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Turkey

Exclusive: Why Turkey Arrested Two Foreign Journalists

Two British reporters for VICE news, and their translator, have been charged as supporters of Kurdish group PKK, though they were first accused of being pro-ISIS.

VICE News correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury
VICE News correspondent Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury
Ismail Saymaz

DIYARBAKIR VICE News correspondent Jake Hanrahan, cameraman Philip Pendlebury and their local guide and translator Mohamed Ismail Rasool were detained in Diyarbakir, Turkey last Thursday. On Monday, the local Turkish court issued official charges of "aiding an armed organization." Now as criticism mounts from press freedom activists inside and outside of Turkey,Radikal has exclusive new details on the case.

The three men were detained after a phone call by an anonymous informant to the police accusing the news team of being pro-ISIS. However, they were later accused of backing the PKK (the Kurdish separatist group that Ankara considers terrorists) because they had conducted video interviews with members of YDG-H, the youth branch of PKK. The journalists told investigators that they were recording scenes of life in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, which included masked people with guns. They denied having any ties to either ISIS or PKK.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Sergey Lavrov, Putin’s Decoy-In-Chief

The Russian Foreign Minister, among the country’s most recognizable figures, embodies both the corruption and confusion of the Putin regime. Not everything is what it seems — and that’s the point.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a diplomatic reception for heads of African diplomatic missions

Anna Akage

From the outside, one might have the impression that the Russian Federation is run through a highly complex and well-coordinated apparatus that ensures that any single cog in Vladimir Putin’s system is by definition both in synch with the other cogs — and utterly replaceable. The Kremlin appears to us through this lens as an impregnable citadel with long arms and peering eyes that are literally everywhere.

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And yet, this is a completely false picture — and there’s no greater proof than in looking more closely at one of Russia's most prominent figures, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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