Meet Two Vitaliks in Ukraine — a Ukrainian Nationalist and a Pro-Russian

Meet two Ukrainians named Vitalik.

One is a pro-Russian volunteer guard in Donetsk protecting his city against the “extremists” in Kiev.

The other is a Ukrainian nationalist (and member of an “extremist” party) who lost his friend in his arms in a battle against the riot police. He’s ready to fight and defeat the Russians if they invaded.

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Roundup of my reporting from Crimea, Donetsk and Kyiv

Here’s a look back at my most recent trip in Ukraine.

Video reporting for Medium:

Ukrainian Border Town Mans Checkpoints Against Kiev

Pro-Russian volunteers fear guns and fascists entering the city

In the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, pro-Russian civilians are erecting checkpoints to protect against supporters of Kiev coming from the west. The volunteers say they have no other choice but to safeguard the roads as tensions mount between Ukraine and Russia following Moscow’s annexation of the strategic Crimean peninsula.


After Euromaidan, Flowers Come Out in Kiev

Transformation of a people and a place

Maidan Nezalezhnost in the center of the Ukraine’s capital city Kiev was the center of historic protests starting in November. After deposing president Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, the people of Kiev have undergone a transformation—and so has Maidan.


Where Ukrainians Love Russia

Cameo by the Cossacks in Donetsk

In the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian sentiment is everywhere. Protests break out almost daily in Donetsk while the world watches to see if Russia will move north to take the city in the same fashion it took Crimea. Ukrainian police have struggled to keep order—sometimes with little success.

‘Nobody Forced Anyone to Vote’

On the ground at the Crimean referendum

Hundreds of thousands of Crimeans cast their vote in a referendum on Sunday. At stake—whether the Crimean peninsula should become part of Russia or remain in Ukraine but gain more autonomy. Results are rolling in, with an estimated 95 percent of Crimeans voting in favor of secession.


Radio Reporting for DW:

Goodbye Sevastopol

When Russia took control of Crimea, Ukrainian activist Viktor Neganov felt he would be unsafe in his hometown of Sevastopol. Neganov had organized pro-Europe protests in his city as the movement took off in Kyiv.

Converted into a print story for DW.


Print piece with photos for VICE


As the head of the Euromaidan movement in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, Ukraine, Viktor Neganov led about 100 Ukrainians in his hometown to call for an end to corruption. At one protest, a crowd of pro-Russian “provocateurs” confronted the activists. They attacked Viktor, knocking him down and giving him a concussion.

Once the Russian troops took control of the peninsula, Viktor escaped to Kiev after his life was threatened. He snuck back to his hometown of Sevastopol this week, despite pro-Russian militias controlling the train and bus stations. I spoke with him via Skype while he was in hiding. He told me about his experience on the run and what he thinks is next for Crimea.  Keep reading


I did live call in segments for about 15 different radio stations for Talk Radio News Service.

BBC also paid me to call in live from Donetsk.

And for the first time, I was reporting live via satellite TV. Here’s the clip.

Finally, two print pieces for IPS:

Amidst the Guns, Free Choice for Crimeans

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine , Mar 19 2014 (IPS) - Crimean officials have reported that roughly 97 percent of Crimeans voted for independence from Ukraine on Sunday, with a turnout of about 80 percent. Yet the security situation in Crimea has led many to question how free the vote really was.

Ukraine Confronts Another Split

DONETSK, Ukraine, Mar 23 2014 (IPS) - In Donetsk’s Lenin Square, Yuroslav Korotenko keeps a constant vigil inside a tent erected just a few feet away from a massive statue of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.

“We stay here and save this monument and this place, because people in the West come [to] this place with war,” Korotenko told IPS. “People from Donetsk think about peace with Russian Federation and don’t want war in our town.”

Another video report that is looking for a home:
Svoboda Guard at Euromaidan: “We are not extremists.”

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My reports from Ukraine

I reported from Ukraine, including Kiev and Sevastopol in Crimea, in early February with my colleague Luke Vargas.

Here are the reports I filed:

Pro-EU Ukrainians holding a EuroMaidan protest are confronted by a pro-Russian group in Sevastopol, Ukraine, home to a Russian naval base and thousands of Russian sailors. Photo by Victor Neganov


A report for The Real News Network:

A video tour of Kiev and the Black Sea port city of Sevastopol as anti-government protests rock Ukraine.

NEW YORK (TRNS) – U.N. Correspondent Luke Vargas and contributor Zack Baddorf traveled to Ukraine earlier this month to document the widespread anti-government protest movement known as “Euromaidan.”

The video below documents the sights and sentiments of the capital Kiev, as well as the culturally Russian port city of Sevastopol on the Black Sea.

TRNS spent a week in Ukraine getting to know the ins and outs of the EuroMaidan occupation area of downtown Kiev

TRNS spent a week in Ukraine getting to know the ins and outs of the EuroMaidan occupation area of downtown Kiev.

Here’s TRNS UN Correspondent Luke Vargas with activist Darya Tsymablyuk on the ‘front lines’ in between protestors and Ukraine’s elite riot police, the Berkut:

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  • About Zack Baddorf

    I'm a public relations professional and multimedia reporter. You are welcome to check out my portfolio of radio, print, photo and video stories. There's much more about me on this website, including my contact info.

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