Ruth Pollard

Ruth Pollard

Ruth Pollard is the Middle East Correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Her job takes her throughout the Middle East and North Africa, reporting on the Arab revolutions from Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Tunisia and on the conflict in Israel and Palestine.

Ruth Pollard

Searching for refuge in a land where there are no safe places

Ruth Pollard AS THE night-time temperature in Syria drops closer to freezing and the rains begin, it is difficult to imagine how those who have barely survived without electricity, water or enough food this year...

Palestinian unity push angers Israel

Gaza's Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh, right, listens to senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed, left, after the announcement the agreement between the two rival Palestinian groups.

Ruth Pollard Seven years after their violent split, rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have signed a reconciliation agreement and say they will seek to form a unity government within weeks and hold...

Brother delivers hope and sushi to imprisoned Peter Greste

Peter Greste in court in Cairo on March 31.

Ruth Pollard On Tuesday Peter Greste and two colleagues will appear for the sixth time in a large, dusty courtroom inside Cairo’s imposing Tora Prison complex.

Finally, Gaza PhD student gets her new beginning in Australia

Ruth Pollard It is a new beginning that almost didn't happen. When Sameeha Elwan was awarded a scholarship in November to study her PhD in Australia, her main worry was whether she would ever be allowed to leave...

As bombings hit capital, Egypt plans sweeping anti-terror laws

Dissent stifled: An Egyptian journalist protests against the country's Interior Ministry, which is accused of targeting journalists. The tape across his mouth reads

Ruth Pollard Even though it has been driving a ferocious security crackdown that has resulted in the arrest of at least 16,000 people and the deaths of more than 1400, Egypt's government has elected to go further.

Ottomania as Turkey drifts away from secularism

Ruth Pollard With its opulent palace life, heroic storyline and beautiful lead actors, the Turkish drama set in the court of Sultan Suleyman, Magnificent Century, should have represented the artistic...

In Egypt a cry of outrage is met with death

Students who are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans in front of Cairo University March 26, 2014. One person was killed near Egypt's Cairo University on Wednesday when protesters supporting ousted President Mohamed Mursi clashed with security forces, a health ministry official told Reuters. The protesters were demonstrating against a court ruling earlier this week condemning more than 500 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death.

Ruth Pollard No.309 on a list of 529 people condemned to die – a lawyer jailed alongside the people he had spent months trying to help, caught up in the relentless crackdown against anyone who dares to challenge...

Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to run for president

A banner for Egypt's army chief, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in downtown Cairo.

Ruth Pollard Egypt’s army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has resigned his post and announced he will run for the presidency, pledging to “reconstruct the state and restore its dignity”.

Protests grip Ukraine as Putin defends Crimea actions

Pro-Russian demonstrators take part in a rally in Odessa.

Ruth Pollard Thousands rallied across Ukraine in rival demonstrations that turned violent when pro-Russian activists attacked a protest on the Black Sea peninsula, as Russian soldiers tightened their grip across...

Russian occupation opens old wounds for Ukraine's Crimean Tatars

Zulfere Memetova

Ruth Pollard The Tatar men of Bakhchysarai have drawn up a roster and each night they take turns to patrol their neighbourhoods once the sun sets on the windswept plains of central Crimea.

Crimea's parliament votes to split from Ukraine before referendum

International observers cut Crimea visit short (Thumbnail)

Ruth Pollard Crimea's pro-Russian parliamentarians have voted in favour of independence from Ukraine five days before a much-criticised referendum is due to be held.

Russia closing door on Crimea as troops build up

An armed pro-Russian self-defence militiaman at the border crossing with western Ukraine.

Ruth Pollard Crimea is effectively isolated from the rest of Ukraine, with heavily armed, masked Russian soldiers stationed at key points throughout the region, its highways busy with military activity and its...

Crimea vote begins in Ukraine as 'self-defence' forces look on

Riot police

Ruth Pollard Voters began queuing early to cast their ballot in the referendum as Crimean police maintained a heavy security presence on the streets of the capital, Simferopol.

Russian forces attempt 'invasion' of village on eve of Crimea vote

A Russian soldier near Simferopol, Crimea.

Ruth Pollard Simferopol: Russian forces backed by helicopter gunships and armoured vehicles attempted to take control of a village inside western Ukraine on Saturday in a serious military escalation on the...

Crimeans caught in the grip of the Russian bear

Crimean Tatar Great Patriotic War veteran, Nariman Kazenbash 84 wearing his war medals, outside his home in Simferopol, Crimea. He believes that the March 16th referendum is a 'farce'. 13th March, 2014. Photo: Kate Geraghty

Ruth Pollard No blood has been spilt, but Crimea's silent war threatens to cleave its people.

Silent war exposes growing divisions in Crimea

Crimea

Ruth Pollard Giant billboards line Crimea's highways inviting citizens to choose between Russia and fascism, others simply declare: ''Crimea is Russia.''

Ukraine crisis: Crimeans vote to join Russia in referendum slammed as 'illegal' by US, EU

People wave Russian flags in Lenin Square in Simferopol to celebrate the preliminary results of the Crimean referendum.

Ruth Pollard Crowds of Crimeans roared their approval in Lenin Square in the capital Simferopol as exit polls indicated 93 per cent of those who turned out to vote in Sunday’s referendum were in favour of...

Folk musicians try to calm tense troops in Crimea

Standoff: Surrounded by unidentified Russian soldiers, Ukrainian marines talk behind a wall at their base in Perevalnoye.

Ruth Pollard Brightly dressed folk musicians in Prevalnoye, Crimea, say they want to ease tension between Ukrainian and Russian troops.

Pro-Russian forces tighten grip over key areas of Crimea

Members of a newly formed pro-Russian militia gather in the streets of Simferopol in Crimea on Saturday.

Ruth Pollard Pro-Russian forces tightened their grip over key areas throughout Crimea, blockading military bases along the Black Sea peninsula and attempting to force Ukrainian soldiers to surrender at military...

Syrian refugees eke out existence in Lebanon

A Syrian girl at Al-Khan market in Tripoli, Lebanon.

Ruth Pollard In Tripoli, Lebanon, Syrian refugees, some of the 2.5 million who have fled the war in their country that local rights groups say has claimed upwards of 125,000 lives and left more 6.