Ukraine: driver fights high speed hijack

Last updated 18:00 GMT.

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CHANNEL DELAYS: Eurotunnel freight transit time 2hrs from France, earlier cancellations.

Condor Ferries cancels hi-speed services tomorrow (Friday) due to ‘extreme weather’. MyFerryLink says delays are possible on Friday but as the worst of the weather is due in the early hours it is advising customers to check-in as normal.

WEATHER ALERTSRED ALERT for high winds Ireland. 140kmh+ winds in the west.

Amber severe weather warnings from north west France across Italy, Austria and western Balkans, parts flooding, heavy rain, high winds, snow on high ground. Area of storms shrinking from this afternoon.

WEATHER: Gales, rain Mediterranean. Fine in East. Strong winds, unsettled.

ROADS: Wintery conditions in the Alps, particularly Switzerland, northern Italy and Austria. Busy: Paris still, inbound from south and west. Still Rennes-Brest N12, road works (less). A9  inbound Munich. Still busy Denmark, E45 Aarhus-Kolding.

Switzerland: A13 Bellinzona-Chur closed (now reopened) in both directions at San Bernardino. Still snowing.

See Travel/Traffic/Weather for more.

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UKRAINE: Reporter brutally beaten after relentless high speed attack.

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Shocking dashcam footage apparently shows a car driven by an opposition journalist being repeatedly rammed and run off the road.

Despite doubts over the time code, the film is accepted as genuine.

Civil rights journalist and activist Tatyana Chornovil was driving home in the early hours of Christmas morning when she came under sustained attack from another car.

Despite valiant attempts to escape, Chornovil was eventually cornered then severely assaulted. She is recovering in hospital.

It’s the latest in a series of physical attacks on opposition figures in the past few days, most of them involved in the ‘Maidan’ freedom demonstrations.

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The attackers showed no regard for their Porsche Cayenne Turbo, reversing full bore into the journalist’s car on several occasions.

Thanks to the wide, four lane M-03 motorway – between Kiev and Boryspil – Chornovil was able to repeatedly evade the attackers. Only with considerable difficulty is she eventually trapped.

The video makes difficult viewing though Chornovil shows impressive resilience, at one stage fending off the Cayenne as they are about to pass under a bridge at high speed.

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Chornovil was reportedly returning from photographing the house of a high profile member of the government, for the latest in a series of articles about the property of top politicians.

With two arrests already and a third man sought by police, there looks to be a chance of her attackers being brought to justice. President Yanukovych has ordered an investigation.

Speculation is currently rife about who might ultimately be behind the attack. Human Rights in Ukraine says, ‘One thing, however, is clear: people willing to block the road by using an expensive sports car are not your ordinary hooligans.’

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update 06.01.14: Chornovil continues to recover and is not thought likely to suffer any long term affects. However, she says in her first interview since the incident that the attackers left her for dead. Five arrests have been made and reportedly one confession.

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