism, in its February 24-March 2 and March 3-9 issues.
Click below to read the original articles or here
Article 1 Article 2 Article 3 Article 4 Article 5

Ten Years After the Land Reform

It looked very easy: Give land back to the farmers. But ten years after privatisation of the Sovkoz’es or Kolhoz’es a lot of farmland is not used at in the Snyatyn region inWestern Ukraine.

The reporter Maryna Karasyova from Taki Spravi  took a closer look at the problem. It’s difficult for owners to get registered, many registered owners hope to earn a fortune, when all bureaucratic problems are solved and they can sell their farm. In the meantime the farmland isn’t used. The reporter talked to farmers, politicians and administrators. No solution in sight.

Read the original articles – Part 1 Part 2Part 3

Read the English translation

Rich Women hire Ukrainian Wombs for their Babies

After the publishing of the article “Surrogate Motherhood in Law. Who, why and how gives birth to babies in Ukraine for foreigners and rich Ukrainians”, young Ukrainian cheap jerseys women started an NGO to defend the rights to earn money this on way.

The story – researched and written by the Ukrainian reporter Yevgeniy Rybka and his German colleague Jens Hartmann ­ – was published in April 2006 in several Ukrainian media and at once started a national discussion about the issue. It was also published in Russia, Germany, Austria and Denmark. (Photo: Freedigitalphotos)

Read the story in Ukranian

Read the story in English

Read the story in German

Read the story in Danish, page 1, page 2