Chief Correspondent, Poland
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May 23, 2014

‘Maidan’ to Ukraine’s next president: we will be watching you

KIEV (Reuters) – As Ukrainians prepare for Sunday’s presidential election, the message from Kiev’s main square is clear – the new leader will be closely watched and the people could rise up again if they feel cheated.

Three months after Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovich fled the capital in the face of a street uprising, Independence Square, or the “Maidan”, still looks like a war zone, bedecked with barbed wire and barricades, covered with tents and patrolled by khaki-clad “defenders” in no hurry to pack up.

May 22, 2014

Thirteen Ukrainians dead in pre-election clash with pro-Russia rebels

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine said more than a dozen servicemen were killed on Thursday in an early morning clash with pro-Russian separatists, fuelling security concerns ahead of a presidential election on Sunday seen as crucial for its fragile democracy.

Kiev’s pro-Western government said its forces had also rebuffed an attempt by the separatists to enter its territory from Russia, and it called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to discuss Moscow’s role in the violence.

May 21, 2014

Tymoshenko loses her magic in Ukraine presidential race

KIEV (Reuters) – Campaigning for Ukraine’s presidential election, Yulia Tymoshenko says she alone can save the nation from disaster. It is a refrain that has served her well in the past but the voters no longer seem to be listening.

Opinion polls put Tymoshenko, a two-times prime minister, in a distant second place behind confectionary magnate Petro Poroshenko for Sunday’s vote with just 10 percent support – humiliating a woman whose trademark peasant’s hair braid and rhetoric have defined Ukrainian politics for a decade.

May 19, 2014

U.N. sees abductions, intimidation of election officials in Ukraine

KIEV (Reuters) – The United Nations has received reports of abductions and intimidation of election officials in eastern Ukraine and fears many people will flee the region due to a mounting sense of lawlessness, a U.N. human rights official said on Monday.

Ivan Simonovic sounded the alarm as Ukraine’s interim government conceded that many voters in two eastern regions now under the control of pro-Russian separatists would not be able to take part in next Sunday’s presidential election.

Mar 12, 2014

Collapse of coup trial unnerves Turks as Erdogan switches tack

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the jailing of army officers, academics and journalists on coup plot charges last year as a key moment in his drive to tame Turkey’s army. Now as the case unravels, his camp suggests some should never have been put behind bars.

The slow collapse of the “Ergenekon” case has exposed the judiciary – central to efforts to anchor democracy in Turkey – as a system in disarray, caught in a new power struggle between Erdogan and an Islamist cleric. That raises questions for foreign investors and the EU, which Ankara seeks to join.

Mar 10, 2014

Turkish ‘coup’ convicts freed amid political turmoil

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey ordered the release of 19 men convicted of plotting a coup, days after an ex-military chief was freed in a case now entwined in a power struggle between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and a U.S.-based Muslim cleric.

The 19 people, including prominent journalists, lawyers, retired military officers, a convicted gang leader and the killer of a top court judge, were among hundreds convicted in the “Ergenekon” case, which lay at the heart of Erdogan’s drive to break the political power of Turkey’s military.

Mar 10, 2014

Turkish coup trial convicts freed amid political turmoil

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey ordered the release of five men convicted of plotting a coup, days after an ex-military chief was freed in a case that has come to highlight a power struggle between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and a U.S.-based Islamic cleric.

The five – a journalist, two lawyers, a retired colonel and a convicted gang leader – were among hundreds convicted in the “Ergenekon” case, which played a central role in Erdogan’s drive to break the political power of Turkey’s military.

Feb 14, 2014

Childhood epic, religious drama vie for Berlin film prize

BERLIN, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Films ranging from a
coming-of-age docudrama using the same actors over a 12-year
span, a feature about radical Catholics and an unflinching look
at Northern Ireland’s troubles stand out as possible winners at
the annual Berlin film festival.

Twenty titles will compete for the Golden Bear award on
Saturday night at the 2014 Berlinale although some critics have
called the lineup a letdown despite the screening of more than
400 films from around the globe.

Feb 13, 2014

Linklater’s family saga, 12-years to make, captivates Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) – U.S. director Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” which portrays an American family over a 12-year-period as the two children mature into young adults has emerged as a leading contender for the top award at this year’s Berlin film festival.

The movie, shot at regular intervals from 2002 as the actors steadily aged, is a tender meditation on the passage of time, the messiness of human relationships and modern American life.

Feb 11, 2014

Afghan war movie probes German historical angst, self-image

BERLIN (Reuters) – Frustration with a lack of open discussion in Germany over its involvement in Afghanistan and over Berlin’s treatment of Afghans helping its troops there spurred the making of the film “Inbetween Worlds” by director Feo Aladag.

The movie’s premiere on Tuesday at the Berlin International Film Festival coincided with signs that Germany – long wary of overseas military entanglements due to its Nazi past – is becoming keener to play a more active global role in keeping with its wealth and size.

    • About Gareth

      "I lead a team of around 20 journalists in Warsaw, including text reporters writing in English and in Polish, photographers and a small TV crew. I joined Reuters 20 years ago and Warsaw is my seventh assignment. I have also worked in Tokyo, Moscow, London, Brussels, Ankara and Sofia."
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