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Ukraine/Moldova Investigations

Under the shadow of corruption

More than 160 investigative reporters from Ukraine and neighbouring countries met in  Kyiv in the weekend 19th and 20th of November to exchange experiences and intensify their networking. One of the burning issues in Ukraine, the comprehensive corruption in the country, was high on both the agenda and the mingling. On this there was a […]

No Foreign Medicine Over the Counter

When Belarusians come to the pharmacy, they cannot buy the products that they are used to. Import of medicine has been reduced, and there has been a big effort to substitute them with Belarusian products. But pharmacists and customers are not happy with the quality. In 2008, there were only 550 domestic drugs sold in […]

Still Looking for Missing Belarusians

Famous Belarusian politicians – Yury Zakharanka, Viktar Hanchar and a businessman Anatol Krasouski were kidnapped in Minsk in 1999. A TV cameraman Dzmitry Zavadski disappeared without a trace in the summer of 2000. It has been repeatedly stated by the kidnapped people’s relatives as well as by lawyers and journalists that these crimes don’t have […]

Illegal Drugs for Do-It-Yourself Sex Change

31-year-old Iryna Bialcova (the name was changed for privacy) from Minsk, Belarus, had a sex-change operation in 2010-11 after heving treated herself with illegal male hormones. All the female organs were removed, she – now he – received a new birth certificate, a passport with a male name and a military ID. But later she […]

Money Loves Silence

The Ukrainian TV-program ‘Stop corruption’ has exposed systematic illegal logging and collection of old metal from the zone around the wrecked nuclear power plant Chernobyl.  It is a very profitable business, and authorities seem to do very little to stop it. In the TV-documentary, we follow an activist guiding journalists around to the sites, where […]

Media Under Control in Southern Ukraine

In the southern regions of Ukraine, it is almost a matter of pride for businessmen, politicians and local officials to own their own media outlets. Out of many hundreds of newspapers registered, less than a dozen publish regularly. A lot of the content produced by these outlets is “ordered.” In the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv […]

Big money in Illegal Ukrainian amber

Wherever you find precious stones like amber, you also find smugglers and organized crime. The Volyn region in Ukraine and the Russian enclave Kaliningrad – both with large deposits of the precious material – are no exceptions, and consequently the Polish city of Gdansk is the capital of a veritable industry of  illegal jewellery. The […]

Dangerous Smoke from a Giant

People in the Kherson region in Southern Ukraine are suffering from poisonous smoke from the chemical plant Crimean Titan, which is situated right at the new border between Ukraine and occupied Crimea. In its 20 years of operation, the cancer rates in this region have gone up drastically. Since Crimean Titan is located on the […]

Cyprus Decides the Music in Kramatorsk

Kramatorsk in Eastern Ukraine  is a typical industrial city where everything was built around large industrial factories.  They are the main employers and main sources of income for the city council, so they more or less dictate what is going on in the city with 160.000 inhabitants. Only little is known about the owners who […]

A Not so Swedish Family

At first sight Misen Energy AB looks very much like a Swedish company, although the office in Gothenburg is very small.  But it’s the main shareholder of a large private Ukrainian gas company, Karpatygaz. The Ukrainian reporter Dmytro Gnap decided to to take a closer look at its activities and owners. He ended up in […]