(VICE) The West has used everything from signals intelligence operations, espionage, fighter jet saber-rattling, and diplomatic standoffs to stem the rise of Russian influence around the world. These efforts are coming to a dangerous head in Ukraine — a classic Eastern Bloc proxy state — where the presence of NATO troops is driving tensions to Cold War-era levels.
(AL JAZEERA) As the Armenian economy continues to struggle, as do its people. Over a third of the country's population lives under the poverty line and the price of common goods shows no sign of moderation.
(AL JAZEERA) Islam Karimov was Uzbekistan's first and only president. He led the Central Asian country for more than 25 years, brushing off accusations of authoritarianism and brutality.
(VICE) As the conflict in Ukraine continues, so too does Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial of any Russian involvement. But a recent report from think tank the Atlantic Council used open source information and social media to find evidence of Russian troops across the border.
(VICE) Moldovans have been protesting against their government for months. They allege that their leaders are deeply corrupted after a billion-dollar banking scandal hit the country in 2015. The former prime minister, Vlad Filat, was arrested and detained for suspected involvement. Pro-European and pro-Russian parties are working together to lead the protests. They demand that the prime minister step down, and that the government hold early elections.
(AL JAZEERA ENGLISH) In October 2015 a presidential election was held in Belarus. It wasn't a convincing contest and few thought that victory would go to anyone other than the man who had ruled the country for the past two decades. With an economy in tatters and a chilling charge list of human rights violations against his name, Alexander Lukashenko has long presided over Europe's closest equivalent to North Korea.
(VICE) In July 2015, Russia-backed forces moved the boundary fence between Russian-occupied South Ossetia and Georgia — placing more Georgian territory under Russian control. Georgians refer to this as the creeping occupation, and several people who unfortunately live in the area now have a different citizenship.
(THREAD AND ANCHOR FILMS) A HYBRID WAR is a 30-minute short documentary that attempts to explain the so-called hybridization, or "hybrid war," of the Ukraine conflict since the Euromaidan protests in 2014. This is an excerpt proceeding a lengthier film coming this Spring.
(UKRAINE TODAY) We're on our way to a secret location just outside the Belarus capital Minsk. In this nondescript small-storey building is a makeshift school where all the classes are taught in Belarusian, a language which was outlawed by the communists during Soviet times and marginalized in recent years.