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Burning Down the New York Times ... Act 2: Walter Duranty Meets the Holocaust

July 25 липня 2009
Vol.10 No.18

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In this issue:
  Feature Editorial
  Call to Action
  Заклик до дії
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  ePOSHTA Sales Gallery
  Ділова Крамниця
  Programs & Conferences
  Програми і Конференції
  Current Affairs
  Сучасні Пoдії
  Arts & Letters
  Ukraine & the World
  Украіна і Світ
  Ukrainians in the News
  From Our Mailbox / Blogbox
  In Memoriam
 Вічная пам'ять

Ukraine's suffering still overlooked by world TOP
In a ground-breaking article that was published in the July 16 issue of The New York Review of Books, Yale University historian Timothy Snyder describes in excruciating detail just how Nazi policy was directed at exterminating first the Jews and then the Slavs.

Holocaust: The Ignored Reality http://www.nybooks.com/



23 July, 2009

Alexander J. Motyl

How can this blindness be explained?

Nazi Germany’s greatest war crime is the Holocaust, of course, but the genocides against Ukrainians and Belarusians constitute a close second. And yet, while the Holocaust is common knowledge, few know much about the extermination of Ukrainians and Belarusians — and Germans may know about this least of all. The tragedy of these peoples’ suffering in the war has been compounded by the world’s almost complete ignorance and indifference.

That lamentable condition may be about to change, if only among professional historians. In a ground-breaking article that was published in the July 16 issue of The New York Review of Books, Yale University historian Timothy Snyder describes in excruciating detail just how Nazi policy was directed at exterminating first the Jews and then the Slavs. Since Belarus and Ukraine were occupied for almost four years, they suffered enormous population losses.

According to a recent study of the Moscow-based Institute of Demography, Ukraine suffered close to 15 million “excess deaths” between 1914 and 1948


According to Snyder: “Half of the population of Soviet Belarus was either killed or forcibly displaced during World War II: nothing of the kind can be said of any other European country. … The peoples of Ukraine and Belarus, Jews above all but not only, suffered the most, since these lands were both part of the Soviet Union during the terrible 1930s and subject to the worst of the German repressions in the 1940s. If Europe was, as Mark Mazower put it, a dark continent, Ukraine and Belarus were the heart of darkness.”

The devastation that affected both countries is even greater when one considers their experiences in the Stalinist 1930s and in World War I. Ukraine lost at least 3 million people in the genocidal famine of 1933. Both countries also served as the main killing fields of the Eastern Front during World War I (1914-18), the Civil War in Russia (1918-21) and the Polish-Russian War (1919-21).

According to a recent study of the Moscow-based Institute of Demography, Ukraine suffered close to 15 million “excess deaths” between 1914 and 1948:

1.3 million during World War I?

2.3 million during the Civil War, the Polish-Soviet War, and the famine of the early 1920s

4 million during the genocidal famine of 1933?

300,000 during the Great Terror and the repressions in Western Ukraine

6.5 million during World War II?

400,000 during the post-war famine and the destruction of the Ukrainian nationalist movement

To some degree it’s because the “Untermenschen have remained Untermenschen” — economically underdeveloped peoples with silly cultural practices ...

The more important explanation is that German elites have traditionally viewed their neighbors to its east through the prism of great-power politics.... Former German Chancellor Gerard Schroeder still managed to describe former President Vladimir Putin as a “true democrat” at precisely the time that Putin was doing all he could to crush Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.


Ukraine and Belarus experienced nearly 40 consecutive years of relentless death and destruction, starting in 1914 and ending with Stalin’s death in 1953. Although Soviet Russia bears a great deal of responsibility for the killing, the lion’s share falls on Germany.

And yet Germany, which so assiduously remembers its crimes during the Holocaust, has still to build one monument to the millions of Belarusians and Ukrainians its armies killed in the 20th century.

How can this blindness be explained?

Partly, it’s a function of ignorance. The German media devote almost no coverage to Belarus and Ukraine. It is also partly because Germans just don’t “see” these countries.

Nobel Prize winner Heinrich Boll’s 1949 novel “The Train Was Punctual” provides a good example of this cultural mindset. The novel describes a young German soldier’s return to the front in southern Ukraine. As he travels eastward from his furlough, he traces his route on a map and “visits” various cities, towns and villages in Ukraine. He speaks of Poles and Jews and Russians in great detail, but he doesn’t mention Ukrainians once, even though they formed the vast majority of the country and were the people whose farms he and his comrades probably plundered on a daily basis. Imagine a trip through the American South without a single reference to the black population.

See below: Re. Partners in perfidy + We can choose not to be victims this time


But why don’t Germans “see” people who are so manifestly there? To some degree it’s because the “Untermenschen have remained Untermenschen” — economically underdeveloped peoples with silly cultural practices who either can’t get their political act together (Ukraine) or are proud to be Europe’s only dictatorship (Belarus).

The more important explanation is that German elites have traditionally viewed their neighbors to its east through the prism of great-power politics. Russia is big and strong and therefore demands respect. Its ruler may be a dictator, and its policies may be neo-imperialist, but these matters are easily overlooked. Former German Chancellor Gerard Schroeder still managed to describe former President Vladimir Putin as a “true democrat” at precisely the time that Putin was doing all he could to crush Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. Poland may be prone to polnische Wirtschaft (the derisive term for Poles’ inability to do things efficiently), but they’re right next door and have to be dealt with.

But Belarus and Ukraine? They’re just places with pipelines that carry Russian gas to German homes and factories.

Alexander J. Motyl is professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark in New Jersey and can be reached at ajmotyl@hotmail.com.

Complete quick UCC survey to help with immigration services TOP
A special summer project of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress in Winnipeg is intended to help new Ukrainian immigrants find all the services they need. The goal of the project is by the end of the summer to have a page on the website, www.ucc.ca,  that conveniently lists all the Immigrant help services for each province in Canada.

Please complete the quick survey that would help determine the services of primary focus on the website www.ucc.ca (you will see it on the front page), or a direct link at http://ucc.ca/survey/index.htm.

USSR is still relevant in Canadian citizenship application! TOP
Ukrainian-Canadians should petition the government to remove the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" from the list of countries they could have travelled to in the last four years when completing their citizenship application: http://services3.cic.gc.ca/rescalc/startBasicCalc.do

As a new immigrant to Canada applying for citizenship what is relevant in the success or failure of the application is only where you have travelled outside Canada in the last FOUR years. The residency calculation works out if you have accumulated three out of these last four years (prior to applying) residence in Canada. As the "Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" 'zdokhlo' in 1991 it is irrelevant if you travelled there prior to 1991 as that was 18 years ago. The Canadian government should advise those who host the site that the USSR is thankfully past history.

Has this government changed our immigration laws? TOP

12 July 2009

Dear Mr Van Loan:

Please write to your Member of Parliament in order to avert a mockery of our laws.

Also to Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety

Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship & Immigration

Read below Conspiratorial cabals hide behind pseudonyms - The Hill Times


Why is Mr M Lennikov, who is currently living in the basement of the First Lutheran Church in Vancouver, not being deported to the Russian Federation, as a Federal Court judge agreed he should be?

Is the Government of Canada now recognizing some right of "sanctuary" in church basements? Has this government changed our immigration laws so as to provide citizenship opportunities for former officers of the Soviet secret police, the notorious KGB?

Mr Lennikov had no right to enter Canada, he has no right to remain here, and his continued presence despite the ruling of the IRB and of the Federal Court makes a mockery of our laws. He is nothing more than a fugitive whose whereabouts are known so there is no excuse for him not being seized and expelled.

As a citizen born and raised in Canada I am writing to say that I do not wish to share this country with a KGB man and insist that he, and others like him, be removed, immediately.

Thank you,

Lubomyr Luciuk, PhD

Kingston, ON

cc: J Kenney, Minister of Citizenship & Immigration

Canadian flagEdmonton: Volunteers needed for Heritage Festival -- Aug. 1 - 3 TOP

Volunteers are needed for

The Ukrainian Pavilion

Edmonton Heritage Festival
Hawrelak Park
Edmonton, AB

Sat., August 1 - Mon. August 3, 2009
at the site #3, north side of Lake

Food Pavilion
Shifts: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM and 4:30 PM - 9:30 PM
It will be busy and
we are going to really need all your help!

Please contact Stan Kobylko (780.474.5386, stankobylko@telus.net), if you can join our TEAM.

Cultural Pavilion may include dancers, musicians, sport demonstrations, fashion shows, storytelling, or theatrical performances.

DO YOU HAVE A TALENT? If you are interested to perform, please contact

Ludmila Sereditch (780.478.2546, ucbc@shaw.ca)

Terrific meals/refreshments are provided to all volunteers.

On these very exciting and fun filled days, we have the opportunity to proudly present our culture and food to the Canadian public!

We would appreciate tour support!

Volunteer - Gain experience on Parliament Hill in Minister Gerard Kennedy's office
Can you spare 2 hours per week to help Move Canada Forward?

Gerard Kennedy is asking for your assistance in his office on Parliament Hill to help with his role as Official Opposition Critic on Infrastructure, Cities and Communities.

Take an Active Interest in Canada by joining our Volunteer Team in Ottawa. We have immediate need for the following:

* Front Desk Reception
* Administrative Support
* Scheduling Assistant
* Media Monitoring Assistant
* Outreach and Stakeholder Coordinator and Assistant
* Research Analysts and Assistants
* Legislative Analyst
* Correspondence Writers and Assistants
* MP Communications Editor and Assistants
* Volunteer Coordinator
* Data entry assistant

And many more roles.

Please call or email us today for more information at Kennedy.G@parl.gc.ca or (613) 992-2936.

Підтримайте протест проти припинення єдиної україномовної телепередачі в Польщі TOP
Усіх, кому не байдужа ліквідація «Теленовин», хто хоче стати на захист цієї єдиної україномовної телепередачі, яка транслюється на всю Польщу і таксамо можна було також бачити на інтернеті – закликаємо долучитися до протесту!
Для цього можна використати список-протест, поміщений на сайтах:
http://www.nslowo.pl/, http://www.harazd.net/ та http://www.oup.ukraina.com.pl/

Іван Ковалик
Iwan Kowalyk

Links to event postings TOP

Do you maintain a web-based list of events for your city or region? Let us know and we'll add a link to your site from the e-POSHTA newsletter.


 United States

Canadian flag Toronto: Ukraina Sports Bar opened TOP
USA flag Los Angeles: Film: The English Surgeon  -- Jul 31 TOP

Opening in New York City
July 24, 2009!

22 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003



In a Ukrainian hospital full of desperate patients and makeshift equipment, an English Surgeon works alongside his Ukrainian colleague to bring hope where there is often none. 

"The English Surgeon" is opening in New York City on July 24th at Cinema Village!

Acclaimed at over 80 film festivals, winner of 10 international awards including Best Documentary and Best Audience awards in Kyiv and Kharkiv, "The English Surgeon" is a world renowned film you don't want to miss!  Bring your family, friends and co-workers and be deeply inspired by this extraordinary, life-affirming and unforgettable portrait of a true humanitarian.

VARIETY - "Deeply touching resonant and...very funny."  

Surgeon Henry Marsh & Director Geoffrey Smith will be in attendance at screenings on Friday, July 24th 6:30PM; Saturday July 25th 7:10PM and Sunday, July 27th at 3:00PM.


Read The Ukrainian Weekly's full review here starting on page 11.

Listen to Film Festival reViews' podcast hosted by Christina Kotlar with guests Surgeon Henry Marsh director Geoffrey Smith here.

Ukrainian Canadian - "One of the most talked about documentaries...."  Read article here.

VARIETY - "Deeply touching resonant and...very funny."  Read article here.

Starting in Los Angeles July 31, 2009!

9036 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills 90211



"The English Surgeon" starts in Los Angeles July 31 at Laemmle's Music Hall 3!

Director Geoffrey Smith will be in Los Angeles for the opening weekend and will be holding Q&A sessions following selected screenings.


Join The English Surgeon facebook Group and choose "attending" for The English Surgeon opens Friday, July 31 at L.A.'s Laemmle Theater! so you'll be reminded of the opening.

Host a Screening!


We invite you to bring "The English Surgeon" to your own community, church or hospital and to spread "The English Surgeon's" stirring message!

Get inspired by visiting the film's website at: www.theenglishsurgeon.com and by watching the trailer.

Contact Outreach Coordinator Krystal Lord at:
englishsurgeonfilm@gmail.com or (323) 313-5402 to discuss how we can help tailor a plan for your organization or community.

Screenings can range from a small gathering at a home to a large event at an auditorium that includes a talk by Dr. Marsh and/or director Geoffrey Smith.

Ukrainian Institute of America
2 East 79th Street
212 288-8660

flag of FranceRochepaule, Ardèche - France: Ukrainian musical Ferns in the gas -- Aug 1 TOP

The FAVAL-CHORNOHORA association
50 children at the end of the summer camp
will perform

The Ukrainian Musical Comedy

Ferns in the Gas

August 1er 2009 at 3:30 PM
Rochepaule (
Ardèche - France)

Information and reservation +33 (0)4 75 30 05 13


Once more this year, Youry Bilak as stage director and choreographer, will take you on a story of an Ukrainian village which has some problems with their gas supplier. Sometimes reality meets fiction (!)...

Come to see us.
The administration

Canadian flag Edmonton, AB: Ukrainian Day -- Aug. 9 TOP
USA flag New York: The Yellow Memory - A dance performance -- Aug. 13 & 15 TOP

The Ukrainian Institute of America, Inc. presents The Yellow | Memory, a site specific dance performance addressing the collective nature of memory.

A year ago we created a dance performance that embodied the life of a woman who lived in this building 110 years ago. Now we return to the memories of that evening to restore the traces of our emotions and thoughts as viewers and participants.

Movements, gestures, images, voices, melodies, words that we pass along to one another --how does memory recompose itself when they all meet again in the rooms of a Gothic mansion? Based on choreographic, visual and narrative memories of last year participants and viewers, this event is a collaboration of the dancers, a visual artist and the viewers like you.

Thursday, August 13 and Saturday, August 15 at 8 p.m., 2 East 79th Street (corner of Fifth Avenue), (212) 288-8660; $12 (general), $9 (seniors, students).

Wine and cheese reception to follow.
Seating is limited. Reservations @ (212) 288-8660 are appreciated.

Inka Juslin -- concept, choreography, dance
Susan Kozel -- dance
Svitlana Matviyenko -- concept, dramaturgy, animation, video, sound

Participants' Bios:

Inka Juslin is a Finnish dancer and choreographer currently based in New York City, where she collaborates across artistic disciplines and genres. She choreographs her own works as well as performs for other choreographers. Juslin is a visiting scholar at the Performance Studies Department at New York University. Her scholarly interest is related to new technologies, choreography, video, film and philosophy. Juslin has choreographed dance and video works in Finland, and also in Asia, North America and Europe. Her doctoral choreography Redress was presented at the Kiasma Theatre in the Museum for Contemporary Art in Helsinki in October 2002. In 2008, she collaborated with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene and Yara Arts Group, and 2009 she danced in Melinda Ring's Special Projects at The Kitchen. Back in 2007, she collaborated with Susan Kozel/Mesh Performance Practices on The Other Stories.

Susan Kozel works across dance and philosophy in the context of digital technologies. Working in England, Europe, Scandinavia, and Canada, she collaborates with digital artists, software engineers, architects, and composers to create performances and installations. She is the director of Mesh Performance Practices http://www.meshperformance.org and is Principal Researcher with the SMARTlab Digital Media Institute at the University of East London (UK). She has a PhD in Continental philosophy specializing in Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological writing and is the author of Closer: performance, technologies, philosophy (2007) published by The MIT Press.

The Yellow Memory is the third in a series of performances exploring Technologies of Inner Spaces (previous performances in this series include "immanence" 2005 and "other stories" 2007). She is working on a new book called "Social Choreographies: Corporeal Narratives with Mobile Media."

Svitlana Matviyenko is a film, media and literary critic and scholar. Back in Ukraine, she edited Literatura Plus, a newspaper of the Ukrainian Writers Association; she was a founder and an editor-in-chief of Komentar, a Ukrainian political and cultural monthly. Svitlana is a co-founder (with Virlana Tkacz) of "ROUND US" poetry & performance series that has been on since 2002 in Kyiv and New York. She is a former Fulbright fellow, pursuing her PhD in new media art, visual theory and psychoanalysis of Jacques Lacan at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Svitlana Matviyenko curates a new series of experimental performance, launched at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York.

Ukrainian Institute of America (212) 288-8660
Svitlana Matviyenko (573) 673 4125
Inka Juslin (646) 919-9531

USA flag Chicago, IL: Water colour by Alexander Telamin -- Aug. 21 - Sep. 12 TOP
Hamilton / Toronto: Papa Duke Ensemble starring Vasyl Popadiuk -- Aug. 28 & 30 TOP

Читайте нижче: Золота скрипка Канади

Listen to music tracks:

Discounted group tickets for
the PAPA DUKE performances available until July 30th!

Encore Productions, the presenter of the spectacular PAPA DUKE performances at Hamilton Place Studio Theatre and Assembly Hall Theater in Toronto is offering a 20% discount on the purchase of 20 or more tickets. This offer expires on July 30, 2009!

Choose your seats from the Hamilton Place Studio Theatre and Toronto Assembly Hall Theater seating plans:

Hamilton Place Studio seating plan.
Toronto Assembly Hall Theatre seating plan.

You can buy the discounted group tickets only by sending your request by e-mail to Encore Productions at encore1@rogers.com or by calling: 416-521-9555.

The discounted tickets are priced at $40 + 3.75 convenience charge, for a total of $43.75 each.  There is FREE DELIVERY of the purchased tickets to your door in the Toronto area!

Regularly priced tickets are $53.75 (including the convenience charge). That's a saving of $10 on each ticket!

Choose your seats now! Only 184 tickets are left for the Toronto performance!

Good tickets are still available for the Hamilton Place Studio Theatre performance.

Attention all organizations and Retirement Home managers! Any one willing to organize a bus with 40+ persons to come to the Hamilton and Toronto performances will receive two FREE tickets!

This offer is good on first come, first served basis!

Canadian flag Торонто: Вшанування поетеси Лесі Українки -- 30 липня TOP
flag of France Рошполі, Ардеш - Фрація: Українська музична вистава “Папороть у газі" -- 1 серпня TOP

Вам повідомити що

Українська музична вистава

Папороть у газі

50 дітей на сцені по закінченні літнього табору

відбудиться в суботу 1-го серпня о 15.30
Рошполі (Ардеш - Фрація).

Інформація і бронювання : +33 (0)4 75 30 05 13


Цього року, знов, Юрій Білак як режисер постановник і хореограф, розділить з Вами свою історію Українського села що буде мати проблеми з виробником газу.
Іноді у реальному житті повторюється видумана історія (!)...

Вітаємо Вас.

USA flag Чікаґо: Виставка акварельних творів Олександра Теляміна -- 21 серпня - 12 вересня TOP
Super nanny available TOP
Available, experienced Ukrainian tri-lingual (Ukrainian, English, Russian) super nanny to take care of Ukrainian children. Canadian Nurse's medical certificate. Excellent references. Only live-out. Call Diana: 647-242-2871

Суперняня з педагогічною освітою доглядає дітей TOP
Досвічена українська суперняня з  педагогічною освітою та канадійським сертифікатом медсестри доглядає дітей різного віку. Мова спілкування - українська, англійська, при потребі - російська. Тільки без проживання. Тел. 647-242-2871 (Діана)

USA flag Emlenton, PA: Kobzarska Sich bandura camp -- Aug. 8 - 22 TOP
We're looking forward to an exciting program directed by two bandura virtuosos from Lviv, Ukraine. Oleh Sozansky and Taras Lazurkevych, who also perform together as the Bandura Rozmova duet, will be returning to KS co-Musical Directors of Bandura Camp 2009. Messrs. Sozansky and Lazurkevych toured the United States in 2007 and 2008 with highly acclaimed reviews.

Kobzarska Sich offers two bandura programs. The two-week program begins Saturday, August 8 for ages 12 and older and culminates with a final concert on Saturday, August 22.  The one-week Bandura Workshop for ages 9 -- 11 runs Saturday, August 8 -- Sunday, August 16.  In addition to the Bandura Camp, the Ukrainian Sacred Music 101 workshop will be presented for the third straight year. Rev. Protodeacon Dr. Ihor Mahlay and Oleh Mahlay will return to teach Music 101. The daily schedule includes choral rehearsals, listening lectures, and classes on various topics.

To download a registration form, go to: www.bandura.org/bandura_school.htm

German flag Greifswald, Germany: Ukrainicum Summer School -- Aug. 14 - 26 TOP

The papers presented at the conference held at the University of Greifswald in September 2007, supported and hosted by the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg under the title "Is There a Third Way for Ukraine?", have finally appeared in electronic form. The papers are authored by H. Rothe, Ja. Hrytsak, M. Pavlyshyn, T. Hundorova, A. Kratochvil, G. Brogi Bercoff, O. Mykhed, and M. G. Bartolini in English, Ukrainian, German, or Italian.
You will find the papers in pdf format and the résumés at forumnetukraine.org

The title of the publication is: Scripta Ucrainica Europaea. The files are free for reading and printing, but they are protected by a copyright. You are asked to give exact bibliographic reference to this publication if you quote the papers.

This year's Ukrainicum Summer School will take place at the University of Greifswald on August 14-26. Registration and accommodation fees are about 250 Euros only (for students about 215 Euros). The program is extremely rich, and the level of teaching high: courses on Ukrainian history and literature in English, Ukrainian, or German will be taught by Dr. Halyna  Hryn, Prof. Jaroslaw Hrytsak, Prof. Tamara Hundorova, Dr. Rudolf. Mark, and Prof. Serhii Plokhii. Other lectures and many events are foreseen. You will find the details at:




Information and registration: tagungsbuero@wiko-greifswald.de

We would be happy to see some of your students or other interested persons at the school!

Detroit: School of  Bandura -- Fall 2009
If you're living in the Detroit area and looking to learn how to play the bandura, or have friends and family looking to learn how to play, then sign up with the Detroit School of Bandura. Lessons will begin this fall under the direction of Andrij Birko, the Concertmaster of the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus.

For more information on how to sign up, please contact Andrij Birko at ambirko@comcast.net

Літня Школа Україністики в НаУКМА TOP

Щороку Києво-Могилянська академія пропонує українцям з Європи та Північної Америки літні українознавчі студії:   www.summerschool.ukma.kiev.ua

Для навчання запропановані два терміни - тривалістю з кінця травня до кінця червня або пізніше у серпні, які передбачають вивчення української мови, літератури, історії, фольклору а також екскурсійну програму з відвідуванням київських пам’яток та відпочинком в Карпатських горах або на Кримському узбережжі. Від початку 90-х років учасниками Літньої школи україністики вже стали студенти з університетів Пенсільванії, Нью-Йорку, Торонто, Вінніпегу, Гарварду разом з науковцями чи звичайними іноземцями, не пов’язаними з Україною кревно, але залюбленими в її мову та культуру.

Під час вручення дипломів учасникам Літньої школи україністики – 2009 Президент Києво-Могилянської Академії Сергій Квіт розповів:

«Одного разу, розмовляючи зі своїм сербським колегою, я запитав його, яка головна ознака приналежності сербів.
«Серби там, де сербські могили», - була його відповідь. Гадаю, ви погодитеся зі мною, що українці там, де українська мова».

І справді, більшість учасників приїхали в Київ саме задля вдосконалення своєї української. На урочистому вечорі перед від’їздом вони демонстрували свої успіхи, співаючи українські пісні, які вони вивчили разом з викладачами й студентами Академії.

Директор Літньої школи Лариса Кадуріна наголошує:

«Учасниками нашої Школи можуть стати люди будь-якого віку: від 14 років до тих, кому за 70. Одного літа до нас приїхав молодий італієць, який дуже хотів вивчити українську мову. Він нас усіх здивував своїм палким захопленням Софією Ротару, майже всі українські пісні якої він знав напам’ять! Іншим літом учасником Школи став поважний професор з Іспанії, який також не був українського походження, але мав бажання вивчати нашу мову та культуру».

Цьогорічна травнева група приїздила до НаУКМА з Канади. Привітність, вишиті сорочки, характерна діаспорна вимова, - на перший погляд вони нічим не відрізняються від могилянців. Хіба що в погляді у них – бажання сфотографувати все, що віднині асоціюватиметься в них з прабатьківською землею; все, про що вони так багато чули від своїх виховників у СУМі або викладачів в українських школах за кордоном. Сумівець Андрій Семенюк з Вінніпегу ділиться своїми враженнями: «Насправді, частина з нас в Україні вже не вперше. Три роки тому відбулася наша перша подорож до Києва, після якої  ми почали шукати програму, щоб приїхати знову. Цього разу мені особисто найбільше сподобався Музей Тараса Шевченка, тому що я багато про то вчився, а тепер побачив все на власні очі. З упевненістю можу сказати, що від часу першої подорожі багато що змінилося: зараз ми все сприймаємо більш осмислено завдяки ґрунтовнішим знанням з історії. Я б дуже хотів колись тут жити або навіть купити квартиру і приїжджати хоча б раз на рік. У будь-якому разі ми всі хочемо наступного року знову зустрітися в Києві, адже ми тепер вже маємо тут друзів».

За словами керівника канадської групи Ірини Константюк, викладача української та російської мов в університеті Манітоба (м. Вінніпег), єдиною вимогою до слухачів Літньої школи є хоча б елементарний рівень володіння українською. Перед початком навчання учасники складають мовний тест, за результатами якого їх ділять на три групи з метою якнайкраще адаптувати програму до потреб слухачів. Окрім мови, вони також вивчають історію України; слухають лекції з фольклористики та мистецтвознавства; беруть участь в кругли столах, присвячених сучасним євроінтеграційним процесам в Україні; в обговореннях екологічної ситуації в нашій державі та ін. За бажанням гості можуть відвідувати курси, які пропонує Києво-Могилянська академія своїм студентам в літньому триместрі.

Пані Ірина не приховує свого захоплення від цьогорічної групи: «Перше, що вражає, це їхня обізнаність в українській культурі та історії. Окрім того, група надзвичайно дисциплінована й організована, гадаю, більшою мірою завдяки тому, що частина учасників – сумівці. На мою думку, ця молодь є українською елітою в Канаді, котра і в майбутньому цікавитиметься долею України, тому я впевнена, що ці студенти є нашим спільним майбутнім». Учасниця Школи Аріадна Длугош з Вінніпегу говорить про Україну з хвилюванням у голосі: «Мої батьки народилися вже в Канаді, але дідусі й бабусі – з Тернополя. Вдома ми намагаємося якнайбільше говорити українською, беремо участь в різних українських імпрезах. Окрім того, я є членом СУМу. В Києві мені найбільше сподобалися наші кількаразові відвідини Оперного театру, а також прогулянка Ботанічним садом. Я буду шукати нагоди, щоб знову приїхати в Україну. Зараз вивчаю комерцію і сподіваюся знайти роботу в канадському уряді, щоб працювати і в Канаді, і в Україні і якомога частіше сюди приїздити».

Друзі Аріадни, Зенон Чиж та Іванна Луків, на запитання відповідають вже англійською. Вони зауважують, що могилянські студенти нічим не відрізняються від канадських; до того ж вони вільно володіють англійською і з терпінням ставляться до мовних намагань тих учасників школи, які не спілкуються українською вільно. Іванні найбільше сподобалося те, як викладачі щораз підлаштовувалися під рівень учасників, так щоб кожен міг зрозуміти зміст викладу та взяти участь в дискусії. Зенона ж найбільше цікавили лекції з політичної історії України, особливо від ХХ століття до сьогодні. Оскільки він також вивчає комерцію, у нього в планах в майбутньому пов’язати свій бізнес з Україною.

Відродження Києво-Могилянської Академії – це значною мірою заслуга української діаспори. І коли щоліта приїжджають нові учасники спраглі до знань з україністики, Почесний Президент НаУКМА В’ячеслав Брюховецький згадує, як на початку 90-х в Америці його запитували: «Чи зможуть наші діти вчитися у відродженій Академії?»

З того часу до НаУКМА приїжджають не лише на Літню школу, а й на триместр чи рік бакалаврської програми або на магістерські студії. Першою студенткою з Канади, яка одержала диплом магістра НаУКМА була Ксеня Мариняк. А один зі слухачів Літньої школи після повернення додому навіть заснував фонд допомоги Києво-Могилянській Академії.

Про початки Літньої школи україністки розповідає В’ячеслав Степанович:
 – Коли ідея таких літніх студій виникла, ми постали перед ось якою проблемою: на Заході студенти зазвичай отримують певну кількість кредитів за прослухані курси, що зараховуються їм в їхніх університетах. Як ви розумієте, нам спочатку було не просто довести, що наші курси таких кредитів варті. Зараз наші слухачі отримують 4 або 6 кредитів залежно від програми, а перші наші учасники, яких привіз Михайло Найдан з університету Пенсільванії, отримали всього 1 або 2 кредити. Та школа була надзвичайно вдалою, однак, на жаль, вдруге їм приїхати не вдалося. Вочевидь, справа полягала в коштах, адже частину платять самі студенти, а частину компенсує університет.
Другий етап розвитку Школи розпочався з візиту студентів коледжу Алегені, яких привіз Андрій Мелешевич. Кілька років він привозив до нас студентів, а сьогодні Андрій Мелешевич живе в Україні і є деканом Факультету правничих наук НаУКМА. Майже 10 років тому до нас із пропозицією співпраці приїздив професор М. Шкандрій з Університету Манітоби. Відтоді студенти цього навчального закладу щороку беруть участь у нашій Школі. А 4 роки тому за підтримки Президента України Віктора Ющенка, з допомогою Генерального Консульства України, Школою українознавства Нью-Йорку була започаткована надзвичайно важлива для молодого покоління програма «Навчання української молоді Америки в Україні» : www.sdinstitute.org
Нині Школою опікується Лариса Кадуріна, якій я дуже вдячний за професійний та енергійний підхід до справи. Завдяки їй програми урізноманітнилися і для багатьох стали постійним предметом зацікавлення.

– Цьогоріч наші північноамериканські гості найбільше дивувалися велелюдності київського метро, а також значній кількості перехожих на вулиці, адже в 30 мільйонній Канаді люди пересуваються переважно у власних автах. А що дивувало перших учасників Школи?

– Тоді їх дивували, звісно ж, наші побутові умови. Першим учасникам Школи довелось пожити в наших гуртожитках, які суттєво відрізняються від американських. Але перший шок минав дуже швидко, оскільки вони постійно оберталися серед наших студентів, жили справжнім могилянським життям. Сьогодні, коли ми вже поселяємо їх в окремий новий готельний комплекс, вони вже не знаходять чогось кардинально відмінного від звичних для них реалій, але, на мою думку, це все-таки ізолює їх певною мірою від могилянської молоді.

– Як Ви вважаєте, що спонукає їх приїжджати в Україну?

– Колись мої знайомі за кордоном казали: «Швидше б вже Україна стала незалежною й сильною державою. Тоді б я вже міг забути, що я українець, та жити звичайним американським життям». Ці слова – із тих жартів, в яких є частка сумної правди. Українці в діаспорі вимушені жити не так, як інші громадяни, тому що в них ще десь там є Україна, за яку стільки років доводилося боротися, так що зрештою люди просто втомилися від постійної думки про це. Хоча з постанням незалежної України з’явилося таке покоління як «new born Ukrainian», тобто вже старші люди, які зробили успішну кар’єру за кордоном, почали повертатися до свого українського коріння.

З таких видатних людей є професор Лоуренс Майсек, якого в Радянському Союзі знали як автора підручника з кліматології. На той час він був Президентом королівської академії наук в Канаді. І ніхто не знав, що він українець третього покоління, справжнє ім’я якого – Лаврін Масик. Коли українські професори з Канади запросили мене в Торонто розповісти про відродження Академії, на квартирі в Романа Сербина всі слухали мою розповідь уважно, але один чоловік слухав найуважніше. Коли я опісля підійшов до нього, з’ясувалося, що він не говорить українською, яку невдовзі почав вивчати. Це був Лоуренс Майсек, котрий потім приїжджав до нас з викладами вже як почесний професор НаУКМА.

Якщо говорити про молодь, то мені одразу пригадується українець Джон Сміт. Коли Джон був у нас на літніх студіях, він сказав мені, що планує спершу скінчити свій університет, а потім вчитися в Україні, тому що його мета – стати українським міністром закордонних справ. Ясна річ, життя корегує такі юнацькі мрії. Однак зараз з’явилася нова хвиля вже не політичної, а економічної еміграції. Ці українці виїхали зовсім недавно, тож їх турбує усе, що в нас відбувається. Вони віддають дітей в українські школи, створюють свої газети та організації. Але їхня майбутня участь в долі нашої спільної Батьківщини – питання дискусійне. Багато що залежить від самої Української держави.

Юлія Морозюк

Конкурс на участь у школі з прав людини -- 24 - 41 серпня TOP

Оголошується конкурс на участь у Школі з прав людини для активістів правозахисних неурядових організацій, що організовує Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини разом з Харківською правозахисною групою та Норвезьким Гельсінським Комітетом за фінансової підтримки Норвезького Гельсінського Комітету та Міжнародного Фонду «Відродження». Цей захід національної освітньої програми «Розуміємо права людини» ґрунтується на найкращому досвіді авторської Школи з прав людини Харківської правозахисної групи. Докладніше про програму можна дізнатись в Інтернеті: www.edu.helsinki.org.ua, а про роботу Харківської правозахисної групи  - www.khpg.org

До участі у конкурсі запрошуються молоді активісти та волонтери правозахисних організацій віком від 18 до 35 років (в окремих ситуаціях можуть бути запрошені особи старшого віку), які мають мотивацію активно діяти у сфері захисту та підтримки прав людини.

Учасники Школи зможуть:

  • отримати основи знань про права людини та механізми їх захисту, про окремі важливі поняття, суміжні з правами людини;
  • здобути уміння та навички, що є важливими для активних дій, спрямованих на утвердження та захист прав людини;
  • сформувати власну позицію щодо окремих сучасних суспільних процесів, ґрунтуючись на принципах прав людини.

Претенденти на участь у Школі повинні бути готові:

  • активно діяти (ініціювати та проводити акції, кампанії і т.п.) у сфері утвердження та захисту прав людини;
  • відвідувати усі заняття протягом 8-денного тренінгу;
  • співпрацювати в команді з іншими учасниками Школи.

Школа проходитиме у Харкові з 24 по 31 серпня 2009 року.

Просимо звернути увагу, що конкурсні документи повинні надійти не пізніше 17.00 6 серпня 2009 року.

Alleged Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk trial to break legal ground in Germany TOP

10 July 2009


"As long as my father remains alive, we will defend his innocence as he has never hurt anyone anywhere.  They have hurried to justify the deportation and the violation of his legal and human rights with sensational charges but it is all a farce and cannot withstand the test of litigation.  German doctors have confirmed he has about 15 months to live due to an incurable leukemic bone marrow disease, Myelodisplastic Syndrome.  His condition will continue to worsen and he will not have the opportunity to fairly litigate the matter as he successfully did in Israel once before. 

The Germans have victimized him since nearly killing him as an enemy Ukrainian Red Army soldier and again as a Ukrainian POW.  If the Munich court accepts this farce, he will end his days once again suffering at the hands of the Germans, not on the battle field this time but in a prison hospital."

John Demjanjuk Jr.
July 13,2009


The trial against suspected concentration camp guard John Demjanjuk is a legal first for Germany. For the first time, a person who was low on the chain of command is to be indicted, even though there is no proof of his having committed a specific offence. Other alleged henchmen have gotten off far more lightly.

The court stipulated that they were not to mention so much as a word about the case. Instead, Vera Demjanjuk, 84, told her husband John, 89, what she had planted in their garden at home. The telephone conversation, which lasted 20 minutes, was the only conversation to date between the Stadelheim Prison in Munich and Cleveland, Ohio. An official interpreter listened in on the conversation. "She hopes and believes that he will somehow return home," says John Demjanjuk, Jr., the couple's son.


Sadists or Pitiful Old Men?

In the trials conducted in Hagen, West Germany, in 1965-66, against former SS men who had served at Sobibor, only one defendant was given a life sentence: Karl Frenzel, the camp director, a gruesome sadist who had whipped a dying prisoner and shot him personally. Five defendants received prison terms of between three and eight years, and five others were acquitted.

Karl Streibel, the commandant of the Trawniki training camp, was tried in a Hamburg court from 1972 to 1976. He and five other defendants, all senior members of the camp administration, went unpunished. The judges argued that the Trawniki trainers had not been aware of the purpose for which they were training the foreign workers -- a somewhat dubious interpretation of their tasks.

If it was already so difficult to bring to justice the men who had been higher up the chain of command, how are the courts expected to deal with a man like Demjanjuk, a captured member of the Red Army who was apparently recruited by the SS in 1942?

The Trawnikis -- as the men trained at the camp of that name are known -- were undoubtedly among the "most notorious offenders of World War II," says Hamburg historian Frank Golczewski. Many profited shamelessly from the death camps, using money and gold taken from the murdered prisoners to pay for sex with women in the surrounding villages.

And yet, says Peter Black, chief historian at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, one cannot conclude that these men volunteered to commit mass murder. The conditions in the Nazi prisoner-of-war camps were so horrific, according to Black, that the men "had limited options." The non-German volunteers were at the lowest end of the hierarchy. If they refused to cooperate, says Black, "they could be shot on the spot," at least until the spring of 1943.

Helge Grabitz, a well-known Hamburg criminal prosecutor who has since died, also believed that the Trawnikis were "coerced." They volunteered, according to Grabitz, "to escape certain death from starvation, freezing to death or epidemics in the camps." The "proven inhuman atrocities" could hardly be attributed to individual offenders, she wrote, making criminal prosecution "relatively difficult."

Neither Canada nor Britain nor Australia managed to convict former Trawnikis who had immigrated to those countries.

In the Demjanjuk case, Germany now hopes to improve on that record, while at the same time establishing stricter benchmarks.

Decades of failure

Nevertheless, investigators are dealing with a case overshadowed by 30 years of failure on the part of jurists on several continents. "Germany stumbled into these matters," says Demjanjuk's son, John Jr. The senior Demjanjuk has been "paraded through a variety of countries like a dancing bear," says Ed Nishnic, Demjanjuk's former son-in-law. Nishnic fears that the German proceedings will amount to a "show trial," as has already happened once before.


But the case ended in an acquittal on appeal, after a lower court had already sentenced Demjanjuk to death by hanging. A TV reporter for the American CBS network tracked down a woman in a village near Treblinka who admitted to having been a lover of Ivan the Terrible. The woman claimed that the sadistic guard's surname was Marchenko, and both guards and survivors from the camp later confirmed that this was true. The Israeli prosecutor Michael Shaked found evidence in Russian and German archives that destroyed his own case. The survivors had been mistaken. Demjanjuk was not Ivan the Terrible.

In 1993, after several years in solitary confinement, he was acquitted and returned to the United States, which reinstated his citizenship, setting a precedent in the history of American public administration.

It was a bitter setback for the US Justice Department. Its Office of Special Investigations (OSI), created in 1979 "to investigate and prosecute participants in World War II-era acts of Nazi-sponsored persecution," had spearheaded Demjanjuk's extradition to Israel. Now the OSI investigators were forced to admit, in a court investigation, that they had "acted on a preconception" and had "deceived" the courts by withholding two pieces of testimony and a list of camp guards that documented the true identity of Ivan the Terrible.


The defense, which will attempt to call the documents into question, sees an abundance of potential holes in the prosecution's case. For instance, the Munich public prosecutor's office neglected to have the SS identification card, which has already been examined multiple times, subjected to forensic analysis one more time in Germany. In March, experts with the Bavarian State Office of Criminal Investigation concluded, after a relatively superficial examination of the document, that it is "possible" that the ID card is genuine. This weak conclusion will hardly suffice to conclusively discredit theories that the card was forged.



The head Nazi-hunter's trail of lies TOP

July 18, 2009

By Guy Walters

Simon Wiesenthal, famed for his pursuit of justice, caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and fabricated much of his own Holocaust story.


Since the early 1960s Simon Wiesenthal's name has become synonymous with Nazi hunting. His standing is that of a secular saint. Nominated four times for the Nobel peace prize, the recipient of a British honorary knighthood, the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French L'Egion d'honneur and at least 53 other distinctions, he was often credited with some 1,100 Nazi "scalps". He is remembered, above all, for his efforts to track down Adolf Eichmann, one of the most notorious war criminals.

His reputation is built on sand, however. He was a liar -- and a bad one at that. From the end of the second world war to the end of his life in 2005, he would lie repeatedly about his supposed hunt for Eichmann as well as his other Nazi-hunting exploits. He would also concoct outrageous stories about his war years and make false claims about his academic career. There are so many inconsistencies between his three main memoirs and between those memoirs and contemporaneous documents, that it is impossible to establish a reliable narrative from them. Wiesenthal's scant regard for the truth makes it possible to


He was born in 1908 in Buczacz, Galicia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and now in Ukraine. After the first world war, Buczacz changed hands frequently between Poles, Ukrainians and Soviet forces. In 1920 the 11-year-old Wiesenthal was attacked with a sabre by a mounted Ukrainian who slashed his right thigh to the bone. Wiesenthal regarded the scar as part of a long line of evidence that he was protected from violent death by an "unseen power" that wanted him kept alive for a purpose.

His background was ideal for any aspiring fabulist. Like many from Galicia, Wiesenthal would have spent his childhood immersed in the Polish literary genre of tall stories told over the dinner table. In a place such as Buczacz in the 1920s, truth was a relatively elastic concept. At 19 he enrolled as an architectural student at the Czech Technical University in Prague, where he found his metier as a raconteur and appeared as a stand-up comedian.


 He was in Lvov when it fell to the Nazis in 1941. He claimed he and a Jewish friend called Gross were arrested at 4pm on Sunday July 6, one of the few dates that remain constant in his ever-shifting life story. Whenever he is so specific, however, he is usually lying.

Frogmarched to prison, they were put in a line of some 40 other Jews in a courtyard. Ukrainian auxiliary police started shooting each man in the neck, working their way down the line towards Wiesenthal. He was saved by a peal of church bells signifying evening mass. Incredibly, the Ukrainians halted their execution to go to worship. The survivors were led to the cells, where Wiesenthal claims he fell asleep. He was woken by a Ukrainian friend in the auxiliary police who saved him and Gross by telling them to pretend they were Russian spies. They were brutally questioned -- Wiesenthal lost two teeth -- but were freed after cleaning the commandant's office.


By the end of the year Wiesenthal was in Janowska, a concentration camp outside Lvov. Given the task of painting Soviet railway engines with Nazi insignia, he made friends with Adolf Kohlrautz, the German senior inspector at the workshop, who was secretly anti-Nazi. On April 20, 1943, Wiesenthal was apparently selected for a mass execution again. The SS at Janowska picked him among some Jews to be shot in a grim celebration of Hitler's 54th birthday. They silently walked towards a huge sandpit, 6ft deep and 1,500ft long. A few dead bodies were visible in it. Forced to undress, they were herded in single file down a barbed-wire corridor known as the hose to be shot one by one at the edge of the pit.


On October 2, 1943, according to Wiesenthal, Kohlrautz warned him that the camp and its prisoners were shortly to be liquidated. The German gave him and a friend passes to visit a stationery shop in town, accompanied by a Ukrainian guard. They managed to escape out the back while the Ukrainian waited at the front.


From this point in Wiesenthal's war it is impossible to establish a reliable train of events. With at least four wildly different accounts of his activities between October 1943 and the middle of 1944 -- including his alleged role as a partisan officer -- serious questions must be raised. Some, such as Bruno Kreisky, the former Austrian chancellor, repeatedly accused Wiesenthal in the 1970s and the 1980s of collaborating with the Gestapo. Kreisky's claims were supported by unsubstantiated evidence from the Polish and Soviet governments. Wiesenthal took him to court and won.

Whatever the truth, by November 1944 Wiesenthal was in Gross-Rosen, a camp near Wroclaw. He told Hella Pick, his biographer, that he was forced to work barefoot in the camp quarry and soon learnt that the team of 100 prisoners assigned to the work kommando shrank by one each day. After a few days he felt sure his turn was about to come. "My executioner was behind me," he recalled, "poised to smash my head with a rock. I turned around and the man, surprised, dropped his stone. It crushed my toe. I screamed."

Wiesenthal's quick reactions and yell apparently saved his life because there was some form of inspection that day -- he thought it may have been by the Red Cross -- and so he was stretchered away to the first-aid station. His toe was cut off without anaesthesia while two men held him still. The following day, Wiesenthal said, he was in agony. "The doctor came back and saw that I had a septic blister on the sole of my foot. So they cut it open and the gangrene spurted all over the room."

Yet again, one of Wiesenthal's "miracles" is open to doubt. First, the story appears in no other memoir or statement. Secondly, if the Red Cross really was inspecting Gross-Rosen that day, then the SS would have temporarily halted any executions. As it was, the Red Cross was not allowed access to concentration camps at that time. Thirdly, the medical consequences seem entirely implausible.


From Chemnitz, the prisoners ended up at Mauthausen camp near Linz in Austria. Wiesenthal arrived there on the frozen night of February 15, 1945. In The Murderers Among Us, he tells how he and a fellow prisoner, Prince Radziwill, linked arms to make the last four miles uphill to the camp. The effort was too great and they collapsed in the snow. An SS man fired a shot that landed between them. As the two men did not get up, they were left for dead in the sub-zero temperature. When lorries arrived to collect those who had died on the march, the unconscious Wiesenthal and Radziwill were so frozen that they were thrown onto a pile of corpses. At the crematorium, however, the prisoners unloading them realised they were alive. They were given a cold shower to thaw out and Wiesenthal was taken to Block VI, the "death block" for the mortally ill.

In 1961, when Wiesenthal was interviewed for the Yad Vashem archive by the Israeli journalist Haim Maas about his war years, Wiesenthal mentioned that the infection from his foot had now turned blue-green and had spread right up to his knee. He lay in the death block for three months until the end of the war. Too weak to get out of bed, he claimed he survived -- incredibly -- on 200 calories a day, along with the occasional piece of bread or sausage smuggled to him by a friendly Pole.

Mauthausen was liberated on May 5, 1945. Despite weighing just 100lb, Wiesenthal struggled outside to greet the American tanks. "I don't know how I managed to get up and walk," he recalled. If he was able to walk, his severely infected leg must have been cured during the previous three months by either amputation or antibiotics. We know the former did not take place, and the latter was emphatically not a common treatment for ailing Jews in Nazi concentration camps. Once again, it appears as though a miracle had taken place.

The rapidity of Wiesenthal's recovery is so astonishing that it is doubtful whether he was as ill as he claimed. Just 20 days after the liberation, he wrote to the US camp commander asking whether he could be involved in assisting the US authorities investigating war crimes. Claiming to have been in 13 concentration camps -- he had in fact been in no more than six -- Wiesenthal supplied a list of 91 names of those who he felt were responsible for "incalculable sufferings."

According to most accounts, Wiesenthal asked if he could join the American war crimes investigators, but they refused, telling him he was not well enough. After he had gained some weight, he returned and was assigned to a captain with whom Wiesenthal claimed to have captured his first "scalp", a snivelling SS guard called Schmidt. "There were many others in the weeks that followed," Wiesenthal later wrote. "You didn't have to go far. You almost stumbled over them."

A curriculum vitae Wiesenthal completed after the war does not mention his work for the Americans but lists his occupation as the vice-chairman of the Jewish Central Committee for the US zone, based in Linz. Its task was to draw up lists of survivors that other survivors could consult in their hunt for relatives.

For at least a year after the war, Wiesenthal's other task was to lobby hard for his fellow Jews; he became president of the Paris-based International Concentration Camp Organisation. He also forged contacts with the Brichah, which smuggled Jews out of Europe to Palestine.

It was not until February 1947 that he formed the organisation that would make him famous, the Jewish Historical Documentation Centre in Linz. Its aim was to collate information on the final solution with a view to securing the indictments of war criminals. Wiesenthal claimed to have started it because of an anti-Semitic remark made by an American officer, which made him realise that the allies would never hunt down the Nazis to the extent that was required.

Sadly, he was to be proved right. He and his band of 30 volunteers travelled around the displaced persons' camps, collecting evidence on the atrocities from former concentration camp inmates. In all, Wiesenthal's team compiled 3,289 questionnaires, which is a far more impressive feat than anything the allies achieved.

Wiesenthal died in 2005 at the age of 96 and was buried in Israel. The tributes and eulogies were many and fulsome and at the time it would have been churlish to have detracted from the many positive aspects of the role he played. He was at heart a showman and when he found a role as the world's head Nazi hunter, he played it well. As with so many popular performances, it was impossible for the critics to tell the public that the Great Wiesenthal Show was little more than an illusion. Ultimately, it was an illusion mounted for a good cause.

Complete article:

Canadian Members of Parliament informed about Ukraine via Ukraine Analyst TOP

The bi-monthly Ukraine Analyst, which began publication a year ago, is very grateful to Ukrainian-Canadian Borys Wrzesnewskyj MP (Liberal Party, Etobicoke Centre) and the Dopomoha Ukraini foundation for a start-up grant. The grant will assist Ukraine Analyst in developing the publication professionally through the hiring of a doctoral student at Carleton University (Ottawa) to assist the editor in this process. The grant will also enable Ukraine Analyst to be provided gratis to Canadian Members of Parliament to keep them better informed about contemporary developments in Ukraine.

Dr. Taras Kuzio, Editor, Ukraine Analyst
Email: tkuzio@rogers.com
Office: 416 9442784

Conspiratorial cabals hide behind pseudonyms - The Hill Times TOP

July 6, 2009

By Lubomyr Luciuk

A nincompoop emailed me the other day. I'd share his name but I don't have it. He's a yellow belly.

In the interests of gender equality I hasten to add that "he" might be a "she." But since I'm dealing with a lily-livered Lilliputian I''ll pick on my own brand and assume it's a "he" -- nitwit in either case.

His note arrived only hours after my opinion-editorial was published. Being read is gratifying so I won't complain too much. There's also the diversion of getting a rise out of a goof, probably a public service as I suspect this dolt leads an otherwise pedestrian existence.

 What got his sphincter moving was a piece I wrote about a KGB veteran who is now a fugitive holed up in some religious sect's basement. Squatting and claiming "sanctuary" he is apparently unaware of the fact that planting a Porta Potty confers no asylum rights, not even in British Columbia.

Before this ex-apparatchik went subterranean he had a hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board. It ruled, properly, that he was inadmissible to Canada because of his previous career with the Soviet secret police. Nevertheless, this non-citizen has "rights." So a Federal Court judge carefully reviewed the case. The deportation order was upheld. That's when the ex-Commie apparently found Christ.

Just as I don't want a Nazi next door so too I don't want the KGB in Canada. Others do. They insist this comrade never harmed anyone, is a family man, has been in-country for years and broke no laws. Not so. He had no right to come here and thus has no right to remain. And now he's in contempt of court. He even readied his underground lair before the judge's decision was made, evidence of an intent to ignore our laws if things didn't go his way. That this fellow still garnishes sympathy confirms that there are a folks out there who "learned" about the KGB by watching Boris and Natasha's antics on Bullwinkle cartoons. They don't want to be reminded that the KGB murdered millions more than the Nazis ever did. Instead they want special treatment for this KGB man. I suppose to be fair they'd have to admit that there were some nice Nazis too. Personally I prefer the rule of law: no exceptions and no excuses.

Now I expect flak whenever I write. So it's OK when someone sends a letter to an editor to disagree with me. Indeed I have friends who chortle whenever I take one on the chops. A clever counterpunch sometimes even provokes a guffaw on my part. I can laugh because I know that before anything appears in print, in this newspaper or any other, whether I write it or you do, an editor (perhaps several) has verified that it is neither bogus nor defamatory and that whoever has written it is who they say they are.

Now that's critical. Editors aren't generally censors. They're gatekeepers. Not everything gets past them and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Their role is not to restrict "free speech" but to ensure that anyone who has something to say also demonstrates the courage of their convictions. A person does that by attaching their real name to whatever they want to share in the public arena.

Many of us have encountered the loudmouth who corners you at a party and then goes on and on about some pet peeve. Try to escape by asking why he doesn't share his views by publishing them, sweetening your pitch by adding that doing so would edify the otherwise apparently ignorant masses, and you'll be told that the mainstream media is manipulated by sinister forces that prevent "the truth" from "getting out there." Actually what happens is that good editors everywhere work hard to ensure that bigots, boors and bastards rarely get published. Which is exactly what they should do.

Alas we now live in a world where those who believe in conspiratorial cabals have access to innumerable "chat rooms" and "blog sites" where they can blow their loads while hiding behind infantile pseudonyms. Obviously underemployed, these troglodytes expend their waking hours vomiting up whatever they want to, without fear of repercussion. Quick to invoke their right to "freedom of speech" these wannabe writers nevertheless refuse to name themselves. I recently encountered their caveman culture when I asked some lout calling himself "the Canadian" (even though he seems to reside in Los Angeles) who he is. Rather than answer he scuttled away, just like one of those saw bugs that cut and run when you turn over a rock.

I loathe those who would restrict free speech. But anyone who "shares their thoughts" on the Internet should be required to identify who they are before they have their say. Hate speech oozes from those who hide in contrast to free speech which arises from those not afraid to tell you what they think because they are not afraid to affirm who they are. That's why I've signed this editorial. Think, say, or write what you will about what I have to say but at least you know I'm no chicken.

Lubomyr Luciuk teaches political geography at the Royal Military College of Canada.

Ukrainian Canadians condemn vandalism of commemorative markers at Babyn Yar TOP

Ottawa, 16 July 2009

Speaking on behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, its chairman, Dr. Lubomyr Luciuk, expressed indignation at the recent vandalism of commemorative markers at the Babyn Yar memorial, in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital.

A cross and memorial plaque commemorating the Ukrainian nationalists murdered by the Nazis during their brutal occupation were pushed over and smashed. Those responsible have not yet  been identified or arrested. Commenting, Dr. Luciuk said:

"It is not well understood that Ukraine lost more of its population than any other nation in Nazi-occupied Europe. Millions of Ukrainians were murdered or enslaved by the Nazis, even as a heroic resistance movement struggled against both the regimes of Hitler and Stalin. That vandals would desecrate a modest memorial to the memory of Ukrainian nationalists slaughtered at Babyn Yar is outrageous. We most certainly hope the authorities in Kyiv will make every effort to bring those responsible to justice."

MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj opposes reinstatement of visas for Croats TOP

17. 07. 09

A day after reinstating visa requirements for citizens of the Czech Republic, the Canadian government may be preparing to do the same for Croats.

The reason is the Canadian media are fanning public fear by claiming Canada will be overrun by Croatian war criminals.

It was Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj who led the charge in the House of Commons to remove the visitor visa restrictions on Croatia.

He said yesterday: "When I first introduced my motion (M-99) on 4 April 2006 to lift visitor visas for Croatia, I had absolutely no support from Conservative members of Parliament. Only later, when the Conservatives were desperate to form a majority government and their caucus was instructed to reach out to Canada's multicultural communities, did Conservative members of Parliament take an interest in the issue.

"We have recently seen Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney reinstate visa requirements for citizens of the Czech Republic after his department raised the spectre of bogus Czech refugee claims. Now another department is raising unfounded fears of Croatian war criminals arriving in Canada as a consequence of the removal of visa requirements for Croats. I am publicly raising this issue to make sure that Minister Kenney does not use departmental fears as an excuse for a similar, unilateral reinstatement of visitor visas for Croats as occurred this week in the case of citizens of the Czech Republic, an EU member state," Wrzesnewskyj added.

Wrzesnewskyj received crucial support from numerous Croatian organizations, churches and individuals for his motions and petitions to lift visitor visas for Croats. It was that enthusiastic Croatian Canadian community support that helped focus the government on the issue and resulted in the lifting of visas for Croats.

"I will not allow the hard work of the Croatian community to be put in jeopardy. Will Minister Kenney publicly reassure Croatian Canadians that the government does not intend to reinstate the "visa curtain" around Croatia as he has around the Czech Republic?" Wrzesnewskyj asked.

An open letter to the Obama administration from Central and Eastern Europe TOP

July 16, 2009

The following open letter to the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama appeared in the Polish newspaper "Gazeta Wyborcza" on July 16:

Like you, we await the results of the EU Commission's investigation on the origins of the Russo-Georgian war. But the political impact of that war on the region has already been felt. Many countries were deeply disturbed to see the Atlantic alliance stand by as Russia violated the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, and the territorial integrity of a country that was a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace and the Euroatlantic Partnership Council -all in the name of defending a sphere of influence on its borders.


We have written this letter because, as Central and Eastern European (CEE) intellectuals and former policymakers, we care deeply about the future of the transatlantic relationship as well as the future quality of relations between the United States and the countries of our region. We write in our personal capacity as individuals who are friends and allies of the United States as well as committed Europeans.

Our nations are deeply indebted to the United States. Many of us know firsthand how important your support for our freedom and independence was during the dark Cold War years. U.S. engagement and support was essential for the success of our democratic transitions after the Iron Curtain fell twenty years ago. Without Washington's vision and leadership, it is doubtful that we would be in NATO and even the EU today.

We have worked to reciprocate and make this relationship a two-way street. We are Atlanticist voices within NATO and the EU. Our nations have been engaged alongside the United States in the Balkans, Iraq, and today in Afghanistan. While our contribution may at times seem modest compared to your own, it is significant when measured as a percentage of our population and GDP. Having benefited from your support for liberal democracy and liberal values in the past, we have been among your strongest supporters when it comes to promoting democracy and human rights around the world.

Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, however, we see that Central and Eastern European countries are no longer at the heart of American foreign policy. As the new Obama Administration sets its foreign-policy priorities, our region is one part of the world that Americans have largely stopped worrying about. Indeed, at times we have the impression that U.S. policy was so successful that many American officials have now concluded that our region is fixed once and for all and that they could "check the box" and move on to other more pressing strategic issues. Relations have been so close that many on both sides assume that the region's transatlantic orientation, as well as its stability and prosperity, would last forever.

That view is premature. All is not well either in our region or in the transatlantic relationship. Central and Eastern Europe is at a political crossroads and today there is a growing sense of nervousness in the region. The global economic crisis is impacting on our region and, as elsewhere, runs the risk that our societies will look inward and be less engaged with the outside world. At the same time, storm clouds are starting to gather on the foreign policy horizon. Like you, we await the results of the EU Commission's investigation on the origins of the Russo-Georgian war. But the political impact of that war on the region has already been felt. Many countries were deeply disturbed to see the Atlantic alliance stand by as Russia violated the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, and the territorial integrity of a country that was a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace and the Euroatlantic Partnership Council -all in the name of defending a sphere of influence on its borders.

Despite the efforts and significant contribution of the new members, NATO today seems weaker than when we joined. In many of our countries it is perceived as less and less relevant - and we feel it. Although we are full members, people question whether NATO would be willing and able to come to our defense in some future crises. Europe's dependence on Russian energy also creates concern about the cohesion of the Alliance. President Obama's remark at the recent NATO summit on the need to provide credible defense plans for all Alliance members was welcome, but not sufficient to allay fears about the Alliance´s defense readiness. Our ability to continue to sustain public support at home for our contributions to Alliance missions abroad also depends on us being able to show that our own security concerns are being addressed in NATO and close cooperation with the United States

We must also recognize that America's popularity and influence have fallen in many of our countries as well. Public opinions polls, including the German Marshall Fund's own Transatlantic Trends survey, show that our region has not been immune to the wave of criticism and anti-Americanism that has swept Europe in recent years and which led to a collapse in sympathy and support for the United States during the Bush years. Some leaders in the region have paid a political price for their support of the unpopular war in Iraq. In the future they may be more careful in taking political risks to support the United States. We believe that the onset of a new Administration has created a new opening to reverse this trend but it will take time and work on both sides to make up for what we have lost.

In many ways the EU has become the major factor and institution in our lives. To many people it seems more relevant and important today than the link to the United States. To some degree it is a logical outcome of the integration of Central and Eastern Europe into the EU. Our leaders and officials spend much more time in EU meetings than in consultations with Washington, where they often struggle to attract attention or make our voices heard. The region's deeper integration in the EU is of course welcome and should not necessarily lead to a weakening of the transatlantic relationship. The hope was that integration of Central and Eastern Europe into the EU would actually strengthen the strategic cooperation between Europe and America.

However, there is a danger that instead of being a pro-Atlantic voice in the EU, support for a more global partnership with Washington in the region might wane over time. The region does not have the tradition of assuming a more global role. Some items on the transatlantic agenda, such as climate change, do not resonate in the Central and Eastern European publics to the same extent as they do in Western Europe.
Russia is back as a revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics and methods.


Leadership change is also coming in Central and Eastern Europe. Next to those, there are fewer and fewer leaders who emerged from the revolutions of 1989 who experienced Washington's key role in securing our democratic transition and anchoring our countries in NATO and EU. A new generation of leaders is emerging who do not have these memories and follow a more "realistic" policy. At the same time, the former Communist elites, whose insistence on political and economic power significantly contributed to the crises in many CEE countries, gradually disappear from the political scene. The current political and economic turmoil and the fallout from the global economic crisis provide additional opportunities for the forces of nationalism, extremism, populism, and anti-Semitism across the continent but also in some our countries.

This means that the United States is likely to lose many of its traditional interlocutors in the region. The new elites replacing them may not share the idealism - or have the same relationship to the United States - as the generation who led the democratic transition. They may be more calculating in their support of the United States as well as more parochial in their world view. And in Washington a similar transition is taking place as many of the leaders and personalities we have worked with and relied on are also leaving politics.

And then there is the issue of how to deal with Russia. Our hopes that relations with Russia would improve and that Moscow would finally fully accept our complete sovereignty and independence after joining NATO and the EU have not been fulfilled. Instead, Russia is back as a revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics and methods. At a global level, Russia has become, on most issues, a status-quo power. But at a regional level and vis-a-vis our nations, it increasingly acts as a revisionist one. It challenges our claims to our own historical experiences. It asserts a privileged position in determining our security choices. It uses overt and covert means of economic warfare, ranging from energy blockades and politically motivated investments to bribery and media manipulation in order to advance its interests and to challenge the transatlantic orientation of Central and Eastern Europe.

We welcome the "reset" of the American-Russian relations. As the countries living closest to Russia, obviously nobody has a greater interest in the development of the democracy in Russia and better relations between Moscow and the West than we do. But there is also nervousness in our capitals. We want to ensure that too narrow an understanding of Western interests does not lead to the wrong concessions to Russia. Today the concern is, for example, that the United States and the major European powers might embrace the Medvedev plan for a "Concert of Powers" to replace the continent's existing, value-based security structure. The danger is that Russia's creeping intimidation and influence-peddling in the region could over time lead to a de facto neutralization of the region. There are differing views within the region when it comes to Moscow's new policies. But there is a shared view that the full engagement of the United States is needed.

Many in the region are looking with hope to the Obama Administration to restore the Atlantic relationship as a moral compass for their domestic as well as foreign policies. A strong commitment to common liberal democratic values is essential to our countries. We know from our own historical experience the difference between when the United States stood up for its liberal democratic values and when it did not. Our region suffered when the United States succumbed to "realism" at Yalta. And it benefited when the United States used its power to fight for principle. That was critical during the Cold War and in opening the doors of NATO. Had a "realist" view prevailed in the early 1990s, we would not be in NATO today and the idea of a Europe whole, free, and at peace would be a distant dream.

We understand the heavy demands on your Administration and on U.S. foreign policy. It is not our intent to add to the list of problems you face. Rather, we want to help by being strong Atlanticist allies in a U.S.-European partnership that is a powerful force for good around the world. But we are not certain where our region will be in five or ten years time given the domestic and foreign policy uncertainties we face. We need to take the right steps now to ensure the strong relationship between the United States and Central and Eastern Europe over the past twenty years will endure.

We believe this is a time both the United States and Europe need to reinvest in the transatlantic relationship. We also believe this is a time when the United States and Central and Eastern Europe must reconnect around a new and forward-looking agenda. While recognizing what has been achieved in the twenty years since the fall of the Iron Curtain, it is time to set a new agenda for close cooperation for the next twenty years across the Atlantic.

Therefore, we propose the following steps:

First, we are convinced that America needs Europe and that Europe needs the United States as much today as in the past. The United States should reaffirm its vocation as a European power and make clear that it plans to stay fully engaged on the continent even while it faces the pressing challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the wider Middle East, and Asia. For our part we must work at home in our own countries and in Europe more generally to convince our leaders and societies to adopt a more global perspective and be prepared to shoulder more responsibility in partnership with the United States.

Second, we need a renaissance of NATO as the most important security link between the United States and Europe. It is the only credible hard power security guarantee we have. NATO must reconfirm its core function of collective defense even while we adapt to the new threats of the 21st century. A key factor in our ability to participate in NATO's expeditionary missions overseas is the belief that we are secure at home. We must therefore correct some self-inflicted wounds from the past. It was a mistake not to commence with proper Article 5 defense planning for new members after NATO was enlarged. NATO needs to make the Alliance's commitments credible and provide strategic reassurance to all members. This should include contingency planning, prepositioning of forces, equipment, and supplies for reinforcement in our region in case of crisis as originally envisioned in the NATO-Russia Founding Act.

We should also re-think the working of the NATO-Russia Council and return to the practice where NATO member countries enter into dialogue with Moscow with a coordinated position. When it comes to Russia, our experience has been that a more determined and principled policy toward Moscow will not only strengthen the West's security but will ultimately lead Moscow to follow a more cooperative policy as well. Furthermore, the more secure we feel inside NATO, the easier it will also be for our countries to reach out to engage Moscow on issues of common interest. That is the dual track approach we need and which should be reflected in the new NATO strategic concept.

Third, the thorniest issue may well be America's planned missile-defense installations. Here too, there are different views in the region, including among our publics which are divided. Regardless of the military merits of this scheme and what Washington eventually decides to do, the issue has nevertheless also become -- at least in some countries -- a symbol of America's credibility and commitment to the region. How it is handled could have a significant impact on their future transatlantic orientation. The small number of missiles involved cannot be a threat to Russia's strategic capabilities, and the Kremlin knows this. We should decide the future of the program as allies and based on the strategic plusses and minuses of the different technical and political configurations. The Alliance should not allow the issue to be determined by unfounded Russian opposition. Abandoning the program entirely or involving Russia too deeply in it without consulting Poland or the Czech Republic can undermine the credibility of the United States across the whole region.

Fourth, we know that NATO alone is not enough. We also want and need more Europe and a better and more strategic U.S.-EU relationship as well. Increasingly our foreign policies are carried out through the European Union - and we support that. We also want a common European foreign and defense policy that is open to close cooperation with the United States. We are the advocates of such a line in the EU. But we need the United States to rethink its attitude toward the EU and engage it much more seriously as a strategic partner. We need to bring NATO and the EU closer together and make them work in tandem. We need common NATO and EU strategies not only toward Russia but on a range of other new strategic challenges.

Fifth is energy security. The threat to energy supplies can exert an immediate influence on our nations' political sovereignty also as allies contributing to common decisions in NATO. That is why it must also become a transatlantic priority. Although most of the responsibility for energy security lies within the realm of the EU, the United States also has a role to play. Absent American support, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline would never have been built. Energy security must become an integral part of U.S.-European strategic cooperation. Central and Eastern European countries should lobby harder (and with more unity) inside Europe for diversification of the energy mix, suppliers, and transit routes, as well as for tough legal scrutiny of Russia's abuse of its monopoly and cartel-like power inside the EU. But American political support on this will play a crucial role. Similarly, the United States can play an important role in solidifying further its support for the Nabucco pipeline, particularly in using its security relationship with the main transit country, Turkey, as well as the North-South interconnector of Central Europe and LNG terminals in our region.

Sixth, we must not neglect the human factor. Our next generations need to get to know each other, too. We have to cherish and protect the multitude of educational, professional, and other networks and friendships that underpin our friendship and alliance. The U.S. visa regime remains an obstacle in this regard. It is absurd that Poland and Romania -- arguably the two biggest and most pro-American states in the CEE region, which are making substantial contributions in Iraq and Afghanistan -- have not yet been brought into the visa waiver program. It is incomprehensible that a critic like the French anti-globalization activist Jose Bove does not require a visa for the United States but former Solidarity activist and Nobel Peace prizewinner Lech Walesa does. This issue will be resolved only if it is made a political priority by the President of the United States.

The steps we made together since 1989 are not minor in history. The common successes are the proper foundation for the transatlantic renaissance we need today. This is why we believe that we should also consider the creation of a Legacy Fellowship for young leaders. Twenty years have passed since the revolutions of 1989. That is a whole generation. We need a new generation to renew the transatlantic partnership. A new program should be launched to identify those young leaders on both sides of the Atlantic who can carry forward the transatlantic project we have spent the last two decades building in Central and Eastern Europe.

In conclusion, the onset of a new Administration in the United States has raised great hopes in our countries for a transatlantic renewal. It is an opportunity we dare not miss. We, the authors of this letter, know firsthand how important the relationship with the United States has been. In the 1990s, a large part of getting Europe right was about getting Central and Eastern Europe right. The engagement of the United States was critical to locking in peace and stability from the Baltics to the Black Sea. Today the goal must be to keep Central and Eastern Europe right as a stable, activist, and Atlanticist part of our broader community.

That is the key to our success in bringing about the renaissance in the Alliance the Obama Administration has committed itself to work for and which we support. That will require both sides recommitting to and investing in this relationship. But if we do it right, the pay off down the road can be very real. By taking the right steps now, we can put it on new and solid footing for the future.

[Signed] by Valdas Adamkus, Martin Butora, Emil Constantinescu, Pavol Demes, Lubos Dobrovsky, Matyas Eorsi, Istvan Gyarmati, Vaclav Havel, Rastislav Kacer, Sandra Kalniete, Karel Schwarzenberg, Michal Kovac, Ivan Krastev, Alexander Kwasniewski, Mart Laar, Kadri Liik, Janos Martonyi. Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Adam Rotfeld, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Alexandr Vondra, Lech Walesa.

President Obama proclaims Captive Nations Week each third week of July TOP

July 17, 2009

Fifty years ago, President Eisenhower issued a call of solidarity to peoples across the world living under communist rule. This first Captive Nations Week Proclamation expressed concern that too many people lacked fundamental freedoms, and it affirmed that the people of the United States stood alongside those who yearned to be free. Since this declaration, more nations have chosen the path of self-determination and respect for basic human rights. Brave American men and women have contributed to this story, making great sacrifices while serving in our Armed Forces or working in Government, private industry, and other organizations.



The Cold War is now consigned to the history books, but the ideals that President Eisenhower proclaimed remain vibrant and inspiring today. Just as in years past, people still hope to have the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams. People, young and old, still yearn to speak their minds. Citizens still believe governments have an obligation to be honest and transparent, uphold the rule of law, and allow civic participation.

We regard these universal principles as guiding values, and we stand in solidarity with those who aspire to live by them -- not only because it is right, but also because our Nation's fate is connected to that of other nations. In an interdependent world, instability, disease, and hardship abroad affect us here at home. Governments that are responsive to the concerns of their citizens can better tackle these challenges and contribute to a more secure, healthy, and prosperous world.

Nations must advance these values through example. At home and abroad, the United States strives to honor the principles enshrined in our Nation's founding documents.

The challenges of a new century require us to summon the full range of human talents to move all nations forward. The United States stands with all governments and peoples committed to unlocking the potential of their people, and to peace, the rule of law, and respect for all citizens.

The Congress, by Joint Resolution, approved July 17, 1959 (73 Stat. 212), has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation designating the third week of July of each year as "Captive Nations Week."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 19 through July 25, 2009, as Captive Nations Week. I call upon the people of the United States to reaffirm our commitment to all those seeking dignity, freedom, and justice.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


The EU's "Eastern Partnership" with former Soviet states holds the key to relations with Russia TOP

Summer 2009

by Radoslaw Sikorski

The joint Polish-Swedish initiative for strengthening the EU's ties with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine is taking shape, says Radoslaw Sikorski, Poland's Foreign Minister. He explains why it will also be crucial to improving the European Union's relations with Russia.


The concept of active engagement in advancing the democratic transformation of eastern Europe and the south Caucasus is based on a conviction that stability and prosperity there in these post-Soviet times is fundamental to the security and economic future of the whole European continent. Five years ago, when the EU's "Big Bang" enlargement brought in the central European and Baltic states, the Union's eastern border shifted to new neighbouring countries with either short or shaky traditions of statehood, all of which were also struggling with serious economic and social problems.

The EU's new European neighbours to the east do not only belong in Europe in a geographic sense, as their citizens also consider themselves European by virtue of common experience and culture, not least because of their mainly Christian roots. But what distinguishes these states from EU countries is their democratic deficits, their weak and inefficient legal institutions, their under-developed civil societies and their low levels of economic development. We should not forget that these countries have been independent states for a mere 18 years, during which time -- following the demise of communism -- they had simultaneously to design a new economic system, confront all the problems created by the disintegration of cooperative ties within the former USSR, and at the same time build the foundations of their own statehoods.

It should be the common concern of EU countries and the whole of Europe to narrow the economic and social gaps between the Union and its eastern neighbours. Otherwise the risk is that they may generate negative political and social forces that inevitably would affect the West. The joint Polish and Swedish initiative is an open offer of closer cooperation, and has the aim of supporting transformation by stimulating their economic development and strengthening democracy, freedom and civil societies by enhancing legal and administrative capacities enough to approach EU standards.


The countries of eastern Europe and the south Caucasus are strategically situated between the EU and the rich natural resources region of the Caspian Sea, Central Asia and Russia. Important energy transit routes to the EU go through Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia, and Azerbaijan is itself a major oil producer. The gradual integration of these countries into the EU economy would strengthen Europe's energy security, and that would be further enhanced if we bought gas on the Russian border and invested in new transmission infrastructure in those states that lie between the EU and Russia.

The principles of differentiation and joint ownership are to get high priority in the EaP's development, so it will allow partner countries to approximate EU standards at whatever pace they choose. Joint ownership will ensure that partner countries have a real influence on deciding EaP goals, and multilateral cooperation will create flexibility and within the EaP framework. It is also being designed to strengthen bilateral links between the EU and partner countries. The EaP initiative is to be managed by the European Commission, which over the last 20 years has had vast experience of managing of similar initiatives and projects.


Russia remains a strategic partner of the EU and one of the essential pillars of the European political architecture. Hopefully, we will in the foreseeable future manage to negotiate a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Russia that will be a realistic foundation for a future European-Russian alliance. Changed and constantly changing Russia is still seeking its own partnership formula with Europe and with other leading international actors, while at the same time trying to define its place in today's dynamically developing world. As part of that search, our Russian partners at times resort to instruments and formulas from the past, although doing so tends to reflect their helplessness and their problems with adapting to new realities. Although we in the EU may refuse to accept certain Russian actions, we should, nevertheless judge them in the context of Russia's ambitions and against the traumatic background of recent Russian history. Most important of all, we should look at them in the context of a not so distant future in which would be hard to imagine a Russia that is not in Europe and of Europe.


Complete article:

The Russian road to China TOP

15 July, 2009

Brian Whitmore

Since Vladimir Putin rose to the pinnacle of power nearly a decade ago, the Russian elite has been fond of holding up the orderly Chinese model of authoritarian economic modernization as a better path to follow than chaotic and messy Western-style democracy.

Modernization, of course, encompasses many things. But as a fascinating article in "Vedomosti" on July 13 points out, an important element is infrastructure improvement:

Rapid development is impossible without roads, reliable power supplies, communications, and ease of movement. Every country that modernizes its economy encounters this obstacle and eventually remedies the situation. Those that fail remain stuck in the past.


Let's look at some statistics.

In 2008, at the peak of Russia's oil boom, it built just 2,300 kilometers of highway. According to Inozemtsev, this is what China builds on average in just ten days.

And how do costs compare? In China, Inozemtsev writes, a kilometer of four-lane highway costs $2.9 million. In Russia it costs more than four times that -- a staggering $12.9 million!

And the trend is not just confined to roads. It is costs more than three times as much to construct warehouses in Russia as in China, and more than twice as much as in Brazil. In fact, Inozemtsev points out that warehouse construction in Russia costs more than in France or Germany.

The Russian state grossly overpays for construction ... because those who associate themselves with the state are parasites. Almost $230 billion was poured into Russian in
frastructure projects between 2006 and 2008 - and there is practically nothing to show for it. It is no wonder that this market is completely non-transparent and off limits to foreign companies. And it is not surprising that the cost of participating in this market increases by 25-40 percent each year.


As I have written here, instead of building roads and infrastructure, they chose to use oil wealth to build something called "sovereign democracy." Even by their own standards of a Chinese-style modernization, the current regime comes up short.

Complete article:

Power to the people: a look at key political revolutions TOP

Political uprisings come in lots of colors, orange in Ukraine, yellow in the Philippines and now green in Iran. The similarities and differences illustrate what have become the rules to understanding peoples' rebellions.

Rule 1. Elections count even if the challengers lose.


That initial position is not unusual, but elsewhere, people have forced a change. In the Ukraine, there was a widespread perception that the vote on Nov. 21, 2004, between insurgent Viktor Yushchenko and government favorite Viktor Yanukovych was rigged by the authorities. After popular pressure through demonstrations, Ukraine's Supreme Court ordered another runoff on Dec. 26, 2004. The final results showed a clear victory for Yushchenko, who was inaugurated on Jan. 23, 2005.

Rule 2. Ruling groups aren't monolithic and splits can be important.

Mousavi can trace his revolutionary roots back to 1979 when the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini consolidated his power after the shah was forced to flee Tehran. Mousavi eventually rose through the government to become prime minister. There have been reports that he and the current supreme ruler, Khamenei, have clashed over the years. But now that Mousavi is the face of reform, perhaps he can count on some support from within the ruling group.


Corazon Aquino became the widow of Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. when he was assassinated on his return from exile on Aug. 21, 1983. She was drafted to run against Marcos in the 1986 snap presidential elections. Marcos claimed victory amid the usual reports of electoral fraud.It was on Feb. 22, 1986, that two Marcos allies, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile and Lt. Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, defected. Corazon Aquino returned to Manila and joined the growing crowds. Three days later, Corazon Aquino and Marcos both took the presidential oath of office. By nightfall, Marcos was forced to flee into exile.

Rule 3. Size doesn't matter, but the bigger the better.

Most revolutions involve small numbers of people, usually a little more than 1% of the population as in the cases of the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917. Even if 1 million people are involved in the current upsurge in Tehran, it would still be only about 1.5%. Perhaps more than 10% of the country marched in anti-shah demonstrations on Dec. 10 and 11, 1978, in Iran.

Rule 4. Repression works in the short term but doesn't guarantee the end of calls for liberalization.


In the Prague Spring of 1968, liberals sought reforms such as an easing of restrictions of the media, speech and travel. As reformers gained strength, the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw pact eventually responded with tanks and troops.

By 1989, however, with the Soviet system crumpling throughout Europe, Czechoslovakia fared better in its Velvet Revolution.

On Nov. 17, 1989, riot police suppressed a peaceful student demonstration in Prague. (According to Twitter reports, Tehran dormitories were recently raided.) The police raids in Prague sparked demonstrations and eventually a limited general strike by the end of November.


Rule 5. Outside support can help, but it can also be a source of danger.

The U.S. Congress has voiced its support of the Iranian demonstrators, though the Obama administration has been more circumspect. The split probably reflects U.S. politics more than the feelings of the different branches of government for Iran.Obama has made clear his support for the protesters' values, but insists it is up to Iran to chose its own rulers. He has also argued that he will be tough with Iran on security and nuclear issues.Others, including Republicans, have argued that Obama should be more visible in supporting the demonstrators because the United States has long been the symbol of revolutionary success.

It was during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution that the question of U.S. support was put to the test during the Cold War with the former Soviet Union.In October 1956, a student demonstration in Budapest got out of hand when some protesters tried to enter the building housing the state radio station. Eventually, police fired on the crowd sparking violence throughout the capital. The government fell, and a period of turmoil began with new militias being formed and new government groups taking power on the local level.

There was a feeling that the Hungarians could rely on the United States to help keep the former Soviet Union from asserting control over its satellite. The Eisenhower administration was emotionally on the side of the protesters. And, the government-financed Radio Free Europe broadcast U.S. support for the rebels' goals. But when the dust cleared, Eisenhower refused to risk U.S. troops to help the Hungarians. When the former Soviet Union invaded on Nov. 4., more than 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops were killed in the conflict, and 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees.

Complete article:

Russia and NATO work to repair frayed ties TOP

June 27, 2009

Clifford J. Levy


The ministers gathered on the Greek island of Corfu and, under the auspices of the NATO-Russia Council, discussed potential areas of cooperation, including the war in Afghanistan, nuclear proliferation, piracy, terrorism and drug trafficking.


"I could qualify the spirit of the meeting as open and constructive, which means that no one tried to paper over our differences in the meeting, on Georgia, for example," NATO's secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, said at a news conference. "But we agreed -- that is the very positive conclusion of the meeting -- not to let those disagreements bring the whole NATO-Russia Council train to a halt."

NATO severed most ties with Russia after the war with Georgia last August, which broke out over two separatist Georgian enclaves, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The conflict, which Russia easily won, caused the worst rift between Russia and the West since the Soviet Union's fall in 1991.


Relations had been gradually warming this year but suffered a setback in April after Russia compalained about NATO military exercises in Georgia, which wants to join the alliance. When NATO would not cancel the exercises, Russia responded by withdrawing its generals from a meeting with NATO military commanders.

Soon after, NATO expelled two Russian diplomats from its headquarters in Brussels, saying that it had to punish Russia for spying against the alliance's members. Russia retaliated by expelling two NATO diplomats from Moscow.

Throughout this period, though, Russia has continued to provide logistical assistance to NATO's military mission in Afghanistan.

Complete article:

Retrial ordered in killing of a Russian journalist TOP
June 25, 2009

Michael Schwirtz

The court said the four men, who were charged with assisting the killer of Ms. Politkovskaya, should be tried again on the same charges in the same military court in Moscow. In ordering the retrial, the court sided with the prosecution, which argued that there had been procedural violations by the judges and the defense during the first trial, said a court spokesman, Pavel Odintsov.


Ms. Politkovskaya’s supporters said they were more troubled by investigators’ failure to find the gunman or determine who ordered the killing.

The four men, who had been the focus of much of the prosecution’s attention over the last year, are relatively peripheral figures in the case.

In February, the main defendants -- two Chechen brothers and a former police investigator — were found not guilty by a jury on charges that they provided logistical support for the killing. A fourth defendant, a former colonel in the F.S.B., the successor to the K.G.B., who faced lesser charges, was also set free.


Retrials are not always successful. In 2006, the Supreme Court ordered the retrial of two men acquitted of killing the American journalist Paul Klebnikov. One of the defendants later disappeared, and the trial has been delayed to this day.

Murad Musayev, a lawyer for one of the Chechen brothers in the Politkovskaya case, said the defendants were innocent and had nothing to fear.

“They will come back to Moscow for the new trial and participate in the process,” he said. “If the jury is objective, if our opponents from the government are unable to bring in biased people, then we have nothing to be worried about.”


“That is the mechanism of impunity — to punish those who might be concerned with the case or maybe not — but not the real figures,” said Karinna Moskalenko, a lawyer for Ms. Politkovskaya’s family. “This impunity will allow for the same type of crime to be committed in the future.”

At least 16 journalists have been killed in Russia because of their work since 2000, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Only one of the killings has been followed by a conviction, and none of the organizers have been found.

The newspaper Novaya Gazeta, where Ms. Politkovskaya worked, has been conducting its own investigation of her killing, said Sergei Sokolov, the paper’s deputy editor. The staff members working on the case have developed several theories about who was behind the murder, he said, but do not have any firm conclusions.

“It is obvious that the one who ordered it is a very prominent person,” he said.

Complete article:

Prominent Russian rights activist killed in North Caucasus TOP

July 16, 2009

Gregory Feifer

A prominent Russian human rights activist has been found dead hours after being kidnapped in the North Caucasus region.

Natalya Estemirova worked for Memorial, one of Russia's oldest human rights organizations. She was bundled into a car early on July 15 as she left her home in the Chechen capital, Grozny, her Memorial colleague Aleksandr Cherkasov said.


A spokeswoman for Ingushetia's Interior Ministry told RFE/RL's Russian Service that Estemirova's body was found hours later in the neighboring region of Ingushetia.

"She was found at about 5:30 p.m. in the woods outside the village of Gazi-Yurt in the region of Nazran near the Kavkaz highway. She had bullet wounds to her head," the spokeswoman said.

A spokeswoman for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he was "outraged" at the killing and has ordered an investigation.

In Washington, the White House said it was "deeply disturbed and saddened" by Estemirova's murder.


Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch said Estemirova's work was vital to uncovering abuses in Chechnya. She said Estemirova "was one of the main people who documented the most terrible crimes during the second Chechen war: torture, extrajudicial executions, abductions.


"Changes have happened, changes for the worse. As far as human rights go, it is worse because, first of all, nothing has been done to investigate the crimes that have been committed in Chechnya since 2000," Estemirova said.


"Those who killed her don't want information about what's going on in Chechnya to be known outside the region," Orlov said. "I know who's behind this killing, who's to blame. I can give his name and title. It's Ramzan Kadyrov, president of the Chechen region."


Complete article:

Will Moscow be constrained to cede the North Caucasus to Ramzan Kadyrov? TOP

June 29, 2009

Moscow's heavy-handed approach to neutralizing the Islamic resistance in the North Caucasus is fundamentally flawed and, ultimately, counterproductive.

The Russian armed forces and Interior Ministry troops have for the past five-six years sought to combat that low-level insurgency by launching localized counterterrorism operations against suspected militants. In many cases, the targets prove, too late, to be innocent civilians.


Opposition politicians in the North Caucasus have long argued that Moscow's strategy only serves to compound the problem it is intended to solve, insofar as "violence breeds violence." Discussing the situation in Ingushetia in a May 10 interview with the radio station Ekho Moskvy, Ingush oppositionist Magomed Khazbiyev warned that "as long as security services and death squads continue to force their way into private homes and detain lads who then disappear without trace, as long as they continue gunning down young men on the street in broad daylight, this violence will not end. There will be counterstrikes, explosions, acts of terrorism, [young people] will head for the forest [to join the resistance]. In this region no one will succeed in restoring order by brandishing his sword -- a different approach is needed."

Similarly, Daghestan's President Mukhu Aliyev has repeatedly argued that "religious extremism" cannot be eradicated by force; that more sophisticated propaganda campaign is needed to demonstrate the flaws in extremist "Wahhabi" ideology; and that the police should use violence only as a last resort.


Developments over the past six weeks risk exacerbating the situation in the North Caucasus even further. Following a suicide bombing in Grozny on May 15, Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov travelled to the Ingushetian capital, Magas, where after talks with Ingushetian President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov he announced that the Interior Ministries of the two republics would coordinate activities aimed at locating and killing a group of Islamic militants believed to be hiding out in the mountainous wooded country that straddles the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia.


No threat to insurgents

The lack of success in the joint operation to date reflects not just the difficulties of locating the enemy, but also a marked lack of enthusiasm and commitment on the part of the military and police. Since the formal announcement in mid-April of the end of the so-called counterterrorism operation in Chechnya, police and Interior Ministry forces deployed there from elsewhere in the Russian Federation no longer receive the special bonuses to which participation in such operations entitles them, even though the physical conditions in which they are fighting have not changed.


The very fact that the ongoing crackdown in Chechnya and Ingushetia is localized undercuts its effectiveness, as long as fighters can move freely from Chechnya to Daghestan, and from Ingushetia to Kabardino-Balkaria. Announcing the joint operation on May 17, Kadyrov proposed that Daghestan's police and security forces too should coordinate their activities with those of the other two republics.

Daghestan's leaders initially ignored that call for three-way cooperation. Then on May 20, Interior Ministry spokesman Colonel Mark Tolchinsky told kavkaz-uzel.ru that his ministry knew nothing about it. He said his ministry "can fight terrorists and extremists without Kadyrov's help," and implied that its methods are more selective and persuasive and less brutal than those of his Chechen colleagues.

Kadyrov takes charge

Kadyrov made the same argument for regional cooperation on June 10, implying that in contrast to Chechnya and Ingushetia, the heads of other North Caucasus republics and their law enforcement bodies are not making a great enough effort to prevent young people from joining the resistance. He called on the presidents of Daghestan, North Ossetia, Karacheyevo-Cherkessia, and Kabardino-Balkaria to show "understanding" and cooperate to "restore order."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivered a similar message at a June 9 session of Daghestan's Security Council convened to discuss the assassination four days earlier of the republic's interior minister, Lieutenant General Adilgirey Magomedtagirov. The Daghestan-based Shariat jamaat subsequently claimed responsibility for that killing. Medvedev affirmed that "work to restore order, to destroy the terrorist rabble must be continued regardless of what regime is in force. We must continue this work on all the territories of the Southern Federal District, the North Caucasus, independently, I stress this, of the legal restrictions [in force]."

Kadyrov told journalists on June 23 that during his meeting with Medvedev the previous day in Moscow, just hours after the assassination attempt on Ingushetian President Yevkurov, Medvedev ordered him to intensify the crackdown on the resistance in Ingushetia. "I will personally control the operations...and I am sure in the near future there will be good results," Reuters quoted Kadyrov as saying.

That statement triggered outrage and resentment across Ingushetia, with Interior Minister Ruslan Meyriyev reportedly refusing point-blank to take orders from Kadyrov. Whether other republican interior ministers would do the same or fall into line is not clear.


In late April, Russian military commanders in Chechnya alleged that Chechen fighters were again using Georgia's Pankisi Gorge as a rear base, as they had done in 2000-01. Georgian Foreign Ministry official Zurab Kachkachishvili preomptly denied those allegations, but Moscow could still opt to adduce the alleged Chechen militant presence as the pretext for a new incursion onto Georgian territory.

If Medvedev were to give Kadyrov such a crucial assignment, however, and Kadyrov succeeded, Medvedev would be hard-pressed to refuse him overlordship of the entire North Caucasus as a reward.

Complete article:

Uphill road for Europe to kick Russian gas habit TOP

July 17, 2009

James Kanter

BRUSSELS -- After hundreds of thousands of East Europeans shivered through a bitter winter because of a standoff over natural gas between Russia and Ukraine, European Union officials this past week sought to be reassuring.


Until recently, natural gas was relatively abundant in Europe. But supplies from the North Sea are being depleted fast. While Norway still produces about 15 percent of E.U. requirements, Russia already supplies about 25 percent, and its share of the European market is expected to rise drastically on current trends.

That would deepen the trade bloc's energy dependence on Russia -- a proud but much diminished former superpower that is hypersensitive to criticism and that has shown a willingness to use its energy might as a political weapon.

Despite those apparent dangers, some European governments and gas companies are reluctant to break down the barriers between their national energy markets by, for example, building more interconnections with gas networks in other countries. Aside from the high upfront cost, leading gas utilities in some countries are afraid that would lead to increased competition, which would cut into profit margins.


The proposed Nabucco pipeline would take gas supplies from non-Russian sources around the Caspian Sea, and also have the advantage of bypassing Ukraine.

An agreement signed on Monday by Turkey and four E.U. countries would allow the 3,200-kilometer, or 2,000-mile, conduit to cross their countries.

But questions remain about how to fund the €7.9 billion, or $11.2 billion, project, whether it would diminish E.U. dependence on Russian gas by anything more than a small amount, and whether alternative supplies, from countries like Turkmenistan and Iraq, would be any more secure than supplies from Russia.


The new rules would give the commission authority to judge the adequacy of national contingency plans in the event that countries lose their single most important source of gas. The rules also could oblige countries with few storage options to pay utilities in neighboring countries to store gas on their behalf.

In a concession to national sensitivities and to the way gas markets operate, the commission backed off asking for the right to tell countries when strategic reserves should be released.

Even so, Mr. Piebalgs still made an ambitious proposal for powers to order national authorities and natural gas companies to help other countries in an emergency within three days.

But that is likely to prove problematic, according to diplomats and analysts.


The dispute was the subject Friday of negotiations in Brussels, the second meeting of its kind. The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is overseeing talks about how to provide a multibillion-euro loan to help Ukraine pay its gas bill.

European countries have been unwilling to finance the loan, afraid of throwing money down a black hole, while international lenders like the European Investment Bank and the International Monetary Fund are awaiting guarantees from Ukraine that it will make its energy sector far more transparent.

An E.U. official said Friday that another round of talks would be held next week in Kyiv, but no deal was expected until the autumn at the earliest.

The efforts to keep the Ukrainians and Russians around the negotiating table are pushing senior E.U. officials into performing a delicate, and often awkward, diplomatic dance.

José Manuel Barroso, the president of the commission, told the Russian prime minister, Vladimir V. Putin, in a letter on July 10 that progress in the talks now 'largely depend on Ukraine's response" to requirements by lenders to reform the way the energy industry is run and to enhance its transparency.

Yet, in the same letter, Mr. Barroso balanced his concessions to Russian sensitivities with a blunt reminder to Mr. Putin that the country would face serious losses of revenues if it turned off the taps again.

Further disruption of gas supplies "would be severely damaging to all concerned," Mr. Barroso warned.

Complete article:

Справа Івана Демьянюка – випробування нашої прихильності основним цінностям TOP


Андрій Семотюк

У цьому випадку мене найбільше турбує мовчання осіб і організацій, що нібито захищають права людини, і їхнє небажання виступити на підтримку Дем’янюка.... Я дуже добре розумію, що захищати обвинувачуваних у приналежності до нацистів – складне завдання в нашому суспільстві, але чи не в таких обставинах розкривається наша справжня прихильність нашим переконанням?

Будь-який американець, обвинувачуваний у співучасті у вбивстві, тобто обвинувачуваний у причетності до одного з найжахливіших злочинів, відомих людству, має бути судимим американським судом відповідно до кримінального законодавства США, а якщо злочин відбувся в іншій державі, – бути виданим, відповідно до міжнародної кримінальної процедури, цій державі, щоб постати перед судом там. Відповідно до закону, до винесення судом обвинувального вироку така людина має вважатися невинуватою. Однак у справі Івана Дем’янюка цих основних прин ципів не дотримувалися із самого початку.

Насправді, справа Дем’янюка складалася в кримінальному обвинуваченні проти нього, що було висунуто шляхом цивільно-правових процедур – кримінальна справа розглядалася як імміграційне питання. Для цього існували свої причини.

Таке переслідування Дем’янюка дозволило депортувати його зі Сполучених Штатів на підставі найпростішого критерію, що застосовується в імміграційних справах, а саме – продемонструвавши, що він, імовірно, спотворив своє минуле при імміграції до Сполучених Штатів. У противному випадку варто було довести його винність у вчиненні злочину поза всякими розумними сумнівами. Однак тепер, коли справа зроблена, стверджується, що він був визнаний «нацистським військовим злочинцем», коли насправді єдине, що було виявлено, – це те, що він спотв рив своє минуле, коли в'їхав у США як іммігрант.

Той, кому відома історія операції «Кілхол» після Другої світової війни, коли біженців з таборів для переміщених осіб насильно репатріювали до колишнього Радянського Союзу, де деяких з них було вбито, інших відправлено в заслання, а треті покінчили життя самогубством, зрозуміє, чому вчинок Дем’янюка, що спотворив своє минуле, не обов'язково розглядати в чорно-білому кольорі й прямо пов'язувати його з нацистськими звірствами, як дехто хотів би змусити нас повірити.

Коротше кажучи, ця імміграційна справа має стати сигналом тривоги, змусити нас замислитися про те, що цей випадок може означати для принципу верховенства права, а також справедливої й збалансованої судової системи Сполучених Штатів. Але для того, щоб дійсно усвідомити значимість того, що відбулося в справі Дем’янюка, необхідно зупинитися на деяких інших важливих моментах.

Іван Дем’янюк ніколи не був нацистом. Нацистами були німці, і вони вірили в чистоту арійської раси. Вони не мали часу для пересічних слов'ян, на кшталт Дем’янюка, або представників інших рас, які повинні були бути або ліквідовані, або вигнані в рабство, щоб працювати на благо Третього рейха. Дем’янюк служив у Червоній армії, був узятий у полон німцями й спрямований на роботу в табори смерті, тому навряд чи можна говорити, що Іван Демь’янюк «добровільно напросився» на цю посаду охоронця.

:Давайте не будемо забувати про те, що Радянський Союз підписав пакт Молотова-Ріббентропа, що дозволило Гітлерові захопити Польщу й поділити її зі Сталіним. Давайте згадаємо співробітництво вішістської Франції. Давайте розглянемо роль 150 000 єврейських солдатів у німецькій армії, у тому числі як мінімум десятка високопосадовців – офіцерів єврейського походження, а також ту роль, що відігравали єврейські робітники-ув’язнені, поліція і єврейські ради під час війни. Давайте пам'ятати про те, що саме німецькі офіцери керували таборами см рті нацистської Німеччини, а не українці, такі як Дем’янюк. У той час як світ ігнорує такі випадки нацистського співробітництва, він мовчазно дивиться, як обвинувачі прагнуть зробити Дем’янюка козлом відпущення.

Проте, найбільш тривожним аспектом цієї справи є те, що понад десяти років поспіль ті, хто намагався притягти Івана Дем’янюка до «справедливого суду», стверджують, що він був насправді Іваном Грозним – сумно відомою людиною, що дійсно брав участь у знищенні ув'язнених у нацистському концентраційному таборі Треблінка. Ці обвинувачення призвели до депортації Дем’янюка в Ізраїль, де численні свідки безапеляційно упізнали його, як Івана Грозного. Після його осуду ізраїльським судом, і в ході розгляду апеляції Дем’янюка захист знайшов відків, які знали справжнього Івана Грозного й підписали під присягою заяви, що підтверджують той факт, що Іван Дем’янюк не був Іваном Грозним. Серед цих заяв, відповідно до твердження захисту, були й показання подруги реального Івана Грозного, яка беззаперечно заявила, що Дем’янюк не причетний до злочинів, у яких звинувачується.

Сила цих свідчень, а також поновлення розгляду справи Дем’янюка в Сполучених Штатах Шостим окружним апеляційним судом США у той час, як ізраїльська апеляція ще не була розглянута, змусили ізраїльський апеляційний суд дійти висновку, що судовий розгляд був проведений невірно, що Дем’янюк невинуватий в цих злочинах, і йому було дозволено повернутися в Сполучені Штати. Американське громадянство Дем’янюка було відновлено після того, як Федеральний суд США визнав, що Управління спеціальних розслідувань зробило процедурну помилку, не н адав захисту докази невинуватості, що запобігло б депортації Дем’янюка до Ізраїлю.

Після тверджень, що тривали понад десять років поспіль про те, що Дем’янюк перебував у цьому таборі і є Іваном Грозним, обвинувачення тепер стверджує, що Дем’янюк був не там, а в іншому нацистському таборі смерті, де він був співучасником вбивства не менш 29 000 жертв! Де були докази щодо цих 29 000 жертв, коли його судили в Ізраїлі? Начебто б він міг приховати свою участь у вбивстві 29 000 ув’язнених табору з моменту закінчення Другої світової війни, тобто протягом майже 65 років, у тому числі протягом останніх 30 років, коли він став мішенню кампа нії з обвинувачення його в різних нацистських звірствах, що тягнеться день у день. По іронії долі, кілька років тому у Німеччині був прийнятий закон, що встановлює строк давнини за обвинуваченнями німецьких військових злочинців. Таким чином, німці, які у першу чергу є відповідальними за табори смерті, не можуть піддаватися судовому переслідуванню, а люди з інших країн, такі як Дем’янюк, можуть!

У цьому випадку мене найбільше турбує мовчання осіб і організацій, що нібито захищають права людини, і їхнє небажання виступити на підтримку Дем’янюка. Наприклад, я був членом Американської спілки громадянських свобод, організації, що займається захистом громадянських свобод американців, у тому числі захистом процесуальних прав особистості. Я попросив їх конкретно виступити в справі Дем’янюка, але відповіддю мені було мовчання.

Я дуже добре розумію, що захищати обвинувачуваних у приналежності до нацистів – складне завдання в нашому суспільстві, але чи не в таких обставинах розкривається наша справжня прихильність нашим переконанням?

... вони не стурбовані тим, що справа Дем’янюка свідчить про те, що американський суд може бути політизованим, і може підкорятися тиску ззовні.

Можливо, Іван Дем’янюк не був святим. Однак ми не займаємося оцінкою його внутрішніх якостей. Давайте пам'ятати про те, що далеко не всім з нас нема чого приховувати щодо свого поводження під час Другої світової війни. Давайте згадаємо килимові бомбардування союзниками Дрездена й Гамбурга, які багато хто вважає військовими злочинами. Давайте не забувати про роль, що відіграли Італія та Японія як союзники нацистської Німеччини. Давайте не будемо забувати про те, що Радянський Союз підписав пакт Молотова-Ріббентропа, що дозволило Гітле ові захопити Польщу й поділити її зі Сталіним. Давайте згадаємо співробітництво вішістської Франції. Давайте розглянемо роль 150 000 єврейських солдатів у німецькій армії, у тому числі як мінімум десятка високопосадовців – офіцерів єврейського походження, а також ту роль, що відігравали єврейські робітники-ув’язнені, поліція і єврейські ради під час війни. Давайте пам'ятати про те, що саме німецькі офіцери керували таборами смерті нацистської Німеччини, а не українці, такі як Дем’янюк. У той час як світ ігнорує такі випадки нацистсько о співробітництва, він мовчазно дивиться, як обвинувачі прагнуть зробити Дем’янюка козлом відпущення.


Суть справи зовсім не в тому, що Дем’янюк був охоронцем у таборі. Це видно з того факту, що він звинувачується у причетності до 29 000 смертей, але не звинувачується в жодному вбивстві. Хіба це не дивно? Це відбувається тому, що немає жодних доказів того, що він кого-небудь убив. Це – звинувачення у співучасті. Воно засновано на переконанні, що кожний, хто був охоронцем у нацистському таборі, лише на цій підставі винний у скоєнні військових злочинів. Не враховується те, що такі охоронці могли працювати не за власним бажанням, а змушені були ро ити це через погрози їхнім родинам або через інші обставини. Простої присутності було достатньо. У цьому сенсі справу Дем’янюка майже повністю можна вважати західною кампанією, покликаною пожвавити пам'ять про Холокост, а супутню шкоду  людям, таким як Демьянюк та інші, вважати незначною або навіть, деякою мірою, заслуженою. Це – судове шоу, проведене за шаблоном, що застосовувалось колись у колишньому Радянському Союзі й нацистській Німеччині. Ті, хто намагається засуджувати злодіяння тих режимів, і ті, хто заявляє про свою прихильні сть принципам верховенства права, зобов'язані встати на захист Дем’янюка.

Я маю дуже мало спільного з Патріком Бьюкененом, але він – єдиний із знаних американських коментаторів, хто висловив свою думку з приводу цього полювання на відьом, і я поважаю його за це. Але де ж всі інші? Схоже, вони не стурбовані тим, що справа Дем’янюка свідчить про те, що американський суд може бути політизованим, і може підкорятися тиску ззовні. Схоже, вони ладні погодитися з тим, що Америка не завжди є збалансованою й справедливою, і не завжди готова захищати права своїх громадян і принципи верховенства права.

Переклад з англійської Харківської правозахисної групи

Активізм українських трудових емігрантів і Спілки українців у Португалії TOP


Народні слухання

Останні події пов’язані зі змінами законадавства України та положень, які стосуються трудових емігрантів викликали багато дискусій і протестів серед української громади Італії, Португалії та Іспанії.

Представники багатьох громадських організацій цих країн вважають, що за популістською турботою про українців за кордоном політики приховують тільки меркантильні інтереси власної популярності. Підтвердженням чому були заяви на відомій програмі Савіка Шустера «Свобода слова» 26 червня на кшталт: Ви не платите податків, не голосуєте. Ви нам не цікаві!

Та, якщо трудові емігранти не цікаві українським політикам, що змінюють свої політичні програми відповідно до власних бізнесових інтересів, то українці які вимушені були у важких умовах за кордоном заробляти на соціальне забезпечення своїх родин в Україні мають велике бажання повернутися на Батьківщину.

Та не для того, щоб стати жертвами корупційної влади, а щоб жити на своїй землі за демократичними принципами поваги до людини.

Що ж, за це право потрібно боротися самим. І ця боротьба почалася.

У неділю 12 липня, в залі-салоні Церкви São Jorge de Arroios, що у Лісабоні пройшли народні слухання, організовані Спілкою українців у Португалії з питань, що турбують українських трудових емігрантів.

Ідея таких слухань виникла у результаті співпраці українських громадських організацій Європи та Комісії у справах мігрантів УГКЦ.

Метою слухань було визначення громадської думки, щодо проблем українських емігрантів.

Для обговорення були запропоновані такі питання:

  1. Українські трудові емігранти: зрадники чи інвестори?
  2. Чи маємо ми ще право впливати на політику в Україні?
  3. Пенсійне забезпечення, що нас чекає?
  4. Податкова України вважає нас підприємцями.
  5. Перетин українського кордону – головна біль емігранта.
  6. Подвійне громадянство, шлях у Європу чи у в’язницю?
  7. Статус українських громадян, які проживають за кордоном.

Після емоційних обговорень, які підтвердили актуальність цих питань для української громади у Португалії, більшість присутніх прийняли рішення утворити Координаційний Комітет захисту прав українських громадян, які проживають за кордоном, та створити інтернет-сторінку для висвітлення громадської думки, щодо питань української трудової еміграції.

Павло Садоха

Голова Спілки українців у Португалії
Рада Спілки Українців у Португалії
Direcção da Associação dos Ucranianos em Portugal

New political thriller: Yaroslaw's Treasure by Myroslav Petriw TOP

2009 Winner of the Anna Pidruchney Award for New Writers
Submitted for Kobzar Literary Award competition 2009-2010

Koota Ooma Ukrainian Books
842 The Queensway
Toronto, Ontario M8Z 1N7

Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre
184 Alexander Ave. East
Winnipeg, Canada R3B 0L6
(204) 942-0218        

Ukrainian Book Store
10215 – 97 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 2N9

Yevshan - Online


Think Hollywood action-adventure film Romancing the Stone, with a dash of a young 'Indiana Jones' thrown in. Except what takes Yaroslaw's Treasure beyond the action, lightness, and romance into greater depths are the political issues it raises. It makes sense of them by staging a living, historical context for the modern-day contentions.

Disputed origins and independence of Ukraine entwine with actions of the empire-addicted, KGB-controlled Russia to create a maze through which Yaroslaw quests for the treasure, a voyage as mysterious and dangerous as the deep caves of the mediaeval Ukrainian kingdom of Kyivan Rus into which we are led.

This spectacular expedition tumbles us into the depths of those caves. We encounter Kyiv's heroic, but realistically and humorously rendered, defenders during the Mongol destruction of the city in 1240. We emerge at the dawning of the Orange Revolution 764 years later, when the heroes of the twenty-first century supplant those of the thirteenth. From beginning to end, a journey to treasure!

Myroslava Oleksiuk

More about the book:

St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, Edmonton: A History (1902-2002) TOP

Serge Cipko, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, Edmonton: A History (1902-2002). ISBN: 978-0-9784973-1-6; 648 pages plus endsheets & casebound cover. Price: $25.00 plus $15.00 postage within Canada ($20.00 postage outside Canada).

Based on extensive research, this book traces the origins and first hundred years of St. Josaphat Parish -- the first Ukrainian Catholic parish in the city of Edmonton and among the oldest in Canada. The book is in English and Ukrainian and includes 86 pages of photographs, a bibliography, more than 50 pages of endnotes, and an index (for the English text).

The author of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, Edmonton: A History (1902-2002), Serge Cipko, is Coordinator of the Ukrainian Diaspora Studies Initiative at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta.

Copies can be ordered from: St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, 10825 - 97 St., Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5H 2M4 (with cheques made out to the Cathedral). See also: http://www.stjosaphat.ab.ca/Various_articles/St._Josaphat_History_book.htm

Publications on Ukrainian cinema TOP
If you are interested in following the developments in Ukrainian cinema you may be interested in two recently published articles by Bohdan Y. Nebesio. They appeared in the English language scholarly journals and deal with historical assessment of two periods in the history of film industry in Ukraine.

Bohdan Y. Nebesio, Competition from Ukraine: VUFKU and the Soviet Film Industry in the 1920s, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television vol. 29, no.2 (2009): 159-180.

Bohdan Y. Nebesio, The First Five Years with no Plan: Building National Cinema in Ukraine, 1992-1997, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature vol. 34, no. 3 (2007): 265-297. [published in 2008]

Mazepa on CBC Radio: A May-December Romance...with political overtones TOP
Tuesday July 14, 2009

SATURDAY JULY 18, 2009 1:00 - 5:00 PM (2:00 - 6:00 AT 2:30 - 6:30 NT)

Three hundred years ago, a Ukranian Hetman, Ivan Mazeppa, sided with King Charles XII of Sweden against Imperial Russian forces in the Battle of Poltava. Though he lost the war, Mazeppa has became something of a figurehead for Ukranian independence. As a literary subject he's been both celebrated and reveilled by figures such as Lord Byron, Alexander Pushkin, Victor Hugo, and Taras Shevchenko. Pyotr Il'ych Tchaikovsky's seventh grand opera, Mazeppa, uses Pushkin's poem "Poltava" to depict the conflict between tradition and revolution, and between reality and utopia.

The hetman (general) Mazeppa dreams of a great future for his oppressed country of Ukraine. He is the representative of the modernity that gives short shrift to tradition. His friend, the landowner Kochubei, mistrusts Mazeppa's plans to go against traditional values. When Kochubei's young daughter, Maria, falls in love with Mazeppa, the friendship between the two old men turns into hatred, and what began as a private conflict soons escalates. In the bitter battle that is played out, Maria is driven to another world, that of madness. For Andrei, the young Cossack who also loves Maria, there is no future. His generation was promised everything but now everything is being taken away.

Tchaikovsky's disturbingly emotional masterpiece received its Belgian premiere in the hands of the director Tatyana Gürbaca, the first of four Tchaikovsky works that the young German director will produce with the Flanders Opera. The conductor is Dmitri Jurowski (whose father Michail and brother Vladimir are also conductors) and the soloists include many stars from Valery Gergiev's Mariinsky Theatre.

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"A May-December Romance...with political overtones" »

Champions of Philanthropy book dedicated to Peter and Doris Kule TOP

Natalie Kononenko

Standing left to right: Nick Kuleba, Josephine Kuleba, Peter Radesh, Audrey Manuel, Natalie Kononenko, Peter Holloway, Serge Cipko Seated: Peter and Doris Kule

Peter and Doris Kule, exceptional individuals who have influenced the course of Canadian higher education, were honored on July 2 with the presentation of a book dedicated to them and their work.  Entitled Champions of Philanthropy: Peter and Doris Kule and the Endowments, the book was edited by Serge Cipko and Natalie Kononenko.  The two editors made the presentation.  Also present were Kule family members Nick and Josephine Kuleba, Ken and Debbie Pasnak, Christine Enns and Richard Turner, Peter Radesh and Audrey Manual, the spouses of the two editors, Jacqueline Tait and Peter Holloway, and Anna Biscoe and Catherine Szabo who represented the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta.

The book dedicated to the Kules gives their biographies and chronicles their contributions to Canadian higher education.  Peter Kule, a retired accountant, came to Canada as a young man of 18.  He quickly learned English and used his remarkable aptitude for mathematics to begin studying for a career in accounting.  Enterprising, resourceful, and exceptionally innovative, he not only mastered his chosen field, becoming a trusted and admired accountant, but also learned from everything he did.  He turned his experiences working as a busboy, a part-time job he held to support himself, into a second career as an enormously successful real estate investor in the hospitality industry.  Boundless energetic and dedicated to the Ukrainian community, Peter helped found the Ukrainian Professional and Businessman's Club in Edmonton and began volunteer work early, offering free accounting services to many organizations. 

Doris was born east of Edmonton in Boian, Alberta.  As energetic as her husband, she was an award-winning athlete, a crafts person, a gardener, and a person who deeply loved education.  After earning her degree in teaching, Doris worked in several rural schools and then in Beverly, which later became part of Edmonton.  Together with her husband, she engaged in a variety of volunteer activities, especially through the Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Edmonton.

As the book attests, the Kules have not only led exemplary lives, these have been major supporters of higher education, endowing chairs and providing other forms of support to the University of Alberta and to Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton and to the University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University in Ottawa. 

A formal launch for Champions of Philanthropy: Peter and Doris Kule and the Endowments is planned for the fall.  It will be hosted by the University of Alberta and all contributors to the book, as well as family and friends, will be invited to attend.

Ukraine turns into a dreamland: Ethnic festivals provide space for national identity TOP

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

By Viktoria PRASOL, Anna SLIESARIEVA, and Anna SHKILNA, The Day's Summer School of Journalism. Photo by Kostiantyn HRYSHYN, The Day

Ukraine turns into a dreamland at least once a year...

Ethnic festivals are very popular all over the world -- they always attract a huge number of music lovers. Ukraine is no exception. But in our country they also have a political subtext. For, unfortunately, there are very few places where Ukrainians can feel their national identity.

Kyiv's Independence Square (the Maidan) used to be this kind of place, but now, after years of dramatic disillusions, it has given way to the Dreamland fest.

You can drop all restraints here and show (and see) what free people can do in a free country! For what you can see winding as far as the Cave Monastery walls is not just the Alley of Masters: it shows the variety of our talents, creativity, resourcefulness, originality, and, finally, competitiveness. We, Ukrainians, were and still are like this! Just let us show our knack!

The festival attracts increasing numbers of people with each passing year. Everybody is in raptures over the event. But very few of them become Oleh Skrypka's partners. Little wonder, therefore, that the festival lasted only one day this year. Did anybody help the Vopli Vidopliasova (VV) front man make Dreamland last three days, as usual?

This year's festival was held under the slogan "Dreamland is clean land." There were such novelties as an eco-lesson from Ukrainian stars and literature of Ukraine's ethnic communities, as well as the already traditional master classes, the best embroidered shirt competition, a book fair, and many other things.

The festival father Oleh Skrypka did not patronize the festival this time. The VV front man took part in Russia's largest ethic festival in Kazan, but this did not prevent Dreamland from succeeding. You could begin to feel elated and energized once you walked down the road from Glory Park towards Spivoche pole (Singing Field).

The book fair was No. 1 on Dream Country's agenda, which seems to be somewhat symbolic. This year visitors to the fair had an opportunity to enrich their libraries with modern-day Ukrainian literature at reasonable prices. Besides, the "citizens" of the Dreamland festival were in for all kinds of entertainment. On that sweltering day people were taught a lot of quaint things, such as making paper from a mulberry tree, took lessons in Ukrainian calligraphy, and saw artists show little would-be painters how to illustrate books. Also on the program was fortune-telling on books and other ancient, but still interesting, curiosities.

The Literary Stage, which, incidentally, also operated on June 28, saw the launching of books by well-known authors, various master classes, ethnic readings, and poetry recitals. The Stage also included the first-ever ethno-slam with Artem Poliezhaka and Young Literature Day.

The Alley of Masters was crowded. The long lines of people along the path that led down to the Dnipro were studded with wreaths and embroidered shirts, and children's laughter crowned the entire fairy-tale-like ambiance. Now The Day comes to a children's glade. Marichka Burmaka, Foma, Ivan Andrusiak, Lesia Voronina, and Sashko Lirnyk read out environment-friendly tales to the little ones.

This year's fest drew a lot of foreign guests who not only evinced interest in Ukrainian culture but were also prepared to show their own. For example, Japan was represented for a third time by the Ukrainian-Japanese Center. The Day's Summer School of Journalism trainees took part in a tea ceremony, and The Day was given a note of dedication written in calligraphic Japanese on rice paper.

The dance studio taught people medieval Ukrainian and Lithuanian dances. The age range was surprisingly broad: the young and the old would come together in a friendly dance to the fiery accompaniment of musicians.

The festival included a competition of embroidered shirts (vyshyvanky) for the second time. As it is a point of honor for every Dreamland visitor to wear an embroidered shirt, this event has gained tremendous popularity and become a good tradition. This year 300 original vyshyvanky took part in the competition. To compete, one was to have a photo taken in a vyshyvanka next to a symbolic man-high Coca Cola bottle adorned in a folk style. The winners, Inna Goncharova and Olha Hryhorenko, received prizes of honor from Coca Cola. Incidentally, Ms. Inna had bought her vyshyvanka on the eve of the event in London.

The Evening Stage is undoubtedly the most emotional part of the Dreamland fest. No wonder: more and more people begin to develop an interest in ethnic music. Ukraine was represented by the MAD HEADS XL UKRAIN'SKA group, which is quite an unusual format for the performers. Yet they were up to the mark. Also attending the festival were the foreign musical groups Zalvarinis (Lithuania), Fanfara avale (Romania), and Valkyrien All Stars (Norway).

Dmytro KAPRANOV, organizer of Dreamland's Ukrainian book fair:

...This year Dreamland hosted for the first time a literary festival of Ukraine's ethnic communities. Whoever reads newspapers or watches television might well think that only Ukrainians and Russians live here, which is wrong. We are a multiethnic and multicultural country, and some ethnic groups that reside in Ukraine are unique. They have no statehood of their own and live in this country only. These are, first of all, Crimean Tatars and Gagauzes.

...The most important thing is that it is not the state that organized the fair (although there is a governmental committee in charge of ethnicities) ... we, ordinary Ukrainians, did it to make it clear to everybody that we live in a multiethnic country. This is only the beginning. Starting from the next year, more of these minorities will be represented here. The Ukrainians should regard themselves as a gravity center for the smaller peoples that live together with us. Unfortunately, our country comes closer to being a dreamland just a few times a year, at this very place. What created a really lasting impression was the situation on the eve of the event, when a torrential rain and a gale-force wind blew the tents away and no one knew what tomorrow would bring. All we knew was that Dreamland would be held under any circumstances....

Ivan ANDRUSIAK, writer:

...It is so sad that Kyiv becomes a true, lovely and really Ukrainian city on the Dreamland days only. I think it should be like this all the time. Every Dreamland festival creates something that stands a chance to take on. For example, the Literary Stage appeared last year for the first time, but this year it was quite a longtime event: it has caught on because it is really needed. It seems to me the eco-lesson also has a fair chance to take on because what is done in good faith will produce good results....

Foma, front man, Mandry:

...To tell the truth, I read fairy tales long ago. I used to have a children's radio program. This was about 14 years ago. Now I have happily recalled the way it all was. I love Dreamland. In my view, it is the most important festival in Ukraine. It popularizes our beautiful traditions and songs among the Ukrainians and, in general, keeps our spirits high. This also helps us discover the rich culture of the outside world....

Lesia VORONINA, writer:

...Whenever Oleh Skrypka begins to program something, he attracts new and interesting people. For example, the eco-lesson is an important and creative aspect of this year's fest. Then idea is to show very small children that reading can be real fun.

...Ivan Andrusiak and I intended to tell a literary fairy tale and did our best to explain to the child that all things virtual are less interesting than the apparently simple but in fact very special things that surround you. This may be a signal for them to break free from the world that was given to them as a ready-made model in which you must exist.

...One more thing. Look at the faces of the little ones who are sitting here. There is nothing artificial here: the people who came here really have something to say, it is important for them to see what is going on here. Just take a look: some are singing, some are modeling little clay horses, while others are making vytynanky (decorative paper cutting -- Ed.). This is the festival's most important sign -- it is deep in human hearts...

Vasyl VIKHRENKO, music teacher, sopilka-maker:

...Thanks to the people who invite us to such extravaganzas as Dreamland, our art becomes increasingly popular (sopilka is a flute-type folk wind instrument -- Ed.). Our products are not properly appreciated in small towns. But when we are invited to big cities, including Kyiv, this boosts our energy: we improve our mastery and hand it down to the younger generation, our children. ...This is great, for we must know our culture, traditions, art, and rites....

Iryna ZAKHAROVA, festival visitor:

...My family comes to the festival every year. Our elder son and younger daughter are very fond of it. It is wonderful having the Ukrainian spirit and mood around. Such festivals do so much good to the younger generation. They remind us of our roots. Look at how many people are wearing vyshyvanky, how many children are playing with Ukrainian toys sold on the Alley of Masters -- they are genuine and have an old tradition. This is very important.

...Our country is becoming a dreamland very slowly, at a snail's pace, but it is striving to be one. A snail will cross a field in a day ... we, too, will lose very much time, but we are sure to become a dreamland -- green, fertile and happy....

Andrii PISHCHIUR, potter:

...I am taking part in the festival for the fourth time. I am very pleased that I have been invited more than once. Dreamland is gaining pace very rapidly and is visited by very intellectual people who sincerely love their homeland. What is more, they do it by way of concrete deeds, not just talk. Many young people flock to the festival; there are even toddlers here. If the saying "children are our future" is anything to go by, Dreamland sows the seed of love for their own things in them, when they are still young....

Vadym KRASNOOKY, front man, MAD HEADS XL:

...We have long been toying with the idea of making a big program consisting of folk songs in our arrangement. This is a very old idea, but we did not have enough time to get down to it seriously. I think there really should be purely ethnic projects and that we must preserve the ability of ethnic singing and reproduce ancient ethnic instruments. But we are modern-day musicians, we are rock musicians, and this is what we can do very well. It is very important that the folk song be sung in the context of modern megalopolis life. The point is that Ukrainians are being urbanized very fast; they are breaking away from their roots, their soil, and their aura....

Marichka BURMAKA, singer:

...Some are complaining that the festival did not last for three days. Believe me, everybody is sorry about this. But it is good that it was held in one full day -- from dawn to dusk. Besides, it was filled with more events than each of the three days in the previous years.

...At this festival, everybody seemed to be really in a dreamland. It does not matter what your ethnicity is. This is an ideal country, where everybody considers themselves Ukrainian, a part of Ukraine. Indeed, there are no divisions along ethnic lines: ours is a multiethnic country.

....We are thankful to Oleh Skrypka and the Coca Cola Company, which sponsors this festival every year and organizes a vyshyvanka competition. Especially now, during the crisis, when one can say: "You know, we are cash-strapped" (I think everybody has some difficulties now), these people and this big company are supporting our culture in Ukraine. We are deeply grateful to them....

University consortia, a way to the future TOP

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Ostroh Academy shares its experience

By Viktoria SKUBA, student of Ostroh Academy

Photo by Leonid BAKKA, The Day
Ostroh Academy held the fourth meeting of the Consortium of Ukrainian universities and the University of Warsaw, which was set up in 2005. Now the consortium includes eight universities, so the high-ranking participants who came to Ostroh represented the University of Warsaw, Volyn National University, Ternopil Pedagogical University, Chernivtsi National University, Transcarpathian National University, Kamianets-Podilsky National University, and Zhytomyr State University. Poland's Consul General in Ukraine Tomasz Janik was a guest of honor.

Ukraine's Ministry of Education and Science recently raised the issue of optimizing the structure of higher education institutions in this country. If universities become larger through mergers, this will increase their competitiveness. The leading Ukrainian universities are quick to perceive the demands of time, so Ukraine has seen the creation of the so-called university consortia.

Ostroh Academy is one of the leaders in this process and was one of the founders of the Consortium of Ukrainian Universities and the University of Warsaw in 2005. Since then Ostroh has stepped up cooperation with Warsaw, offering unique exchange opportunities to the students and faculty, providing grants, setting up joint research programs, and publishing joint research works.

At the meeting this year the consortium members discussed new scholarships for study in the University of Warsaw, winter and summer schools for students, and joint conferences. Apart from the Eastern Studies, the Consortium now includes the Eastern Europe Research Center in Transcarpathian National University and the Research Center for Political Relations among Eastern Countries. Further development of cooperation will lead to programs that will offer diplomas from two universities at the same time.

Another direction of further cooperation is the introduction of a competition for a book on Ukraine-Polish relations. Ostroh Academy already has some experience of this kind of cooperation, because a group of historians worked at the university to study controversial episodes in the history of both countries.

In the framework of the Consortium an agreement was signed between Ostroh Academy, Volyn National University, Zhytomyr State University, and Rivne State Humanitarian University on forming the Greater Volyn University Association. In addition to promoting international cooperation, this will strengthen the links on the regional level.

Ihor PASICHNYK, rector, Ostroh Academy:

"The meeting of the international consortium in Ostroh Academy is one of its greatest achievements ever. We have received this kind of acknowledgment from Katarzyna Cha asi ska-Macukow, rector of the University of Warsaw: "We, rectors, have to admit that there are things we need to learn from Ostroh Academy. This is a new education institution that may soon turn into a leader of not only Ukrainian, but also European education."

"This was the first time Ostroh Academy has attracted such a constellation of rectors of leading western Ukrainian universities to discuss not just certain formal issues of cooperation but specific efforts to integrate into the European education space. This cooperation requires student exchange and the setting up of joint research schools.

"For example, we discussed the possibility of creating a joint school to translate sacral texts. Ostroh Academy is the only institution that employs unique scholars who know over 17 foreign languages, including dead languages, and experts in Arab studies.

"By engaging the researchers from the University of Warsaw and obtaining access to the archives, we would be able to make available to Ukrainians some unique, hitherto unknown works dating back to the 14th through the 17th century. This is one of the important tasks that Ostroh Academy will resolve thanks to participation in the Consortium.

"Apart from this, at the meeting we agreed on student exchange and recognition of each other's diplomas, which is direct proof of the Bologna system in action at Ostroh Academy.

"Another equally significant event was the creation of the Greater Volyn University Association. The Ministry of Education and Science keeps emphasizing the need for merging universities. I have stressed on numerous occasions that mechanical mergers will ruin the entire system. One of the prototypes for university integration is this Association set up by universities themselves.

"What is the underlying idea? After signing the agreement, we would like to request from the Ministry of Education and Science and the Higher Attestation Commission to let us create joint specialized research councils that would be considered specialized councils of the member universities.

"Apart from this, one of our top priorities is to set up joint research schools. For example, Zhytomyr University has excellent experts in history and the study of historical sources. There are certain scholars of high caliber in Volyn National University and an entire research school for the study of historical sources at Ostroh Academy. If the efforts of these scholars are brought together, we will have the most powerful research school for the study of historical sources in Ukraine. In this way we will be able to create regional universities, a topic of much debate recently, in a natural, rather than forced, way.

"If the Ministry of Education and Science and the Higher Attestation Commission grant our request, with time we will be able to set up a regional university on the basis of the member universities, except for Ostroh Academy. The Academy should never be a part of a formalized university union, because it is a special education institution that was brought into being in order to revive our history. For our people this is a sacred place in terms of spirituality and education, which would have to operate as an independent education institution with strong integration links.

"We have shown a good example. I am pleased by the fact that the agreement was signed with many rectors in attendance. The rector of the University of Warsaw noted that they are willing to join our regional alliance, because we have shown a good example of research integration not only for Ukraine, but also for Poland."

Ihor KOTSAN, rector, Volyn National University:

"The meeting at Ostroh Academy was the fourth time when the members of the Consortium have came together. The meeting was held on a high level, with every university presenting its working program for the analysis of all participating institutions. This is a wonderful example of joining forces in order to offer high-quality educational services.

Exhibit shows contribution Ukrainian culture has made to Cape Breton TOP

The Cape Breton Post

Exhibit at CBU shows valuable contribution Ukrainian culture has made to Cape Breton

An amazing exhibit at the Cape Breton University art gallery entitled a Cape Breton Story of Ukrainian Dance: From Village to Stage has been running since June 12.

It represents the contribution that Cape Bretoners of Unkrainian descent have made to the culture of this island. In that respect, it's a dazzling legacy, displayed and articulated very well. The local exhibit has been augmented by several panels on loan from the University of Alberta -- panels which sketch the evolution of dance from various regions of the Ukraine.

Here's how the exhibit came about: Michelle MacDonald, who works at the gallery, and Dr. Richard MacKinnon, of the Centre for Community Studies, had a conversation some time ago about such an exhibit. Albertan Marcia Ostaschewski, who was studying at the university, agreed to collect artifacts from the Cape Breton Ukrainain community.

These artificats, which show how generations of Ukrainian immigrants lovingly preserved their religion, music and culture, would be combined and displayed by Michelle along with the aforementioned panels.

The main focus of the Cape Breton part of the exhibit, however, is the evolution of Ukrainian stage dance in Cape Breton. It was brought to this area by Pavlo Yavorsky before the late 1930s. Yavorsky was an educator in Ukrainian dance, music and history. As well, he created and sewed dazzling costumes, some of which are on display.

I was amazed at how many families participated in the dancing and how many of their descendants still live in the area.

What is particularly admirable, however, is the incredible spirit and tenacity of these Ukrainian Canadians, most of whom came to this country to build better lives. They had a will to survive and to prosper.

Before the war, Pavlo Yavorsky created, in Whitney Pier, the Ukrainain Folk Ballet. The exhibit contains a handbill of one concert held Sept. 13, 1940 at the Casino Theatre on Victoria Road. A picture exists of Yavorsky's  beautifully-costumed ensemble.

When Yavorsky left Sydney for Montreal during the war, Ukrainian dance persisted. There was even in the 1950s a well-known choir, which became a vibrant symbol of artistic activity. In 1951, on the 60th anniversary of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, they performed, to much acclaim, the Ukrainian operetta, Natalie. John Huk was the musical director and he recalls many dance concerts, especially at the Lyceum. John says that the dancing was at its peak during and after the war. John was the main instructor for 35 years.

The folk ballet eventually became the Ukrainian Folk Dancers. With about 27 members, they performed at the National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, Man. in 1974, in the heartland of Ukrainian culture, and came first in the intermediate dance combination, quite a feat for a small Cape Breton Ukrainian community. They won in 1975 as well.

Kenny Horechuk succeeded John Huk and formed Barvinok, a new ensemble of dancers. They performed to acclaim all over the Maritimes, including Centre 200. They also performed for the Pope, at Ontario Place before 5,000 people and at the Canada Games in 1987. All of these details are contained in the exhibt.

"Sadly, nowadays our young people have gone from the area and so it is not possible to continue the tradition of dance," John says.

Thankfully, however, we have this wonderful exhibit of the heyday of Cape Breton Ukrainian dance and it's a must-see. It closes Aug. 14.

Giant pysanka in Elk Island National Park printed on attractions stamp set TOP


Issued: July 6, 2009

Article published in (Vol. XVIII No 3; July to September 2009
July 6, 2009

Nothing beats a Canadian road trip. From the rocky splendours of the west, through spectacular stretches of alpine meadows, towards the sweeping ocean vistas of the east--it seems that, no matter which way we steer the wheel, there's something to see. But it's not all natural scenery; the landscape abounds with quirky landmarks that capture the spirit of small-town Canada and never fail to get tourists talking. This July, Canada Post will issue the first set in a three-year stamp series showcasing Canada's famous roadside attractions.

A long journey down the Yellowhead Highway leads us to Vegreville, AB, where a massive Easter egg -- the largest in the world, in fact -- is on display at the entrance to Elk Island National Park. Its name, Pysanka, is Ukrainian for "Easter egg," and it symbolizes Vegreville's vibrant folk culture.

This set of stamps is as fun and whimsical as the attractions they celebrate. Designer Fraser Ross of Halifax's Semaphor Design Company notes, "The're all iconic in their own way, so we wanted to give them each a monumental quality." The stamps feature traditional oil paintings by Nova Scotia artist Bonnie Ross. The detail and dimension within them was captured by adding layer upon layer of graduated colour. Meanwhile, the lively colour scheme lends a cartoonish aspect to the scenes. Fraser adds, "This quality highlights the originality and quirkiness of these attractions; they're so much fun and we wanted the stamps to speak to that."

While getting acquainted with the roadside attractions, Ross came to see that their excitement extends well beyond their quirks. "They're like historical landmarks in both a literal and figurative way," he says. "They literally mark a location, but they also mark a time and place. On family vacations, we all stop; we stare; and we rarely leave without a picture. Over time, we may forget the details of a vacation, sometimes even the destinations themselves, but somehow the roadside attractions we meet along the way find a permanent place in our memories and photo albums." This July, these lively landmarks can also find a permanent place in your stamp collection.

Золота скрипка Канади TOP

Біографія музиканта  найчастіше починається з батьків, з родини. Так сталося і у знаного скрипаля-віртуоза  Василя Попадюка, названого у себе на Батьківщині “ золотою скрипкою України”.

Читайте вижче:
Hamilton / Toronto: Papa Duke Ensemble starring Vasyl Popadiuk -- Aug. 29 & 30


На американський фасон Василя потрібно називати Василь Попадюк-молодший, бо він має таке ж імя як і батько-Василь Попадюк,  знаний на Україні композитор та виконавець музичних творів на “флейті пана”- cопілці. Разом з мамою Світланою-хореографом в родині визначили долю музично обдарованого сина-віддали його на навчання до Київської музичної школи ім. Миколи Лисенка.

Потім було навчання в Київський консерваторії, де талановитий скрипаль на останньому курсі поєднував навчання з успішними виступами в концертах. Концертні виступи забирали багато часу, тому молодий Скрипаль перевівся на заочне відділення і закінчив вже Львівську музичну академію.

Як водилося в ті часи, Василь був вимушений після закінчення  відслужити в радянській армії, тому два роки він грав у військовому ансамблі.
Важко навіть перелічити всі жанри музики, в яких спробував себе талановитий скрипаль. Класика та джаз, народна музика  та циганські мотиви, латино-американські мелодії  та європейські оперети-всі твори в його виконанні  викликають захоплення та емоційне  піднесення.

Досить важким був шлях Василя Попадюка  в канадійській іміграції - як багато із талантів-він теж пройшов вишкіл роботи в ресторанах.  Його талант був помічений та визнаний  шанувальниками. Почалося схождення на музичний Олімп,  але  Василь Попадюк  дуже скромно поводиться на численних інтерв’ю і завжди відмічає.що с самого початку свого перебування в Канаді його оточували добрі люди, які допомагали в усьому-організувати побут, провести концерти та рекламні акції.

Скрипаль–віртуоз  із України прийшовся до смаку слухачам різних музичних вподобань, бо він вміло і самобутньо виконує класичні твори, творче поєднує мелодії джазу та класики, насолоджує слухачів віртуозним виконанням циганських романсів та танців. Майстерність та шалена енергетика  Василя на концертах нікого не залишає байдужим, тому Василь має багато шанувальників свого таланту та друзів. За роки іміграції Василь Попадюк добився  великого успіху не тільки на етнічних фестивалях та благодійних вечорах і, безумовно, імя Василя на афішах допомагає зібрати публіку на таких заходах. Концерти збирають численних шанувальників його таланту, музику в його виконанні можна почути на радіо, на телебаченні.

З концертними турами тепер вже відомий скрипаль Василь Попадюк виступав в багатьої країнах .
Василь Попадюк    грав для іспанської королеви Софії та короля Іорданії Хусейна. Знайомством з Василем  горді  відомі скрипалі світу такі, як Том Кокрейн, Дон Уос, Іцхак Перельман. Соліст групи “Deep Purple” Ієн Гілен, почувши   віртуозну гру Василя, запросив його на запис свого сольного альбому.

Василь Попадюк не тільки віртуоз-скрипаль, він має талант аранжувальника і тому для виконання своїх задумів зібрав самобутніх виконавців в музичний ансамбль з назвою  “PAPA DUKE”. На слух ця  назва сприймається як лігвістично стилізоване прізвище Василя. В такому сенсі  шанувальникам Північної Америки легше вимовляти  прізвище Василя. Музичний смак, віртуозність, артистизм-так можна характеризувати гру цього колективу, всі члени якого талановиті та самобутні.
Концерти  Василя Попадюка та  його ансамблю в Торонто та інших містах Канади та Америки збирають численних друзів та шанувальників його таланту.

В 2004 році Василь записав свій перший  альбом в Канаді, а через два роки випустив повний альбом своєї групи. На міжнародному джазовому фестивалі в Монреалі виступ Василя та його ансамблю мав шалений успіх. Концерт був записаний і виданий на диску. В цей альбом ввійшли такі твори:”  Гуцульські фантазії”, ”Очі чорні”, ”Cонечко”, ”Десь на Буковині”, ”Журавлі’, ”Справжній циган”, угорський чардаш Монті, ”Елєгія”, ’ Колись в Америці”, ”Карпатські танці’  та інші  відомі твори. Цей альбом був тепло прийнятий шанувальниками і привернув увагу  продюсерів на щорічному ярмарку в Тусоні (штат Арізона, Америка), де збираються представники всіх світових телемереж для закупу  самих цікавих концертів. Концерт Василя Попадюка, записаний в Монреалі, був закуплений  американськими телемережами, в тому числі телестанцією РВS WNED-TV, яка в червні 2009 року транслювала концерт із Buffalo на Торонто . Завдяки цій трансляції могли подивитись  та послухати віртуозну гру Василя біля 100 000 глядачів. Цікавим є те, що цей  концерт закупила також телемережа Китаю CCTV, що підтверджує  міжнародне визнання таланту Василя Попадюка та  його ансамблю “ PAPA DUKE”.

В цей час Василь Попадюк має концерти в Америці, потім на запрошення Міністерства культури України  Василь  буде приймати участь в Фестивалі мистецтв Україна-2009 в Києві. .

Після повернення з Києва Василь Попадюк з ансамблем  виступить на концертах в Гамільтоні 29 серпняо год. 7:30 pm. в Hamilton Place Studio Theatre та в Торонто 30 серпня 2009 року.о год. 4  pm  в Assembly Hall Theatre.
Квитки можна замовити:

In Hamilton, tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.ca
(punch in Papa Duke in the search window) and at
Copps Coliseum Box Office or by calling 905-527-7666

In Toronto by email: encore1@rogers.com or by calling 416-521-9555

Запрошуємо всіх друзів та шанувальників Василя Попадюка на ці концерти. Ви отримаєте задоволення та емоційну насолоду. Бажаємо Василю здоров’я та великих творчих успіхів.

Модерний “трилер": Yaroslaw’s Treasure - Скарб Ярослава TOP

Автор - канадець Мирослав
Yaroslaw’s Treasure (Скарб Ярослава) це повість, - модерний “трилер” - в якій дія не лише представлена на тлі Помаранчевої Революції, але стає невід’ємно пов’язаною із критичними моментами Президентських виборів 2004-го року. Боротьба розвивається не лише за політичний престіл, але й за саму історію України - за саме серце нації.

За подробицями (анґлійською та українською) прошу заглянути тут:


Нагорода за 2009 Анни Підручної для нових письменників

Winner of the Anna Pidruchney Award for New Writers

Учасником Kobzar Literary Award competition 2009-2010

Koota Ooma Ukrainian Books
842 The Queensway
Toronto, Ontario M8Z 1N7

Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre
184 Alexander Avenue East
Winnipeg, Canada R3B 0L6
(204) 942-0218        

Ukrainian Book Store
10215 – 97 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 2N9



Дещо більше про твір а також про автора знайдете на сайті видавництва Blue Butterfly Book Publishing, де й можна замовити книжку для достави поштою.


Фільм про Хвильового: 'Цар і раб хитрощів' TOP


В Україні знято документальний фільм про літератора і громадського діяча Миколу Хвильового.

Микола Хвильовий був
переконаним комуністом, але не
погоджувався із напрямком, у
якому партія вела країну
Національна телекомпанія України на основі розсекречених матеріалів Служби безпеки України зняла його під назвою "Цар і раб хитрощів".

Як передають агенції новин, фільм знято в рамках циклу документальних фільмів "Гриф секретності знято". Цей проект спрямований на висвітлення долі видатних представників української інтелігенції, репресованих за часів тоталітаризму.

Він побудований на матеріалах з архівів Служби безпеки України, котрі раніше були недоступні для широкого загалу.

Сценарій базується на невідомих донині документах - у 2008 році, на який припала 115 річниця з дня народження і 75 річниця з дня загибелі Хвильового, СБУ розсекретила документи, які й лягли в основу документального фільму. Зйомки фільму проходили у місцях, безпосередньо пов’язаних з його життям.

В рамках телевізійного проекту "Гриф секретності знято" вже вийшли документальні фільми про життя та долю українського письменника Бориса Антоненка-Давидовича "Версія друга. Вижити" та "Операція "Тютюн" - про життя і боротьбу генерал-хорунжого Армії УНР Юрка Тютюнника.

Микола Хвильовий (Микола Григорович Фітільов) був ініціатором літературних об'єднань “Гарт” і Вільної Академії Пролетарської Літератури (ВАПЛІТЕ). Переконаний комуніст, Хвильовий, проте, не погоджувався з лінією партії (відома його фраза "я комуніст, але я і людина"), і його почали цькувати. У травні 1933 року покінчив життя самогубством.

Андрій Кончаловський зніме фільм про Кучму TOP


Російський режисер Андрій Кончаловський знімає документальний фільм про взаємини України з Росією, одним з головних героїв якого є екс-президент нашої країни Леонід Кучма.

За словами джерела, 22 червня відбувся робочий візит Кончаловського і Кучми до Дніпропетровська на ГП ПО Південний машинобудівний завод ім. Макарова з метою зйомок матеріалу для майбутнього фільму.

У продюсерському центрі Кончаловського підтвердили інформацію про візит, але не підтвердили інформацію про зйомки фільму.

За словами фахівця центру, режисер відвідав Дніпропетровськ у рамках робочої поїздки.

На даний момент не відома ні назва фільму, ні дата його виходу, також немає даних і про фінансову сторону питання.

Нагадаємо, раніше польський режисер Єжи Гофман зняв документальний фільм "Україна. Становлення нації", на створення якого його надихнула книга екс-президента України Леоніда Кучми "Україна – не Росія".

Слов'янська і українська поезія в Берліні TOP


Наталя Писанська
кореспондент Бі-Бі-Сі, Берлін

Слов'янський слем після
українських поетичних
вечорів у Культурній Броварні
в Берліні
В Німеччині пройшов слов'яномовний слем-турнір - поетичне змагання в стилі, який класики навряд чи розпізнали б, як поезію, - за участі молодих українських слемістів. Перед цим три ночі можна було послухати суто українську поезію.

Що є таке слем і з чим його їдять?

З пивом і борщем - по слов'янську культуру

Стою біля каси перед входом до берлінської “Kulturbrauerei”, що в перекладі означає “Броварня культури”.

Вона стала центром місцевого літературного життя, куди на дивовиж гармонійно вписалася і українська література. Цьому безперечно сприяє перебування у Берліні німецького улюбленця - письменника Юрія Андруховича.

Нині тут відбувається поетичний слем-турнір слов`янськими мовами. У черзі переді мною – стоїть навколішки розкудланий хлопець і щось дуже зосереджено пише на аркуші паперу. Біля нього – двоє дівчат, вбрані в стилі мистецького безладу, кожна тримає пляшку пива.

Один з організаторів турніру - він же і касир Філіп Шолтисик - запитує у дівчат: “Квиток і пиво? Чи тарілка борщу? Або і те, і друге. Коштує 5 євро, борщ – 3 євро”.

Дівчата відмовляються від борщу, натомість цікавляться, чи для студентів є скидка на вхідні квитки, оскільки мають віддати останні гроші.
“Ні, скидки немає. Але це – хороша інвестиція для останніх п’яти євро!” - каже Філіп Шолтисик.

Він і його колега Тіль Браєр разом з “Російським театром” у Берліні, а також українською кафедрою університету у Грайфсвальді та Посольством України в Німеччині зібрали на турнір невідомих поетів-слемістів з України, Росії, Польщі, Болгарії, Хорватії. Вільна Інтернет-енциклопедія “Вікіпедія” переклала слово “слем” з англійської, як ляскати (зокрема дверима); в американському сленгу ”слем” означає сильний удар (по м'ячу); різка критика; брутальна відповідь.

Слем-турнір - це химерне поєднання спорту та мистецтва: змагання поетів в артистичному читанні. Розповідає поет, котрий, за його словами, “боровся за Україну в Берліні” Владімір Яременко-Толстой: “Як краще розповідати: російською чи українською? Мені однаково. Я - керівник “Російського театру” в Берліні. Нещодавно ми організували три ночі української лірики. Сьогодні відбувається поетичний слем слов’янськими мовами”.

Трохи незвично чути, як керівник “Російського театру” в Берліні читає вірші українською мовою, кажу я. Владімір Яременко-Толстой відповідає: “Так, українською. Для культури, для митців немає про що сперечатися.”

Тим часом на сцені у вправності змагалися поети - учасники слем-турніру, читаючи і демонструючи твори мовою свого народу. Публіка не розуміла жодного чи майже жодного слова. Але під час слем-читань важливо не лише, ЩО читають, а й те, ЯК саме вони це роблять. Отже, залишається лише уявити, як можна продемонструвати вірш про віру, любов, страх і навіть про фінансову кризу.

Щодо українського слему, то ще 2006 року Інтернет-видання “Арт Вертеп” опублікувало статтю під назвою „Народження українського слему”. Три роки потому вже нікого не здивує об’ява про “читання Слему”, як та, що закликала до участі в турнірі у Берліні: “На поетичний конкурс запрошуються учасники, які пишуть будь-якими слов’янськими мовами - від української до македонської”.

Жодних обмежень щодо стилю чи теми, натомість щодо кількості і обсягу: три тексти мають бути не довші, ніж на п’ять хвилин. Для заохочення в участі – вільний вхід і безплатний напій. На переможця чекає публікація його текстів в австрійському літературному часописі “СТАР”.

Очевидно, що участь і перемога у поетичному конкурсі “Читання Слему”, залежатиме не так від обіцяних призів, як … від чого? Поетеса з Македонії Елізабета Лінднер: “Ах! Я вважаю, що все відбувається просто класно. Така розкута, вільна атмосфера! Саме це мене приваблює. Я ще ніколи не брала участі у слем-змаганнях”.

Переможець Ілля Плетнер читав свої вірші однією зі східнослов'янських мов, але не білоруською й не українською
Цікаво, що саме атмосфера спонукає митців виходити на сцену, читати свої твори, оголюючи думки, мрії та бажання перед найстрогішим журі - публікою в залі. Саме вона має обрати переможця поетичного слем-турніру. Про враження розповідають глядачі та слухачі - професор Александр Віль і викладач української мови Віра Маковська університету у Грайфсвальді.

Професор Александр Віль: “Слов’янські звуки, звучання різного роду цікаво слухати не лише нам, а й нашим студентам з факультету українознавства”.

Викладач української мови Віра Маковська: “Чому ми приїхали? Це надзвичайно цікавий досвід для наших німецькомовних студентів - познайомитися з Україною, українською мовою, літературою. А особливо - відчути цю незвичайну атмосферу, що панує під час турніру!”

У берлінській “Пивоварні культури” публіка обрала свого переможця, Іллю Плетнера, котрий читав російською. Він - саме той розкудланий хлопець, який ще чотири години тому навколішки записував на аркуші паперу свій твір.

Історія країни, її мова, культура та цілісність території є головними атрибутами державності TOP


Президент України Віктор ЮЩЕНКО вважає історію, мову, культуру країни й цілісність її території головними атрибутами для збереження державності.

Про це глава держави заявив в кримському телеефірі.

«Найбільша проблема, мені здається, для Криму й, можливо, деякої частини української нації – зрозуміти, що ми є державною нацією», – сказав В.ЮЩЕНКО.

Він зазначив: важливо усвідомити те, що «ми з благословення божого й з великими зусиллями стали незалежною країною», важливо любити Батьківщину. «Ми – не байстрюки, яких підкинули, в яких немає племені, свободи, культури, традицій», – підкреслив він.

В.ЮЩЕНКО заявив, що сьогодні держави гинуть не через те, що приходить армія та їх окупує, а гинуть через те, що «втрачають атрибути», на яких «стоїть» держава. «А атрибути прості: наша спільність, наша територія, її цілісність, цілісність лінії кордону. Третє – наша мова, четверте – наша культура, п`яте – наша історія, без якої ніколи не буває нації», – сказав глава держави.

На його думку, найбільша мрія будь-якої нації – «мати свою батьківщину, мати свою державу». «Держава – це не перекотиполе, яке може жити в чужій історії, забути свою, спілкуватися на тему культури без шанування (до свого) коріння, дивитися на свою історію очима сусіда, а не власними очима», – підкреслив Президент. В.ЮЩЕНКО додав, що держава також неможлива без армії, конкурентної економіки та політики безпеки.

Statement by Vice-President Biden in Ukraine & video + Biden broadside TOP

July 21, 2009
House with Chimaeras
Kyiv, Ukraine

Placement of candles at the Holodomor memorial - a traditional part of the program for visitors received by President Yushchenko.
Покладання свічкок до меморіалу жертв Голодомору - традиційний пункт програми, який не вдалося уникнути ще нікому з високих гостей Ющенка.
Photo: http://www2.pravda.com.ua/news/2009/7/21/98668.htm

Remarks by Vice President Biden in Ukraine Part I

Part II

Part III


VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Mr. President, thank you very much for your hospitality. And on behalf of President Obama, I want to express our admiration, as well as our thanks -- our admiration for what you and your colleagues began in what was an inspiration to other parts of the world and your neighbors, the Orange Revolution, and also thanks for your cooperation and help in the Balkans and Iraq and Afghanistan. And I agree with you, I think we had a very productive meeting.

I come to Kyiv, Mr. President, with one simple, straightforward message that I don't want anyone to misunderstand. That is, the United States is committed to a strong, democratic and prosperous Ukraine.

Your success, Mr. President, we believe will be our success. We in the United States are trying to build a multi-partner world in which we work with like-minded countries to make common cause on common challenges. And quite frankly, the stronger our partners, the more effective that partnership will be.

We worked together to tackle, as I referenced earlier, common security problems -- threats in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan -- and we meet what President Obama and I believe is one of humanity's greatest challenges, and that is reducing nuclear arsenals and securing nuclear materiel.

We consider, Mr. President, Ukraine to be a vital European partner for advancing stability, prosperity and democracy on the continent. And the President and I agreed that the United States and Ukraine will work together in the months and years to come to strengthen the strategic partnership.

It is not for the United States to dictate what that partnership will be but to reiterate. And President Obama and I have stated clearly that if you choose to be part of Euro-Atlantic integration -- which I believe you have -- that we strongly support that. We do not recognize -- and I want to reiterate it -- any sphere of influence. We do not recognize anyone else's right to dictate to you or any other country what alliances you will seek to belong to or what relationships you -- bilateral relationships you have.

I reaffirmed to the President what I said in Munich, as I said, in the earliest days of our administration, and it's worth repeating again in a brief statement, and that is -- and President Obama, I might add, made it clear in his visit to Moscow this month -- the United States supports Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and freedom, and to make its own choices -- its own choices -- including what alliances they choose to belong.

Ukraine on the end of Biden broadside

Joe Biden, US vice-president, subjected Ukraine’s rancorous coalition government to a barrage of criticism in a speech on Tuesday ...
“Communications among leaders has broken down to such an extent that political posturing appears to prevent progress,” he said, recalling the expectations stirred by Ukraine’s 2004 Orange revolution, hailed at the time as a decisive break with Moscow but followed by prolonged political infighting.

“Friendship requires honesty,” he said. “The great promise of 2004 has yet to be fully realised.”

Referring to Ukraine’s economic problems, Mr Biden asked: “Can you name me a place where democracy has flourished where the economic system has failed?”

He continued: “Mature democracies survive because they develop institutions such as a free press, a truly independent court system, an effective legislature – all of which serve as a check on the corruption that fuels the cynicism and limits growth in any country, including yours.”

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We're working, as you know, Mr. President, to reset our relationship with Russia. But I assure you and all the Ukrainian people that it will not come at Ukraine's expense. To the contrary, I believe it can actually benefit Ukraine. The more substantive relationship we have with Moscow, the more we can defuse the zero-sum thinking about our relations with Russia's neighbors.

We also talked about many important challenges facing Ukraine today, made more difficult by the economic crisis the world is facing. And we discussed ways in which the United States can help Ukraine undertake what are obviously tough reforms needed to build its democracy and economy and to strengthen its energy sector.

To that end, I was pleased to learn that the government has taken the final decision necessary to bring the Overseas Private Investment Corporation back to Ukraine. That will make it easier for American companies to reinvest in Ukraine, and invest in the first place, which will help both our economies in the current downturn.

I know it's hard, I know it's hard, and these are tough decisions that your government has to make. And I also know from experience of being in public life for a long time, it's harder to make tough decisions in election years. It's a difficult time in any democracy. I told the President what I will tell other officials with whom I'll be meeting today, that working together, especially in times of crisis, is not a choice, it's an absolute necessity. And compromise, I

might add, is not a sign of weakness, it is evidence of strength.

Ukraine has come a long way in the short time since declaring independence in 1991. And Ukraine's vibrant civil society -- and it is vibrant -- its engaged and free media, as we witnessed here today -- and its lively democracy show the world that Ukraine will continue on its chosen path toward a prosperous future as an integral part of Europe.

The United States, Mr. President, is committing to walking that path with Ukraine to see to it that it becomes a vital part of Europe.

And again, Mr. President, I want to thank you for your hospitality. I look forward to continuing the discussions we had today at a working group level, and I am -- I'm confident that Ukraine's democracy will take deep root in the 21st century.

Thank you, Mr. President.

The Russification of Yatseniuk's election campaign TOP

By Taras Kuzio

Certainly he would be no "revolutionary" seeking "change" and most definetly no "Ukrainian Obama" A Ukrainian media consultant told me, "I do not like him. He is an empty vessel. Of course he will lose."


Just as US President Barack Obama was landing in Moscow for an important visit to "re-set" the button in US-Russian relations, pro-ua.com (3 July) and Ukrayinska Pravda (6 July) published similar investigative reports into the russification of political technologists running Arseniy Yatseniuk's election campaign. Although Yatseniuk told ICTV on 6 July that "I have never worked with political technologists" this was obviously therefore untrue.

Ukrainian political technologists headed by KMA Professor Rostyslav Pawlenko have been forced out. Pawlenko is a protégé of well known KMA Professor Olexiy Haran and worked as head of the analytical service in the presidential secretariat from 2005-2007. I knew him when he worked on Viktor Yushchenko's 2004 election campaign and we spoke together at a conference on Ukraine in Vienna that year. Pawlenko has returned to the presidential secretariat.

Pawlenko's first foray into election consultancy was working for the Winter Crop Generation (KOP) in 2002, the first political project financed by Viktor Pinchuk with the aim of taking votes away from Viktor Yushchenko's newly established Our Ukraine. Two leading figures in KOP were Valeriy Khoroshkovsky, an ally of Inter and gas intermediary RosUkrEnergo owner Dmytro Firtash, and Inna Boguslovska, a fierce critic of Yulia Tymoshenko who was elected to parliament in 2007 by the Party of Regions. In the 2006 elections Boguslovska had campaigned in a second failed Pinchuk project, Viche. Last month Boguslovska resigned from the Party of Regions although she refused to resign her seat that had been won in a proportional system by the party, not by the individual.

Pro-ua.com reported that, "Now the entire Yatseniuk campaign is being undertaken under the leadership of Russians who control the flow of every dollar in the headquarters".  The headquarters of Front for Change is in the Kyiv district of Podil with the Front occupying the fourth floor of a building and the Russian technologists occupying the fifth floor.

The most striking revelation is that the candidate with the allegedly "new face" of  the  "younger generation" is neither a new face or representative of young Ukrainians. In fact, the russification of Yatseniuk's election campaign shows to what degree he has not learnt lessons from Ukraine's past.

Of the three main presidential candidates -- Yulia Tymoshenko, Yatseniuk and Viktor Yanukovych -- only Yatseniuk is using Russian political technologists. Yanukovych and the Party of Regions changed their Russian political technologists for Americans in autumn 2005. The Tymoshenko bloc, Yushchenko and Our Ukraine have always used Western political consultants.

Pinchuk's finances and Firtash's involvement through Inter have led to Yatseniuk being described as either a "Television Project" or a "Big Business Project".


The Russian political technologists heading Yatseniuk's campaign produced the black propaganda of Yanukovych's 2004 campaign, such as alleging that Yushchenko believed Ukrainians were divided into "Three Types". One of the leaders of the Russian group of consultants is Vladimir Granovsky who worked in the underground Yanukovych campaign in 2004 headed by Andriy Kluyev which produced the grotesque black propaganda and dirty tricks. Granovsky is thought to be behind the idea of Ukraine divided into "Three Types" that was used in the anti-Yushchenko posters.

Yatseniuk was no where to be seen in the Orange Revolution and never stood on the Maidan (even Nikolai Azarov sneaked on to the Maidan stage with the help of Petro Poroshenko). Searching Google Images you will not find a single photograph of Yatseniuk during the Orange Revolution. Pinchuk, the main financier of Yatseniuk's campaign, and Volodymyr Lytvyn, who was parliamentary speaker in 2004,  both mingled with the Orange Revolution crowds. But, Yatseniuk had obviously more important things to do than to show  his support to Ukrainians who were protesting for their democratic rights.

Using  Russian political technologists behind the worst and most crude aspects of the black propaganda of Yanukovych's 2004 election campaign casts a negative shadow over Yatseniuk. Although he is often seen as Yushchenko's protégé he would not seem to hold the same emotional and ideological connections to the Orange Revolution.

Yushchenko and Yatseniuk are in fact cut from the same cloth in both being very reluctant revolutionaries. If Yushchenko had not been removed as prime minister in April 2001 he would have faithfully served President Leonid Kuchma to the end of his term, even seeking to be endorsed by Kuchma as his "successor". Yushchenko described his relationship to Kuchma in a bizarre manner as like "father and son."

Throughout the anti-Kuchma protests of 2000-2003 Yushchenko either condemned them (as in the famous February 2001 open letter signed with Kuchma and parliamentary speaker Ivan Pluishch). Or, he wavered between supporting the protests and negotiating a deal with Kuchma whereby Yushchenko would return as prime minister.

Yushchenko's hesitancy as a "revolutionary" has been clear throughout his presidency.  Yatseniuk's similar disposition and career background would indicate that he would be little different if he were to be elected president. Certainly he would be no "revolutionary" seeking "change" and most definitely no "Ukrainian Obama". A Ukrainian media consultant told me, "I do not like him. He is an empty vessel. Of course he will lose". Pro-ua.com reported that attempts by Yatseniuk to imitate Obama's election campaign, such as seeking donations from below via the internet, failed and have been closed down. The influence of Russian political technologists have been seen in the black and brown-coloured billboards now seen throughout Kyiv that have been heavily criticised by Ukrainian election and advertising specialists. Pro-ua.com wondered if the Russian political technologists "either do not believe in his victory or else do not want a full-scale campaign and therefore Yatseniuk's victory".

Pinchuk's preference for using Russian election and political consultants over Ukrainian or Western consultants sheds ultimately light on his disposition and ideological orientation. Why is Pinchuk and many other members of Ukraine's elites feshitise Russian political consultants as if they could perform voodoo magic?


The russification of Yatseniuk's election campaign sheds light on two other factors.

Firstly, the financing of his campaign of which Pinchuk is now the largest contributor. According to pro-ua.com and Ukrayinska Pravda, Pinchuk was behind the russification of Yatseniuk's campaign.

In addition to Pinchuk's financial largesse, Yatseniuk has received a large amount of free television time on Ukraine's most popular television channel, Inter. Granovsky is a member of Inter's ruling board of directors and an influential "ideologue" on the channel. Inter channel owner Firtash, who is one of the owners of the corrupt RosUkrEnergo gas intermediary, has provided indirect support to Yatseniuk through the provision of costly free access to Inter. Pinchuk's finances and Firtash's involvement through Inter have led to Yatseniuk being described as either a "Television Project" or a "Big Business Project".

Secondly, Pinchuk's preference for using Russian election and political consultants over Ukrainian or Western consultants sheds ultimately light on his disposition and ideological orientation. Why is Pinchuk and many other members of Ukraine's elites feshitise Russian political consultants as if they could perform voodoo magic?

Pinchuk has been cultivating a "pro-Western" image for the last six years through his NGO, Yalta European Strategy, and most recently in his financial contributions to the Brookings Institution and Institute for International Economics in Washington DC. The russification of Yatseniuk's campaign, at the insistence of Pinchuk, shows Pinchuk's pro-Westernism to be opportunistic and vacuous. Who then is the "pro-Russian" candidate in the January 2010 elections? If we use political consultants as a guide then we have to conclude that it is Yatseniuk.

Why is Russia afraid of a 300-year-old Ukrainian hero? TOP

July 9, 2009

Historical Battle Lines


Lord Byron, Pushkin, and Victor Hugo wrote poems about him. Liszt composed a symphonic work in his honor, Tchaikovsky devoted an opera to him, and Gericault painted him tied naked to a horse. In centuries past he was a historical superstar -- a poster child for the Romantic era.

His name was Ivan Mazepa, a Ukrainian Cossack chieftain who allied with Sweden's Charles XII to fight Russia's Czar Peter the Great at the Battle of Poltava, 300 years ago this week.

The swashbuckling subject of Romantic-era adulation is once again attracting attention, this time as the subject of a dispute over history between the leaders of Russia and Ukraine. In the eyes of the Russian state and its propagandists, Mazepa is Public Enemy No. 1 -- a turncoat who betrayed Peter the Great, Orthodox Christianity and the unity of Slavic peoples. Most Russian historians have judged Mazepa a traitor. Acting under the instruction of Czar Peter, the Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated him and placed an anathema on him, and still vilifies him in annual Poltava services. In turn, many Ukrainian historians regard Mazepa as an honored fighter for Ukraine's statehood. President Viktor Yushchenko extols Mazepa as a heroic precursor of Ukraine's independence and his image is emblazoned on the 10 hryvnia note ($1.30).


Poltava helped shape Europe's geopolitics for three centuries. Russia's emphatic rout of Sweden and its Cossack allies signaled its emergence as a European superpower and ensured Russian dominion over Eastern Ukraine for the bulk of three centuries. Peter constructed a new narrative for his realm. Instead of being Muscovy, it was to be Russia. As such, he and his state could claim lineage with the Kyivan state called Rus that had accepted Christianity in 988 and collapsed in the 13th century. In one simple historical revision that complemented his opening to the West, Peter and his realm would be transformed from Asiatic upstarts to a European empire. Kyiv would become the "mother of all Russian cities."

There was, of course, no place in this scheme for anything resembling an independent or autonomous Ukraine. Indeed, any claim to Kyiv's autonomy or separate nationality, any Ukraine-based opposition to Russian rule, was a direct threat to the Petrine myth and the legitimacy that it helped confer on the Russian state. Mazepa had to go, and has never been allowed to return to historical grace for the same reason. Every Russian ruler has vilified him since the fateful battle at Poltava.


In this context, there are several reasons why Poltava resonates. First, Mazepa and the Cossacks represent a political force that sought autonomy and independence from Russian dominion. Second, Mazepa not only turned against Russia, he made common cause with Sweden, i.e. with Europe and the West. Third, for politicians like Vladimir Putin who lionize the Russian empire and lament the disintegration of the Soviet Union, branding Mazepa a traitor sends a not-sosubtle message that proponents of Ukraine's statehood today are also betraying the cause of Slavic unity.


Until Ukraine can shape its historiography calmly and professionally without external interference, its polity will continue to be plagued by divisions and its society by lack of cohesion. This is why the contemporary battle over the meaning of Poltava is as significant as the Battle of Poltava was three centuries ago.

Mr. Karatnycky is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council of the U.S. Mr. Motyl is professor of political science at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Complete article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124708161090713405.html

Ukraine wary of KGB terror files TOP
29 June, 2009

Gabriel Gatehouse

Ukraine is opening up part of its old KGB archive, declassifying hundreds of thousands of documents spanning the entire Soviet period.


Volodymyr Viatrovych, the chief archivist, pulled out a brown cardboard folder stuffed full of documents: case number 4076. At the centre of the case is a letter, dated 1940 and addressed to "Comrade Stalin, the Kremlin, Moscow".

"Dear Iosif Vissarionovich," the letter starts. Nikolai Reva wanted Stalin to know the facts about the great famine of 1932-33, when millions died as a result of the Soviet policy of forced collectivisation.

Like many at the time, Mr Reva believed that Stalin was being kept in the dark, and that if only he knew what was happening, he would surely put a stop to it.

But his letter landed him in the Gulag [GULAG -- Chef Administration of the Camps, edit] . He was eventually rehabilitated - 25 years later.

Many met a harsher fate.


The authorities are preparing to mount a criminal prosecution in relation to the famine, or Holodomor, as it is known in Ukraine, though it is doubtful whether there is anyone still alive to stand in the dock.

But SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaichenko hopes this is just the beginning.

"As soon as Russia starts to open and uncover its archives, there will be more and more truth about the real history," he said. At the moment, he added, Russia is not being especially co-operative.

But there is another obstacle to complete disclosure, and that is the Ukrainian Security Service itself. They are the ones deciding which files to declassify.

I put it to Mr Nalyvaichenko that the SBU is, after all, a successor to the KGB. He came out on the defensive.

"First and most important for me - we are not a successor to the KGB. That's according to the law," he said.

Could he state categorically that no-one working for the SBU today had formerly worked for the KGB?

He could not, admitting that 20% of his employees were former KGB officers. Some analysts in Ukraine believe that is a conservative figure.

It seems unlikely that SBU officers who worked for the Soviet KGB in the 1970s and 80s will be enthusiastic about declassifying documents that could incriminate them. Even if, as Mr Nalyvaichenko pointed out, the SBU is trying to recruit younger staff.

'Not worth it'

But not all young Ukrainians have an exclusively negative view of their 20th-Century history.

In Kyiv, there is a vast monument to the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany: a sprawling bronze relief of soldiers bearing guns and bayonets.

"We love our history," said Svitlana, a young schoolteacher from the southern city of Odessa, on an outing with her class.


The idea of airing the past as part of a healing process, and excluding members of the former regime from positions of authority - a process known as "lustration" - is being actively promoted by some in the Ukrainian administration.


But, says Nico Lange, the German director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Kyiv, Ukrainians must stop blaming the Russians for their past, and start looking inward.

"Ukrainians have a tendency to perceive themselves as only victims of those historical processes," he says.

"But coming to terms with the past really starts when you start uncovering also your own involvement: the oppressions by your own state, the offenders who are from your own people. If you do this work, this very painful work, the truth will finally set you free. And you will not invite new dictators to oppress you again."

The Germans have experience of confronting their own past, both following World War II, and after the fall of the Berlin Wall€¦.

And it may be that, for the moment, there are still too many people alive and in positions of power, who were involved with the Soviet regime in one way or another.

Complete article:

Twenty years of history TOP
23 June 2009

Yurii Shcherbak


History, i.e., the discharged tectonic energy of deep-seated societal forces that defied the Kremlin and the KGB, brought about turmoil and rift in the governing bodies, families, the minds and hearts of people some of whom were superstitiously afraid of any changes (in the memory of 20th-century people, radical changes were always associated with misfortunes and wars), while others persistently dreamed of changes, for they were conscious of the existing social stalemate. Too evident were the death throes of a system that resembled a perpetual motion machine designed by a mad inventor: in spite of the well-done drawings and the inventor's fiery promises, the machine, which had at first worked almost trouble-free on blood, began to show serious defects and faults -- it was just a matter of time when it would grind to a halt.

As an eyewitness to and participant in those events, I offer my readers my biased comments on the unique period of hopes and changes.


The elections of the Soviet people's deputies in 1989 (held before the Polish elections the same year) was the first chance in 70 years for the ruling party, Mikhail Gorbachev, and, above all, the broad masses, to carry out reforms indispensable for saving the dying country.


To be on the safe side, quotas were established for the Communist Party; the Young Communist League; writers', artists', and veterans' unions; the Academy of Sciences; and other organizations, which made it possible for the "elect" people to run unopposed for parliament.

However, as it often happens in real life, this conjectural and cumbersome system failed to work in the planned mode: enraged over the ever-growing shortages and nomenclature privileges, voters from Vladivostok to Lviv (especially in large industrial and intellectual centers) managed to break through some barriers and elect representatives of the democratic opposition. The Day (and especially the night) the votes were counted sounded a distress signal for the Communist Party -- a signal that the country's self-confident leaders failed to read properly.



In the very first days of the 1st Congress of Peoples' Deputies I joined, without hesitation, the legendary Interregional Group of Deputies (MDG) headed by Andrei Sakharov, Boris Yeltsin, Gavriil Popov, and consisting of well-known Russian democrats and brilliant personalities, such as Yury Afanasiev, Anatoly Sobchak, Galina Starovoitova, O. Yablokov, and Yury Ryzhov. The very membership in the MDG was a signal to the authorities, which regarded the activities of the "Sakharovite" opposition not as a chance for the country tormented with lies and inefficient socioeconomic policies but as an evil scheme of backstage foreign forces targeted at the empire's sacred foundations. The MDG also incorporated my parliamentary colleagues from Ukraine: R. Bratun, S. Riabchenko, I. Vakarchuk, V. Korotych, E. Kozin, R. Fedoriv, P. Talanchuk, V. Cherniak, Y. Sorochyk, and others.

At the same time, a group of Soviet people's deputies from Ukraine, which included, in addition to the above-mentioned, V. Hryshchuk, S. Konev, V. Yavorivsky, and A. Yaroshynska, set up the Republican Club of Deputies (RDK) of Ukraine in Kyiv in order to strengthen links with the native land which saw important political developments and a fast dissemination of the idea of national sovereignty.


However, most of the deputies belonged to the "aggressive and obedient majority" of the "Soviet people." There were very many representatives of Ukraine in that majority: party bosses, collective farm "barons," cutting-edge factory workers and peasants, and well-known academics -- otherwise good and decent people whom the System had brought up in the spirit of obedience and unflagging support of the CPSU leadership.


What astonished me was an almost physically obvious atmosphere of intolerance and hatred that dominated the congress: orthodox Bolsheviks and former political prisoners, the imperial-minded followers of the established ideology from the Union group and leaders of national movements from the union and autonomous republics, the monarchy-supporting Slavophile "sons of the earth" and West-oriented Moscow democrats, intellectuals and ignoramuses, academicians and lumpens, marshals and pop stars, the Greens, Blacks and Reds, angels and devils -- all came together in an uncompromising battle which could result either in a new dictatorship and terror or in the breakup of the empire. There was no third way out.


I can remember Gorbachev and [Supreme Soviet Speaker] Anatoly Lukyanov reacting angrily and negatively to our proposal -- they were not going to discuss this very obvious and pressing problem. When they "woke up" and began to draw up an "updated" Union Treaty in 1990-91, it was too late.

In another resolution, "On the 1932-33 Famine," we demanded "making an unambiguous political and legal assessment of the 1932-33 tragic events that resulted in a mass-scale manmade famine and the death of millions of people in Ukraine, Kuban, Don, Kazakhstan, and other regions of the country."

We suggested that the Congress of USSR People's Deputies form a commission to find out the true causes, circumstances, proportion, and consequences of the 1932-33 mass-scale famine and condemn the policy of genocide against our own people.

Naturally, the Kremlin leadership categorically turned down this proposal as well.


That was a crucial moment in the history of the congresses of USSR People's Deputies: it was a test of the highest legislative body's attitude to the union republics' aspiration to become sovereign states.

A negative response to the Ukrainian's proposal immediately came from another Ukrainian, H. Revenko: he claimed that the sovereignty of a republic, a nation, and an individual was unbreakable and did not need to be approved by anybody (!). One of the active Russian MDG members also came out against the resolution because, you see, the latter failed to mention the autonomous republics. A second later, a ruddy-cheeked political commissar, a colonel, with an ear-pleasing Ukrainian surname Petrushenko climbed the podium and shouted that the Interregional Group of Deputies must be urgently reregistered "because we (who? -- Author) have petitions from very many deputies on the necessity of a parliamentary inquiry into the funding of one of our parliamentary groups by Western secret services"...

In spite of Lukyanov's resistance, the resolution was put to the vote: 515 voted for and 1,197 against it. The reactionary majority buried the idea of a renewed sovereignty of the republics. It is very interesting to see the names of those who voted that day in the Kremlin (to tell the truth, my information on the Ukrainian deputies is incomplete).



What proved very fruitful was cooperation with the Russian democrats in the field of relations between Ukraine and the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR). This must have been the acme followed by malfunctions, for, after taking the same train, named Democracy, we got off at the station named Nation, where our paths gradually diverged in spite of the starry-eyed illusions of many participants in this process.


The Ukrainian delegation included USSR and Ukrainian SSR People's Deputies I. Vakarchuk, I. Drach, I. Zaiets, V. Kryzhanivsky, L. Lukianenko, D. Pavlychko, V. Pylypchuk, S. Riabchenko, V. Shovkoshytny, Yu. Shcherbak, and I. Yukhnovsky. The Russian delegation consisted of USSR and RSFSR People's Deputies Yu. Afanasiev, S. Kovaliov, V. Lukin, A. Murashov, L. Ponomariov, S. Filatov, M. Chelnokov, S. Shakhrai, F. Shelov-Kovediayev, V. Yugin, and O. Yablokov. The talks lasted for eight consecutive hours in a friendly atmosphere. There were no serious conceptual disputes, but there were some differences over terminology.

For example, almost all the Russian colleagues agreed with us on the use of the word "empire." The Statement said that "the treaty on the formation of the USSR in 1922 in fact eliminated the political independence of both Ukraine and Russia and laid the groundwork for a Stalinist empire which became a concentration camp for all the peoples that populated it." I wish I could see a document like this signed today by members of Russia's State Duma! It was Afanasiev who especially insisted on using the word "empire." But one of the negotiators objected that, formally, the Soviet Union was not an "empire" because there was no sovereign emperor. This ludicrous reasoning was ignored.

The interstate relations of Ukraine and Russia were supposed to be based on:

  • sovereign equality of the parties;
  • non-interference into internal affairs and renunciation of the use of force as well as economic and other ways of pressure;
  • inviolability of the existing borders and renunciation of any territorial claims;
  • mutually advantageous cooperation and settlement of any disputes in the spirit of harmony.

The three-part Statement was unique not only because it was made public well before the signing of official documents, a year before the abortive coup in Moscow and proclamation of Ukraine's political independence, and not only because it used, for the first time in political literature, the word combination "Commonwealth of Independent States." The Statement was unique because a group of well-known political figures of Ukraine and Russia, most of whom belonged to Sakharov's opposition grouping, so clearly spelled out, for the first time in the history of the two countries and peoples, the principles of coexistence between Ukraine and Russia as independent states and the problems they were to address.



The Congress of USSR People's Deputies and sessions of the USSR Supreme Soviet produced a dramatic effect: they exposed to Soviet citizens (thanks to TV and radio programs) a huge number of hitherto hushed-up problems -- from the historical crimes of Stalinism to the political and economic flops of latter-day "real socialism." Pandora's box thus opened and terrified those who looked inside. The events in Tbilisi, Vilnius, and Riga rallied democrats together, for they renounced violence and condemned Gorbachev's unprincipled policies. It was clear that something serious was brewing and that the destiny of Ukraine would be decided in Kyiv, not in the Kremlin.


...The tragic mistake of M. S. Gorbachev and those who stand behind (or guide) him is a stubborn attempt to keep intact the unitary-centrist model of the USSR in its original Stalinist purity and simplicity without taking into account any realities or any obvious signs of an ever-growing political earthquake. As if existing in two worlds -- the Kyiv Ukrainian one, with its blue-yellow flags of independence and its stubborn desire to create a sovereign state, and the ghostly Kremlin world of illusions -- I can see very clearly the great and dangerous contradictions between them...


The article was published on May 15, 1991, three something months before the abortive coup, with Lukyanov as one of its masterminds, ... an attempt that ended up in the final collapse of the USSR.


Yes, we made a lot of mistakes: our rosy dreams and illusions vanished into thin air over the two years that I worked in the Kremlin. Yes, we were naive and still unaware of the terrible and devastating power of money which has replaced the honor, conscience, and care about the state for many. Yes, we failed to keep all the promises we gave to our voters.

But we made some honest attempts to change -- at least a little -- the course of events for the better in a state that was tumbling down before our very eyes, to do our best to ward off the outbreak of a civil war on our land. Our hearts bled for Ukraine and its future.

We fought and achieved abrogation of the shameful (and now forgotten) Article 6 of the Constitution, which empowered the top leadership of one party to humiliate and rob a big country. We revealed the closely guarded Chornobyl secrets and brought those guilty of this and other disasters to moral trial.

On Jan. 13, 1991, the leaden-clouded day of bloodshed in Lithuania, we, a united team of the Russian and Ukrainian members of the Interregional Group, went out on the snowbound Red Square and raised high our parliamentary IDs in front of Lenin's mausoleum so the dead man lying there and his dead entourage knew that their power came to an end. The country had got up from its knees.


Is there a greater happiness than to see and welcome the advent of History and Freedom to your Fatherland? Is there a greater sorrow than to see power-hungry adventurists and aliens without kith and kin trying to stifle independence of the Ukrainian state created by the blood and hard work of previous generations?

Complete article:

SBU challenges the FSB in Crimea TOP

July 14, 2009
Eurasia Daily Monitor

Taras Kuzio

n line with implementing stricter security policies in Sevastopol and the Crimea, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is adopting tougher policies towards Russian intelligence activities in the peninsula. These follow the August 2008 decrees restricting the movement of Russian Black Sea Fleet vessels in and out of Sevastopol without Ukrainian consent. The SBU has officially given its Russian equivalent, the Federal Security Service (FSB), until December 13 to remove itself from Ukraine. SBU chairman Valentyn Nalyvaychenko warned that if the FSB has not left by that date, "then they would bear criminal responsibility. The criminal code contains an article on "espionage'" (www.pravda.com.ua, June 28).

The FSB officers also operate in counter-intelligence matters. Russia utilizes its domestic intelligence agency, (the FSB) in its dealings with the CIS, because it is regarded as the "near abroad" (the SVR is used in the "far abroad"). Russian policy would be the equivalent of the FBI rather than the CIA operating in Central and Latin America.

Nalyvaychenko explained that he had consulted the Ukrainian foreign ministry before advising Moscow of the cancellation of the protocol permitting the FSB to operate in Sevastopol. Nineteen FSB officers currently operate in Sevastopol. Russian intelligence has always been thought to support separatist, anti-NATO and anti-American groups and parties, even providing Black Sea Fleet personnel who wear civilian clothes to participate in protests. Nalyvaychenko revealed that one factor behind the decision to terminate the right of the FSB to maintain its presence in Sevastopol was that they did not restrict themselves to the naval base. "Foreign special services operate in the city of Sevastopol. And this is against Ukrainian law," he said (www.bbc.co.uk/ukrainian, June 18).

One member of the Ukrainian parliamentary committee on national security and defense, Oleksandr Skybinetsky, said that most Ukrainian experts in security affairs are concerned that Russian intelligence orchestrates various groups and protest movements that are hostile to Ukrainian sovereignty. The SBU has instituted criminal charges against separatists and brought in political leaders for interrogation. The leader of the Progressive Socialist Party faction in the Sevastopol city council, Yevhen Dubovyk, was recently questioned after he threatened radical steps to unite Sevastopol and the Crimea with Russia (Ukrayinsky Tyzhden, June 12).

A second factor of concern to the SBU is the possible recruitment of Ukrainian citizens who comprise the majority of the 20,000 workforce in the fleet and military-industrial enterprises that provide services to it. Financial inducements are hard to resist when pay in the fleet and its ancillary industries is twice that in other Russian naval units and many times higher than the average pay in Ukraine.

Why the FSB needs to be involved in the security of the Black Sea Fleet is puzzling, since this would more normally be the task of military intelligence. Ukrainian military intelligence operates in Sevastopol and it is assumed by Kyiv that Russian military intelligence maintains a presence within the fleet.

The ostensible reason the Black Sea Fleet claims it needs Russian intelligence units is to safeguard the security of the fleet on foreign territory. The question is against whom? The SBU has offered to provide full security for the fleet. Nalyvaychenko revealed that the SBU had established a new "powerful counter-intelligence unit in Simferopil, Sevastopol and other cities of the Crimea." This unit would be ideally suited to protect the fleet, he added (Nezavisimoy Gazete, June 15). As soon as this unit was established, Nalyvaychenko advised his Russian counterparts that the FSB was no longer required in the Crimea.

The SBU could deal with law and order and terrorist issues. "We do not need assistance or the physical presence of foreign secret services," Nalyvychenko said (Nezavisimoy Gazete, June 15). The Russian reaction was predictably negative and similar to Yushchenko's August 2008 decrees. The Russian foreign ministry reiterated that the FSB was in Ukraine based on earlier agreements in relation to the fleet. They could only be removed through mutual agreement (www.pravda.com.ua, June 18).

Anatoliy Tsyganok, the head of the Russian Center for Military Forecasting, believes that the FSB will ignore the Ukrainian demand (www.pravda.com.ua, June 17). Kiril Frolov, a representative of the Institute for the CIS, warned of an "asymmetrical response" from Russia for this "unfriendly Ukrainian act against the Russian state" (www.bbc.co.uk/ukrainian, June 18). It remains unclear how Russia can retaliate, since Ukraine has no military base on its territory and the SBU only has a minimal presence in its diplomatic representations within Russia.

The old and technologically obsolete vessels in the fleet are not a threat to the four NATO member countries in the Black Sea. The only occasion they have been used is in the August 2008 invasion of non-NATO member Georgia. NATO has long known everything it needed to know about the Fleet. In December 1991, this author faxed to Ukrainian members of parliament, after they had held a successful referendum on independence, xeroxes of the pages pertaining to the Black Sea Fleet in the International Institute for Strategic Studies' Military Balance. Open source IISS publications were purchased by the Soviet Embassy who then classified them as "confidential" and they were subsequently placed in the restricted areas ("spetsfond") of Soviet libraries.

Sevastopol was neglected by Kyiv since independence. The city has few memorials dedicated to Ukrainian history, but is full of Russian and Soviet symbols tying the twice "hero city" to Russia. The city's youth is "educated exclusively on Russian history, Russian patriotism and loyalty to Russian statehood." The fleet plays an important role in this process, which transcends its military function, "especially in the areas of education, propaganda, information and culture" (Ukrayinsky Tyzhden, June 12).

On June 12 Ukrayinsky Tyzhden asked: "What about official Kyiv?" "Well, it (official Kyiv) undertakes a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine." Russian policies towards Sevastopol are conducted within the context of "great power politics." Ukrainian policies in contrast are "the private affair of individual patriotically inclined persons who have become accustomed to disinterest from official Kyiv" (Ukrayinsky Tyzhden, June 12).

Yulia Tymoshenko's presidential ambitions TOP

Taras Kuzio

EVENT: Yulia Tymoshenko's presidential candidacy has been damaged ahead of the January 17, 2010 elections but not irrevocably.

SIGNIFICANCE: The collapse of coalition negotiations between the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc (BYuT) and the Party of Regions, coupled with the on-going global crisis, has negatively impacted on the popularity of Tymoshenko and her eponymous bloc providing Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych with a big lead ahead of the elections.

ANALYSIS: Negotiations for a coalition of national unity between BYuT and Regions collapsed on 8 June, the second failed attempt to create a BYuT-Regions coalition after the first failed in September 2008. The current "democratic" coalition includes BYuT, Our Ukraine-Peoples Self Defence (Nuns) and the Volodymyr Lytvy bloc that would have been expanded to include Regions.

Currently the coalition does not possess a constitutional majority as a third of Nuns, loyal to President Viktor Yushchenko and former presidential chief of staff Viktor Baloga, have refused to join. At Our Ukraine's (one of nine parties in the Nuns bloc) 27 June congress, Yushchenko called upon Nuns deputies to withdraw from the coalition but stopped short of ordering Our Ukraine ministers to resign from the government. The government currently has four vacant ministerial seats: transport, finances, defence and foreign policy.

Of the two main political forces that negotiated the coalition of national unity, BYuT and Tymoshenko will suffer from voter desertion in western Ukraine more than Yanukovych and Regions. Tymoshenko and BYuT campaigned in the 2006 and 2007 elections against any coalition with Regions. In August 2006 BYuT was the only parliamentary force that refused to sign the Universal negotiated by Yushchenko ahead of presenting Yanukovych's prime ministerial candidacy to parliament.

BYuT also campaigned in 2006-2007 for the president to initiate a referendum on the 2004 constitutional reforms. BYuT supported the presidents hard-line towards the pro-Yanukovych Anti-Crisis coalition that led to a decree disbanding parliament in April 2007 and pre-term elections in September.

With Tymoshenko heading the government during the global crisis that impacted Ukraine from autumn 2008, the success of her presidential candidacy would be inevitably threatened by association with economic decline. With her popularity declining and Yanukovych's first place lead growing to 35% over Tymoshenko's 22%, according to a June poll, Tymoshenko was more inclined to compromise by seeking a coalition with Regions  that would include constitutional reforms transforming Ukraine into a full parliamentary system. This would negate the need to hold a presidential election with Yanukovych elected president by parliament and Tymoshenko remaining as prime minister.

Tymoshenko is seeking to win an election as head of government during the worst crisis since the 1930s. Yanukovych lost the 2004 elections when the economy was booming. Yushchenko began the 2004 election campaign with a big lead over Yanukovych, which eventually narrowed, but Yushchenko nevertheless  went on to win the 2004 elections.
An additional factor pushing the two largest parliamentary forces towards a historic compromise was the reluctance of oligarchs to provide financial resources for an election campaign. As a BYuT political consultant told Oxford Analytica in May, "Our sponsors (i.e. big business) are bankrupt."

The holding of negotiations gave Yushchenko further ammunition to continue his attacks on Tymoshenko that have not abated despite the resignation of Baloga on 19 May and his replacement by the less antagonistic Vera Ulianchenko. Yushchenko has continued the claims made over the last year of an allegedly "treasonous" Tymoshenko in cahoots with the Kremlin through the intermediary of former presidential chief of staff Viktor Medvedchuk to  establish a "pro-Russian" coalition that would be tantamount to a putsch and threaten Ukraine's sovereignty and democracy.

Yushchenko's allegations only play well with voters in the more nationally conscious Western Ukraine, the heartland of the orange vote. Yushchenko's tactics seek to undermine Tymoshenko in this region and thereby assist in boosting the popularity of her main rival in round one of the elections: Arseniy Yatseniuk who is widely regarded as Yushchenko's successor. With only 3% support Yushchenko has no possibility of re-election.

Polls show that either Tymoshenko or Yatseniuk will face Yanukovych in round 2. Yatseniuk and Yanukovych have struck a pre-election unofficial deal, in the event that they would meet in round 2, for the defeated candidate to become prime minister.

All is not irrevocably lost for Tymohenko who has five factors on her side that could assist in her revival after the 120-day election campaign begins.

Firstly, what has ensured her success since the late 1980s in the USSR when she first entered business; namely, self confidence in her own abilities, dogged determination and one of the few Ukrainian politicians with genuine charisma.

Secondly, Tymoshenko is Ukraine's best election campaigner. The 2002, 2006 and 2007 parliamentary elections have shown that Ukrainians have always voted for BYuT in greater numbers than pre-election polls would have suggested.

Thirdly, Yatseniuk's support has plateaued and never overtook Tymoshenko whose ratings are likely to continue growing as she campaigns. Tymoshenko has a hard-core base of 14% support that will vote for her regardless.

 Yatseniuk has been criticized for being a "television" and "big business project", given ample free time on Ukraine's biggest television channel Inter. One of the main owners of Inter is gas intermediary RosUkrEnergo (RUE) co-owner Dmytro Firtash who uses the channel to attack Tymoshenko at every opportunity because of his personal grudge against the prime minister who removed RUE from this years gas contract. Yatseniuk's links to RUYE and Firtash could work to Tymoshenko's benefit in the campaign. Tymoshenko see the main contest in round one between herself and Yatseniuk.

Fourthly, two factors give her confidence that if she enters round two Tymoshenko could defeat Yanukovych. One factor is negative voting: western and central Ukrainian voters in 2004 voted and in 2010 will again vote against Yanukovych as well as they did for Yushchenko and will do so for Tymoshenko. A second factor is that the combined orange vote spread over six candidates (Tymoshenko, Yatseniuk, Lytvyn, Yushchenko, Anatoliy Grytsenko, Oleh Tyahnybok) is always higher (50% according to a June poll) than the combined Regions and Communist (KPU) vote of 40%.

Fifthly, Tymoshenko has lost some support in western Ukraine, down from 24 to 18% over the last two months. But, this has been compensated by a growth in support in central Ukraine from 20 to 23% and in southern Ukraine from 3 to 5.5%.

As seen by Leonid Kuchma's election in 1994 and Yushchenko's in 2004, Central Ukraine decides the outcome of Ukraine's presidential elections and Tymoshenko continues to dominate this region. Regions and the KPU only obtained a combined 6% in the May 2008 Kyiv city council elections compared to 51% for orange parties and blocs (of which the highest, 23%, went to BYuT).

Arguments in favour of coalitions of national unity  with Regions are not vote-losers in central Ukraine and allegations of "treason" do not have much force with central Ukrainian voters. Tymoshenko will additionally be able to build on BYuT's breakthrough into eastern and southern Ukraine in the 2007 elections.

If Tymoshenko faces Yanukovych in round two she will be in a strong position to appeal to voters how unlike Yanukovych, who was afraid of taking on responsibility for dealing with the global crisis by joining a coalition, she alone had the "guts" to stick it out. Such arguments would reinforce her tough image among voters. The economy could also be in better shape in six months time.


Tymoshenko and BYuT have inevitably suffered from some voter backlash in western Ukraine at the twice failed attempt to create a coalition with Regions. The election campaign, due to begin in mid September, will be bitterly fought out in western Ukraine between Tymoshenko and Yatseniuk. The coalition negotiations  have not negatively impacted on Tymoshenko's popularity in her stronghold of central Ukraine and could boost her support in eastern and southern Ukraine.

Ukraine's political paralysis gives black eyes to Orange Revolution heroes TOP


June 22, 2009

Clifford J. Levy

KYIV, Ukraine -- Ukraine, which has suffered a roundhouse blow from the economic crisis, has had no financial minister since February. It also has no foreign minister or defense minister. The transportation minister just stepped down. The interior minister has offered to resign as well, after being accused of drunken behavior.


The deadlock has led the major European nations to voice growing alarm that Ukraine is incapable of dealing with its disintegrating economy.

They fear that an economic collapse here could reverberate throughout the former Soviet bloc and beyond.

On Wednesday [June 17th - edit.], the foreign ministers of Germany and Poland made an unusual joint visit to the capital, Kyiv. The German, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, declared that he was "extremely worried" about Ukraine, suggesting that its politicians must stop feuding if they wanted more assistance.

European officials also warned that Ukraine had fallen drastically behind on its preparations for serving as a host of the European soccer championship in 2012, and risked losing the event.


Optimists in Kyiv said the situation had worsened largely because the political class was jockeying before the presidential election, and they pointed out that the country's leaders had always found a way to pull back from the brink. For example, they agreed on budget measures to comply with a $16.4 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Whatever the discord, Ukraine is more free than most former Soviet republics, with a relatively uncontrolled news media and a far less repressive security apparatus.

Still, things have unquestionably soured. The popularity of President Yushchenko, who achieved worldwide attention during the Orange Revolution when his face was scarred in an attempted poisoning that remains unsolved, has sunk into the low single digits, and he is given little chance of winning re-election.


Mr. Pynzenyk [Ukraine's last finance minister] said the politicians' refusal to face up to the financial crisis with proper austerity measures had clearly worsened matters, and said they were running enormous deficits to pander to voters. He said he resigned because it was impossible to conduct the country's fiscal affairs.

"People are disillusioned not with the Orange Revolution, but with the politicians," Mr. Pynzenyk said.

He assailed the recent attempt by Ms. Tymoshenko to ally with Mr. Yanukovich. She had sought to amend the Constitution so that the president would be chosen by Parliament, not popularly elected.

Under their deal, Mr. Yanukovich would have been president and Ms. Tymoshenko would have occupied a strengthened post of prime minister. At the last moment, Mr. Yanukovich backed out.


After the Orange Revolution, Ukraine was held up as an example of how countries, whether post-Soviet or elsewhere, could move past authoritarianism. But the problems here are now cited by Russian officials as evidence of what awaits countries that embrace a Western democratic model.

While Ms. Tymoshenko's standing may have been damaged in recent weeks, she is considered a highly skillful politician who has mounted comebacks before, and polls indicate that she would be competitive with Mr. Yanukovich in the next presidential election.

Hryhoriy M. Nemyria, a deputy prime minister and Tymoshenko adviser, said Ms. Tymoshenko's plan to change the Constitution was needed because lines of authority between the president and the prime minister were vague and bred conflict. Ukraine would be better off with a parliamentary system like Germany's, he said.


Oles Dony, a young member of Parliament who was active in the Orange Revolution and supported the president, said he believed that Ukrainians would not shy away from taking part in the presidential campaign, despite recent events.

"People are tired, not of politics, but of all these characters and their style of behavior," he said. "But they are not tired of democracy."

Complete article:

Russia's free media find a haven in Ukraine TOP

July 11, 2009

Chrystia Freeland


The big problem with the Russian media seemed to be too much pluralism and too few standards, not too little freedom. And the country's democracy, while chaotic and unruly, appeared to be one of the great accomplishments of the Yeltsin era. Moreover, even the most liberal, least chauvinist Muscovite would never have dreamed of exchanging the cosmopolitan opportunities of the capital for the backwater cities of the ex-Soviet Union.

That's why I was a little surprised, a couple of months ago, as I settled into my seat for the hour-long flight from Moscow to Kyiv, to see Yevgeny Kisiliev, the television anchor who was the face of the Yeltsin revolution, sitting across the aisle. And I was astonished when I learnt the purpose of his trip: Kisiliev, who had been Russia's most influential TV journalist, was commuting to his new job as an anchor in Ukraine.

"Travelling to Ukraine is like going back in a time machine to the 1990s -- they have real politics there," Kisiliev told me enthusiastically. ...

Kisiliev explained that on his weekly Moscow radio show -- he has been forced off regular television -- he could only interview political analysts, since the politicians themselves refuse to appear. Independent journalism has been so marginalised in Russia, he said, that "even the press secretaries don't like to talk to us any more". In Kyiv, by contrast, politicians not only come on his show, they answer their own mobile phones. "Working in Ukraine allows me to be a true political journalist," Kisiliev said. "In Russia, there is no open political debate any more. The authorities are hermetically sealed, we can just hypothesise about the discussion going on inside. I call it the black box. Here [in Ukraine] you have access to tonnes of information, to almost any politician."

The story of the calculated and ruthless erosion of media freedom in Vladimir Putin's Russia is a familiar one -- beginning with the exile and expropriation of the media tycoons and descending to the almost routine killings of journalists, including most famously Anna Politkovskaya. Ukraine, meanwhile, is known for an unexpectedly robust national insistence on democracy, which propelled the success of the Orange Revolution. And so while Russia has moved away from democracy, its neighbour -- which many Russians claim as a cultural and historic twin -- has moved towards it. That divergence is one big cause of the fraught relations between the world's two largest Slavic nations -- and it could be a key to whether Russia's current soft authoritarianism is a relatively brief setback on the difficult road to democracy or the country's new status quo.


Uniformed officials in the former Soviet Union aren't known to be either charmers or news junkies, so Kisiliev's warm welcome began to answer one of my immediate questions about his new gig: how were Ukrainians responding to the appearance of Russia's most famous TV newsman on their screens? Tension with Russia, after all, is the dominant fact of Ukrainian political life and, during a week in Ukraine this spring, I saw signs that at a popular level, too, Ukrainians were beginning to define themselves by their opposition to their former suzerain. My favourite example was the T-shirt I spotted on the flight from Kyiv back to New York. Making a reference to the one-hour time difference between Ukraine and western Russia, it read: "Wake Up Ukraine! The Muscovite has already been up for an hour".


"Everyone here knows perfectly well that the current owners of the channel can in no way be seen as representatives of the Russian government," Kisiliev explained. Kagalovsky agreed: "I haven't been to Russia for five years. Gusinsky has criminal charges against him in Russia. No one will worry that this channel is advocating the Kremlin line."


I didn't have a chance to examine Kisiliev's mobile phone, but the story of his career over the past decade is also the story of Putin's step-by-step suffocation of independent broadcasting in Russia.

Putin's first target was NTV, an independent media company founded by Gusinsky. The Kremlin's de facto expropriation of the group was accomplished via Gazprom, the state-controlled energy giant, and co-operative courts. On the weekend of April 14, after weeks of public struggle, the company's new owners installed their own security guards at the station and Kisiliev and his colleagues were locked out. They initially found refuge at TV-6, a smaller channel owned by Russia's remaining media tycoon, Boris Berezovsky. But by the beginning of 2002, TV-6 had also been closed down as the Kremlin turned its guns on Putin's king-maker.

Desperate to remain on air, Kisiliev and his team of NTV refugees continued to work at a reconstituted TV-6 (called TV-S), this time backed by a group of more compliant businessmen. Kisiliev now believes that the resurrected TV-6 was "a political project by the authorities to say, 'See, there are no problems, the NTV journalists are still working'," and, with hindsight, he regrets helping to build that Potemkin village. By June 2003, the new TV-6's backers had stopped financing the station and "it quietly died".

Next Kisiliev became editor of the Moscow News newspaper, which had been purchased by oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. But Khodorkovsky was arrested on October 25 2003, having chosen to stay in Russia and fight accusations of fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion, rather than flee as Gusinsky and Berezovsky had done. (Still in jail, Khodorkovsky this summer faces fresh charges that could prolong his term.)

With two former employers in exile, and one imprisoned, Kisiliev spent a couple of years as a freelance print journalist. Eventually, he was invited to anchor a show on Ekho Moskvy, the Gusinsky-supported independent radio station that, along with a few small-circulation newspapers, the Kremlin tolerates.

Marginalised in Moscow, Kisiliev found himself following the two owners of his new TV station to Ukraine. "They thought the media market would develop here and they could do journalism, which they can't in Russia," Kisiliev said. They also thought Ukraine's intensely politicised culture, and the close connections between business and politics, offered an opportunity to make money.

Its owners hope TVi will be broadcast throughout Ukraine by the autumn, but at the moment it is available free to air only in half-a-dozen eastern and southern cities. For now, Kisiliev is able to build a national presence by making guest appearances on the television show of another Yeltsin-era Russian media star who has re-established himself in Kyiv: Savik Shuster.

Shuster, whose family in Soviet times emigrated from Lithuania to Israel and then Canada, became a fixture on the Moscow media scene in the 1990s, working at Radio Liberty, which moved from the dissident fringes to the mainstream as the country flipped from authoritarianism to democracy.

When Gusinsky lost control of NTV, Shuster was offered a job by the channel's new, Kremlin-backed owners and, ironically, it was he who replaced Kisiliev as the channel's dominant political journalist. But after Putin was re-elected to a second presidential term, Shuster, like Kisiliev, found himself forced off the air. "They told me it was because the audience was too old," Shuster recalled over espressos at Pantagruel, one of Kyiv's most popular Italian restaurants. He is dressed more like an archetypal intellectual than a TV personality, in black sweater, jeans and rimless, rectangular glasses. "I said that was a blatant lie -- the truth was the Kremlin could no longer afford an open, live show."

He lingered in Moscow for a year. Then came the Orange Revolution. When Ukraine's democrats won that struggle, Shuster was amused to learn that his friend, Boris Nemtsov, a former provincial governor and deputy prime minister who had joined Russia's rag-tag political opposition, had become an adviser to Viktor Yushchenko, the new Ukrainian president. "I decided to go and make some fun of him," Shuster said. "I planned to say to him, 'Boris, you finally found a place in politics, but it is in the wrong country!' But when I came into his office, I saw he was in a very good mood and I said, 'Boris, maybe I, too, should go to Ukraine'."

A few months later, he was living in the Ukrainian capital, studying Ukrainian and working again as a broadcaster. Like Kisiliev, he was reminded by the mood in Ukraine of Russia during the Yeltsin era: "The atmosphere was very good. It resembled Moscow in the 1990s -- a lot of energy, many smiles." Shuster's political talk shows became an instant hit. But in time, Shuster, who had become one of the country's most influential broadcasters, started to feel "political pressure" from his new bosses. As in Russia in the chaotic 1990s, business and politics are closely intertwined in Ukraine: many of the country's oligarchs own media companies, which they are not shy about using to advance their political and commercial interests. To ensure his independence, Shuster formed his own television production company and now sells his show with a "political non-interference clause" to a channel controlled by Rinat Akhmetov, the country's richest man.


The Russian media stars and media barons who have found themselves washed ashore in Ukraine have a perspective on the political evolution of the two Slavic states, and on their relationship, which is different not only from what you hear in Moscow, but also from conventional wisdom in Washington or Europe.

The Kremlin sees Ukraine's diverse and messy political culture as an exploitable weakness -- and many Ukrainians and their western supporters despairingly agree. But, in separate conversations, the Russian journalistic refugees all argued that Ukraine's regional divisions were the essential underpinning of its democracy, and the chief reason the country had diverged from Russia's neo-authoritarian path.


Kyiv's Russian media exiles don't deny the cultural commonalities -- without them, their easy migration to Ukraine would not have been possible. But they believe that politically and socially, the two countries are growing apart. According to Igor Malashenko, who ran Gusinsky's media empire at its height and is now a "senior counsellor" at TVi: "There's been a continental divide in recent years and Ukraine and Russia have split -- far more than they understand in Moscow." Shuster concurs. In the Soviet era, he said, "in Kyiv it was a dream to get to Moscow." But, petro-wealth notwithstanding, he believes that the appeal of the Russian metropolis is dimming: "Putin's politics is killing a lot of creativity and Moscow is becoming less attractive for Ukrainians."

Complete article:

Нюрембурґ два - Декомунізація TOP

Прем’єр-Міністру України

про зняття
пам’ятника В.Леніну у Києві
із Державного реєстру нерухомих пам’яток

Шановна Юліє Володимирівно!

2 липня, Парламентська Асамблея ОБСЄ прийняла резолюцію, яка рівною мірою засуджує сталінізм і нацизм. Як зазначається у тексті резолюції, два головні тоталітарні режими, нацизм і сталінізм, принесли геноцид, порушення прав і свобод людини, військові злочини і злочини проти людства". Документ закликає всіх членів ОБСЄ разом протистояти будь-якому тоталітарному правлінню, якого б ідеологічного підтексту воно не несло і засуджує "вихваляння тоталітарних режимів, включаючи проведення публічних демонстрацій, що прославляють нацистське або сталіністське минуле".

Україна, яка чи не найбільше постраждала від тоталітарного комуністичного  режиму на законодавчому рівні засудила цей режим.
Прийнято ряд законодавчих актів з цього приводу, зокрема: Закон України «Про Голодомор 1932—1933 років в Україні», Указ Президента України «Про заходи у зв’язку з 75-ми роковинами Голодомору 1932—1933 років в Україні», Указ Президента України «Про додаткові заходи щодо вшанування пам’яті жертв Голодомору 1932—1933 років в Україні»). Відповідно до зазначених нормативних актів, підлягають демонтажу пам’ятники та інші об’єкти архітектури, які возвеличують осіб, що причетні до Голодомору та політичних репресій.

Однак, на 18 році незалежності, пам’ятники організатору злочинного режиму В.Леніну та іншим діячам режиму, що безпосередньо причетні до політичних репресій та голодомору, все ще залишаються стояти як в столиці України – місті Києві та інших містах, містечках та селах України.

Із висновків Українського Інституту Національної пам'яті від 01.07.2009 №01/454, вбачається, що «політичні репресії, масовий терор були невід'ємною складовою становлення комуністичного тоталітарного режиму з перших його днів. Масового характеру політичні репресії набули наприкінці 1917-поч.1920-х років- за керівництва В.Леніна, та наприкінці 1920-х -- поч.1950 х років -- під керівництвом Й.Сталіна. В.Ленін є головним ідеологом терору і несе головну провину за здійснення політичних репресій як головна особа у Жовтневому перевороті 1917 року.  В.Ленін безпосередньо причетний до створення репресивних органів комуністичного режиму- "Надзвичайних комісій" (рос. "ЧК"). Таким чином, В.Ленін є натхненником та безпосереднім творцем терористичного комуністичного режиму, який у 1932-1933 роках здійсним масове вбивство голодом- геноцид українського народу. Принципова позиція Інституту Національної пам'яті- діячі комуністичного режиму не можуть бути вшановані у назвах вулиць, парків, скверів, пам'ятниках тощо.

Міністерством культури та туризму внесено подання до Кабінету Міністрів України стосовно виключення пам’ятника В. Леніну у м. Києві із державного реєстру нерухомих пам’яток національного значення, куди його було включено постановою Ради Міністрів  УРСР від 27.07.1965 р.No.711.

Проект відповідної постанови Кабінету Міністрів погоджений Урядовим комітетом.

Враховуючи обов’язковість резолюції ОБСЄ для України, зважаючи на вищевказані норми Законів та нормативних актів, для недопущення подальшого завдавання моральних збитків громадянам України, а також для відновлення справедливості та історичної пам’яті,


Негайно вилучити із Державного реєстру нерухомих пам’яток національного значення пам’ятник В.Леніну, що знаходиться на Бульварі Шевченка у м.Києві, а також усі памятники та пам’ятні знаки діячам комуністичного режиму 1917-1991 років, що причетні до Голодомору та політичних репресій.

З повагою,

Всеукраїнське товариство  “Просвіта”

Спілка офіцерів України

Народний Рух України

Українська Народна партія

ВО «Свобода»

ГО «Люстрація»

Оргкомітет підготовки Міжнародного суду
над злочинами комунізму

Всеукраїнське об’єднання ветеранів 

Організація Українських Націоналістів

Фундація Ольжича

ОУН (Державників)

“Українська партія”

Товариство “Меморіал”

КРОГ (Київська рада об’єднань громадян)

Конгрес Українських Націоналістів

ГО „Український Севастополь”

Звичаєва громада українських Козаків

Центр Національного відродження

Міжнародна ліга ”Матері і сестри МУ”

Молодіжний Націоналістичний Конгрес


Товариство політв’язнів та репресованих

ГО «Патріот - захисник Батьківщини»

МГО «Патріот»

Молодий Народний Рух

Студентське  Братство

Українська патріотична асоціація

Українська громада Києва

КОО «Українська справа»

Асоціація дослідників голодоморів в Україні

Українська Республіканська партія (Лук‘яненка)

ВО «Тризуб» ім. Ст. Бандери

Стрес від України TOP


Аскольд Лозинський

Лозинський, для
Останнім часом я неабияк нервую під час моїх поїздок в Україну. Мій стрес є наслідком спілкування з тутешнім людом. Адже всюди, де не обернуся, знаходжуся в російськомовному оточенні, навіть читаючи українську книжку видану в Україні.

Мій стан загострений тому, що хоч з кожним роком Україна, як незалежна держава, стає старшою, але нічого не змінюється в мовному питанні. Тож ситуація виглядає щоразу безнадійнішою.

Ще більше я нервую, коли мої друзі, часто мудрагелі з західних областей, запевняють мене, що це усе тимчасове та намагаються поправляти мою українську за радянським правописом.
The author of the commentary -- appearing in the UP -- Askold Lozynskiy is a known American-Ukrainian with the lengthy commercial and emotional ties to Ukraine.

In his vituperatively frank appeal, Lozynskiy is hitting home at the reading audience on the observed by him worseningly shocking situation vis-a-vis the status of Ukrainian language in present Ukraine. Per Lozynskiy, the sparsity of Ukrainian usage in official and private settings has reached unheard of heretofore minicule dimensions. Realistically speaking, Ukrainian has become the language relegated to a wholesale replacement by Russian. Even President Yushchenko claims helplessness in reversing the tide. As to his nemesis Premier Tymoshenko, she appears unflappable with her occasional politically dictated official use of Ukrainian while turning to Russian entirely in her private domain.
-- Miron Kryzhan-Iwskiy


З Галичини, до речі, походять всі поети або філологи. А моїм друзям чомусь смішний мій акцент, натомість вони вважають, що "все нормальне" у їхній державі, що від Збруча на схід майже вся розмовляє по-російськи. Дійсно українську мову розговірно можна почути тільки у західних областях і навіть це міняється, бо з кожним роком туди приїжджають росіяни чи інші неукраїнці.

Тобто нормальне, що росіяни чи неукраїнці, хоч і громадяни України, у Західній Україні розмовляють по-російськи, нормальне що у Східній Україні всі, тобто українці, росіяни, татари, поляки розмовляють по-російськи.

Цим разом я перебував тільки в Києві і коротко у Львові та Тернополі. В Києві на вулиці за п'ять днів почув тільки раз українську, хоч може і нечемно, слідкував і підслуховував. В усіх моїх комерційних заходах треба було просити української мови. Тільки інколи був відгук на мої прохання.

Правда тільки з тими, які відповідали по-нашому, я торгував.

Пішов до моєї улюбленої книгарні "Сяйва" на Великій Васильківській (Червоноармійській), до українськомовної кімнати, чи швидше комірки. У Києві була спека, охолодження працювало у просторій залі з російськомовними книжками, а в українській комірці охолодження не було.

Помічниця в українській кімнаті говорила до мене по-російськи, я попросив викликати директорку, котра почала з російської і лише згодом перейшла на українську. Я її запитав про одне видання та, між іншим, чому немає охолодження в українській комірці. Вона пояснила, що немає коштів.

Я запропонував оплатити охолодження для української комірки. Вона одповіла, що немає як прилаштувати. Я купив книжку і пішов попри Басарабку, оглянув облупленого Леніна та подумав, "хоч щось змінилося".

Опісля поїхав на Петрівку на книжковий базар. Там знайшов більше двадцять магазинів з російськомовними виданнями та заледве два з українськими.

Треба було закупити нову техніку до мого помешкання. Скористався Інтернетом, бо так я звик робити у США і те саме мені порадили друзі в Україні. Одначе український магазин "Розетка" подавав на сайті інформації тільки по-російськи. Три російськомовні асистенти врешті з'єднали мене з Олександром, який говорив по-українськи.

Поїхав я на Захід потягом Київ-Львів. Мій сусід по люксу, на щастя, розмовляв по-українськи. Ми провели приємну розмову. Врешті втомившись, я перепросив його, положився та почав читати перший том архівних матеріалів про Бандеру. Тут я мало не дістав інсульт. Майже всі матеріали, навіть листування між Стецьком і Бандерою, НКВД переклало на російську мову, а редактори так і залишили.

Один з яскравіших симптомів цієї хохлацької хвороби, на мій погляд, це недавній виступ пані прем'єр-міністра в кліпі "не для камери" про "все пропало".

Мабуть це не здивувало мешканців України, що пані Юля Тимошенко розмовляє по-українськи для камери, але поза, чи вдома, говорить по-російськи. Принаймні вона перехрестилася.

Деякі її однофракційники навіть публічно, тобто по телебаченні, виступають по-російськи. До речі так і виглядає ціле суспільство з малими виїмками. Від влади до комерції, а навіть в освіті.

Відвідав я одну особливу державну школу (художню), де відбулися збори з батьками. Правда, переважаюча більшість учителів виступали по-українськи, але одна вчителька перепросилася і перейшла на російську.

Як почала по-російськи, так всі запити батьків перейшли на російську. Ця вчителька певне викладає і по-російськи. Гірше того, переходять на російську всі учні і другі учителі, і всі вважають, що це "нормальне", а статистика вказує, що це ще одна школа з українською мовою навчання. Задавала вона задачу на літні канікули учням. Бажалося, щоби її завдали навчитися державної мови за літо.

Мені здається що в Україні, де державна мова має бути українська, вона ніколи такою не буде, якщо не освідомиться, що малоросійство це хвороба, яку треба лікувати.

В сьогоднішній Україні можна порівняти рускомовність до алкоголізму. Алкоголік рідко зрозуміє чи, тим більше, визнає, що він хворий на хворобу, яку треба лікувати, і тому не лікується. Довкола нього всі інші теж алкоголіки і тому не здатні, або ж не мають бажання, це ствердити та почати процес лікування.

Підчас свого виступу на четвертому Форумі в Києві в 2007 президент Віктор Ющенко, до речі, напевне найкращий український президент досі, відповідаючи на мої зауваги щодо української мови, сказав: "Я не можу насильно впроваджувати українську мову".

А я подумав, що президент не тільки може, але має обов'язок моральний і Конституційний. Правда, що один президент, і ще й з урізаним мандатом через "неконституційні" Конституційні зміни грудня 2004 року, напевно, не в силі вилікувати доволі хворе суспільство. Але треба робити конкретні вдумливі заходи.

Людина в основі звірина, яка в першу чергу намагається задовольнити свої біологічні потреби, тобто бажання поїсти і забезпечитися від природи. Ці намагання проходять ступнево. Рідко людина задовольняється примітивним забезпеченням. Тобто, для пересічної людини життя це змагання за достатками.

У сьогоднішньому світі, де гроші є задоволення надмірності біологічних потреб, комерційна діяльність це основа суспільства. І тому треба починати від комерції. Приходить на думку технологічна фірма "Розетка".

Ця компанія, як і кожна в Україні, переводить свої заходи майже виключно у російській мові. Коли б передумовою для ліцензування і проведень заходів було користуватися українською, "Розетка" без вагання перейшла б на українську, або прийнайменше запровадила б пріоритетно (не паралельно) українську мову.

Це саме відноситься до виступів речників влади по радіо чи телебачення. Держава повинна ліцензувати по вищій ставці певну кількість не-українськомовних каналів. Всі інші зобов'язані переводити ефір по-українськи, або з українським перекладом. Уявіть Савік Шустер у прямому ефірі і в російські мові з рівночасним перекладом на українську. Кошт ефіру стає подвійним. Раптово всі навчаються українську мову.

Тут слід зрозуміти різницю між двома поняттями: "пріоритетно" і "паралельно". Українська мова ніколи не пройде у паралельному відношенню з російською. Російська мова в Україні має пріоритет на триста п'ятдесят років історії.

Українська мова потребує сьогодні пріоритету. Конституція є тільки основою на документі. Без втілення конкретних програм, припис Конституції чи указ президента, який без чогось конкретного доручає Кабінету міністрів розробити програму впровадження української мови, не має значіння.

До речі, як показала пані Юля, у "все пропало", сьогоднішній Кабмін в особовому складі не має бажання таке зробити. Це мусить знати президент і тому його указ тільки показовий.

Чи можна заборонити російську мову? Ні, але і не треба. До речі Росія недавно пожалувалася до Організації Безпеки і Співробітництва в Європі, що в Україні дискримінують проти російської мови.

Яка іронія і зухвалість! Чи у Франції дискримінують проти англійської мови? Чи у Польщі проти німецької? Чи у Росії проти української? Всі дискримінують в користь державної мови. Чи не найвищий час, щоби в Україні позитивну дискримінацію відчула рідна мова?

Українська патріотична асамблея: Наше бачення Конституційного процесу в Україні TOP


Української патріотичної асамблеї

“Наше бачення Конституційного процесу в Україні”

Конституція України як суспільний договір, що гарантує стабільність держави після внесення в грудні 2004 року відомих змін перестала виконувати свою головну функцію.

Фундамент державної будівлі було підірвано в багатьох місцях і за 4 роки стіни дістали великі тріщини, що загрожують загальним руйнуванням.

Тому питання державного облаштування гостро стоїть на порядку денному українського політикуму як парламентського так і позапарламентського останні 2 роки, але єдиної компромісної, тим більше консенсусної позиції досі не вироблено і, навіть, не запропоновано механізмів її досягнення.

Більш того, з наближенням Президентських виборів основні політичні гравці намагаються цей державотворчий процес перетворити на процес здобуття влади, не враховуючи інтереси українського суспільства, ментальність і традиції українського народу.

Яскравим прикладом такого нехтування стала спроба лідерів Партії регіонів В.Януковича та БЮТ Юлії Тимошенко самочинно прийняти основний документ, що фактично позбавляв народ права волевиявлення при обранні Президента і давав можливість цим двом політичним силам узурпувати владу на 15-20 років, запровадивши в Україні вразливий ззовні і недемократичний внутрішній режим з підконтрольними ЗМІ та судовою владою.

Під тиском громадськості, а також загрозами гострого конфлікту із Секретаріатом Президента, а головним чином через недовіру та суперечності “коаліціянтів”, процес зірвався, але сам факт його появи є серйозним попередженням українській державності та демократії.

Але конституційні проблеми залишаються невирішеними і вони створюють конфліктний грунт і після Президентських, і після можливих позачергових парламентських виборів. Хвороба загострилась, але біда у великій кількості лікарів, що пропонують курси та рецепти лікування, причому взаємовиключні.

Тобто, кожна поважна політична сила, як парламентська так і ні, вже заявила про свій конституційний рецепт для народу і про свій намір реалізувати цей рецепт через конституційний референдум. При такому підході, враховуючи недосконалість і неприйнятність багатьох положень нового Закону “Про всеукраїнський референдум”, українському конституційному процесу загрожує повна профанація.

Ярмарок Конституцій при переході в стадію параду референдумів може стати серйозним викликом національній безпеці та державності України.

Ще одна проблема полягає в тому, що орган, який єдиний наділений правом Конституційних змін – Верховна Рада України – користується довірою всього лише близько 4 % населення і є в цьому відношенні по суті нелегітимним. Зрештою, навіть технічно, в цьому складі парламенту зміни до Конституції України можливі лише при згоді фракцій ПР та БЮТ, чого найближчим часом не передбачається. Президентський варіант змін до Конституції, попри його схвалення Венеціанською комісією, не сприймається більшістю депутатів Верховної Ради і не факт, що в даний час може дістати схвалення на всенародному референдумі.

Варіанти позапарламентських сил носять скоріше агітаційний характер і не мають шансів на проходження ні в парламенті, ні на референдумі.

В ситуації, що виглядає конституційним глухим кутом, Українська
асамблея рекомендує наступні напрями дій:

  • У зв’язку з наявністю проекту Конституційних змін, запропонованих Президентом України, що в основному дістав схвалення Венеціанської комісії, розглянути даний законопроект у ВР України, а також провести його всенародне обговорення в політичних та експертних середовищах. З врахуванням висловлених зауважень, даний проект може стати основою майбутньої Конституції з наступним її прийняттям на Всеукраїнському референдумі.
  • Рекомендуємо розглянути можливість прийняття нової Конституції України незалежним органом – Конституційною асамблеєю, порядок скликання якої визначити окремим Конституційним законом. Останній варіант вважаємо доцільним лише при умові блокування інших можливостей для Конституційних змін.
  • Чинний склад ВРУ до Президентських виборів може і зобов’язаний внести певні зміни до діючого Основного Закону, які носять технічний характер і викликані як недосконалостями змін 2004 року, так і певними не зовсім політично адекватними рішеннями Конституційного Суду. 

А саме:

  • Необхідно збалансувати терміни обрання міських, сільських, селищних голів рад, що мають відбутися в березні 2010 року і відповідних Рад, що чинною Конституцією передбачаються в березні 2011 року. 

При чому пропонуємо встановити єдиний термін повноважень для голів та відповідних Рад – 4 (чотири) роки, як у більшості демократичних держав.

  • Пропонуємо встановити термін повноважень ВРУ – 4 роки і обмежити депутатську недоторканність приміщеннями ВРУ.

  • Необхідно чітко визначити терміни чергових виборів органів місцевого самоврядування і встановити, що позачергові вибори – це на термін до чергових, тим самим знівелювати постанову Конституційного Суду, що загрожує втягнути державу в хаос перманентних місцевих виборів з усіма фінансовими, організаційними, політико-правовими наслідками.

Маємо надію, що наші пропозиції можуть стати знаками на “дорожній карті” для виводу конституційного процесу із глухого кута.

Партія Регіонів захищає руйнівників Києва TOP


Як щойно повідомили члени ініціативної групи по протидії незаконному будівництву на вул Гончара, 17-23 на допомогу забудовникам приїхали *народні депутати від Партії регіонів, зокрема Олександр Волков і Ельбрус Тадеєв, а також помічник народного депутата Віталія Хомутинника. Народні депутати приїхали одразу після того, як міліція забрала з майданчика молодиків спортивної зовнішості з-поміж захисників будівництва, котрі влаштували бійку між собою.

На майданчику зараз також знаходяться місцеві мешканці, представники орагнізацій "Я - кияни", КУПР та "Збережи старий Київ", котрі намагаються зупинити протизаконне завезення техніки під захистом народних депутатів.

Будівництво ведеться попри відсутність усіх необхіднних дозволів. Окрім того, існує припис суду про призупинення будівельних робіт на момент розгляду справи. Вчора також було виписано припис прокуратури міста Києва про призупинення будівельних робіт.

Проте народні депутати пішли проти волі громади та стали на захист забудовників, додаючи тим самим до руйнування Софії Київської.

Конфлікт довкола цього будівництва триває вже більше року. Місцевим мешканцям, що борються проти цього будівництва, погрожували та порушували кримінальні справи. Переживши все це, тепер мешканці змушені боротись проти народних депутатів.

Громадянська ініціатива "Збережи старий Київ" переконана, що сьогодні Партія регіонів довела, що розцінює Київ тільки як місце отримання грошей. Зневажливе ставлення до культурної спадщини міста Києва демонструє справжнє обличчя цієї політичної сили.

*Контактний номер телефону: 8-067-502-57-27 (Інна Совсун).

Президентська місія віце-президента TOP

July 17, 2009

Альона Гетьманчук

Хто приїжджає?

Про те, що в Україну має їхати саме Джо Байден, стало відомо менш ніж за тиждень до офіційного оголошення такого візиту Білим домом 22 червня («Главред» першим оприлюднив цю інформацію 19 червня). Американська сторона виходила з міркувань, що поважна делегація США має відвідати Україну після візиту Обами до Москви, але хто саме має її очолити – Джо Байден чи Хілларі Клінтон – точності не було. Українська, у свою чергу, наполягала, аби це був саме номер два в уряді Обами – тобто віце-президент.


Вибір саме Джо Байдена для такого візиту має певну логіку. Віце-президент був першим представником нової адміністраіції, хто ще в лютому на Мюнхенській конференції заявив не лише про намір Сполучених Штатів перезавантажувати відносини з Росією, а й про те, що Білий дім ніколи не визнає якихось привілейованих сфер інтересів на пострадянському просторі, а кожна суверенна країна має право сама обирати альянси, в які вступати. Фактично, у Києві Джо Байден має підсилити ці месиджі. А відтак – і закріпити позицію тих, хто вважає, що в Білому домі може відбутись такий собі неформальний поділ зовнішньополітичних «сфер відповідальності». Барак Обама особисто триматиме на контролі «кнопку перезавантаження» з Росією, а віце-президент куруватиме відносини з Україною та Грузією.


Крім того, Байден як багаторічний глава сенатського комітету із зовнішніх справ багато знає про Україну ще з тих часів, коли вона навіть не була незалежною. І це, власне, відрізняє Джо Байдена від Барака Обами. Якщо останнього дехто вважає першим американським президентом після «холодної війни», який по-справжньому відкрив для себе Україну лише 2005 року, коли відвідав її з сенатором Лугаром, то Байден добре знайомий з українським бекграундом принаймні з початку 1980-х років. І не в останню чергу завдяки зусиллям української громади у Сполучених Штатах. Зокрема, на деяких публічних заходах він сам зізнавався, що багато дізнався про Україну від Роберта МакКоннелла, помічника міністра юстиції в адміністрації Рональда Рейгана і чоловіка Надії МакКонелл, американки українського походження, президента Фундації «Україна–США».

А вже за часів незалежності, нагадує «Главреду» радник Гельсінської комісії при Конгресі США Орест Дейчаківський, Байден головував на «українських» слуханнях у сенаті (включно з деякими тими, на яких заслуховувались кандидатури майбутніх американських послів в Україні), а в останні два роки до призначення віце-президентом був ще й автором кількох сенатських резолюцій на підтримку України. Так, скажімо, 18 вересня 2007 року Джо Байден подав на розгляд сенату документ під ємкою назвою: «резолюція, котра визнає досягнення українців на шляху демократії та свободи, і висловлює надію, що парламентські вибори 30 вересня 2007 року збережуть та розширять ці здобутки, забезпечать стабільний та репрезентативнй уряд». А 21 квітня 2008 року Байден ініціював резолюцію, яка висловлює «сильну підтримку» з боку Сенату декларації Бухарестського саміту, що Україна та Грузія стануть членами НАТО.


Деякі аналітики прогнозували, що за рівнем впливу Байден стане найнепомітнішим від часів Албена Барклі, віце-президента за часів Гаррі Трумена. Але, здається, вони дещо недооцінили ключового напарника Обами. Віце-президент, стверджують обізнані люди, має повний доступ до президентського графіку і може відвідувати заходи, котрі його цікавлять (подейкують, багато хто в адміністрації був здивований тим, як наполегливо президент намагався включити свого віце в ті чи інші заходи). Він начебто щотижня збирає команду радників Обами з питань національної безпеки. Йому, кажуть, вдалось вставити п’ять повноцінних копійок при формуванні політики (чи точніше її контурів) щодо Афганістану.


Чому приїжджає?

Візит Джо Байдена в Україну припадає саме на той час, коли суттєвих проблем у двосторонніх українсько-американських відносинах немає. Цей факт дипломатичного благополуччя між Києвом та Вашингтоном, як би це парадоксально не звучало, не виявився стовідсотковим благом для України.


Про те, що енергетика стане однією з ключових тем розмови і під час переговорів Байдена з українським керівництвом у Києві, свідчить хоча б той факт, що у дні перебування віце-президента на берегах Дніпра має бути, за нашою інформацією, заявлено про початок діяльності українсько-американської робочої групи з питань енергетичної безпеки.


Що бажає почути від Байдена в Києві українська сторона? По-перше, підтвердження готовності працювати за Хартією про стратегічне партнерство між Україною і США – документом, підписаним у грудні минулого року ще за попередньої адміністрації. Там, зокрема, йдеться про те, що «поглиблення інтеграції України до євроатлантичних структур є спільним пріоритетом», а також про те, що «сторони планують тісно співпрацювати над відбудовою і модернізацією потужностей української газотранспортної інфраструктури». До речі, під час переговорів у Києві якраз має бути конкретизовано, як саме виконувати ті чи інші положення Хартії.

По-друге, українці сподіваються (і це вже підтвердив на брифінгу заступник міністра закордоних справ Костянтин Єлісєєв) почути з вуст безпосередньо віце-президента підтвердження – як би це гіпердипломатично не звучало – територіальної цілісності та суверенітету України, а також підтримки курсу на євроатлантичну інтеграцію. На Банковій та Михайлівській виходять з того, що все це, звісно, вже лунало в тій чи іншій інтерпретації від представників нової адміністрації, проте такі публічні заяви з боку особисто віце-президента США будуть зовсім не зайвими після візиту Барака Обами до Москви. А особливо після його суперечливого сніданку з Владіміром Путіним, на якому, за версією російської сторони, американський президент пообіцяв враховувати інтереси РФ на пострадянському просторі. За версією неофіційної американської – відбулась не дуже приємна розмова, під час якої Путін фактично читав своєму американському колезі лекцію на тему України (досвіду у нього, як ми знаємо з Бухарестького саміту НАТО, достатньо), вдаючись до не дуже коректних випадів і на адресу Сполучених Штатів. Однак Барак Обама нічого «враховувати» йому не обіцяв.

До кого їде?


По-перше, наступні президентські вибори не будуть настільки важливими для Сполучених Штатів, як були вибори 2004 року. Свято народного волевиялення, що відбудеться в Україні за півроку, має значення для Сполучених Штатів лише в одному контексті – що після його завершення ситуація у країні хоча б частково стабілізується.

Не мають такого значення, як п’ять років тому, й конкретні персоналії. «Усі головні кандидати більшою чи меншою мірою налаштовані на інтеграцію до Європи», – це ключовий посил опитаних нами дипломатів та експертів. Звісно, кожен із них може мати свої персональні симпатії (в одній впливовій аналітичній структурі доводилось зустрічати палких прихильників Яценюка, в іншій – щирого симпатика Ющенка, котрий начебто єдиний з українських топ-політиків, хто «має чітку візію розвитку держави», а в діаспорі чимало вболівають за Тягнибока).

Зовнішньополітична орієнтація головних кандидатів у президенти важлива для Сполучених Штатів, проте нову адміністрацію, схоже, цілком влаштовує те, що найбільш рейтингова «трійка» (Янукович, Тимошенко, Яценюк) має більш помірні погляди, ніж Ющенко, в таких питаннях, як розвиток відносин із Росією (ніхто не є так критично налаштованим до сусідньої країни, як Президент Ющенко), і НАТО (ніхто, як Президент Ющенко не націлений так однозначно на інтеграцію в НАТО). Така «помірність» цілком вкладається в логіку нинішньої адміністрації – жодних різких рухів, поки триває ребрендинг Америки у світі, а президент заробляє політичні бали, потискаючи руки вчорашнім недругам Вашингтона.

Те, чого дійсно не розуміють в американській столиці – бажання Президента Ющенка балотуватись на другий термін. Причому як його відносні прихильники, так і ті, хто давно розчарувався у вчорашньому «героєві Помаранчевої революції». Більше того, стверджують вхожі до нової адміністрації співрозмовники «Главреда», якби Ющенко не заявляв про своє бажання балотуватись у президенти, в нього було б більше шансів побачитись із президентом Обамою до виборів, аніж є на сьогодні. Якщо, звісно, не брати до уваги потенційної можливості перехопити Барака Обаму в Нью-Йорук, вкулуарах Генеральної Асамблеї ООН, яка традиційно відбувається у вересні. Хоча заради справедливості варто зазначити, що з Меркель, котра планує переобиратись на канцлера вже у вересні цього року, Обама зустрічався кілька разів лише за останні два місяці. І це його право.

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Хто кому кум у вітчизняній політиці TOP


Ст. 6 «Обмеження щодо роботи близьких осіб» забороняє держслужбовцям мати в безпосередньому підпорядкуванні близьких родичів. Якщо родича-підлеглого неможливо перевести на іншу посаду, його треба буде звільнити, утім, «крім випадків, передбачених законодавством, що регулює питання доброчесної поведінки осіб, уповноважених на виконання функцій держави, органів місцевого самоврядування», тобто певне поле для маневру в кумів все ж таки залишається. Також забороняється сприяти родичам «у здійсненні ними підприємницької діяльності, одержанні субсидій, субвенцій, дотацій, кредитів або пільг; сприяти призначенням на посади осіб, які не мають переваг перед іншими кандидатами, неправомірно надавати перевагу фізичним і (або) юридичним особам у зв’язку з підготовкою (виданням) нормативно-правових актів» тощо.

Закон, що набере (якщо набере) чинності 1 січня 2010 року, загрожує порушникам як штрафами та позбавленням волі, так і занесенням до єдиного реєстру чиновників-коруп­ціонерів.


В українських традиціях кум (кума) – це набагато більше, ніж просто хрещений батько (матір) дитини. Утім, із приходом до влади в Україні Віктора Ющенка ця тема набула нового звучання. Звісно ж, і до Віктора Андрійовича політична еліта народ­жувала, хрестила дітей і ріднилася між собою. Однак саме при Ющенкові когорта його кумів прийшла до влади. Більшість із них згодом були усунуті від посад, частина потрапила у немилість. Утім, кумівство, як стверджує Віктор Балога, процвітає в оточенні Віктора Андрійовича і досі.

Куми Ющенка – президент Грузії Михайло Саакашвілі, голова Державної податкової адміністрації Сергій Буряк, два губернатори: Микола Палійчук (Івано-Франківська область) та Олександр Черевко (Чернігівська область), голова Ради НБУ Петро Порошенко і ще понад десяток не менш знаних українських політиків та банкірів.

У кумівстві з президентами, щоправда російськими, перебуває і екс-голова Адміністрації Кучми Віктор Медведчук. Його меншу доньку хрестили Володимир Путін та нинішня перша леді Росії Світлана Мєдвєдєва.

Міністр Юрій Павленко встиг поріднитися одразу з двома президентськими родинами: його синів хрестили і Леонід Кучма, і Катерина Ющенко.

Син одного з власників групи «Приват» Ігоря Коломойського поріднив його з бізнес-партнером Геннадієм Боголюбовим. Останній каже, що він сандак (у євреїв це особа, яка тримає на колінах немовля під час обряду обрізання) синові Коломойського.

Утім, чи не найголовнішим є те, що кумівські стосунки в українській політиці значно вищі за будь-які чвари. Наприклад, у кумах у бютівця Михайла Поживанова один із лідерів Партії регіонів Андрій Клюєв, у Сергія Буряка (БЮТ) – Віталій Хомутинник (ПР), у Давида Жванії (Народна самооборона), за деякими даними, – регіонал Андрій Деркач...

І в цьому, звісно, немає нічого поганого, доки родинні зв’язки не стають павутинням, що перетворює українську політику на кланову та кулуарну.

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Рейтинг неспроможних держав: Україна обійшла Росію на 39 позицій TOP
23червня, 2009

Україна є стабільнішою державою, ніж Росія. У рейтингу неспроможних держав Faіled states іndex, Київ обійшов Москву на 39 позицій, повідомляє українська служба Радіо Свобода.

Рейтинг Failed states index проводиться щорічно американськими Фондом миру та журналом Зовнішня політика та готується на основі 12 критеріїв - соціальних, економічних і політичних...

Перше, найгірше, місце у цьому рейтингу займає Сомалі. Далі - Зімбабве і Судан, де ситуація критична. За даними рейтингу, становище в Україні не набагато краще, ніж у минулому році: вона займає 110-те місце серед 177 держав. Водночас, сусідні з Україною Росія, Білорусь і Молдова опинилися в списку держав, які перебувають у небезпечній ситуації. Росія на 71-му місці, у Білорусі - 66-те, а у Молдови, де невирішеною залишається проблема Придністров'я, - 54-те. Крім того, сусідні поляки та угорці живуть вже в стабільних країнах.

У нинішньому рейтингу американські оглядачі звертають увагу на такі виклики для української державності, як розкол еліт і втрата довіри суспільства до влади.

Дослідник Фонду миру Марк Лукас пояснив найгірші показники Росії в порівнянні з Україною насамперед різним ступенем рівня демократії. "В Україні політичний розкол дуже глибокий, але все одно становище набагато прозоріше. Не вщухає конфлікт між Тимошенко і Ющенком, але це відбувається в межах демократичного процесу, тоді як у Росії фактично склалася однопартійна система", - вважає Марк Лукас...

"Якщо поглянути на цифри, то на перший погляд може здатися, що справи у Росії набагато кращі, але оскільки вона настільки залежна від доходів від продажу нафти і газу, то існує великий ризик інфляції, розшарування суспільства і коливань в економіці. Україна не має таких покладів, але її економіка більш диверсифікована", - говорить дослідник американського Фонду миру.


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Новини Посольства України у Федеративній республіці Німеччина TOP

22 червня 2009 р.

22 червня ц.р. в м.Бад-Емс, федеральна земля Рейнланд-Пфальц, відбулося урочисте відкриття пам’ятної дошки на будинку „Чотири вежі”, де в 1876 р. російський імператор Олександр ІІ підписав т.зв. „Емський указ” про заходи, спрямовані на подальше і системне придушення української мови і культури в цілому.

У заході взяли Посол України в ФРН Наталія Зарудна, співробітники Генконсульства України у Франфурті-на-Майні, близько 100 членів української громади практично зі всіх куточків Німеччини, а також представники німецької громадськості.

Зі словами вітання виступили бургомістр округу Бад-Емс Йозеф Остер і бургомістр міста Бад-Емс Оттмар Канц, які підкреслили значення збереження пам’яті про тогочасні події для усвідомлення важливості демократії та тих змін, що відбулися в Європі за останні роки, коли Україна не лише здобула свою незалежність, а й рішуче взяла курс на інтеграцію в Європейський Союз.

Від імені Української держави пам’ятну дошку відкрила Посол Наталія Зарудна, яка висловила подяку властям міста за підтримку ініціативи Генерального консульства України у Франкфурті-на-Майні щодо відновлення пам’ятної дошки, встановленої на цьому ж будинку в 1976 р. Світовим Конгресом Вільних Українців, яку було знищено невідомими варварами в 2007 р.


Наталія Зарудна розповіла про історичні умови, які передували виданню Емського указу, та інші цілеспрямовані дії царської Росії, щоб придушити національне самоусвідомлення українців та їхнє прагнення до свободи шляхом обмеження й викорінення зі вжитку української мови.


Свідченням непересічної уваги всього україномовного світу до події в м.Бад-Емс став вітальний лист від Світового Конгресу Українців, надісланий Президентом СКУ Євгеном Чолієм і Генеральним секретарем Стефаном Романівим, що його зачитав в ході урочистостей Генеральний консул України у Франкфурті-на-Майні Олександр Новосьолов.

За українськими традиціями, священики двох українських церков, представлених у ФРН, отець Анфір Остапчук (УАПЦ) та отець Роман Лірка (УГКЦ) відслужили молебень за Україну та здійснили обряд освячення пам’ятної дошки.

На завершення урочистостей над Бад-Емсом залунав величний духовний гімн України "Боже великий, єдиний, нам Україну храни!” у спільному виконанні всіх учасників зібрання.

Would the real Ukraine please stand up? TOP

June 23, 2009

Graham Stack


The R&B poll published on May 25 shows that for all the rhetoric about the Westward-bound Ukraine breaking free of Russia's malignant influence and Putin's imperialism, the reality on the ground is very different. "In fact, Vladimir Putin's high rating in Ukraine is nothing new, but quite steady," Lyashenko added. "It was over 50 percent even during the 'Orange Revolution'."

Opinion poll results published in May indicate that 58 percent of Ukrainians have a positive attitude toward Vladimir Putin, and 56 percent approve of the current Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Twenty-one percent take a neutral stance, and 16 percent think of them negatively -- 25 percent disapprove of Putin and 14 percent of Medvedev.

R&B's survey also found that 35 percent of Ukrainians would like to see Ukraine united with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, compared to 22 percent who wish to join the EU and ten percent who wanted to restore the Soviet Union. These results were confirmed by a poll published on June 17 by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). According to KIIS President Valery Khmelko, 23 percent of Ukrainians desire full unification with Russia -- compared to only 12 percent of Russians wanting the same.

Inarguably under the influence of the 2008 and 2009 political and economic crisis wracking Ukraine, the number of Ukrainians rooting for "reunification" has risen over the last year, from 20 percent to 23 percent, and the number of Russians in favor has fallen from 19 percent to 12 percent. "These findings also indicate that the 'prevailing willingness of the Russians to append Ukraine to their country, forming one state' is an erroneous idea, as the overwhelming majority of Russians do not want such a union," said Khmelko.

While only a quarter of Ukrainian respondents want full unification with Russia, 68 percent want an EU-style border-free regime with Russia, with Russia and Ukraine being "independent but friendly states" without a visa regime or custom controls. Only 7.8 percent of respondents were in favor of Ukraine's relations with Russia becoming the same as its relations with other countries, i.e. with border controls, customs and visas.


None of the current Ukrainian leaders can compete with Putin and Medvedev in terms of popularity. The pro-Russian head of the opposition Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovych currently enjoys a 25 percent approval rating, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, 14 percent, and the new face, Arsenyi Yatsenyuk, 13 percent. Only two percent of Ukrainians would vote for President Viktor Yushchenko, the most anti-Russian top Ukrainian official, in the upcoming elections in January of 2010.


Back in March, the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita published an opinion poll claiming that 56 percent of Polish respondents fear Vladimir Putin, and 58 percent believe that Russia's foreign policy endangers Poland's national security -- this despite the fact that Poland has no border with Russia other than in Kaliningrad, and, unlike the Ukraine, is a member of both NATO and the EU.

Complete article:

Verkhovyna -- MountainView Manor restoration TOP

After a brief pause we are back with an update about what is exciting and new at Verkhovyna -- MountainView Manor. That's right, we are upgrading our name to "Manor", which now better reflects our primary status as a classy place for your weddings, banquets, retreats, conventions, fairs and festivals.

We had another hard working winter and performed major restoration of our two flagship buildings. The Ardmore Mansion had more work done with stone around our fireplaces, extra air-conditioning, and a kitchen more tailored to our chef's needs to serve the fabulous food we are getting so known for. We had numerous weddings, banquets and parties with high praise for the ambiance and cuisine. Word is spreading and our schedule is filling up with bookings.

The Black Sea building received a large addition to the rear of the building. This addition was turned into a large and well equipped kitchen to serve our Ballroom, pub, and festival needs. Additional renovations were completed to the ballroom windows, stage and lighting to make it more inviting for larger weddings and banquets. The Black Sea Ballroom can now accommodate 300 plus guests or over 450 for social events. Finally, the whole building, including the Ballroom, grand entry, and Pub is now air-conditioned! We can now offer a guarantee that guests will enjoy cool, fresh air for any event. Please check some fresh pictures on our web site, www.MVmanor.com.

We were so happy to provide our facilities for the wedding of locals Danusia Lukiw and Oleh Chernyk, who met at Verkhovyna. The wedding ceremony was held in St. Vladimir's  wooden church across the road and beautiful pictures were taking on the grounds. They enjoyed a cocktail hour in the Mansion and the reception in the Black Sea Ballroom. The traditional ceremonies with blessings, korohway, wedding party introductions and first dances reflected the happiness on the faces of Danusia, Oleh, and their guests on this happy occasion. Everyone had a great time and did not leave until the wee hours of the morning. The next day, guests enjoyed a brunch at the Mansion and relaxed in the beautiful weather on the decks.

The July 17 -19 weekend, the 34th Verkhovyna Ukrainian Festival boasted the best performances ever, with a full concert by the "Papa Duke" band and the unmatched violin virtuoso Vasyl Popadiuk. The best dance ensemble from Ontario, Ukraina, complemented the "Dukes" with the amazing singer "Anytchka" bringing her songs from Ukraine. Also trio of National Radiocompany of Ukraine from Kyiv -- Tetyana Malomukh, Olha Cherniy and Kateryna Kovryk spiced the program. As in the past, our goal was to bring a combination of the best performers and up and coming stars. The great food, camping, zabavas and beautiful grounds make the Verkhovyna Festival unique and so loved. Generations who have grown up, went through camps, met and got married there keep coming home; especially now, when this enchanting place is coming back to life, better than ever before.

So please keep checking our web site for the latest news, and spread the word to your friends and family. Verkhovyna is getting more beautiful by the day, and is ready to welcome you. Upcoming events are the Professional Day BBQ (Aug.1), Eurasia Festival (Aug. 22/23), and the second annual Oktoberfest. We are still open to vendors for all these events. You can download posters from our web site www.MVresort.com and distribute them in your church, social halls, or places of business.

Volunteers and help are always appreciated. Just drop us an email to Yuri@MVresort.com

If you would like to receive mailings and participate in our Yahoo group, please go to our web site www.MVresort.com and click on "MountainView Newsletter"

Thank you and we hope that you will enjoy our facilities and stay in touch!

Yuri Blanarovich
for MVmanor.com crew

Doctors of Ukraine visit Wisconsin TOP


Jessica Shawley

Eruptions of laughter rang out from the deck of Dr. Janice Alexander's home in Arcadia last Sunday as several people gathered together under a picture perfect, blue, sunny sky for a block party.

Paired with the uncommon foreign words being spoken, it was an attention grabbing commotion.

This was the sound of local doctors and friends interacting with several Ukrainian doctors.

Six of the party-goers are part of a group of ten Ukrainian doctors who traveled to western Wisconsin in June through a program called Community Connections through World Services of La Crosse. Two were interpreters helping narrow the gap between two immensely different languages and cultures.

The purpose of the Ukrainian doctors' trips was twofold.

First, according to Community Connections, these doctors, each from the Kharkiv Region of Ukraine, were here for a professional public health exchange.

The were given the opportunity to "observe American evidence-based sexually transmitted infection (STI) medical and public health services (including prevention, screening and treatment), standards and protocols."

These professionals spent a significant portion of their three week stay in the Franciscan Skemp Hospital in La Crosse, learning about American practices from top doctors in the area.

Kharkiv faces an unusually high rate of STI's and HIV/AIDS. According to Community Connections, Ukraine's protocols and standards on STI screening, diagnosis and treatment are outdated, sometimes going back to the 1970's.

Their specific medical goals were to:

  • Gain first-hand experience of how preventive, diagnostic and curative care for STI's are provided in the U.S.

  • Explore how public and private sectors cooperate to address the STI issues and to update protocols and guidelines

  • Establish U.S. contacts for ongoing information sharing as they work to achieve international standards and develop professional training for Ukraine public health officials and providers.

Second, the doctors were here to expand their cultural knowledge and understanding of America and its citizens.

Community Connections is a program that aims to "promote public diplomacy through the exchange of cultural ideas and values among participants, U.S. families and local community host organizations."

Each of the doctors was paired up with a host family for the duration of their stay, learning about daily interactions, duties, routines and more.

Some of the entertaining, cultural portions of their trip included a La Crosse Queen sightseeing tour, a tour of the state capitol, a tour of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and, of course, Sunday's picnic.

Ukraine: Culture war arrives, with bans on porn and gambling TOP


David L. Stern | GlobalPost

KYIV -- Igor Gaidai considers himself an artist, who, among other things, produces erotic photography that glorifies the beauty of the feminine form.

In his photo studio and gallery in the center of the Ukrainian capital, he displays his various projects, including one called "Saman," which hearkens back to a "pre-Christian era" when "witches" roamed the earth. In it, naked women are depicted in various poses with brooms, as if in mid-flight, and are meant to glorify "the power of feminine energy, beauty and wisdom." His main display window also exhibits four young nude mothers, partially covered by their equally nude infants.

In recent days Gaidai may have become an outlaw.

In a flurry of moral protectionism, Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, overwhelmingly agreed last month to beef up the country's law on pornography, outlawing its "possession" in addition to "its sale, distribution and manufacture." Signed last week by President Viktor Yushchenko, the addition to the criminal code has caused many observers to fear that a crackdown against all erotic materials may soon follow.

The culture wars have arrived in Ukraine -- albeit with a post-Soviet twist. The pornography law closely followed another new piece of Ukrainian legislation attempting to eradicate immoral living. Casinos, slot machine halls and bookmaker offices were closed practically overnight in June, when deputies voted to enact an immediate ban on all gambling-related activities.

"We want every Ukrainian family not to have a porno mag in the bedroom dresser, but a Bible," said Viktor Shvets, chairman of the parliament committee that drafted the pornography law.

Shvets says that the legislation's purpose is to prevent the accumulation of large quantities of pornography with the intention to then sell it. Deputies also originally intended to target child pornography, said officials with close knowledge of the law, but "got a little carried away."

Despite the terseness of the 38-word text that was passed -- or perhaps because of it -- many struggled to understand the law's actual intent. It came as news to many, for example, that the sale and distribution of pornography has already been banned for some time in Ukraine.

More of a problem is that "pornography" is not defined in the criminal code. According to Shvets, a special commission of experts must be assembled to determine exactly what pornography is every time an arrest is made.

The law's vagueness is actually the point, said Gaidai. "The text gives the government the ability to act as it wants," he said. "This is a step back into the Middle Ages."

(Some news reports and blogs claimed that the legislation outlawed all pornography, except that needed for "medicinal purposes." The phrase is not anywhere in the original text, however.)

Political observers say that the new laws are an attempt to score easy populist points in the run-up to hotly contested presidential elections in January. Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko immediately seized upon the gambling law, which her party co-authored, claiming that she was protecting the population and asking citizens to call a hotline if they discovered any underground gambling houses.

"This is a classic political stunt," said Volodymyr Fesenko, director of the Penta political think tank in Kyiv, adding that a small percentage of the population takes advantage of gambling and pornography, while bans are popular among the poor, elderly and religious.

Or as Igor Samoylov, general director of the Avalon entertainment center and casino in Kyiv puts it, referring to the gambling law: "This was a sanctimonious decision."

The gambling law mirrors a similar one that took effect in Russia July 1, moving gambling halls from cities to Las Vegas-like centers in investment-needy regions in the Russian hinterland.

But the Russian legislation, adopted back in 2006, allowed businesses a grace period to adjust and close down; in Ukraine it was just a matter of days. Valerii Pysarenko, one of the Ukrainian law's authors, says that the harsh terms were necessary to rip up by the roots an "epidemic on the level of AIDS or tuberculosis."

"Russia's experience showed us that a transitional period doesn't work -- it didn't facilitate the building of the special zones," he said.

Pysarenko claimed that 70 percent of those visiting gambling halls are "youth." What's more, the government earns only 2 percent in taxes from what he says is a $5 billion a year industry. Anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of the businesses are working in the shadow economy, he added.

Gambling proponents concede that the industry has negatively affected the country's poor, but say that this is primarily the fault of the government, which inadequately controlled the growth of slot machine halls, the main culprit. More to the point, they say, the law has closed a legitimate and legally-working line of business, throwing more than 200,000 people out of work in the middle of a debilitating economic crisis.

"A civilized state would try to change the situation and regulate it -- not close it down completely," said Aleksei Konshin, director of the Aurum casino, which shut its doors on June 11.

Just over a year ago Konshin achieved his life's goal after 18 years in the casino business when he opened his own establishment, modeled on an English private club. All the fixtures were state of the art: furniture from Italy, roulette wheels from England, walnut wood fixtures, all surrounding a plush marble fireplace. He says he invested more than $3 million of his own money, which he hoped to earn back in three years. Now it is all lost. He did not have outside investors. "Thank God -- I'm much more relaxed," he said.

"The government delivered a knockout punch. It was like a meteor dropping from the sky," Konshin said, standing in the middle of the deathly silent gaming room. "It's as if you are playing blackjack and the dealer suddenly grabs all your cards and money and says 'That's all.'"

Пробудження чарівної "Верховини" TOP

Як ця снігурочка, «Верховина», що майже пропала для Української громади, після періоду занедбання переживає ренесанс і відбудову в руках нових господарів, родини Блонаровичів. Уже минулого року можна було помітити великі зміни під час 33-го фестивалю на «Верховині». Відновлений головний будинок «Ardmore Mansion» і «Чорне Море» - «Black Sea»  зал і бар гостили забави а новий постійний павільйон приймав різні імпрези на свіжому повіттрі.

Кетскільска сторона Ардмор має банкетний зал, дві бари і веранди, чудовий вестібюль і 9 люксусових кімнат.

Верховина також рекламує себе для решта світу як «MountainView Manor» щоби краще віддзеркалити її престижні послуги для ширшого кола клієнтів інших національностей та американскої спільноти. Головний будинок, знаний як «Ardmore Mansion», а танцювальний зал і бар, як  «Black Sea Ballroom & Pub».

Взимку Верховинці продовжували відновлення та розбудову оселі. У головному будунку встановлене додаткове обладнання на кухні, покращено кліматизацію і оновлено інтер’єр. На «Чорне море» чекало генеральне відновлення залу і бару, закінчення нової кухні, повна реставрація фасади будинку і облаштування прилеглих територій.

Клієнти які уже мали нагоду  насолодитись гостинністю Верховини не можуть нахвалитись як гарно і приємно там, повітря, атмосфера та пишні харчі майстрів шеф-кухарів. Головний будинок вільно приймає понад 150 гостей у банкетному залі, двох барах і двох верандах с «камінною площадкою» з котрих можна насолоджуватись красою «Верховини». Інтер’єр дає немало нагод насолоджуватись теплою атмосферою та чудові ракурси для незабутніх фото. Тут ви знайдете теплу атмосферу старого-доброго люксу з минулого, яке неможливо відшукати у сучасних готелях.

Вестибюл Ардмор нагадує красу минулого своєю теплою атмосферою

«Чорне Море» гостило в перший раз весілля Данусі і Олега, які виросли і перебули табори п. Прийми-Богачевської на «Верховині». Весілля почалось шлюбом у дерев’яній церкві Св. Володимира. Забава почалась у головному будинку, де гостей привітала скульптура з льоду та пишні страви якими присутні насолоджувались на свіжому повітрі і в стінах чудової палати. Навіть нехотілось перейтись до будинку «Чорне Море». Перейшовши лоунджем у чудово декорований квітами зал, усі аж зойкнули. Нова кліматизація, освітлення, вікна, сцена та декор не до впізнання. Радісні обличчя молодих, їх батьків та гостей краще за будь-які похвали ілюстрували те, що  зміни, яких зазнала чудова «Верховина» та її високопрофесійний персонал, прийшлися гостям до смаку.

Після привітань та батьківських благословеннь, перших танців та промов гості насолоджувались смачними стравами, що приготували шеф-кухарі «Верховини». Забава тривала до пізньої ночі, навіть не хотілось розходитись. Більшість ночувала на «Верховині», а в неділю рано підкріпили сили смачним буфет-бранч у залі і на веранді «Ардмор».

Господарів «Верховини» заслужено нагородили компліментами від молодої пари, батьків та гостей за їхню працю на підготовленню незабутнього весілля. Старання перетворити Верховину на престижний куток української землі на терені Америки поволі приносить свої плоди. Вістка про чудову красу природи і атмосферу та смачна кухня починають приваблювати не лише українців але й представників інших націй, в тому числі й американців, Календар імпрез поступово заповнюється чимраз щільніше і щільніше.

Терен і повітря «Верховини», її відновленні будинкі, мотель, павільйон, сцена та спортивні майданчики створюють ідеальне місце для найрізноманітніших імпрез: весіль, банкетів, реколекцій, симпозіумів, конвенцій, таборів, спортивних турнірів, ярмарок, фестивалів, концертів. Сукупно «Верховина» може прийняти та високоякісно обслужити до 15,000 гостей. Безкоштовний паркінг, озеро, кемпінґ і затишні кімнати приваблюють не тількі старшу генерацію українців, які виросли на «Верховині» але також їх дітей та онуків, які теж, тепер вже сміло можуть гордитись новою, чарівною «Верховиною».

Традиційний Верховина Фестиваль приваблює найкращих артистив і численну публику.

17 – 19 липня Верховинці відсвяткували 34-ий черговий Верховина-Фестиваль з високоякісною програмою. Вперше, разом виступулу гурт «Papa Duke» і наш славний віртуоз-скрипаль Василь Попадюк з повним концертом та танцювальний ансамбль Україна – один з найкращих у Канаді. Популярна «Анничка» зі Львова виконувала пісні зі свого об’ємного репертуару. Передові артисти: бандуристка Оксана Телепко, Андрій Солоденко, гурти Золота Булава, Анна-Марія Ентертейнмент, та дебютантка Христина Махно забезпечили програму, яку неможливо побачити на інших фестивалях. У п’ятницю вечером забава »Паб Найт» під звуки «Світанка», а у суботу дві забави де пригравали «Золота Булава» з Монреалю та «Світанок». У неділю  - Архієрейська Служба Божа та посвячення будинків «Верховини» а після обіду -- знову фестивальна програма

Наступні заплановані події включають День Професіоналів Барбекю (2-го серпня) Євразія-Фестиваль (22/23-го серпня) та Октоберфест. За детальнішою інформацією просимо відвідати веб-сайт www.Verkhovyna.com або www.MVmanor.com також можна отримати довідку телефоном:  845 856-1105

Левко Карпатський

У Києві відкрився парк 'Мамаєва слобода' TOP

Бі-Бі-Сі, Київ

Роман Лебедь

За кілька кілометрів від центру Києва відкрили козацьке селище "Мамаєва слобода". Автори ідеї своєрідного парку виношували її мало не два десятиліття, а на будівництво пішло 8 років. Тепер тут майже 100 будівель.

У Мамаєвій слободі частують козацькою юшкою, до якої додають горілки, возять на конях, там також можна відсвяткувати весілля.

Церква Покрови Пресвятої Богородиці на території парку - копія тієї, що була колись на Запорізькій Січі. Принаймні у цьому запевняють організатори козацького селища і додають, що це перший козацький храм, побудований в Україні з часів знищення Січі.


У церкві Покрови Пресвятої
Богородиці, яка є копією тієї, що
була колись на Запорізькій Січі,
можна взяти шлюб
Як і всі інші будівлі та предмети побуту, він є копією, виконаною сучасними майстрами за старовинними кресленнями, або за зразками музейних експонатів.

Це і є основною відмінністю парку від вже існуючого парку народної архітектури та побуду Пирогово в Києві, каже засновник «Мамаєвої слободи» козак Костянтин Олійник:

«Ми хочемо відроджувати забуті трудові навички, ремесла, звичаї, обряди згідно календарного циклу. На приклад, обряд українського весілля. Для молодих людей це буде цікаво – навіть першу шлюбну ніч можна буде переночувати в хаті,» - розповідає козак Костянтин.

Окрім церкви тут є військова канцелярія, водяний та вітряний млини, хати ворожки, сотника, шинок, театр, ставок, повен риби... Усе це, за словами Костянтина Олійника, відтворили, аби розвінчати міф про те, що козаки нібито були далекими від культури козаками, які «на салі спали, сало їли і салом вкривалися»:

«Ідея для нас було проста і зрозуміла – спробувати змусити українців відчути смак національного життя. Це фактично таке своєрідне євшан-зілля, яке ми матеріалізували.»

А ще в Мамаєвій слободі співають народних пісень, танцюють, стріляють з гармат.

Тут планують відродити забуті українські традиції, влаштовувати народні гуляння з нагоди різних свят. Чи не родзинкою є кінне шоу.

Козак Олег, який готує номери, розповідає, що іноді людей навіть важче навчити, ніж коней: «В радянські часи це називали джигітовкою – від кавказького слова «джигіт», ну і зараз так говорять. Але ми ж не джигіти, ми козаки, значить у нас козацький герц. Це акробатичні вправи, які козаки використовували в ближньому бою.»

Козак Мамай є одним з найпопулярніших персонажів народних переказів та легенд, символізує козака-лицаря, якого називають космогонічним уособленням українського народу загалом.

Організатори парку сумніваються, що він насправді міг заснувати слободу в Києві – там, де бере початок ріка Либідь.

Але якщо такого поселення і не було насправді, то тепер воно є, каже Костянтин Олійник.

Заповідник Асканія-Нова - у півфіналі всесвітнього конкурсу “Сім нових чудес природи” TOP


Біосферний заповідник «Асканія-Нова», який представляє Україну на всесвітньому конкурсі «Сім нових чудес природи», вийшов до півфіналу конкурсу.

Про це повідомляється офіційному сайті акції “Сім нових чудес природи”.

Другий етап конкурсу тривав з 1 січня по 8 липня 2009 року. Понад 250 номінантів були розподілені на 7 груп. «Асканія-Нова» змагалась у другій за чисельністю (57 учасників) групі Е – «Національні парки, природні заповідники, ліси». В підсумку вона увійшла до 11 переможців, які набрали найбільше голосів інтернет-аудиторії у групі. Таким чином, інтернет-голосуванням названо 77 номінантів, які змагатимуться на наступному етапі конкурсу.

Цей етап триватиме до 21 липня цього року – цього дня експертна комісія, яку очолює колишній Генеральний директор ЮНЕСКО Федеріко МАЙОР, назве 28 фіналістів конкурсу. Після цього на сайті акції поновиться голосування, за підсумками якого у 2011 році будуть названі “Сім нових чудес природи” у світі. За оцінками Оргкомітету, у голосуванні можуть взяти участь до 100 мільйонів людей. Організатором конкурсу витупає швейцарська неприбуткова організація «Корпорація нового відкритого світу» (New Open World Corporation, NOWC).

Цілинний степ «Асканія-Нова» – єдина в Європі ділянка степу, якого ніколи не торкався плуг. Біосферний заповідник займає територію близько 11 тисяч гектарів, що є ареалом для кількох сотень видів рослин, тварин і птахів. Минулого року «Асканія-Нова» стала одним з переможців загальнонаціональної акції «7 природних чудес України», здобувши найбільшу підтримку експертів та посівши перше місце за загальною кількістю набраних балів.

Під час голосування у конкурсі заповідник протягом тривалого часу поступово, але впевнено піднімався в рейтинговому голосуванні – з 46-ї на 43-ю позицію, з 43-ї на 41-ту, потім на 39-ту. А вже у червні “Асканія” за один тиждень здійснила стрімкий “прорив” до лідерів – з 39-го місця на 14-те. Кілька тижнів заповідник тримався на цій позиції, але в останні дні зміг обійти кілька учасників і потрапити до числа переможців у своїй групі.

Повідомляючи на брифінгу у Верховній Раді про успішну участь України в акції, заступник голови Верховної Ради України Микола ТОМЕНКО висловив вдячність Оргкомітету акції «Покажемо світу природні чудеса України», який організовував підтримку «Асканії» та всім громадянам, які віддали свій голос за українського номінанта. За оцінками Оргкомітету в інтернет- та телефонному голосуванні взяло участь більш як 100 тисяч українців.

«Про заповідник «Асканія-Нова» вже на сьогодні дізналися мільйони громадян з різних країн світу. Участь у конкурсі продемонструвала той факт, що українське суспільство активно реагує на позитивні проекти. Спільними зусиллями ми реалізували проект, що сприяв суттєвому покращенню іміджу України у світі», - сказав М.ТОМЕНКО.

Він наголосив, що головне завдання участі України у світовому конкурсі виконано: «Асканія-Нова» серед 77 найкращих природних чудес світу. М.ТОМЕНКО також зазначив, що «на жаль, ми не можемо вплинути на вихід «Асканії» у фінал конкурсу, однак, в разі позитивного рішення експертів, Оргкомітет готовий буде запропонувати формат участі України у фіналі, щоб і далі пропагувати красивий образ нашої держави».

Holocaust: The Ignored Reality
Volume 56, Number 12 · July 16, 2009

Timothy Snyder

[...] Ukraine's suffering still overlooked by world

Yet even this corrected image of the Holocaust conveys an unacceptably incomplete sense of the scope of German mass killing policies in Europe. The Final Solution, as the Nazis called it, was originally only one of the exterminatory projects to be implemented after a victorious war against the Soviet Union. Had things gone the way that Hitler, Himmler, and Göring expected, German forces would have implemented a Hunger Plan in the Soviet Union in the winter of 1941–1942. As Ukrainian and south Russian agricultural products were diverted to Germany, some 30 million people in Belarus, northern Russia, and Soviet cities were to be starved to death. The Hunger Plan was only a prelude to Generalplan Ost, the colonization plan for the western Soviet Union, which foresaw the elimination of some 50 million people.


Thus when one considers the total number of European civilians killed by totalitarian powers in the middle of the twentieth century, one should have in mind three groups of roughly equal size: Jews killed by Germans, non-Jews killed by Germans, and Soviet citizens killed by the Soviet state. As a general rule, the German regime killed civilians who were not German citizens, whereas the Soviet regime chiefly killed civilians who were Soviet citizens.


The emphasis on Auschwitz and the Gulag understates the numbers of Europeans killed, and shifts the geographical focus of the killing to the German Reich and the Russian East. Like Auschwitz, which draws our attention to the Western European victims of the Nazi empire, the Gulag, with its notorious Siberian camps, also distracts us from the geographical center of Soviet killing policies. If we concentrate on Auschwitz and the Gulag, we fail to notice that over a period of twelve years, between 1933 and 1944, some 12 million victims of Nazi and Soviet mass killing policies perished in a particular region of Europe, one defined more or less by today's Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. More generally, when we contemplate Auschwitz and the Gulag, we tend to think of the states that built them as systems, as modern tyrannies, or totalitarian states. Yet such considerations of thought and politics in Berlin and Moscow tend to overlook the fact that mass killing happened, predominantly, in the parts of Europe between Germany and Russia, not in Germany and Russia themselves.


The geographic, moral, and political center of the Europe of mass killing is the Europe of the East, above all Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic States, lands that were subject to sustained policies of atrocity by both regimes. The peoples of Ukraine and Belarus, Jews above all but not only, suffered the most, since these lands were both part of the Soviet Union during the terrible 1930s and subject to the worst of the German repressions in the 1940s. If Europe was, as Mark Mazower put it, a dark continent, Ukraine and Belarus were the heart of darkness.


Russian martyrdom and heroism, now loudly proclaimed in Putin's Russia, must be placed against the larger historical background. Soviet Russians, like other Soviet citizens, were indeed victims of Stalinist policy: but they were much less likely to be killed than Soviet Ukrainians or Soviet Poles, or members of other national minorities.


During the war, many Soviet Russians were killed by the Germans, but far fewer proportionately than Belarusians and Ukrainians, not to mention Jews. Soviet civilian deaths are estimated at about 15 million. About one in twenty-five civilians in Russia was killed by the Germans during the war, as opposed to about one in ten in Ukraine (or Poland) or about one in five in Belarus.

Belarus and Ukraine were occupied for much of the war, with both German and Soviet armies passing through their entire territory twice, in attack and retreat. German armies never occupied more than a small portion of Russia proper, and that for shorter periods. Even taking into account the siege of Leningrad and the destruction of Stalingrad, the toll taken on Russian civilians was much less than that on Belarusians, Ukrainians, and Jews. Exaggerated Russian claims about numbers of deaths treat Belarus and Ukraine as Russia, and Jews, Belarusians, and Ukrainians as Russians: this amounts to an imperialism of martyrdom, implicitly claiming territory by explicitly claiming victims. This will likely be the line propounded by the new historical committee appointed by President Dmitri Medvedev to prevent "falsifications" of the Russian past. Under legislation currently debated in Russia, statements such as those contained in this paragraph would be a criminal offense.


The preoccupation with Ukraine as a source of food was shared by Hitler and Stalin. Both wished to control and exploit the Ukrainian breadbasket, and both caused political famines: Stalin in the country as a whole, Hitler in the cities and the prisoner-of-war camps. Some of the Ukrainian prisoners who endured starvation in those camps in 1941 had survived the famine in 1933. German policies of starvation, incidentally, are partially responsible for the notion that Ukrainians were willing collaborators in the Holocaust. The most notorious Ukrainian collaborators were the guards at the death facilities at Treblinka, Be zec, and Sobibor. What is rarely recalled is that the Germans recruited the first cadres of such men, captured Soviet soldiers, from their own prisoner-of-war camps. They rescued some people from mass starvation, one great crime in the east, in order to make them collaborators in another, the Holocaust.

Complete article: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22875

Nobel Prize winner survived the Holocaust with help from Ukrainian neighbors TOP
July 20, 2009

KYIV Ukraine (JTA) -- A monument to Nazi victims was dedicated in western Ukraine.

The memorial in Elyhovichi village in the Zolochev district of the Lvov region, was dedicated July 15. The commemoration ceremony included local officials, rabbis, representatives of the Jewish community, and guests from Israel and the United States who were born in the region.

The memorial was built on the initiative of American and Israeli organizations, and personally on the initiative of Roald Hoffmann, a chemist and Nobel Prize winner who was born in Zolochev and survived the Holocaust with help from Ukrainian neighbors.

More than 3,000 Jews in Elyhovichi were killed by the Nazis, and more than 14,000 in the Zolochev district in 1941-42

Завжди тутешні. Про «чистоту крові» й українську мову TOP
Кельтська хата, реконструйована німцями,
— ну просто як бойківська в Карпатах.
В інтернеті й часописах нині мусується тема расизму в Україні. Молодіжні угруповання ратують за «чистоту нації», не знаючи ні її історії, ні мови. Підґрунтям для зверхності є псевдонауковий і застарілий науковий матеріал та цілковите невігластво стосовно сучасних досягнень мовознавців. Адже їхні праці дають можливість по–новому побачити й осягнути процеси формування націй. Українським прихильникам «чистоти крові» буде корисно дізнатися про формування нації українців. Загальновідома інформація та матеріали наукових праць, зокрема професора Київського національного університету імені Тараса Шевченка Костянтина Тищенка, мають дещо очистити «чисту кров» від непритаманного українцям вірусу ксенофобії.

Скіфське відлуння сучасної мови

Відомо, що на території нинішньої України в різні часи мешкали трипільці, арійці, скіфи, кельти, ґоти, різні племена слов’ян, русичі, козаки і, врешті, «десь узялись» українці. Мовознавці дослідили тяглість існування тут попередниць нашої сучасної мови — прото— і праукраїнського варіантів говірок місцевих слов’ян. Утім зараз згадаймо про скіфів, кельтів та ґотів.

Завдяки Геродоту відомо, що його сучасники уявляли собі Скіфію як великий квадрат зі сторонами по 20 днів дороги (приблизно 700 км) обабіч Дніпра. Розмовляли скіфи та їхні родичі сармати мовами, що належали до індоіранської гілки індоєвропейської родини мов. Найбільший слід у Європі по собі залишили алани. Групи аланських племен воювали навіть на теренах Іспанії та Північної Африки. Інші племена, до яких «влилися» алани, іноді позичали їхнє ім’я. У наш час особливо близькою до мови скіфо–сарматських племен є одна із сучасних іранських мов — осетинська.

По собі іранці на теренах України залишили близько 6000 топонімів. Іранські назви на теренах України дають найраніші (VII—V ст. до н. е.) мовні свідчення про виробництво міді й заліза, виготовлення цих металів із руди, про кування металевих знарядь. І про те, що тутешні мешканці мали міста й судову владу. У топонімах України представлені імена майже всіх іранських племен. Словник української мови має десятки слів, спільних з іранськими мовами. Два українські божества мають іранські імена — Хорс і Симаргл. Учені доводять, що й сама система сформованих релігійних понять була запозичена слов’янами від іранців. Авеста була відома пращурам українців упродовж тисячоліть: її потужний лексичний і семантичний вплив є в усіх трьох хронологічних пластах іранізмів українського словника. На всіх українських етнічних територіях місцеві говірки містять іранізми. Та найпомітніший іранізм сучасних українців — це фаринґальне «г», яке ще є у словаків, чехів, верхньолужицькій мові та в прикордонних говірках сусідніх з Україною держав.

«Державна мова» кельтів

У середині I тисячоліття до н. е. на просторах Європи від Ґаллії та Ґалісії (Іспанія) до української Галичини й турецької Галатії проживали кельто–венедські племена індоєвропейців. Цей хоробрий і яскравий, фізично сильний народ створив своєрідну імперію. Кельтські племена поважали сфери впливу сусідів, але рідко діяли разом. У 3 ст. до н.е. від Малої Азії до Шотландії і Андалузії можна було подорожувати в єдиному культурному й мовному просторі.

Причетність до цієї «кельтської осі» Галичини вперше унаочнив Сергій Шелухин у книзі про кельтські корені Руси, виданій ще 1929 року. А відкриття у селі Бовшів безперечних археологічних свідчень присутності кельтів на Дністрі остаточно поклало край наївним тлумаченням походження назви «Галичина» від пташки.

Латинська назва кельтів, за Цезарем, була галлі, а грецька — галатаі. Об’єднання з трьох кельтських племен, що переправилися до Малої Азії з Балкан, греки й римляни звали галатами. Слов’янським звуковим відповідником етноніму «галати» виступає «голот». Значення слова «гал» у мовах самих кельтів — війна, могутність, могти, відвага, міць, жорстокість, пристрасть, ненависть. З огляду на це цікавим є значення українських слів: «галай» — запальна людина, крикун, зірвиголова; «ґаламаґа» — нахаба, зухвалець; «галабурда» — бешкетник; «голінний, голенний» — хвацький, жвавий, охочий до чогось, заповзятливий. Ці слова описують певні риси кельтської вдачі. Поряд із даними археології, топоніміки, антропології, етнографії, до слідів кельтського перебування в Галичині слід зарахувати й мовне явище реґресивної асиміляції, відоме на всій території Галичини.

За сучасними уявленнями археологів, експансія кельтів уперше торкнулася слов’ян близько 500 р. до н. е. Просуваючись із Ґаллії на схід південним краєм тодішніх ґерманських теренів, вольки–«мандрівники» стали відомі слов’янам під германізованою назвою «волохи». Літописці поселяють витіснених угорцями з Паннонії волохів на Волині, а латинська та німецька назви Волині досі пов’язують цю українську землю з вольками. Згодом кельти–волохи стали слов’янами–волинянами. Арабський історик Аль–Масуді у 947 році пише про волинян: «це корінь із коренів слов’янських, поважаний між народами слов’янськими і має першість між ними». Аль–Масуді також згадує ім’я князя волинян — Маджака. Через кельтську мову отримуємо прямий відповідник легендарного валлійського князя на ім’я Мадог (добра людина, справедливий, праведний).

Древляни із насіння неврів

В останні століття до н. е. на території Полісся з’являється кельтське плем’я неврів. Вони були добре відомі не лише історикам античності, а й поетам. В одній з античних поезій згадується невр на вкритім бронею коні. Неври спільно з древлянами та за участі ґотів створили потужну державу, яка розбудовувала єдину оборонну систему, ідеально припасовану до місцевого рельєфу — Змієві вали. За тисячу років неври розчинилися у древлянах. По собі вони лишили специфічний поліський діалект, назви населених пунктів та річок. Цікавими є літописні згадки про древлян. Ще у Х столітті свого князя Ніскиню деревляни називали Мал Ніскиня (давньою ірландською mal означає «князь, шляхтич, пан»). А знахабнілого столичного Ігоря стратили суто по–кельтськи, розчахнувши його між двома пригнутими деревами.

Дивує замовчування літописцем доварязької державності у Подесенні, а вона існувала і залишила масштабні археологічні пам’ятки. Столицею сіверської землі міг бути розташований за 20 кілометрів від Чернігова Седнів, в околицях якого спостерігаємо багату кельтську топонімію. Рюриковичі перейменували Седнів у Сновеськ і розмістили в ньому гарнізон у тисячу воїнів. Але місцеве населення через тисячоліття зберегло свою назву — Седнів. Варто зазначити, що типовим озброєнням похованих у сіверянських курганах були броня, щит і меч: у словнику слов’янських мов слова «щит» і «броня» визнані кельтськими запозиченнями.

Перші оприлюднені академіком Олексієм Шахматовим у 1911 році кельтизми у слов’янських мовах були сприйняті критично, але тепер учені до кельтських запозичень відносять десятки слів, навіть слово «сало».

Блиск ґотів

Про міграцію ґотів у II—III ст. із Південної Балтії через Волинь у Надчорномор’я та їхню державу вченим відомо чимало завдяки праці археологів. Згодом на територію України приходять інші ґерманські племена: ґепіди та ланґобарди. По собі вони лишили згадку, зокрема, в українському весільному обряді. Суфікс масового вжитку –енко у найпоширенішому типі українських прізвищ — також прадавня ґерманська мовна спадщина мільйонів українців. Те саме стосується суфіксів –инк–/–інк–/ен(ь)к— у назвах річок і 700 населених пунктів України. Скептики можуть відвідати італійську Ломбардію, де мешкають нащадки ланґобардів, ґотів та ґепідів. Тлумачний словник італійської мови виводить етимологію імен осіб і назв населених пунктів Ломбардії із суфіксом –енґо від германського суфікса –інґ, який вказує по батькові. Одним із прикладів є Мартиненґи (нащадок Мартина) — відомий рід військових із Брешії. Досить поширеним у Ломбардії є і прізвище Романенґо. Має свій слід того ж явища й Іспанія.

То з погляду прихильників «чистоти крові» виходить, що іраномовні скіфи подарували нам «гекання», а самі кудись безслідно зникли? Та ще й кельтів із ґерманцями разом із собою прихопили? Ні. Ніхто нікуди не подівся. Вільні скіфи, майстровиті кельти й блискучі ґоти залишилися поміж нас. Із сусідів вони стали родичами — єдиним народом. І хоча назва його змінювалася не раз — це все ті ж наддніпрянці й наддністрянці. Увесь час тутешні люди.

Володимир БОГАЙЧУК
Член Комісії людських та громадянських прав Світового конґресу українців

Указ Президента про відзначення 65-ї річниці створення Української Головної Визвольної Ради TOP

8 липня 2009 року

З метою належної оцінки ролі Української Головної Визвольної Ради у боротьбі Українського народу за незалежність, посилення уваги суспільства до героїчних сторінок вітчизняної історії, а також з нагоди відзначення у 2009 році 65-ї річниці створення Української Головної Визвольної Ради та на підтримку ініціативи громадськості постановляю:

Кабінету Міністрів України:

1. Розробити та затвердити у тижневий строк з урахуванням пропозицій громадськості план заходів з підготовки та відзначення у 2009 році 65-ї річниці створення Української Головної Визвольної Ради, передбачивши, зокрема:

організацію та проведення у липні 2009 року у Львівській області за участю представників органів виконавчої влади, органів місцевого самоврядування, громадських організацій, народних депутатів України, діячів науки і культури, а також представників української громадськості за кордоном урочистих просвітницьких, наукових та інших заходів з нагоди відзначення 65-ї річниці створення Української Головної Визвольної Ради;

проведення у жовтні 2009 року у місті Києві урочистих зборів з нагоди 65-ї річниці створення Української Головної Визвольної Ради та 67-ї річниці створення Української Повстанської Армії;

організацію виставок матеріалів про боротьбу Українського народу за незалежність у XX столітті та ролі у ній Української Головної Визвольної Ради;

організацію та проведення за участю Національної академії наук України у вересні 2009 року у місті Києві наукової конференції, присвяченої історії створення та діяльності Української Головної Визвольної Ради та забезпечення видання матеріалів конференції;

видання наукової та науково-популярної літератури з історії Української Головної Визвольної Ради, спогадів сучасників;

проведення протягом 2009 року із залученням учених, громадськості у навчальних закладах та установах культури тематичних заходів, конференцій, круглих столів, присвячених історії визвольних змагань Українського народу у XX столітті та ролі в них Української Головної Визвольної Ради;

випуск в обіг поштової марки та конверта, присвячених 65-й річниці створення Української Головної Визвольної Ради, здійснення спецпогашення поштової марки.

2. Українському інституту національної пам'яті, Державному комітету архівів України та Службі безпеки України сприяти доступу вчених та представників громадськості до матеріалів, пов'язаних зі створенням та діяльністю Української Головної Визвольної Ради.

3. Міністерству освіти і науки України, Українському інституту національної пам'яті вживати заходів з об'єктивного висвітлення у навчальному процесі теми українського національно-визвольного руху 40-50-х років XX століття та ролі в ньому Української Головної Визвольної Ради.

4. Державному комітету телебачення та радіомовлення України забезпечити широке висвітлення у засобах масової інформації заходів з підготовки та відзначення 65-ї річниці створення Української Головної Визвольної Ради, організувати цикли тематичних теле- і радіопередач, виступи провідних учених та представників громадськості.

5. Цей Указ набирає чинності з дня його опублікування.

Президент України Віктор ЮЩЕНКО

Ukrainian Radio' host maintains Ukrainian identity through music TOP

Sunday, June 21, 2009

By Craig Smith

When Michael Komichak speaks...they listen.
When Michael Komichak speaks to members of Pittsburgh's Ukrainian community, they listen.


About 12,400 people of Ukrainian descent live in Allegheny County, according to Census Bureau figures. Early Ukrainian immigrants settled predominantly in Carnegie, McKees Rocks, Pittsburgh's South Side and Brighton Heights neighborhoods, Ambridge, Arnold and McKeesport, said Stephen Haluszczak, president of the Ukrainian Cultural and Humanitarian Institute in Carnegie.

Johnstown, Butler and Sharon also have large Ukrainian settlements.

On August 15, 1950, the Ukrainian radio program of Pittsburgh, began its vital service to the Ukrainian-American community in the tri-state area. It is heard each Sunday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on radio station WPIT, 730 AM, with a power output of 5,000 watts. The program is presented in Ukrainian and English and features music, news, commentaries, social announcements, anniversaries, commercials and obituaries. Its primary objective is to maintain the Ukrainian identity of its listeners through music, language and traditions.



Komichak's audience is growing. His show is streamed online, and he has picked up listeners as far away as Arkansas.

"It's basically been his life," said Haluszczak. "You can't overstate the importance of that. He's seen as the voice of the Ukrainian community here."

Komichak and others like him, said Timothy Kuzma, national president of the Polish Falcons, "dedicate themselves over a lifetime to a cause ... because they love their culture"

"It's an unbelievable commitment to perpetuate and preserve that culture."

Born in McKees Rocks in 1919, Komichak attended Keystone Engineering Institute, once a North Side school, and worked as an engineer and assistant manager at WPIT-AM and FM, where he launched his show. He was WPIT's general manager from 1975 until he retired in 1992.

Michael Komichak "is and should be remembered as one of the masters of radio," said Mark La Roi, evening announcer and community concerns host at WORD-FM and WPIT-AM, who has been Komichak's assistant on the show since 1999.

A veteran of World War II who served in the Merchant Marines, Komichak was married to his wife, Anna, for 48 years. She died in 1992. They have three sons: Raymond of Upper St. Clair, Markian of Broadview, Ohio, and Michael J. Komichak of Chatham, N.J.

The radio show, presented in Ukrainian and English, features music, news, commentaries, social announcements, anniversaries, commercials and obituaries. Its objective is to maintain the Ukrainian identity of listeners through music, language and traditions.

Growing up as "kind of the first family of the Ukrainian community" meant mixing baseball games with pysankas, traditional Ukrainian egg painting, said his son, Raymond.

"We lived in two communities -- American and Ukrainian," he said.

Komichak's concern is for younger Ukrainians who don't show as much enthusiasm for preserving their culture and heritage.

"I need to reach those people," he said.

Complete article:

Professor Denis Hlynka on CBC radio re Mazepa TOP
Professor Denis Hlynka of U. of Manitoba on this week's show Sunday Night at the Opera and find out more about all things Mazeppa.

The first excerpt is the intro to the program.

The second excerpt is the interview with Bill Richardson and Denis Hlynka - 16 minutes.


From Ukraine, with art: artist Alla Johnson discusses her work TOP

http://www.charlevoixcourier.com/articles/2009/07/08/news/doc4a54d2ed6542f443165432.txt Wednesday, July 8, 2009

By Christine Gwidt Special to the Courier

When Ukrainian-born Alla Johnson talks about art, her passion overrides the concern that she may not be using precisely the right words.

"I can do oils. I can do watercolor, collage, batik--It doesn't matter for me," she said. "If I feel something, I just do it."

Johnson is a member of The Jordan River Arts Council and The Charlevoix Circle of Arts.

The Circle of Arts group meets weekly at various outdoor locations for Plein Air painting and the chance to discuss and critique each other's work.

The term "Plein (pronounced "plain") Air Painting" refers to a tradition of painting landscapes in real time, in the environment itself.

"Plein Air painting means open air. It is like Impressionist," Johnson explained. "You must be outside and paint something quickly before something moves, or the light is different. Before it changes."

An avid disciple of her craft, Johnson began drawing and painting as a child in Poltava, Ukraine.  She met her husband, Mark, through mutual friends when he visited Poltava, and the couple married in the fall of 2006.  She moved with him to his home in Charlevoix and has continued to produce a prolific body of work since her arrival in Michigan.

Johnson is usually working on at least one project.  The canvas currently resting on the easel in her home studio depicts the suggestion of three large, vibrant flowers.

"The good mood creates inspiration, and inspiration is a miracle." She said as she produced a detailed pencil sketch of the painting in progress from a stack on her worktable. "I draw it out first. That is the way I was taught."

Johnsons home is another outlet for her creative talent. Sunflowers splash the doors of kitchen cabinets, the powder room mirror is framed in a colorful mosaic and textural flowers sprout from the baseboards and climb the wall.

"I do painting on fabrics, too," she said, offering a photo of a scarf decorated with entwined flowers and butterflies. "For 10 years in Ukraine, I worked with pre-school and elementary school kids. Their artworks went to a lot of children's exhibitions. My students became winners very often and I was very happy and proud for them."

Johnson recalled that art and music were considered an important part of the Ukrainian student's curriculum.

"There was always a concert or preparing for shows and programs. Always something was going on," she said.

Several of Johnson's paintings are currently on display at The Crooked Tree Art Center and The Charlevoix Circle of Arts, as well as The Blue Heron Gallery in Elk Rapids and Evergreen Gallery in Traverse City.

One of her recent works is a rendering in oils of Castle Farms that was purchased by the venue's owner.  

"I like to do them all," she said of her favorite medium. "With watercolors, it's a masterpiece when it looks fresh. It seems so easy -- just water and paint -- but it's difficult to control."

Johnson said adapting to life in a new country has been an interesting challenge.  When Johnson's friends from home visit, they bring special ingredients for native dishes that are difficult or impossible to find in Northern Michigan.  And, she just got her first driver's license a year ago.

"I always took the bus in Ukraine," she said. "Here everything is so different. Different language, different food, different friends". She paused and searched for the words to describe her thoughts. The ones she chose made her laugh. "I feel like a baby: 2-and-a-half years old."

But, the changes in her life did not arrive without a premonition.

"I had a dream 15 years ago," she said. "It was so real. A voice tells me 'You will live in America, but not now.' "

To learn more about Alla Johnson and to view her work, visit her Web site at: www.artbyalla.com.

Diocesan church school camp completes successful year TOP

From: ConsistoryOPR@aol.com

Youth ages 9-13 and staff of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church from California to Rhode Island gathered at All Saints Camp from June 21- July 3 for Diocesan Church School Camp.  The encampment led by Spiritual Director Fr. Zinoviy Zharsky, assistant Spiritual Director Fr. Anthony Perkins and encampment director Natalie Kapeluck Nixon, witnessed one of its best years to date!

The program revolved around the Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry theme for 2009-2010 "I Believe..the Nicene Creed."  Throughout the encampment the campers and staff participated in daily church school classes, crafts, singing, swimming, special interest classes and sports.  Some special highlights of the encampment included a special visit by His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine, Ukrainian Folk Music concert by Nadia Tarnawsky, Brandon Vance, John Harbist and the Girls in the Kitchen Trio, visitation of the Laurel Manor Elderly Center, Camp Blessing, 4th of July Celebration, and boy night/girls night out.

Two special projects, that are jointly being created with Teenage Conference and Mommy & Me/Daddy & Me camp are a camping ministry liturgical music CD and a short film visually portraying the Nicene Creed. The campers conducted three recording sessions for the CD and order forms for the CDs will be available in August.

Гузар: УПЦ може стати знаряддям в руках Росії TOP


Глава Української греко-католицької церкви кардинал Любомир ГУЗАР переконаний, що якщо церква і держава занадто близькі - це нікому не йде на користь.

Про це він сказав в інтерв`ю газеті "Лівий берег", опублікованому сьогодні.

Зокрема, коментуючи планований візит в Україну Святійшого Патріарха Московського і всієї Русі КИРИЛА, Л.ГУЗАР зазначив: "Він приїжджає до віруючих, які йому доручені, і це дуже природно. Українська православна церква під керівництвом Блаженнійшого митрополита ВОЛОДИМИРА радіє його приїзду. Вони з ним тісно пов`язані. Він - предстоятель, патріарх, і це радісний момент для віруючих цієї церкви. Але ми повинні запитати себе: він приїжджає відвідати Україну або відвідати своїх віруючих? Адже якщо держава запрошує його як державного гостя - адже прем`єр-міністр Юлія Володимирівна (ТИМОШЕНКО) зробила саме так, - це означає, що він приїде як гість держави".

За словами глави УГКЦ, "ми радіємо за наших братів, членів УПЦ МП, що їх відвідує їх глава, але мене особисто або нашу церкву такий візит мало торкається. Якщо хтось хоче піти, послухати його, помолитися з ним, у мене немає для наших віруючих жодних застережень. Сам візит - нормальна церковна практика".

У той же час, за словами Л.ГУЗАРА, "небезпека полягає в тому, що Українська православна церква може стати знаряддям, за допомогою якого Росія хотіла б не допустити повної самостійності України. Не є таємницею те, що Росія хоче зберегти Україну під своїм впливом, що вона не погоджується з нашими прагненнями як держави і як народу. Адже ми, як я це бачу, прагнемо бути хорошими сусідами, співпрацювати, поважати один одного, але як партнери - не як частина Росії, а як незалежна українська держава, що має такого сусіда як Російська держава, з якою торгує, обмінюється інтелектуальними й іншими дарами, але при цьому зберігає свою ідентичність. Якщо церква, не приведи Господи, стане засобом утримання України як частини Російської держави, то це дуже небезпечна гра. На мій погляд, церква не повинна цього робити. Церква в Україні повинна бути українською, хоча вона й співпрацює з Московським патріархатом".

Глава УГКЦ зазначив, що "ми як церква перебуваємо у співпричетності з Римським патріархатом, але це не робить нас менше українцями, адже в Україні ми вдома. І коли Папа (Римський Іоанн Павло II – УНІАН) приїжджав, він говорив про Україну, заохочуючи народ любити свій край, свою державу, служити йому, а не Риму. Тобто церковна залежність у нашому випадку не є залежністю державною або національною. Мені прикро бачити, коли церковні і державні інтереси змішують, тому що це ніколи не йде церкві на користь".

У відповідь на зауваження, що ще з часів Петра I російське православ`я і російська великодержавність йдуть пліч-о-пліч, Л.ГУЗАР сказав: "Йдуть. До певного ступеня це їх справа. Але, спостерігаючи об`єктивно ззовні, читаючи 2000-річну історію церкви, бачимо: якщо церква і держава занадто близькі - як сталося у Візантії, це нікому не йде на користь".

Як зазначив глава УГКЦ, "особисто я був би радий бачити Російську церкву більш вільною, самостійною, без надмірного зближення з державою. Щоб жити і розвиватися, церква повинна бути за своєю суттю повністю вільною, а я дуже хочу, щоб Російська церква духовно розвивалася і була доброю, сильною церквою для свого народу. Від цього буде добре усім".


Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine's icon TOP


With a haul of more than 50 trophies, including 13 domestic championships in the space of 16 years, Ukraine's most successful club Dynamo Kyiv rate as a powerhouse of eastern European football. In 2008/09, after a spell away from the continental limelight, Kyiv narrowly missed out on the UEFA Cup final after a last-four defeat to league rivals and eventual winners Shakhtar Donetsk, but they underlined their pre-eminent status at home just a few days later, sealing the national title by fully twelve points with three games to spare.

The greatest of the greats produced by Ukraine -- the likes of Oleg Blokhin, Valeri Lobanovsky, Igor Belanov, Andriy Shevchenko, and Sergiy Rebrov -- have either pulled on the white-and-blue shirt themselves, or directed operations from the dug-out. FIFA.com takes a closer look at the club from the city on the Dnieper River.

Birth of an institution

Dynamo Kyiv was formed in November 1927 by Sergei Barminski and Nikolai Channikov. Some six months later, on 17 June 1928, the fledgling team completed their maiden fixture, a 2-2 draw with Odessa. The learning process continued a few days later with a 6-2 reverse against Dynamo Moscow.

Dynamo Kyiv grew in strength and experience as the years rolled by, and were founder members of the former USSR league in 1936. In their debut fixture, the men in blue-and-white again came up against their namesakes from Moscow -- and they fell to another heavy defeat, 5-1 this time round. Matters soon improved with four wins and a solitary defeat in their next five games.

Very soon, Kyiv were providing a sizeable proportion of the players for the Soviet national team, as many as nine on more than one occasion.

Making of a legend

Almost two decades were to pass before Kyiv's name appeared on a trophy. In 1954, Dynamo embarked on a glorious run in the Soviet Cup, beating Spartak Vilnus (4-2), Spartak Moscow (3-1) CDKA (nowadays CSKA, 3-1 aet) and Zenit Leningrad (1-0 aet), en route to a 2-1 victory in the final against Spartak Eriwan.

Stamina, endurance, belief, agility and good technique characterised a Dynamo line-up which soon had the footballing world sitting up and paying attention. A process of rejuvenation at the end of the 1950s, when a number of veterans hung up their boots and a new, younger and hungry generation took their place, brought the league runners-up spot in 1960. The crowning glory came a year later. For the first time ever, the USSR title went to a team not based in Moscow.

This undoubted triumph did not immediately usher in a golden era in Kyiv, as Dynamo finished fifth in 1962 and seventh in 1963. They only truly began fulfilling their potential on the arrival of coach Viktor Maslov, who led his men to a second Soviet Cup in 1964. The following season, Maslov's team competed in the European Cup Winners' Cup for the first time and made the quarter-finals, where they fell to Scottish giants Celtic.

The achievement in reaching the last eight truly set the ball rolling in Kyiv. In 1966, Dynamo marched to a cup and league double, Andriy Biba was named USSR Player of the Year, and no fewer than five Dynamo stars came home from the FIFA World Cup in England with bronze medals. And in both 1967 and 1968, the men from Ukraine proved unbeatable in the Soviet title race.

However, Kyiv only became an internationally recognised force in the era presided over by Valeri Lobanovsky. In the 16 years between 1974 and 1990, the "Hero of the Ukraine" kept a tight grasp on the reins and masterminded more than 15 trophy triumphs. The greatest of these were a double success in the European Cup Winners€™ Cup (1975 and 1986), and the European Super Cup in 1975.

The present

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kyiv were founder members of the new Ukrainian Wyschtscha Liha (1992/03). Dynamo at once restated their credentials at home, reeling off nine league triumphs on the spin from 1993 to 2001, with five cup wins to boot.

The high-flying Ukrainians also made their mark on the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. In 1997/98, the blue-and-whites reached the Champions League quarter-finals but fell to Juventus. They reached the last four a year later, but could not find a way past Bayern Munich.

Nevertheless, Kyiv supplied the top scorers in the Champions League two seasons in a row, Shevchenko (1998/99) and Rebrov (1999/2000) taking the honours. The renewed success was again orchestrated by Lobanovsky, who returned from brief spells in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates to take the Kyiv helm from 1997 to 2002.

A 15-year run with at least one piece of silverware per season for the blue-and-whites ended in 2008 when they came up short in both league and cup, but they were soon back to winning ways in 2009, cruising to the league title and falling only to domestic foes Shakhtar in the UEFA Cup semi-finals.

The stadium

The Dynamo Stadium was constructed in 1934. Following the death of coaching legend Lobanovsky, it was officially renamed the Valeri Lobanovsky Stadium on 15 May 2002. After many alterations down the years, the current capacity is 16,873, although there are plans to raise this to 30,000 and cover the stands in the near future.

Euro 2012 - Poland backs Ukraine for equal distribution TOP

Eurosport - Friday, 10th July, 2009

Ukraine and Poland have backed the equal distribution of Euro 2012 matches between their countries despite UEFA's refusal so far to endorse three Ukrainian cities for the event.

The prime ministers of the two countries, at a meeting in the Ukrainian capital, said they backed longstanding plans to have matches in the tournament staged in four cities in each of the two countries.

"Our meeting today is not just about getting things right and co-ordinating our programmes and actions in terms of having four cities in each country stage Euro 2012," Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (pictured right) said.

"It is aimed at showing that we are a single team and we will act jointly right to the end."

The economic crisis buffeting Ukraine, she said, would have no effect on preparations and construction at Kyiv's Olympic stadium - whose plans to stage the final have been called into question by UEFA - was proceeding normally.

Polish Prime Minster Donald Tusk (left) added: "We fully support our Ukrainian colleague Yulia Tymoshenko in calling for the plan of four cities in each country. This is our joint position and I believe UEFA will support it."

A UEFA meeting in May approved four Polish cities to hold matches for the final - Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw and Gdansk.

Kyiv was the sole Ukrainian city approved, but its staging of the final was made contingent on completion of construction.

Three other Ukrainian cities - Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkov - must be confirmed at a UEFA meeting on November 30 along with Kyiv's right to stage the final.

UEFA President Michel Platini told the May meeting that there were "huge infrastructure problems" in Ukraine.

These include regional transport networks and suitable accommodation for a huge influx of fans.

Ukraine and Poland were chosen as co-hosts in 2007.

Platini and other UEFA officials have said the tournament will not be withdrawn from either country but have suggested the distribution of cities hosting matches could be altered.

Новини медицини TOP

Наукові медичні журнали повідомляють про дослідження, направлені на попередження та лікування серцево-судинних захворювань, які невпинно продовжують забирати життя навіть у молодих людей. Всі відомі рекомендації щодо здорового способу життя,  збалансованого харчування, розумного ставлення до числених стресів, які супроводжують сучасне життя, направлені на психологічне  та фізіологічне  запобігання серцево-судинних захворювань.

На початок розвитку серцево-судинних захворювань часто вказує гіпертонія - тобто постійний підвищений тиск у великих судинах-артеріях. Існуючі численні медичні препарати допомагають знизити тиск крові до нормального рівня, але не завжди  вказують на причини різкого підвищення тиску крові. Численні теорії підтверджують вплив багатьох факторів на початок гіпертонічної хвороби - тому лікарі кардіологи зараз активно звертають увагу на ранню діагностику гіпертонічної хвороби.

Існує статистика про первинну та вторинну гіпертонію. При первинній гіпертонії диагностується порушення в доставці  на клітиннному рівні таких життєво-важливих речовин як калій, натрій та кальцій. В свою чергу, це викликає гормональні порушення, перебої  в функціюванні нирок, щитовидної залози та судин. При первинній гіпертонії потрібна сучасна діагностика, зокрема вегорезонансне компьютиризоване тестування, яке дозволяє виявити ранні зміни в функціюванні серця, судин, нирок та гіпофізу. Рання діагностика розвитку гіпертонії дозволяє лікарям підібрати ефективні засоби - ліки, натуральну збалансовану їжу, фізичні вправи, які комплексно впливають на організм як на регульовану біохімічну систему людини.

Існуючий підхід до первинної гіпертонії, яка виникає при підвищеному вмісту холестерола в судинах, підтверджений дослідами, результати яких були опубліковані  в журналі Natureза 2008 рік (номер 2). Рекомендовано постійне вживання плодів авокадо, які  мають оптимальний вміст вітамінів групи В,С,Е.К,Р, потрібну кількість калію, натрію  та кальцію та зовсім не мають холестеролу. І знову пікреслюється необхідність

вживання  продуктів рослинного походження для попередження  розвитку серцево-судинних захворювань.

 Діана Мережко, PhD 

Re. Partners in perfidy + We can choose not to be victims this time TOP

Re your excellent editorial Partners in perfidy (July 6), where is the world's outrage at the inhumane treatment of John Demjanjuk? Where is Amnesty International and other human rights groups? This is an out and out case of elder abuse.

If he passes as a result of this mistreatment can anybody be charged with his murder? Why is he being portrayed as a Nazi? Only Germans can be Nazis.

Why are they not prosecuting German war criminals residing in Germany and other high ranking war criminals that actually planned and carried out the mass murders of the Jewish and others (including Ukrainians)? Was not Simon Wiesenthal himself a Nazi collaborater?

What can be done?

Zenon Chwaluk

Ed. note: Reasons for Germany's perfidy are proferred in this issue's Feature Editorial "Ukraine's suffering still overlooked by world": "To some degree it’s because the “Untermenschen have remained Untermenschen” — economically underdeveloped peoples with silly cultural practices ...

The more important explanation is that German elites have traditionally viewed their neighbors to its east through the prism of great-power politics....They’re just places with pipelines that carry Russian gas to German homes and factories."

"In The case of John Demianiuk -- A Test of Our commitment to basic values" (e-POSHTA May 29, 2009) lawyer Andriy Semotiuk decried the silence of civil and human rights organizations: "What troubles me the most about this case is the silence of individuals and organizations ostensibly dedicated to human rights and their failure to speak up in support of Demianiuk. For example, I was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization dedicated to the protection of the civil liberties of Americans, including protecting the due process rights of individuals. I asked them specifically to speak up in the Demianiuk case and was met with silence."

If we care about justice being done, if we care about how Ukrainians' role in WWII history will be presented in the world media and remembered by those who consume it, this means that more intensive work needs to be done by substantially more courageous citizens to convince these organization of the need to take action. John Demjanjuk Jr. answer to a question at the end of this CNN interview points to what awaits us in the media and what needs to be done http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/04/15/dcl.intv.demjanjuk.jr.

Furthermore, the articles that have appeared in Germany's mainstream media such as Der Spiegel have, when unopposed, allowed themselves to be generous with spreading around the credit for Nazi atrocities, as is demonstrated by their munificence in the article : "Hitler's European Holocaust helpers": "... the collusion of other European countries in the Holocaust has received surprisingly little attention until recently. The trial of John Demjanjuk is set to throw a spotlight on Hitler's foreign helpers." (May 20, 2009 http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,625824,00.html)

We can choose not to be victims this time.

As to Simon Wiesenthal's questionable past see "The head Nazi-hunter’s trail of lies" above.


Re." National Public Radio (USA) report "1930s Famine Still Mars Russia-Ukraine Relations" TOP
Listen & respond here:


It is a mistake to look at the 1933 Famine and ignore the nationalities involved. That's equivalent to ignoring Native Americans in the old West - General Custer was not killed by disgruntled stubborn "Americans" but by natives defending their land and way of life with legitimate grievances. Otherwise your history makes no sense. Get over it!

Ukrainian aspirations for equal nationhood hampered Stalin's drive to denationalize them into "Soviets" and he knew it and acted accordingly (after dehumanizing them by labeling them as "kulaks" in a similar way that Nazis dehumanized Jews by referring to them as "parasites") and to a large degree was successful! (in the short term).

Re: How hubris is leading the EU to its nemesis TOP


Europe's World Summer 2009

by Arno Tausch


Articles such as Pierre Moscovici's


suggest the time has come to offer a bold way out of the European Union's current impasse. So why not go for a fully-fledged democratic United States of Europe as a first step towards global democracy? Offering such an easy solution to a complex problem might be unpopular in many quarters, but the authors of the U.S. Constitution of 1787 had already resolved the essence of the crisis presently afflicting the EU. How? By realising that you need two parliaments -- not one -- to bring together the smaller and larger components of a federation.

The perennial quid pro quo of European decision-making since the 1980s would have been entirely unnecessary if the EU had been bold enough to consider creating a real democratic federation. The present European Parliament could become the future European House of Representatives, and the present Council an elected European Senate. Voting for the House of Representatives would be based on population weight, while the Senate would be composed of two elected representatives from each member state. Senators could hold office for six years, with one third of them being elected every two years. With a clear separation of powers and an elected European President at the helm, such a Europe would gain the democratic quality of the U.S.

I am under no illusions that such political medicine would be hard to swallow, especially in countries like France which has always been more centralist than many other political systems around the globe. But please tell me -- why not try it, after so many debacles since the 1980s?

How NATO could improve its relations with Russia TOP


Europe's World Summer 2009

by Ana Maria Gomes

By demonstrating the fault-lines in European security, last year€™s crisis over Georgia could mark a turning point in post-Cold War international relations, says Dmitry Rogozin, Russia€™s ambassador to NATO. All it takes now, he adds, is for NATO to be on board.


Dmitry Rogozin makes a bold proposal for "a new legally-binding treaty on a system of mutual security guarantees in Europe" (http://www.europesworld.org/NewEnglish/Home/
) Russia's ambassador to NATO also challenges people to imagine a world where Cold War tensions finally disappear and "Russia's foremost foreign policy goal -- a strategic partnership with the West" becomes a reality.

Russian participation is clearly indispensable for the world to confront the greatest challenges to regional and global security. There can be no effective response to international terrorism, organised crime or nuclear proliferation and disarmament without Russia. We also need Russia in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

However, the past eight years have been quite sobering for anyone looking for signs that Russia is ready to take on some of the responsibilities of global leadership which the U.S had been unable or unwilling to perform. Take the example of Russia's decision to suspend participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty in July 2007. There certainly were tensions with NATO over amendments to the treaty made in 1999, but how did abandoning the CFE Treaty all together solve this problem? Why did President Vladimir Putin announce the very next month that Russia would restart the Soviet-era practice of sending strategic bombers on long-range flights beyond its borders? And was it coincidence that Kyrgyzstan announced it was cancelling the lease on the Manas air base with the U.S. shortly after Russia offered Bishkek $2.15bn in aid and loans? Would Russia prefer NATO and the U.S. out of Afghanistan? Of course not.

I entirely agree with Ambassador Rogozin when he complains that "it is time for Europe to stop acting like an occupied continent and start displaying its own political will." Unfortunately, Russia is contributing to the political divisions in Europe just as much as the U.S. In the strategic field of energy, Russia's self-interested and state-led policy is designed to control Europe's gas supplies and infrastructure for the foreseeable future. That may fit into a 19th century pattern of power politics, but it certainly does not match Rogozin's vision of a future where Russia acts like an ordinary European power working within a harmonious security architecture.

Perhaps of greatest importance to Europeans is Russia's record on democracy and human rights. The Bush years represented a low point in post-war U.S. leadership; they also provided a lot of cover for Russia's occasionally aggressive posture. With President Barack Obama in office, Bush's policies are over. But the fragility of the rule of law, civil liberties and human rights in Russia are still here. Independent journalists and human rights activists are not safe in Russia and the political system lacks real democratic diversity.

Europe may be far from perfect. But it is hard to imagine that Rogozin's dream of a strategic partnership with the West will come true as long as Russia evades the rule of law and shirks its commitments to democracy and human rights which it has made as a member of the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe.

NATO: More appeasement from the American Institute in Ukraine (AIU)

Yelena Biberman, a U.S. Embassy policy specialist engaged in research on Ukraine's foreign ministry (according to Graham Stack's article, click link below): [Ukrainian] Foreign ministry officials are ideologically anti-Russian and nationalist to the extent that they may not always be able to objectively assess Ukraine's real national interests. They believe that Russia is inherently imperialistic and bent on regaining control over Ukraine as a step to rebuilding its empire, and NATO membership is the only way to stop this. Even for a new Ukrainian president, it will be very hard to change their perspective


Leo Mol - his gift was more than art TOP

July 8, 2009

Winnipeg, Canada - July 8, 2009 - On July 4 of this year, internationally acclaimed sculptor and artist, Leo Mol, passed away in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  He leaves behind a legacy of artistic creations which can be seen around the world including Canada, Argentina, Brazil, the U.S. and Europe.

Born Leonid Molodozhanyn on January 15, 1915 in Polonne, Ukraine, his artistic career began as a young boy when he carried on the family tradition and studied pottery at his father's knee. From these simple beginnings, Leo Mol went on to study art and hone his craft in Vienna, Berlin and the Hague in Amsterdam.

Hundreds of people -- perhaps 700 -- gathered Monday night at Assiniboine Park to pay tribute to Winnipeg sculptor Leo Mol in the garden that's home to more than 300 of his works.

The garden doubled as an outdoor cathedral for the traditional Ukrainian Catholic service, complete with prayers from retired Archbishop Michael Bzdel and music from the Hoosli Ukrainian Chorus.

Dignitaries at the funeral included Premier Gary Doer, Mayor Sam Katz and Lt. Gov. John Harvard. But it was mostly strangers and admirers who crowded into all the pathways and crannies of the sculpture garden for the service.

Long-time friend Murray Gibson, who was with Mol in his final days, delivered the eulogy complete with props --  three of Mol's sculpting tools. Gibson said the bashed-up wooden mallet, a twisted wire and a scraping tool made of recycled metal remind him of Mol's humble nature and his artistic genius.

"They remind me that the true gifts of Leo Mol resided in his person," said Gibson. "He came to this country with so little but he left it with so much."

Complete article: http://www.winnipegfree


In 1948, Leo Mol and his wife Margareth emigrated from war-torn Europe to Winnipeg. Here he started applying his craft as a ceramic artist and church painter, but soon gained prominence as a skilled sculptor and stained-glass artist. By the 1960's, he had earned international commissions for his bronzes.

In 1989, Leo Mol received the Order of Canada in recognition of his artistic contributions. He was also awarded the Shevchenko Medal, the highest honour possible from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, in 1971, and the Order of Manitoba in 2000. He received honorary degrees from the University of Manitoba, Alberta, and Winnipeg.

A wonderful compilation of Leo Mol's sculptures are viewed every year by thousands of visitors from around the world at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park. Having accumulated a large collection of his work and wanting to keep it together, Leo Mol donated his collection to the people of Winnipeg. More than 300 of his works are housed in this garden which was unveiled in 1992. To learn more click here Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.

A talented artist with humble beginnings, Leo Mol was very proud of his Ukrainian heritage. He will be remembered as a very accomplished artist and ambassador for our Ukrainian Canadian community. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Margareth and many friends.

Leo Mol


Natalya Estemirova: A fearless activist in a land of thugs

July 17, 2009


Natalya Estemirova, the Chechen human rights campaigner who was killed.

NATALYA ESTEMIROVA is gone now. Her executioners forced her into a car in front of her home in Chechnya and sped away with her on Wednesday morning. She managed to shout that she was being kidnapped, her last known words documenting the beginning of the crimes against her, just as she had documented crimes against uncountable others.


Ms. Estemirova was an essential member of a tiny circle of the premier human rights investigators in the entire Caucasus -- a woman of immeasurable courage, precision and calm. She was a researcher for Memorial, the human rights organization, in Grozny, Chechnya's capital.


To the families whose pain she worked to relieve and whose stories she forced the world to see, she was a resolute champion. To the men whose crimes she exposed, case by case, with a quiet composure, she was a confounding enemy, a feminine nemesis they could neither fathom nor dissuade.

She wandered the ruined republic wearing a skirt, blouse and heels, lipstick on, carrying her purse and presenting a straight face, perhaps warmed by a slight smile, to masked gunmen and victims alike. She could seem as proper as a chief librarian, ready to add to her archive, both on paper and in the mind, which revealed the Chechen wars for what they really were. How did she dare?

This was Chechnya, after all, a world of violence so sinister it can be difficult to describe in a newspaper. Thugs dominate this land. Experience has taught them that fear will bend opponents to heel. Who was she to chase them? Why could she not be persuaded to quit? The answer is now written, though everyone who knew her knew it long ago: only death would stop her. All her friends could do was trust her to dodge it, as she had, somehow, for years.


Chechnya is a tiny spot on Russia's big map, home to only several hundred thousand souls. But its past two decades offered lenses into factors driving modern war: nationalism, oil, religious intolerance, racism, tribalism, blood codes that demand revenge, irregular fighters and ill-disciplined conventional units, outright banditry, poverty, official corruption and, for good measure, traveling Islamic mercenaries and a government rooted in a personality cult.

Her world could not be much worse. First it matched pie-eyed separatism against crude Russian tactics. Then it hosted insurgency, terrorism and state-directed rights abuses on an extraordinary scale. Lately it morphed into micro-Stalinism under Ramzan A. Kadyrov, the former rebel turned feared president.


Russia fell silent to the wars. State-controlled television did not broadcast her findings. Most Russian journalists avoided her. Her truths were not welcome. In Valdimir Putin's Russia, she was a nonperson. She was undeterred. She took her findings directly to prosecutors, having done their jobs for them, and requested investigations.

Sometimes she found allies in government, in part because she possessed an integrity born of independence. Unlike many voices that rose against Russia's Chechen policies, Ms. Estemirova was not enamored of the rebels. She lived through separatist self-rule in the late 1990s. She saw they were corrupt and brutal, too. She did not choose sides. Her work pointed elsewhere: to facts.

Facts drove her. She had trained as a historian, and once history erupted around her she wanted both to document the suffering and crimes and give Russia a chance to address them, thereby stepping toward the modern world. The Kremlin was not interested.


Did she see what awaited her? Her friends would say: Yes.

WARNING her was a constant. But asking her to leave Russia for her own good was a conversation she would cut short with sighs. She was shaped by a mission inextricable from her life, even if it predicted her death. She even turned the concerns back around.

It is you who should be careful, she told a pair of us last fall. Call me tonight so I know you are safe.

All the while she calmly confronted the authorities, while people around her dropped out or were killed. Over the years, and again recently, Ms. Estemirova and her co-workers were summoned to official meetings to hear blistering complaints about their work.

The message was crude and clear: Stop. It is difficult for an outsider to grasp how awful these meetings must have been.

She was called before President Kadyrov, head of a government that ran torture centers where, as her records showed, detainees were subjected to beatings, stompings, electric shocks, mock executions, sodomy, burnings by gas torch and, in the end, for some, execution.

Mr. Kadyrov, survivors said, participated in these crimes with delight.

Many victims have not been seen since. Mutilated remains of others turned up -- limbs broken, faces smashed, skin charred, heads and torsos shattered by bullets fired at close range -- the characteristic human refuse of Chechnya's wars and its governing style.

Almost inevitably these cases were documented by Ms. Estemirova. Almost no one was ever charged. And now Ms. Estemirova, the lead investigator, who refused to quit when told it was time to be silent, is gone, taken from life -- and from Russia -- the same way.

Complete article:

Максим Драч (1965 - 2009) TOP
Президент України Віктор ЮЩЕНКО і прем’єр-міністр Юлія ТИМОШЕНКО висловили співчуття Марії та Іванові ДРАЧАМ з приводу трагічної смерті сина Максима 18го липня, 2009 на сорок четвертому році життя.

Як повідомляє прес-служба Президента, у співчутті В.ЮЩЕНКА йдеться: «Висловлюю глибокий жаль Вам, усій Вашій родині з приводу тяжкої втрати – трагічної смерті сина Максима. Розділяю разом з Вами біль цієї непоправної втрати». «Відійшов у вічність рідний син, Ваша кровинка, не стало доброї, душевної людини. Світла пам`ять про Вашого сина залишиться у наших серцях», – зауважив Президент.

У співчутті Ю.ТИМОШЕНКО йдеться: «Немає більшого горя для батьків, як втрата дитини. Немає тих слів, якими можна зробити меншою біль матері та батька, яким доля відвела більш довге життя, аніж їхній дитині. Для кожної людини смерть рідної та близької людини - тяжка втрата. Я сумую разом з Іваном ДРАЧЕМ, його дружиною Марією та всіма, хто знав та любив їх сина Максима».

Прем’єр просить у Бога, щоб він дарував І.ДРАЧУ та його рідним силу та віру, щоб пережити тяжку втрату, повідомляє Управління у зв`язках зі ЗМІ Секретаріату Кабінету міністрів.

Максим Драч (1965 р.н.), за освітою лікар, учасник ліквідації наслідків аварії на ЧАЕС.

ADMINISTRATION, subscribing, unsubscribing, etc. TOP

Myroslava Oleksiuk
-- editor-in-chief

Anya Maziak
-- editor, culture/society/religion

Oxana Bukanova
-- editor, politics/business

Марта Онуфрів
-- кореспондент
Marta Onufriv
-- correspondent

Zenon Chytra
-- story layout

John Heron
-- story layout

Ihor Prociuk
-- story layout and design


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