If you are having trouble reading ePOSHTA, click HERE.
Якщо Ви маєте труднощі читати еПОШТУ, натисніть ТУТ.

image
Yanukovich style
image

March 19 березня 2013
Vol.14 No. 2
People&Culture&Politics&Business

Know someone who'd like a trial copy of ePOSHTA? Send their e-mail address to:
subscription@eposhta.com
with "Subscription" in the subject line.

In this issue:

  Редакційна Сторінка

В. Янукович у контексті й підтексті інтеґраційних процесів

  Focus

Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine on Minister Kenney's Ukraine visit and need for Canada's sharper policy focus
An isolated Yanukovych

  Фокус

Звернення Iрини Луценко до депутатiв , громадян , журналiстiв - ВІДЕО

  Viewpoint

Time to end EU-Ukraine pseudo-relations
Preparing for Russia's upcoming collapse

  Call to Action

Support reform of higher education in Ukraine - Petition
No Sanctuary for ex-Soviet secret police veterans in Canada – postcard campaign
UCCLA's latest postcard re: the Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Seeking sponsors to help in building the church

  Заклик до дії

Бунтуй, якщо себе поважаєш
Пошук спонсорів для допомоги в будівництві церкви

  Events

Send information on social events, conferences, and employment to: events@eposhta.com at least two weeks before the event date. See the guidelines for submitting EVENT announcements.
Links to event postings
Edmonton, AB: Alberta-Ukraine Genealogical Project free "how-to" seminar -- Mar 20
New York: Ron Kostyniuk: Art/Nature/Art -- Mar. 22-Apr 7
Toronto: Lecture: The Problem of Domestic Violence in Ukarine: A private of Public Consern? -- Mar 25
New Westminster, BC: Lecture: Holodomor: Murder by Starvation -- Apr 6

  Події

Eдмонтон, AB: Проект генеалогічних досліджень Альбепта-Україна безкоштовий "як-саме" семінар - 20 березня

  Programs & Conferences

Toronto: Conference: Retoring Ukraine's National Memory -- Apr 6

  Програми і Конференції

Торонто: Конференція: "Питання Досліджень Української Історичної Правди" -- 6 квітня
“Школа освітніх консультантів” – 2013
VII Міжнародна конференція "Нетрадиційні і поновлювані джерела енергії, як альтернативні первинним джерелам енергії в регіоні", Львів -- 10-11 квітня, 2013

  Current Affairs

The Russian Mafia and organised crime: how can this global force be tamed?
Revealed: Tony Blair and the oligarch bankrolling his charity

  Arts & Letters

Culture and education are at the center of shaping Ukraine’s national identity
Ukrainian music wows Newfoundland
Vogue Ukraine is in Russian
Book: Picnic at the Iron Curtain
Novel "Blood & Salt" re Castle Mountain
Video documentary "Genocide Revealed" - Educational version newly released!

  Культура

Антипремія «Гнилий кабак» знайшла свого японського героя
Українська музика лунає Ньюфаундленді

  Ukraine

Murder and selective use of justice in Ukraine (Part Two)
The two worlds of Viktor Yanukovych’s Ukraine
The Viktors go to Brussels
First 100 days of the new Verkhovna Rada: More questions than answers

  Україна

"Вставай, Україно!". 10 тисячний марш у Вінниці - ВІДЕО
Перші сто днів верховної ради: Більше питань ніж відповідей

  Business Report

Why America’s AES sold its Ukraine utilities to Russians

  History

New book on deportations of Ukrainians from Poland after World War II

  Ukrainians in the News

Valentyna Kuryliw named Directo of Holdomor Research and Education Consortium
Arbor and Canada-Ukraine Award -- Ihor Bardyn

  Українці в новинах

Валентину Курилів призначено директором новоствореного дослідно-освітнього консорціуму з вивчення Голодомору

  Religion

Ukrainian Orthodoxy discussion - VIDEO

  Релігія

Дискусія про українське православ'я з делеґацією Української Православної Церкви Канади до Константинополя - ВІДЕО
Братство для оновлення українського православ'я в Канаді – новий сайт
Київський Патріархат вітає зусилля Української Православної Церкви Канади

В. Янукович у контексті й підтексті інтеґраційних процесів TOP

Усе більше скидається на те, що намагання української опозиції, проєвропейськи налаштованого прошароку української інтеліґенції та свідомих громадян вплинути на цивілізаційний вибір нинішньої України не мають під собою жодного підґрунтя. Причина незмінна: допоки при владі знаходитиметься промосковський узурпатор В. Янукович та іже з ним, а громадяни України перебуватимуть у летаргічному «азаровському пакращенні», доти Україні світитиме хіба що новітня совковість у вигляді Митного союзу з «вєлікай і магучєй» Росією та її сателітами.

Тим часом залицяння В. Януковича до очільників європейських структур добігають до свого логічного завершення: офіціоз України щораз настирливіше демонструє, що йому, м`яко кажучи, начхати на підписання Угоди про асоціацію між Україною та ЄС. А радше все чіткіше бачиться донецькому мафіозному кланові, що на відміну від України Європу не вдасться їм ніколи поставити на коліна, тобто перетворити  в суцільну донецьку кримінальну зону. І хоч усі європосадовці для донецьких є лохи, яких вміло «розводять, як котят», але, зрозуміло, на захист своєї «дєшовки»-демократії вони встануть всі як один. Натомість прийняти правила гри демократичних інституцій для донецьких було б рівнозначно підписанню смертного вироку, а точніше - приректи себе на втрату влади, а відтак і нажитого людською кривдою добра.


На екранах країни трілер: "Осел буруданів-межигірський"

Однак саме через надмірну поступливість і гнучкість єврочиновників у відношенні до В. Януковича - щоденного ґвалтування ним Конституції України, повного контролю над усіма гілками влади, знищення парламентаризму, відсутності верховенства права, порушення прав людини, наявності вибіркового правосуддя, картинки Межигір`я як зразка паталогічної жадібності тощо – в Україні набирає обертів режим лукашенківського зразка. І не лише через надмірну дипломатичність і м`якотілість європейських і світових лідерів, а найдужче – через оспалість і байдужість українського громадянства, що не здатне масово чинити опір. Хоч перших можна зрозуміти: персоналії, які виросли, увібравши мало не з молоком матері засади демократії, не можуть збагнути всієї ницості донецького паханату, круто замішаного на суцільній брехні, свавіллі, беззаконні, безкарності й кривавому грабунку. Других – важче, бо вони скидаються на страуса, який перед великою небезпекою ховає голову в пісок.

Утім, міжнародні чинники досі не збагнули найважливішого: владний «безпрєдєл» на чолі з В. Януковичем реаґує виключно на особисті больові подразники. Насамперед - на збереження/втрату влади, астрономічних закордонних банківських рахунків, численного нерухомого майна в багатьох країнах світу, шенгенської візи можновладців і наближених до головного тіла олігархів, а також членів їхніх родин. І доки офіційний Вашинґтон, а за ним європосадовці цього не зрозуміють, доти Україна щораз дужче котитиметься у безодню авторитаризму, зі сильним креном в сторону неоімперсько-путінської Росії. Отже єдиним середником, який може зупинити донецький бульдозер, є негайне застосування аналога списку Магнітського (в українському варіанті - Тимошенко, Луценка, Власенка та ін.) до вищих посадовців, генерального прокурора і його заступників, голови Верховної Ради, окремих суддів, працівників правоохоронних органів, пенітенціарної служби тощо.

Відповідь однозначна: політичні ігрища з ЄС виключно потрібні В. Януковичу для успішніших торгів із В. Путіним щодо ціни на енерґоносії.Чому В. Янукович і його донецьке оточення провокують щораз сильнішими подразниками  - арештом Ю. Луценка, Ю. Тимошенко та неправедними судами над ними й ін. політв`язнями, спотворенням результатів парламентських виборів-2012 у багатьох округах, позбавленням депутатського повноваження С. Власенка, захисника Ю. Тимошенко та ін. - європейські надбудови? Відповідь однозначна: політичні ігрища з ЄС виключно потрібні В. Януковичу для успішніших торгів із В. Путіним щодо ціни на енерґоносії. Повторимо, що режим В. Януковича  та його бандитське оточення не може існувати в системі координат демократичних цінностей. Так, уся ця ненажерлива чиновницька саранча разом із родинами давно мешкає у Відні, Парижі чи Лондоні, купаючися в надмірних розкошах. А Україну вони розглядають як колоніальний придаток для неймовірного визиску, без якого їхні статки рано чи пізно можуть змаліти. Отже з метою збереження владних важелів, контролю над державними грошовими потоками, неймовірної експлуатації природних ресурсів України та її людського потенціалу Януковичу та Ко потрібно запровадити й утримувати найсуворіший авторитарний режим.

Водночас В. Янукович не прагне вступати до Митного союзу, який через всеїдність путінського оточення стане для донецького олігархату братською могилою. Новітньому московському цареві В. Путіну потрібна Україна лише у вигляді малоросійської губернії, в якій за найкращим розкладом В. Янукович може стати губернатором. Хоча, знаючи особисту відразу кожного ґебіста чи міліціонера до кожного колишнього кримінального злочинця, головний кремлівський карлик не може відчувати до В. Януковича будь-якої симпатії. Отже чергові перемовини з В. Путіним без повної здачі державності України закінчуватимуться для В. Януковича.черговим крахом.

Наразі В. Януковича найбільше турбує друга президентська каденція. Нині він робить все можливе й неможливе, щоб вкотре зґвалтувавши українське суспільство, повторно стати президентом в 2015 році. Отже до президентських виборів  головний пахан України В. Янукович як неприкаяний маятник далі коливатиметься між Москвою й Брюсселем.

::photo_38186.jpg
Віктор Янукович - заст. генерального прокурора Ренат Кузьмін

На тлі інтеґраційної какофонії В. Януковича дещо наївними виглядають намагання діаспорного проводу добитися уступок від європосадовців щодо якомога скорішого підписання Угоди про асоціацію між Україною та ЄС, а ще смішнішими – звинувачення у всіх бідах в Україні не режим Януковича, а імперську Росію. 

В Україні розпочалася довготривала всеукраїнська акція «Вставай, Україно!» проти ненависного режиму В. Януковича. У цьому контексті діаспорі слід зрозуміти головне: тільки усуненням від керма держави мафіозно-кримінального клану на чолі з В. Януковичем, зміною системи влади разом із всеохопною демократизацією України можна добитися кращого майбутнього для українців. Кращого майбутнього – у вільній сім`ї європейських народів. 

Редакція еПОШТИ

Canadian Group for Democracy in Ukraine on Minister Kenney's Ukraine visit and need for Canada's sharper policy focus TOP

image March 8, 2013

Honourable John Baird
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Parliament of Canada
jbaird@parl.gc.ca

Dear Minister,

On the eve of the February 25th European-Ukraine Summit, we wrote to you advocating that Canada, with other likeminded friends, take a strong stand with President Viktor Yanukovych concerning the need for Ukraine to meet the EU’s conditions. The issue of selective justice was of particular concern.

Instead of forward momentum the situation in Ukraine is deteriorating significantly.  We appreciate your immediate condemnation of the move taken by the President’s regime to strip Serhiy Vlasenko, defence lawyer for Yulia Tymoshenko, of his parliamentary seat.  We fear, with many in Ukraine, further escalation of terror against the regime’s critics, like yesterday’s beatings of newspaper editor Taras Chornoivan, arrests, and even worse. 

Most disturbing, the new violations come on the heels of Minister Jason Kenney’s visit there last week.  Although he characterized his two-hour meeting with Ukraine’s Foreign Minster as successful the on-the-ground-reality is frightening.  We were dismayed, therefore, that given the historic opportunity to once again pressure Ukraine’s government to adhere to EU’s requirements, Minister Kenney’s teleconference from Kyiv failed to convince that this had been the case.  Instead, it appears, much time was devoted to emphasizing old WWII injustices rather than the systematic destruction of the opposition as Arseniy Yatseniuk, Leader of Ukraine’s United Opposition calls it, and with it the only hope of Ukrainians against the ever-increasing dictatorship of President Yanukovych.  Minister, we consider the de-emphasis from this key issue a serious detraction.  It serves to divert Canada’s and the democratic world’s attention from the paramount issue which, if left unresolved, can turn ugly not just for Ukraine but for the region and beyond.

Canada must not accommodate this bad behaviour.  Unless President Yanukovych moves to eliminate selective justice and addresses other concerns of the EU, Canada’s new initiatives, including the well-intended reforms in the judiciary, will be still born.   Without democracy in Ukraine all our efforts since 1991 will be for naught.

We, therefore, call for a sharper policy focus and urge you to advise your counterpart in Ukraine that the dismantling of democratic institutions must stop and the requirements of the EU met or Canada’s programs will be curtailed and there will be little likelihood of signing any free trade agreements with the West. 

We, therefore, ask again that Canada, with the United States and others, lend a strong voice to the matter and we wait to hear from you at your earliest convenience. We offer to meet with you to discuss these concerns and the way ahead. 

With warmest regards, 

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn
Halyna Cechowska
Andrij Holowaty
Myroslava Oleksiuk
Marta Onufriv

cc.
Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
Hon. Jason Kenney
Hon. Rob Nicholson
Hon. Julian Fantino
Hon. Thomas Mulcair
Hon. Bob Rae
H.E. David Plunkett
H.E. Troy Lulashnyk
Mr. Ted Opitz
Mr. Arseniy Yatseniuk
Mr. Hryhoriy Nemyria
Mr. Paul Grod
Mr. Eugene Cholij

An isolated Yanukovych TOP

image
If they don’t have bread, let them eat cake.

( Source )
March 15, 2013

Alexander Motyl Alexander J. Motyl

A behind-the-scenes powerbroker most people have never heard of has some interesting things to say about the Yanukovych regime and the Regionnaires in a recent interview. The 63-year-old Hennadi Moskal has occupied a variety of highly placed positions in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Security Service and has also served as governor of Luhansk and Zakarpattya provinces and as President Yushchenko’s permanent representative to the Crimea. In a word, Moskal knows both the “power ministries” and the country. He also happens to have been a parliamentary deputy for a few years, most recently having been elected in October 2012 on the democratic-opposition ticket.

Yevgenii Kuzmenko, of the Social Communication website Obkom, interviewed Moskal on January 29th. What, Kuzmenko asks, does Moskal think of the fact that President Yanukovych is appointing “his exclusive little soldiers” to positions of authority?

I believe that today the president’s greatest mistake is to form his team on the basis of their common regional roots. That’s the road to nowhere…. Ceausescu also picked his team on that basis. And as soon as there appeared a revolutionary situation—when Ceausescu was met with shouts of “Down with Ceausescu!” at a meeting—within ten minutes the minister of defense, the minister of internal affairs, and the head of the Securitate ran away…. The same will happen in Ukraine! Someone will take a pot shot and you’ll see how quickly Yanukovych’s team will disperse.

But, says Kuzmenko, isn’t Yanukovych giving all the important positions to his son’s friends so as to avoid the Ceausescu scenario?

The people he appoints should be moral authorities. Just because they’re going to say something doesn’t mean anyone will follow orders! … You can’t appoint only people from Donetsk to the 300,000-strong militia. That’s impossible. So they replace the leaders. But are these leaders moral authorities for the rank and file? Of course they’re not! Do they provoke annoyance? Of course, they do! … I speak to these people every day. There’s no love for the party and no love for the leaders! The situation in the country is now such that we have people to give orders—the hierarchy has been formed—but there’s no one to follow them. And once the situation in Ukraine becomes more complicated, no one will follow orders!

Unfortunately, the interviewer says, the opposition looks weak and powerless.

So do you want the opposition to call for an armed uprising? Are Tyahnybok, Yatseniuk, or Klitschko supposed to climb atop a tank? 

So, wonders Kuzmenko, just how is the regime to be removed? By another colored revolution, via elections, or, “heaven forbid,” by means of violence?

There are several components here. First, the opposition in today’s Parliament is much stronger and much better than in 2007. Second, the economic situation in the country undermines the position of the authorities. And third, the government and presidential administration are sitting on a branch that they themselves are cutting with their incorrect internal and external policies. At some point these three factors will combine to form a powerful mixture. And I can state unequivocally that it’s inevitable…. I understand that people’s expectations today are more radical and that society is radicalizing, and that’s what they expect from the opposition. I understand that perfectly, but the fruit must ripen. It shouldn’t be eaten when it’s still green.

Then Kuzmenko shifts the conversation to the power ministries and the Regionnaires. So what’s going on in the Security Service?

Believe me, there are no pro-presidential attitudes there. Quite the contrary, there is hidden sabotage and lack of acceptance. But these are people who speak little. They’ll share their views only with people they know…. The country’s leaders also overstate the role of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Well, asks Kuzmenko, doesn’t Moskal think that the recently formed Ministry of Income and Taxes will become the key instrument of repression of the “late Yanukovych epoch”?

But how can you repress someone who has nothing? What will they take from me? My jeans, my jacket, my tie? … People like me comprise 99 percent of the country. Only 1 percent has something that can be taken. And they are the authorities and the Party of Regions.

So, says Kuzmenko, will they start expropriating their own people?

Who else? They’ll do what the Bolsheviks did: steal what was stolen. Who else can you steal from?

The Regionnaires, suggests Kuzmenko, can’t be too happy with the current state of affairs in the country.

Indeed, discontent is very large. They’ve understood that brute force no longer works…. Their attitude is defeatist, like that within the Soviet Army in 1941. I know many in the Party of Regions: there are enough smart, literate, and educated people there (it’s not true that the Party of Regions consists only of criminals, although it’s true that there have never been as many in the party as today). These people look around them and say: “Where is this all leading?” This is no longer the monolithic Party of Regions that came into Parliament in 2007.

Yanukovych must sense that his own cadres are grumbling and could at some point even be tempted to go against him. Why else would the Higher Administrative Court, which consists of Yanukovych flunkies, strip Yulia Tymoshenko’s defender, Serhii Vlasenko, and Regionnaire small-fry Andrii Verevsky of their status as parliamentary deputies on the grounds that the law forbids having outside jobs? Yanukovych is signaling to all disgruntled deputies that one false step could lead to their forfeiture of the goodies that come with deputy status. The opposition already knew that, just as they knew that opposition could land them in jail. Now the Regionnaires know it as well. Worse, Yanukovych’s Ministry of Income and Taxes can now swoop down on them and seize their assets.

Yanukovych’s moves are acts of desperation, and the Regionnaires, who are well versed in the art of treachery, know full well that the new ministry and the court’s decision are just signs of the regime’s isolation, illegitimacy, and weakness. Now is the time to start looking for ways to jump ship. Of course, Yanukovych knows they know, so expect him to react in the only way he knows how: by accumulating still more power, waving his fists, and retreating into even more complete isolation.

Moskal’s final two sentences nicely summarize the condition of the Yanukovych regime:

Well, since they’ve gotten into this dead end, it’s necessary to find a way out. Instead, they’re only making things worse…

Звернення Iрини Луценко до депутатiв , громадян , журналiстiв - ВІДЕО TOP

image
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3g55pQxras

Time to end EU-Ukraine pseudo-relations TOP

( Source )
13.03.13

image of Taras Kuzio Taras Kuzio

BRUSSELS - In Ukraine, informal rules and norms of behaviour are respected much more than legislation and constitutions.

The term "doublethink" was coined by George Orwell to describe this act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs and world views as correct; in the Ukrainian context this has translated into virtual policies.

image
EU-Ukraine summit - an exercise in doublespeak
(Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

Examples abound of Orwellian doublespeak.

Former president Leonid Kuchma issued decrees banning censorship and outlining measures to hold free elections and at the same time presided over the Soviet style censorship through "temnyky" (secret instruction sent to television channels) and massive election fraud that led to the Orange Revolution in 2004.

On 13 February 2013, Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office laid out murder charges against former PM Yuliya Tymoshenko on the same day the government issued this year’s programme for EU integration.

Ten days after President Yanukovych was given his virtual “last red line” by the EU in Brussels Tymoshenko’s lawyer, Serhiy Vlasenko, was stripped of his parliamentary mandate.

Soviet-era and post-Soviet virtuality - the gap between saying one thing in public and doing another in private - emerged and developed in the Joseph Stalin era and has deepened in the decades since.

Cynicism towards official documents, deceit and disbelief in Communist Party declarations have translated into legal nihilism in Ukraine.

But cynicism and doublespeak in Ukraine is compounded by an equally deep doublespeak in the EU and the two co-exist in an unstable but at the same time cosy virtual relationship.

The EU has long pretended that Ukraine is a “strategic partner” and continues to pretend it sees Ukraine as a future member.

The EU’s doublespeak is reciprocated by President Yanukovych who - when Tymoshenko was in court awaiting her inevitable sentence (Ukrainian courts only find 0.17% of cases not guilty) - was demanding the EU include the offer of membership in the association agreement.

Added to this vacuous “strategic partnership” is the EU’s equally virtual programme on fighting corruption.

Ukrainian and Eurasian oligarchs have long sent billions of dollars to EU member states and their offshore zones.

In the first two years of the Yanukovych administration the EU received a greater sum from Ukraine than the entire Ukrainian budget.

The €610 million assistance offered to Yanukovych in Brussels is only a fraction of the amount Ukraine has sent to the EU and will have no influence on him. Cyprus, the biggest foreign investor in Ukraine, sees more Ukrainian capital come over to its shores than this in a routine year.

Ukrainian oligarchs Viktor Pinchuk and Rinat Akhmetov purchased the most expensive properties in British history in Kensington and Knightsbridge in the city they have fondly renamed Londongrad.

In addition to real estate, oligarchs send their children to private schools, they open offices and deposit large sums of money in Britain, France, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Monaco and offshore zones such as the British Virgin Islands (a favourite destination), Belize, Seychelles and elsewhere.

Is it any wonder Yanukovych and other post-Soviet leaders are cynically disposed towards the EU when the EU itself fails to live up to its own values?

Three policies are required to break down this mutual virtuality.

Firstly, the EU should begin to undertake due diligence on Ukrainian and Eurasian capital in the same stringent manner as the US.

With corruption amok in Ukraine and corporate raiding massively on the increase, is it really possible that capital the EU receives from Ukrainian oligarchs is clean?

The first place to begin is in the highly opaque energy sector where the EU - unlike the US - has ignored massive corruption.

Secondly, the EU should stop speaking with many voices which provides a window of opportunity for mutual virtuality to flourish.

The EU, preferably with the US and Canada in a joint statement, should unambiguously spell out its first real “red line” that states there will be no association agreement unless a set of clear steps are undertaken.

Thirdly, failing this, the EU’s should threaten a visa blacklist of senior Ukrainian officials from the President, government and ruling Party of Regions as well as allied oligarchs such as Akhmetov and gas tycoon Dmitri Firtash.

It is in the interests of the EU to stop playing the virtual game with President Yanukovych and his Orwellian administration.

Taras Kuzio is a non-resident fellow at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC

Preparing for Russia's upcoming collapse TOP

( Source )
Feb. 15, 2013

Alexander Motyl Alexander J. Motyl

A just-published report by Russia’s premier political analyst, Lilia Shevtsova, has important implications for the post-Soviet states in general and Ukraine in particular. Titled “Russia XXI: The Logic of Suicide and Rebirth,” the report was released by the Moscow Carnegie Center in January 2013. Shevtsova, who together with democratic reformer Grigory Yavlinsky shares the distinction of having been born and raised in the West Ukrainian city of Lviv, chairs the center’s Russian Domestic Politics and Political Institutions Program and is the author of, among many other books, Putin’s Russia and Russia—Lost in Transition. When Shevtsova speaks, Western policymakers and academics listen—and post-Soviet dictators should listen.

image

The “Russia XXI” report has good news for democrats and well-wishers of Russia: Vladimir Putin’s days as Russia’s dictator are numbered. According to Shevtsova, “The Russian system is beginning to decay. It cannot sustain the crumbling status quo, nor can it be certain of finding a new incarnation for itself. The only real questions are what stage of decay the system is in, whether the agony of its demise has already started, and, if so, how long it will last. To be sure, the system still has some resources, if not to revive itself, then to draw out its death, and that survival instinct could take a nasty, even bloody, form.”

That last sentence suggests that the demise of Putin’s fascistoid regime could take on nasty forms with profoundly deleterious consequences for Russia and Russians:

The system no longer has adequate resources to manage society through means of mass coercion and force; the resources required for that are being quickly depleted. By opting for harsher management instruments, the regime will significantly truncate its own support base. By suppressing the relatively moderate opposition, which is trying to express itself openly and constitutionally, and by rejecting constitutional rights and freedoms, the Kremlin itself will breed a radical and destructive opposition that will act clandestinely and opt for violent methods. It is the Kremlin that is shoving these differences of opinion and opposing viewpoints into a revolutionary niche.

In its attack on pluralism, the regime is not only radicalizing the conflict and accelerating the political cycle, it is also reducing the chances of reaching an agreement between the opposition and a part of the ruling elite. As it tries to shift responsibility for the use of force to all of the elite, the Kremlin impairs the chances for the formation of a pragmatic wing ready for a peaceful exit from the Russian system.

No less serious is the fact that the current ruling elite, feeling that is has been cornered and apparently beginning to understand the nature of the challenges, has started to consciously pursue a policy that will deepen the degradation of society, preserve its atomization, and provoke ethnic and social hatreds. This is the goal of the Kremlin’s propaganda and policy: to prevent society’s consolidation against the authorities and to provoke conflicts and tensions that make the authorities the arbitrator. If this policy is successful, Russia is doomed.

In order to forestall such a dire outcome, says Shevtsova, it is imperative for the democratic opposition to get its act together as soon as possible:

The agenda for the upcoming political season contains a few objectives. One of them is consolidating the opposition and formulating an agenda that is responsive to the challenges posed by a more repressive regime. Another objective is integrating political and socioeconomic demands. Yet another is uniting all of the opposition factions and the moderates within the system ready for change under the banner of universal democratic demands and the peaceful transformation of the system.

The fast-paced events of the day and the degradation of the system may call for some ad hoc changes to the agenda, but one objective remains paramount under any circumstances: the pledge by all participants in the political process to renounce personalized power and to step down from positions of power in case of electoral defeat. This has never happened in Russian history. If Russia finally manages to do it, it will have reached its “end of history” and the beginning of a new one.

Note that Shevtsova’s analysis could be applied, word for word, to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and a number of other dysfunctional post-Soviet authoritarian regimes. Just as these regimes emerged from similar political and economic circumstances that may loosely be termed the “Soviet and post-Soviet legacy,” so, too, these regimes are likely to break down, collapse, or crack up for the same reasons, the primary one being their systemic unsustainability. Moreover, just as these regimes emerged pretty much at the same time, so, too, they are likely to vanish at the same time. Indeed, one can easily imagine that the collapse of any one of them—and especially of Putin’s regime—will immediately have spillover effects in the others, producing a chain reaction of regime breakdowns similar to the collapse of communism that swept East Central Europe in the course of six months in 1989. Domino theory redux, anyone?

As Shevtsova warns us, Russia’s collapse could be peaceful and lead to democratic consolidation or it could be bloody and spell Russia’s doom. Exactly the same outcomes face post-Yanukovych Ukraine, post-Lukashenko Belarus, and post-Nazarbayev Kazakhstan. It is conceivable that we’ll witness, within the next five or so years, a wave of democratic transitions in the entire post-Soviet space or a wave of bloody breakdowns. The former scenario would be wonderful, but, as Shevtsova says, it can happen if and only if the democrats prepare for it accordingly. The latter scenario—breakdown—would be a disaster for everyone concerned. Its consequences—instability, economic collapse, refugees, bloodshed—would definitely spill over into East Central Europe and, despite the iron curtain set up by the Schengen-zone countries, into the core of the European Union as well. Smart Western policymakers might consider asking themselves whether they’re doing enough to prevent that doomsday scenario from happening. The wrong way to proceed is to try to prop up doomed regimes, even if they export gas. The right way is to start working with the democratic oppositions in preparation for the day the dictators disappear.

It’s too late for the regimes in Russia, Belarus, and, probably, Kazakhstan to change: they’ve been around for too long and they’re too entrenched. It may not be too late for the significantly younger and less entrenched Yanukovych regime to try to change its spots and avoid an ignominious end. All Yanukovych need do is free Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko, sell his palatial estates outside Kyiv, tell his son Sasha to go back to dentistry, fire the thuggish Minister of Education Dmitri Tabachnik, and retire before the 2015 presidential elections. Oh, and read Shevtsova’s excellent report now, when he could learn a thing or two about survival—and not several years from now, when he’s in the slammer or on the lam.

Support reform of higher education in Ukraine - Petition TOP

image

( Source )

To: All Supporters of Autonomy and Freedom of Education

Autonomy and Freedom: Support for Reform of Higher Education in Ukraine

See below: Presentation at the Culture and Education Roundtable Ukraine in Washington 2012 Conference by Marta FarionThe Parliamentary Commission on Education in Ukraine will consider several proposals on educational reform.

The proposals reflect two different approaches to Ukrainian higher education, to Ukrainian political trends, and to the country’s geopolitics. Yet they are much more than that.  To put it bluntly, these proposals reflect the future of the new generation of the Ukrainian people. They put forward either a European integrationist trend or a back-to-the-USSR isolationist course. Once one of these proposals is presented for a vote in the Parliament, and becomes the law of the land, the future of Ukraine will be sealed. And the dilemma is clear — bringing up a new generation that shares European educational standards, or casting it into the mold of homo sovieticus. The stakes are high. 

Reforms will either curb or allow independence of universities, and, in the long run, they will either restrain or promote the intellectual sovereignty of the Ukrainian people.  If the proposals of the newly reappointed minister of education and his supporters take shape, then bureaucracy would dictate what to teach, how to teach, what disciplines students should take, and what professional careers individual students should build. 

If the conservative approach prevails, intellectual sovereignty would become null and void.  Universities would be integrated into the politically biased and inefficient state bureaucratic system.  If the reformist proposal has the upper hand, individual universities would establish their own rules and defend their standards. They would be able to act independently. 

One needs to remember that Europe managed to produce such giants as Pierre Abelard, Martin Luther, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Nicolaus Copernicus, and Miguel de Cervantes, precisely because of the independent university system.  These and other great thinkers, philosophers, writers and scholars came to being due to Bologna or Alcalá-de-Henares, Padua or Sorbonne, independent institutions with sovereign systems of intellectual property.

Remarkably, these great European universities juxtaposed independence with mobility.  They allowed students to take classes in a variety of disciplines.  They respected the right of choice and fostered intellectual mobility. They allowed students to choose between disciplines. Universities allowed philologists to become philosophers and medical doctors to become writers. 

This mobility is exactly what makes today’s world media so rich, productive, and inspiring.  In our time, the best journalists are often university-trained historians; the best writers may be former scholars of physics; and poets can be former medical doctors and engineers.

To impose a strict yoke on the university system, disallowing universities to run themselves and shape their own priorities and mobility system is to strangle the idea of higher education and to plunge Ukraine into backwardness. Ukraine will not become independent unless it allows for independence of its university system. Take it away and Ukraine will turn into an agrarian addendum of the Big Brother, as it had been for centuries.

This is precisely what is at stake — the independence of Ukraine on an intellectual level.  This is exactly what the opponents of pro-European reform are trying to suppress.  Intellectual independence and mobility is what scares them most. 

What kind of a writer are you if you have a medical degree, they would say to the writer and politician Yuri Scherbak and would not allow him to attend the graduate school of journalism.  Why are you trying to get to a music conservatory with your medical institute diploma, they would say to Ihor Shamo and would prevent him from becoming a great Ukrainian composer. Who are you to defend your Ph.D. on the history of cinema if you received your master’s degree in German philology, they would say to the Ukrainian thinker Vadym Skurativs’kyi.

It should be crystal-clear that it is up to the individual to decide which school to attend, what area of study to follow, and how to apply one’s intellectual capacities.  It is up to a university to decide how to structure undergraduate and graduate education.  Even the best-educated authority cannot be a specialist in all the branches of knowledge. Therefore, it is the university as a sovereign intellectual institution that should make decisions about its development. 

This is what reform is all about — and this is what we support.  The independence of Ukraine begins with an independent mind and with intellectual mobility.  Only the sovereignty of universities can make true Ukrainian independence happen because it is the independence of the mind that can set the individual free.  

Marta Farion, President, Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America, USA.

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern, The Crown Family Professor, History Department, Northwestern University, USA.

Marko R. Stech, Executive Director of CIUS Press and CIUS Special Publications, Toronto, Canada.

Rory Finnin, Chair, Cambridge Committee for Russian and East European Studies, Cambridge, UK.

Alex Motyl, Professor of Political Science, Rutgers University, USA.

Vyacheslav Bryukhovetsky, Honorary President, National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, Ukraine.

Mychailo Zgurovsky, Rector, National Technical University Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Ukraine.

Serhiy Kvit, President, National University “Kyiv Mohyla Academy” , Ukraine.

William Green Miller,  Former Ambassador of the U.S. to Ukraine; Co-Chairman of Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America, USA.

Borys Tarasiuk, Former Minister of Foreign Relations of Ukraine; Co-Chairman of Kyiv Mohyla Foundation of America, Ukraine.  

Yuri Shevchuk, Lecturer of Ukrainian, Columbia University, New York, USA.

Natalia Pylypiuk, Professor of Ukrainian Culture, Language and Literature (Dept. of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies), University of Alberta; President of the Canadian Association of Ukrainian Studies, Canada.

Oleh S. Ilnytzkyj, Professor of Ukrainian Culture, Language and Literature (Dept. of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies), University of Alberta, Canada.

Serhy Yekelchyk, Associate Professor of Slavic Studies (Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies), University of Victoria, Canada.

Mykola Riabchuk, Senior Research Fellow, Ukrainian Center for Cultural Studies, Kyiv; Co-Founder and Member of the Editorial Board of Krytyka, Ukraine.

Jaroslav Rozumnyj, Senior Scholar with the Department of German and Slavic Studies, University of Manitoba, Canada.

Zina Gimpelevich, Professor Emeritus of Russian, Dept. of Germanic and Slavic Studies, University of Waterloo, Canada.

Giovanna Brogi, Professor of Slavic Studies and Ukrainian Literature, Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Milan, Italy.

Serhii Plokhii, Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History, Department of History, Harvard University, USA.

Marta Dyczok, Associate Professor, University of Western Ontario, Canada, Fellow, Munk School, University of Toronto, Canada, Adjunct Professor, NaUKMA, Ukraine.

Marian J. Rubchak, Senior Research Professor of History, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, USA.

Volodymyr Dibrova, Editor and Writer in Residence, Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute; Preceptor in Slavic Languages and Literatures, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Harvard University, USA.

W.Roman Petryshyn, Director, Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre, Faculty of Arts, Grant MacEwan University, Canada. 

Maria G. Rewakowicz, Affiliate Faculty and Shevchenko Society Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.

Daria Darewych, President, Shevchenko Scientific Society of Canada

No Sanctuary for ex-Soviet secret police veterans in Canada – postcard campaign TOP

Continuing with its campaign to rid Canada of known veterans of various Soviet secret police groups, like the NKVD, SMERSH and KGB, the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association has launched yet another postcard campaign alerting the Government of Canada to the presence of such individuals in Canada, in particular singling out (ex) Captain Mikhail Lennikov who was ordered deported more than 3 years ago yet remains in Vancouver, claiming a (non-existant) "right of sanctuary" in an east end Lutheran church.

"We find it hard to believe that the Canada Border Services Agency is unable to remove a man whose claim to being a refugee was rejected, who was ordered deported by a federal court judge, and whose whereabouts are well known to the authorities. His continued presence in this country calls into question the rule of law and Canada's immigration and refugee determination procedures. Lennikov had no right to enter Canada, has no right to remain here, and should long ago have been removed whence he came, as should any and all ex-NKVD and ex-KGB men and women found here. Even one of them in our midst is one too many," said Roman Zakaluzny, UCCLA's chairman.

UCCLA's latest postcard re: the Canadian Museum for Human Rights TOP

image

Seeking sponsors to help in building the church TOP

image

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Community village Voroniv (Crows) is building its own church.
We turn to You for help in finding sponsors to help in building the church. 
voroniv.in.ua

Thank you for your help
Bohdan Korolchuk <voroniv2010@gmail.com>

Бунтуй, якщо себе поважаєш TOP

image

( Джерело )
14.03.2013

Юрiй Грицик

Мiж участю в масових акцiях протесту i якiстю життя є прямий зв'язок

Європейцi звикли добиватися свого. У них можна цього повчитися. У новинах тiльки й чути про те, що польскi правоохоронцi та пожежники через страйк отримали п'ятивiдсоткову iндексацiю зарплати, нiмецькi водiї добилися полiпшення умов працi, чеськi студенти отримали пiльги на навчання, румунськi манiфестанти вiдправили у вiдставку кiлькох мiнiстрiв, iспанцi фактично зупинили країну, вимагаючи вiд влади ефективнiших методiв подолання безробiття...

А як вони це все отримують? Сидячи на диванах чи обурюючись на кухнi за пивом? А дзуськи! Якщо їм щось не подобається, вони гуртуються i йдуть на вулицi протестувати.

А що у нас? Життя заможне i достойне для всiх громадян?

Чому ж середньостатистичнi європейцi, хоча й суттєво багатшi за нас, але не соромляться виходити на вулицi, щоб заявити про свої права? I чому ми, українцi, волiємо протестувати лише на своїх кухнях?

Про це ми сьогоднi ведемо мову iз вiдомим правозахисником Семеном Глузманом, українським полiтологом Вiктором Небоженком та польським полiтекспертом Войцехом Мiрчинським.

- Європейцi вважають, що боротися за свої права -- це святий обов'язок кожного громадянина, ознака самоповаги. В українських громадян немає обов'язкiв, чи вони не європейцi?

С. Глузман: - Колись у європейцiв з'явився вислiв: "Хвора людина Європи". Тодi вiн стосувався Османської iмперiї, нинi так говорять про Україну. I кажуть так про нас тому, що ми занадто пасивнi у вiдстоюваннi своїх прав.

Протест -- це нормальна реакцiя нормального громадянина на байдужiсть чи погане ставлення до нього з боку влади. Тому протести в нашiй ситуацiї, коли у нас недорозвинена демократiя, коли немає громадянського суспiльства, вкрай потрiбнi. У країнах, де влада боїться виборця, вона його завжди намагається почути, тому там протести зводяться до мiнiмуму. В Українi ж усе навпаки, тут виборець бiльше боїться влади. Але це лише до слушного часу. Коли українцi остаточно переборють у собi страх перед владою (а це може статися дуже швидко), масових протестiв не уникнути.

В. Мiрчинський: -- Протестувати повинен кожен, хто вважає себе ущемленим владою, але при цьому не втратив самоповаги. Уся iсторiя Європи -- це суцiльнi протести. Але власне ця невпинна боротьба суспiльств за свої права i створила конгломерат держав, якi тепер називають колискою демократiї.

Так, свого часу у Європi пролилося чимало кровi, її постiйно лихоманило у революцiях, але в результатi сьогоднi у вiльних країнах живуть вiльнi люди. Вони навчилися виборювати свої демократичнi та соцiальнi права, якi тепер у них складно вiдiбрати будь-кому. А якщо хтось на них зазiхатиме, то i нинi європейцi готовi у будь-яку мить зiбратись у мiльйони, аби захистити свiй спосiб життя. У цьому можна переконатися, спостерiгаючи за щоденними новинами.

Що ж стосується України, то проблема в тому, що у вас немає елiти, вiдповiдальної за протести, готової правильно сформулювати цiлi. У Європi все значно чiткiше: там за шiстсот рокiв вибудувалася дуже жорстка система вiдповiдальностi. Якщо європейцi виходять на акцiї протесту, то вони чiтко знають, хто винен у їхнiх життєвих негараздах -- мiнiстр економiки, мер мiста, полiцiя тощо.

А у вас люди не знають, проти кого їм бунтувати. Проти свого губернатора, проти Чечетова? А може, проти Азарова? Як на мене, то зараз формується полiтична вiдповiдальнiсть однiєї людини за все, що вiдбувається в Українi - Вiктора Януковича. Вiн сам потрапив у цю пастку персональної вiдповiдальностi. Її, до речi багато рокiв вдавалося уникати спершу Кучмi, а потiм Ющенковi, який i досi вважає, що нi в чому не винен, окрiм, можливо, поганої погоди.

В. Небоженко: - Саме тому нашi протести суттєво вiдрiзнятимуться вiд європейських, бо на Заходi добре органiзованi профспiлки, якi мають величезний досвiд протестного руху. У нас же тривалий час не було своєї держави, тому з загальної маси не видiлялись українцi, готовi до жорстких публiчних конфлiктiв. Такi люди з'явилися в 1991 роцi, але вже у 1996-му вони зникли. Поколiння В'ячеслава Чорновола розчинилось i асимiлювалось у реалiях української полiтики. Вiдтак у нас повнiстю вiдсутнi лiдерськi групи. Нашi нинiшнi опозицiонери, умовно кажучи, протестують лише до обiду, а пiсля обiду сидять у ресторанах разом iз олiгархами чи чиновниками з Адмiнiстрацiї президента.

- Однак українцi все ж уважають себе європейцями. Чому ж вони поки що намагаються уникати масових протестiв?

С. Глузман: - У Європi, як слушно зауважив пан Небоженко, є стiйкi iнститути, якi називаються професiйними спiлками. Це не нашi профспiлки. У нас їх понад пiвсотнi, але за радянською традицiєю вони завжди годувалися з рук влади i є її фактичним продовженням.

А ще пiсля 2004 року українець iнстинктивно боїться, що плодами його протестiв скористається хто завгодно, тiльки не вiн сам. Хтось, хто особливо i не бунтуватиме, але отримає якiсь "жирнi" посади у владi, хтось наживе якiсь маєтки... Тобто ми пiдсвiдомо не бажаємо повторення наслiдкiв Помаранчевої революцiї, пiд час якої українцi так блискуче пiднялись на очах у всього свiту, а потiм нова влада лише за один рiк бездарно розстринькала увесь потенцiал народного пiдйому.

В. Небоженко: -- Тому майбутнi протести у нас вiдбуватимуться хвилеподiбно: сьогоднi вийдуть школярi, завтра студенти, пiслязавтра залiзничники, за ними невдоволенi вчителi українських шкiл, потiм пенсiонери, афганцi... I на якомусь iз цих етапiв обов'язково вiдбудеться радикалiзацiя i влади, i мiтингувальникiв. Хтось прорветься до Адмiнiстрацiї президента, чи до Кабмiну, хтось iз молодi пiде з квiтами до Межигiр'я i когось при цьому поб'є донецький чи кримський "Беркут". Все. Вiдбудеться миттєве перекидання бунтiвного вогню на широкi маси.

Народ спитає: за що ви, примiром, побили чи, не приведи Боже, убили молодих людей? За те, що вони у вишиванках прийшли пiд Верховну Раду? I вийде так, що ще три години тому люди сперечалися про абсолютно теоретичнi речi, i тут раптом почали будувати барикади.

До речi, Янукович, вiдчувши реалiстичнiсть такого сценарiю, розумiє, що доведеться вiдповiдати саме йому. А тому нинi вiн вiдчайдушно шукає такого собi полковника, який би взяв на себе вiдповiдальнiсть за iмовiрнi майбутнi репресiї проти мирних демонстрантiв. Але знайти вiн його наразi не може. Так, у нас люди полохливi, важко йдуть на протести, але й у нинiшнiй владi практично немає охочих її захищати. Пригадую 19 серпня 1991 року. Я тодi працював головним консультатнтом у Верховнiй Радi i на власнi очi бачив, як у вiдчаї металися тодiшнi силовi мiнiстри, не бажаючи брати на себе вiдповiдальнiсть за наслiдки народних виступiв. Щось подiбне можна спостерiгати в нас уже зараз.

Це знаменитий парадокс та дилема будь-якої тоталiтарної держави: хто вiзьме на себе вiдповiдальнiсть за розв'язку? Питання, яке дедалi гострiше поставатиме для влади протягом найближчих двох рокiв.

В. Мiрчинський: -- Так, дуже наближеними до нинiшньої ситуацiї в Українi були протести у Францiї в травнi 1968 року. Там усе почалося з реформи вищої школи, коли влада хотiла перенести центральний унiверситет iз Парижа на периферiю. Студенти та молодь почали протестувати, полiцiя ж повелася доволi агресивно. Вiдтак до студентiв приєдналися маргiнальнi групи, якi протестували вже проти дiй полiцiї. Згодом пiдключилась iнтелiгенцiя. В результатi на вулицi вийшло понад 600 тисяч людей! I це при тому, що нiхто з полiтикiв цю акцiю не готував. Її вiд початку i до кiнця провели "низи". Але французька влада капiтулювала.

- Якою могла б бути роль української опозицiї у разi виникнення масових протестiв?

В. Небоженко: -- Нинiшня опозицiя щезне так само, як i нинiшня влада. Це все тi самi люди. Рiзниця мiж ними тiльки в тому, що однi тимчасово при владi, а iншi без неї, i апелюють до українського протесту. Але насправдi нi однi, нi iншi не знають, що робити з Україною i тими, хто вiддали їм свої голоси. Тому опозицiя у теперiшньому виглядi тут не допоможе.

Справжня опозицiя у Європi завжди спиралася на вуличний протест. Але не наша. Нашi опозицiонери - люди у вишуканих костюмах, на дорогих авто, якi п'ють пиво у пабах iз депутатами вiд Партiї регiонiв. Вони нiколи не пiдуть до простих людей. Власне цей гiгантський розрив мiж респектабельною та елiтною парламентською опозицiєю i опозицiєю вуличною -- головний дiагноз України. Так, у влади немає пiдтримки, але немає справжньої пiдтримки i в парламентської опозицiї. А тому щирий протест неодмiнно почнеться з низiв.

С. Глузман: -- Важко не погодитись. Як на мене, то в нас узагалi немає опозицiї в класичному розумiннi. У нас є декiлька кланiв, якi постiно дiлять мiж собою нас та наше майно. Тому, якщо остаточна радикалiзацiя суспiльства все ж вiдбудеться, то краще, аби протести вiдбувалися без участi нашої псевдоопозицiї. Бо вона все зруйнує, як це зробила пiсля Помаранчевої революцiї. Але цього разу їй уже не пробачать: гарячi голови можуть узяти на вила як владу, так i нинiшнiх опозицiонерiв. Тому я не радив би їм лiзти у протестний котел хоча б з огляду на їхню ж особисту безпеку.

А. Мiрчинський: -- Коли два роки тому в Iталiї та Англiї уряди оголосили про намiр скоротити фiнансування державної освiти, то на вулицi вийшли сотнi тисяч студентiв, старшокласникiв, лiцеїстiв. Вони заблокували сили охорони правопорядку, паралiзували рух транспорту в Римi та Лондонi i навiть узяли в облогу два залiзничнi вокзали. Цi акцiї не готувала полiтична опозицiя, вони виникли як здорова реакцiя на ущемлення прав громадян. I влада змушена була поступитися.

Хвиля страйкiв i демонстрацiй також прокотилася минулорiч у двадцяти трьох європейських країнах, де люди протестували проти жорсткої фiнансвої полiтики уряду. Були скасованi сотнi авiарейсiв, шкiльнi заняття, не працювали державнi установи. Бiльшiсть цих акцiй також проходила без втручання полiтичної опозицiї.

Тобто зрiле суспiльство навчилося самоорганiзовуватись, воно не звикло чекати, коли його проблеми вирiшать полiтики та чиновники, i не цурається iти на жорсткi протести тодi, коли цього вимагають обставини. Я думаю, що й українська спiльнота прийде невдовзi до такого розумiння. А протести очолять новi, негламурнi лiдери.

Пошук спонсорів для допомоги в будівництві церкви TOP

image

Слава Ісусу Христу!

Громада села Воронів здійснює будівництво церкви власними силами.
Звертаємося до Вас за допомогою в пошуку спонсорів для
допомоги в будівництві церкви.
Сайт  voroniv.in.ua

Дякуємо Вам за допомогу.
Богдан Корольчук <voroniv2010@gmail.com>

Links to event postings TOP

Do you maintain a website of events for your city or region? Let us know and we'll add a link to your site in the ePOSHTA newsmagazine.

 Canada

Ukrainian Golf Across Canada

 United States

Canadian flagEdmonton, AB: Alberta-Ukraine Genealogical Project free "how-to" seminar -- Mar 20 TOP

image

The Edmonton seminar will be the last in this series. Due to last years great response, we are asking that participants register for this last seminar in advance to ensure the adequate seating will be available. After the seminar the participants will have an opportunity to visit the Sandra Thompson Reading Room to become acquainted with its research facilities.

USA flagNew York: Ron Kostyniuk: Art/Nature/Art -- Mar. 22-Apr 7 TOP

image

The Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Institute
Cordially invites you to meet the artist and view the exhibition

image

RON KOSTYNIUK
ART – NATURE – ART

Ukrainian Institute of America
2 East 79th Street
New York, NY

The exhibit opens on March 22, 2013 and continues through April 7, 2013.

Exhibition hours
Tuesday - Sunday, 12 to 6 PM

Opening Reception
Friday, March 22, 2013 from 6 to 8 PM

The Ukrainian Institute of America is pleased to present the exhibition Ron Kostyniuk: Art/Nature/Art, which originated at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago under the title Ron Kostyniuk: Construction-neo-Construction and subsequently traveled to the Ukrainian Museum in New York under the title Ron Kostyniuk: Art as Nature Analogue.

My artwork subscribes to the utilization of geometrical form and to the articulation of space trough planar analysis...I am very cognizant of the actual structuring processes – processes of morphogenesis that operate in nature as formative elements of space in specific cellular combinations. These unique natural systems, however, are not translated in my work into any form of replication, rather they are utilized as a source for metaphoric transposition into an art of geometric form and color interaction as a parallel to nature’s creative rhythms in their manifest splendor.

Ron Kostyniuk

Ron Kostyniuk is a professor of Fine Art at the University of Calgary, where he has taught for over forty years. With nature as his source of inspiration, Canadian artist Ron Kostyniuk has been creating unique constructed relief sculptures since the 1960s. His work has been widely exhibited and is included in many private and museum collections in Canada. This exhibition features 28 sculptures created between 1967 and 2009 derived both from Kostyniuk's fascination with biology and study of natural forms and from his interest in the work of modernist and constructivist artists such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Archipenko, Charles Biederman, Naum Gabo, and Vladimir Tatlin. Vladimir Tatlin.

“Art at the Institute” is presented by the

Ukrainian Institute of America
2 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075
212-288-8660 · mail@ukrainianinstitute.org
www.ukrainianinstitute.org

Canadian flagToronto: Lecture: The Problem of Domestic Violence in Ukraine: A private of Public Consern? -- Mar 25 TOP

The 2013 Wolodymyr Dylynsky Memorial Lecture

The Problem of Domestic Violence in Ukraine:
A Private or Public Concern?

Professor Kateryna Levchenko
Prominent human, women's, and children's rights and
anti-human trafficking activist in Ukraine

Monday, March 25, 2013, 7:00 pm
St. Vladimir Institute
620 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
(at Harbord Street, two blocks south of the Spadina Subway Station)
Toronto, ON

Free Admission (Donations Accepted)
Coffee and tea will be served
For more information, call 416-923-3318

Sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Toronto Office, in co-operation with St. Vladimir Institute

Kateryna Levchenko has worked for women's empowerment within government and in nongovernment institutions.

This is part of the book Women in the World Today published by the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs.By Yevhen Hlibovytsky and Oksana Forostyna

Kateryna Levchenko became a feminist early in her career as an academic and has spent her life challenging traditional patriarchal stereotypes of women from within government and through nongovernmental organizations.

Ukrainian human rights advocate Kateryna Levchenko looks much too inspired for a person who just lost a lawsuit. "We're done here. Now it is time to appeal to international community!" Levchenko sued Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov over his March 2010 statement that "conducting reforms is not women's business," which he made when asked why there are no female ministers in his Cabinet. All of the judicial institutions where Kateryna Levchenko filed a case against him found that Azarov was free to express his views, and did not fault him for the discriminatory nature his words. Levchenko wants to challenge this acceptance of a disparaging patriarchal attitude. It is so common that during the 2009 election campaign Viktor Yanukovych, soon to be elected president of Ukraine, publicly stated that his rival, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, would do better in the kitchen. Levchenko does not take such words lightly, and has devoted her career to safeguarding human and women's rights.

Despite ingrained traditional attitudes about women's place, Ukraine does offer women opportunities for achievement. According to the WomanStats Database (http://www.womanstats.org), Ukraine is among those countries where the laws are consistent with the recommendations of the U.N. Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, but enforcement can be inconsistent. The government may or may not support women's advancement, but women can succeed in Ukraine's businesses, government agencies, science and academia. Yet few women participate in power politics. Women make up only seven percent of the Ukrainian Parliament - 34 out of 441 members of parliament as of February 2010 - and none hold significant positions in the current government. Kateryna Levchenko thinks the reason for this is the nature of power in Ukraine, which is rough-and-tumble and requires often ruthless toughness: "That's why there are a lot of women in the middle and junior positions in public administration and so few are on top."

Levchenko had her first real experience of gender discrimination at the age of 26, as a young, successful university lecturer and mother-to-be. She was pregnant for the first time and was obliged to register in a state clinic. After waiting for three hours at the clinic, she tried to change her appointment time to accommodate her teaching schedule, but the doctor yelled at her: "What lectures? No one cares, lady, you're pregnant here, not a professor!" Two decades later she recalls, "Then I understood how discrimination works," adding that a man would not have received such treatment.

Levchenko's path to feminism and human rights is typical for the first generation of Ukrainian feminists, who became public persons in the mid-1990s. She describes her family as "democratic, egalitarian." Her parents were both academics in Kharkiv, which is one of the major scientific and educational centers of Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. She says she never faced gender problems in her early years in the department of philosophy and scientific communism at the Kharkiv Institute of Railway Engineering. Levchenko recalls: "Those were the times we became familiar with modern Western philosophy [after decades of intellectual isolation], and people were very open-minded." Like many of her peers in the academic community, Levchenko turned to feminism after reading works by Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva and Betty Friedan. Levchenko explains this post-Soviet trend as natural: "Self-identification is a rather complicated process. That's why academic circles were the first to embrace feminist and human rights ideas." She launched the course "Introduction to Gender Theory" in 1996, one of the first academic courses of this sort in Ukraine. Very soon Levchenko would use this successful experience in her work with state institutions and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). She began working for NGOs, first in Kharkiv, then in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, coordinating programs for prevention of human trafficking.

In 2004 Levchenko was invited to become adviser on human rights and gender issues to the interior minister of Ukraine. It was a challenging time, both inside and outside the ministry. Her new government colleagues hardly understood the concept of gender and were skeptical about human rights, while many activists were surprised at her decision to be a part of law enforcement. In the fall of 2004 an aroused civil society took to the streets to confront the Ukrainian government. The protest lasted two months and became the "Orange Revolution," so named for the color adopted by the political opposition. Levchenko had to navigate between international organizations and the ministry, which was accused of persecuting political opponents.

  image
Woman holding sign (AP Images)

An activist from the Ukrainian women's organization FEMEN in Kyiv protests the all-male government formed in 2010. The poster reads "Give a portfolio!"

Levchenko says the real work began in spring 2005 when Yuriy Lutsenko, who was known for coordinating street protests before the revolution, took the position of interior minister. Levchenko says she held the first meeting with police patrolwomen, top-level ministry investigators and other female ministry staff. "Few knew that we had about 17 percent women in 2005, and 19 percent in 2009. Some of them administrated organized crime divisions and even served in 'Cobra' [a special Ukrainian police unit]," Levchenko says.

Human rights activist Taras Hataliak was in prison when Levchenko began her work at the Interior Ministry. Released just few weeks before the Orange Revolution, Hataliak began working with Levchenko. Taras Hataliak was the assistant interior minister in Lviv region (Western Ukraine) where he tracked abuses of human rights in police departments and prisons. "Levchenko was the policymaker and the messenger of human rights activists inside the ministry. She knew what the grass-roots organizations knew, and made sure that the agenda of civil society soon became part of the minister's agenda," he recalls. Hataliak also gives her credit for launching the human rights monitoring system in police departments. Mobile groups for preventing human rights abuses were deployed.

Public councils on human rights were established in every region. Legislation to protect human rights was adopted. In 2008 a special department to monitor human rights in law enforcement agencies was created. Levchenko is proud that human rights activists made up 40 percent of the ministry staff. The rest were retired policemen who knew the system and supported human rights reforms.

However, good intentions to reform the police always depend on the political situation in the country. As the governments changed, policies changed. Levchenko served in the Interior Ministry twice: from September 2004 to May 2006, and from January 2008 to April 2010. The department to monitor human rights was dissolved by the Yanukovych government. The former members of the team continue to work on human rights issues through NGOs such as La Strada-Ukraine, which Levchenko heads.

La Strada is a multinational NGO that helps primarily female victims of trafficking and domestic violence in Central and Eastern Europe.Levchenko says that people from all social groups ask La Strada for help. Calls come mostly from women, but men also request assistance. She expects La Strada's work to increase as people become better informed about trafficking in persons and as Ukraine's social services continue to improve.

Canadian flagNew Westminster, BC: Lecture: Holodomor: Murder by Starvation -- Apr 6 TOP

image

Canadian flag Eдмонтон, AB: Проект генеалогічних досліджень Альбепта-Україна безкоштовий "як-саме" семінар - 20 березня TOP

image

Canadian flag Toronto: Conference: Retoring Ukraine's National Memory -- Apr 6 TOP
image
Canadian flag Торонто: Конференція: "Питання Досліджень Української Історичної Правди" -- 6 квітня
“Школа освітніх консультантів” – 2013
TOP
image
Ukrainian flag “Школа освітніх консультантів” – 2013 TOP

“Школа освітніх консультантів” – 2013

Фундація Central European Academy Studies and Certification (CEASC), Польща та проект "Освіта без кордонів" оголошують відбір учасників проекту "Школа Освітніх Консультантів" - 2013.

Навчання в рамках проекту відбуватимуться в форматі 1-денних Шкіл (1-й рівень), 1-2 денних Шкіл (2-й рівень) та 3-денних Шкіл (третій рівень) протягом 2013 року у містах Рівне, Київ та Полтава у базових офісах проекту "Освіта без кордонів" (1-й та 2-й рівні Школи) та у м. Люблін, м. Варшава та м. Бидгощ, Республіка Польща (3-й рівень Школи).

Починаючи з 2010 року в рамках проекту вперше в Україні відбувається системна підготовка освітніх консультантів - людей, що володіють глибокими знаннями в сфері вищої та додаткової освіти та в змозі надавати консультації стосовно вибору першої вищої освіти, подальшої освіти протягом побудови кар'єри згідно до концепції Європейської Комісії Lifelong Learning Programme (навчання протягом життя), Бізнес-освіти (BA, МBA), післядипломної освіти, нострифікації та взаємного визнання освітніх рівнів та кваліфікацій в сучасній світовій системі вищої освіти.

З моменту початку першого етапу реалізації проекту (2010-2011 роки) учасниками Шкіл стали більше 300 осіб (1-й рівень), близько 120-ти осіб (2-й рівень) та 25 осіб (3-й рівень) з усіх регіонів України.

Учасники проекту: особи, що працюють або мають досвід роботи в освітній сфері України: викладачі, вчителі, тренери, працівники громадських організацій, керівники та працівники агенцій з працевлаштування, підготовки та перепідготовки фахівців, інші зацікавлені особи, що бачать побудову своєї подальшої кар'єри в освітній сфері.

Кращі випускники Школи Освітнього Консультанта після проходження перших двох рівнів Школи отримують пропозиції співпраці від проекту "Освіта без кордонів" (www.proekt-obk.com).

Реєстраційний внесок для участі в Школі - 500,00 грн. В рамках проекту учасники будуть забезпечені методичними та навчальними матеріалами, обідами, кава-перервами протягом навчання. Вартість проживання та транспортні витрати покриваються учасниками самостійно (1-й та 2-й рівні). Всі витрати учасників у Школах 3-го рівня покриваються організаторами.

Найближча дата проведення Школи 1-го рівня - 23 березня 2013 року (субота), м. Київ.

Для отримання детального опису програми Школи Освітнього Консультанта 1-го рівня та аплікаційної форми учасника прохання надіслати запит на адресу: cons.ceasc@gmail.com з приміткою "consultant".

Ukrainian flag VII Міжнародна конференція "Нетрадиційні і поновлювані джерела енергії, як альтернативні первинним джерелам енергії в регіоні", Львів -- 10-11 квітня, 2013 TOP

http://cstei.lviv.ua/ua/item/844?mailid=1036796&userid=5612

The Russian Mafia and organised crime: how can this global force be tamed? TOP

( Source )
October 12, 2012

image

Russian Transnational Organised Crime – what is it?

Russian Transnational Organised Crime (TNOC) has many similarities with the late twentieth century model of the US Sicilian mafia (Cosa Nostra) and the Italian mafias.  The Russian mafia, like the Italian and to some extent the US groups, has combined street level visible crime such as human trafficking and drug smuggling with less visible white collar crimes such as counterfeiting of goods, particularly cigarettes, and tax evasion on an industrial scale. While the boundaries between these types of crime are fluid, the fact that both are operated by criminal groups presents enormous challenges for international law enforcement agencies. The Russian mafia put organised crime on a business footing in a few short years. It took the US Sicilians decades.

And, given that no big business in Russia can operate without government approval it follows that the state and organised crime are inextricably linked. What is more important for an understanding of the problem is the difference between these national organised crime structures. Unlike the USA in recent decades, although with some similarity to Italy even now, Russian organised crime enjoys significant levels of state protection — the leaked US diplomatic cables were certainly right about that. In Russia and other countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), it is not just a question of organised crime being big business. Big business is organised crime. And, given that no big business in Russia can operate without government approval (just ask the numerous exiles who left Russia in 2003 after the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky) it follows that the state and organised crime are inextricably linked.

Where does it operate, and what does it do?

Organised crime is active just about everywhere, not only in former Soviet republics but in the rest of Europe, North America, the Middle East and, less publicised, in Africa, the Indian Ocean and South America. It is also increasingly developing links with China. Its two areas of operation, street level crime and white collar crime, are not always seen together, but any effective countermeasure strategy needs to take into account the fact that the presence of one level often means the presence of the other. Look for one thing, and you may well find something else as well.

In the United Kingdom and Western Europe in general, for example, the different levels of activity occur simultaneously. Street level crimes such as human trafficking (prostitution) and cigarette smuggling take place alongside high level money laundering, through corporate bank accounts, of the proceeds of crimes committed elsewhere. In Germany, Russian involvement in prostitution goes together with car theft; the stolen vehicles are then transported to countries outside the EU, often in concert with groups from EU states such as Bulgaria. In Spain and Portugal, street level robbery and credit card theft is seen alongside high level money laundering through property purchases, the operation of bars and night clubs and cocaine trafficking. What these very different crimes and criminals have in common is that the people behind them will usually socialise together, even if they don’t actually work together.

This is also partly true of the links between street level and high level crime. In the UK, say, street level cigarette smuggling is known to be linked at a social level with human trafficking. It is also linked, in a way that cash crimes such as human trafficking are not, with larger scale cigarette smuggling, which often involves complex bank transactions and collusion with corrupt companies and the staff of major producers.   

In other words, Russian organised crime operates just about everywhere, and at several levels. That’s what makes it different.

Too difficult to confront?

Russian TNOC has other features which are less familiar to western law enforcement agencies operating in countries where the rule of law is paramount.

It has connections. There are close, almost seamless, links with the ‘deep state’ kleptocracy of government, parliament, civil service, law enforcement and business at all levels, as well as the military and, above all, the security services. As a result, Russian law enforcement structures offer international agencies only very limited cooperation.  Where they deal with matters themselves, they only look at blatantly obvious offences, so major criminals usually receive only token punishment. The obvious example of the involvement of state institutions in serious crime inside Russia is the tragic case of Sergei Magnitsky. The forthcoming inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko will doubtless produce more evidence of state protection for criminal agents of the state carrying out serious crimes outside Russia.

There are close, almost seamless, links with the ‘deep state’ kleptocracy of government, parliament, civil service, law enforcement and business at all levels, as well as the military and, above all, the security services. When dealing with Russian organised crime, the old maxim ‘follow the money’ can be extended to ‘and follow the ex soldiers’. The importance of identifying connections between military camaraderie groups has been stressed by Misha Glenny, a British journalist who specialises in global organised crime.

The Russian mafia does not just operate multinationally. It is multinational, though perhaps that isn’t always obvious. It makes maximum use of the dual or multiple nationality status many people are entitled to as a result of the breakup of the Soviet Union, and exploits differences in transliteration practices so that names in passports are often spelt differently. There are also well over a million former Soviet citizens living in Israel with citizenship there, free to travel to the EU and North America without visas (Israelis have visa free access to Russia as well). The mafia also makes extensive use of ethnic Russians holding EU passports (especially from Germany and the Baltic States) and with ethnically Baltic criminals. Odessa and Riga are, from the criminals’ point of view, Russian cities- and it is no coincidence that they were, and Odessa still is, favoured retirement locations for former military personnel. All this complicates the responses of law enforcement agencies in western countries, which often confuse ethnicity and nationality.

There are also well over a million former Soviet citizens living in Israel with citizenship there, free to travel to the EU and North America without visas (Israelis have visa free access to Russia as well). There are particularly close links between Russian and Israeli organised crime groups, and any evaluation of Russian and FSU countries’ TNOC must take into account the Israeli connections, especially at high levels. For geopolitical and national security reasons, Israel provides a safe haven for organised criminals from former Soviet republics. An obvious recent example is Michael Cherney, who gave evidence from Israel via video link in his English court case against fellow oligarch Oleg Deripaska regarding shareholdings in the aluminium producer Rusal.

Michael Cherney is the subject of a European arrest warrant issued by Spain in relation to money laundering allegations, a scenario which highlights the common settings of alleged corporate criminality and street level crime:  many of those arrested in the Vienna ‘Ostmafia’ case of March 2010, which was partly to do with burglaries and credit card theft, were based in Spain. Many of those involved in that case had military experience from Soviet times, and as such have given a major boost to Israeli military manpower, as well as providing links between arms producers and suppliers in both countries and in associated states - links that give a high level of protection from the attention of law enforcers both in their own countries and further afield.  The connections persist despite the political window dressing of wanted persons fleeing to Israel, where they are free from the possibility of extradition to Russia.

Masters of all trades

The Russian mafia has many and varied skills to offer, more so than many organised crime groups, so they do not have to buy in much expertise and therefore their security is tighter. This range of know-how reflects the availability of physical force operatives from the ranks of former police and military groups, cyber criminals and counterfeiters through links with academia, and financial expertise from the business community, including banks themselves. Counter detection skills are also accessible, thanks to links with law enforcers and the security services. Plenty of other groups have some of these links, but few have so many. Any meaningful deterrence, detection and investigation strategies need to take account of these multiple capabilities, and ensure that anyone who needs to know about them is told.

Its almost indivisible links with the military / industrial/ security service complex mean that at street level it has access to arms, and at boardroom level it has the ability to supply them, making Russian TNOC a national security as well as public safety threat. Russian TNOC is able to deal in a lot of products simultaneously. It can play a key role in traditional street level crime such as drug trafficking and prostitution, thanks to its links with heroin trafficking from Afghanistan (veterans of the 1980s Afghan War play a prominent role here) and through arranging the supply of sex industry workers to western and southern Europe. Its almost indivisible links with the military / industrial/ security service complex mean that at street level it has access to arms, and at boardroom level it has the ability to supply them, making Russian TNOC a national security as well as public safety threat.

This also gives it enormous bargaining power through barter, for example when it supplies arms and ammunition to the FARC guerrillas and drugs traffickers in Colombia in return for shares in cocaine trafficking to Europe, with precious metals and diamonds used as barter mediums outside the banking system. These operations have been taking place with the full knowledge of law enforcement agencies in former Soviet states. Mexican authorities at the highest level are now increasingly concerned about recent Russian presences in Mexico, the other centre of the cocaine trafficking route. Where the weapons and military equipment flow, the technicians follow, and that provides legitimate cover for illegitimate traffic.

This access to both military equipment and to precious metals on a wide scale makes Russian transnational organised crime very distinctive. The UK is a key player in identifying its roles in such networks, as it is a very well informed centre of operations for private military companies. These companies will be aware of operations by Russian and other FSU personnel in their areas of work, and of the much lower corporate governance standards which apply. The UK is also a major base of international mining operations, and this provides opportunities for obtaining information about abuses in this sector, such as illegal or untaxed extraction from mines and the payment of bribes to politicians in source countries.   

Russian TNOC is able to operate at several levels and through a range of supply chains. These capabilities increase its bargaining power with potential partners or rivals and provide greater protection from law enforcement measures, as thanks to their extensive ‘in-house’ capabilities they do not need to rely on outsiders.  At street level they have a large supply of multinational enforcers.

At mid-level they have bank staff, accountants and lawyers who are in effect on their payroll, and at the highest levels they are able to deal as equals with business chiefs, civil servants and politicians. It is this high level capability in the international business field that differentiates the Russian mafia from other groups such as the Mexican drugs cartels, although newly established and growing links with the Mexicans suggest that the latter will soon expand their operations into the field of big business. 

What should be done about it?

[…]

There needs to be a significant increase in awareness within financial institutions and law enforcement agencies of the complexities of nationality within Russian TNOC structures, and how this is exploited to maximise the use of EU residency status. Russian citizens living in Estonia can, for example, gain residency rights and visa free travel in the EU by purchasing an Estonian business. The intimate links of the Russian mafia with their surrogates in the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus and in Turkey, as well as in the FSU as a whole and in less western-influenced tax havens such as the UAE, Seychelles, Mauritius, Singapore and Hong Kong, need to be highlighted. Foreign and security affairs think tanks and good governance lobbyists have a key role to play in spreading such knowledge.

How can it be done?

Tackling Russian organised crime will require an enormous amount of cooperative effort over a considerable time. The key challenges are to improve the currently patchy awareness of the major risk indicators of the presence of Russian TNOC, how it operates and its international impact. Long experience with other criminal groups and types of crime suggests that once improvements begin, they can progress quickly. But greater efforts are needed in the Russian case because of the correspondingly greater skills, resources and protection they enjoy.

All European and North American countries are subjected, in varying degrees, to all levels of Russian TNOC, from street prostitution and cloning of credit cards at the ‘lower end’ to financial fraud at the ‘higher end’. They therefore have a common interest in tackling these challenges and have broadly similar capabilities to do so, provided the political will and subject awareness are properly used.

[…]

Academia, NGOs and the media all have a key role to play in encouraging law enforcers to share intelligence across borders, by raising the political profile of such cooperation.Who should take the lead in tackling Russian TNOC? Just about everybody – law enforcement agencies, including regulators, banks and other financial institutions, and NGOs, all working seamlessly with academia and the media.

If “they” are all in it together, as they certainly are, then their adversaries must be too.

Nobody said it would be easy.

Revealed: Tony Blair and the oligarch bankrolling his charity TOP

( Source )
Feb. 10, 2013

Robert Mendick, and Edward Malnick

Tony Blair’s faith foundation is being bankrolled by a Ukrainian oligarch, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

image
The scale of Mr Pinchuk’s funding of Mr Blair’s charity emerged at a meeting
he hosted at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland last month.
Photo: BLOOMBERG

Victor Pinchuk gave $500,000 (£320,000) to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation — a fifth of all the donations declared in its latest accounts.

The generous donation cements the friendship between Mr Blair and Mr Pinchuk, a steel magnate and philanthropist worth about £2.7 billion. Mr Pinchuk, 52, made his fortune after marrying the daughter of Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine’s former president.

He is considered one of the world’s foremost collectors of contemporary art, counts Sir Elton John and Bill Clinton among his close friends and owns a house in central London, which he bought for a record-breaking £80 million.

Mr Blair has also enjoyed the trappings of success since leaving office, buying several homes in and around London, while mixing with the super rich. Last week he was pictured looking tanned and relaxed at a party at the Dorchester Hotel in central London hosted by Sir David Tang, the Hong Kong businessman.

That he travels extensively has, of course, been widely known, but his links to Ukraine now appear to be a key part of his work.  

The donation from Mr Pinchuk also answers questions raised by some observers about the funding for Mr Blair’s faith foundation.

The scale of Mr Pinchuk’s funding of Mr Blair’s charity emerged at a meeting he hosted at the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland last month.

Accounts on the Victor Pinchuk Foundation’s website show $500,000 was given to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. In all Mr Pinchuk gave almost $15 million (£10 million) to good causes.

The accounts for Mr Blair’s faith foundation, published last week, make no mention of Mr Pinchuk’s donation, which was made in 2011 — there is no legal requirement to do so — but show that his faith charity is thriving.

It has almost £3 million cash in the bank, employs 28 people with annual staffing costs of £1.3 million, and is now operating in 20 countries.

The charity’s main initiatives include arranging online video conferences between secondary school students across the world to discuss the relationship between religion and issues such as human rights and poverty. It also teaches university students about the “inter-relationship” between faith and globalisation, and organises groups of people from different faiths to tackle health problems including malaria in Africa.

Those activities now include an educational programme in Ukraine, which was launched in June 2011, when the partnership between the two men’s foundations was announced.

In return, Mr Pinchuk’s generosity has not gone unrewarded. In October last year, Mr Blair undertook an official tour of his new steelworks in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine’s fourth largest city, 280 miles from the capital Kiev. Mr Blair, who can be paid as much as £200,000 for a speech, did not receive any money for the visit to the Interpipe Steel works.

Photographs that show Mr Blair touring the factory with his host have been posted on Mr Pinchuk’s company website. The photographs show a grinning Mr Blair signing a hard hat and presenting it to a grateful Mr Pinchuk.

On the Interpipe Steel website, the company declares: “The public figure has managed to see live the modernisation and development of the Ukrainian metallurgy.”

Mr Blair is quoted on the website saying: “Interpipe Steel is undoubtedly an outstanding creation. This is one of the best and most modern mills in the world. I am greatly impressed with the spectacular and almost fantastic design of the facility.”

While he was there, Mr Blair also gave a lecture to university students and staff from Mr Pinchuk’s factory entitled “modernising countries in [the] 21st century”.

Ukraine has now featured at least three times on Mr Blair’s extensive travels since he left Downing Street in 2007.

In 2008 the former prime minister was a guest speaker at a conference held in the Black Sea resort of Yalta and organised by Mr Pinchuk, at which Mr Blair pushed Ukraine’s case to join the European Union, the presidency of which Mr Blair was then widely tipped to take.

Mr Pinchuk has been a keen advocate of EU membership, setting up a firm to promote Ukraine’s EU credentials. Its directors included, until 2010, Stephen Byers, Mr Blair’s former trade secretary.

Shortly after leaving Downing Street, Mr Blair was introduced to Mr Pinchuk through Bill Clinton and senior staff at the Clinton Foundation.

The former president’s foundation was given $1.1 million (£700,000), by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in 2011.

What is certainly known is that Mr Pinchuk enjoys making new friends, and makes an intriguing one for Mr Blair.

Other acquaintances Mr Blair has nurtured include Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch, and Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda.

Like many of those who became rich as the Soviet Union collapsed, Mr Pinchuk has been targeted by gangsters and attracted controversy.

Born in Kiev in 1960, he grew up in Dnipropetrovsk and studied at the city’s metallurgical institute before beginning a career as a research engineer in pipe production.

He founded Interpipe in 1990 just as the Soviet Union was breaking up. In 1996, he was kidnapped by gangsters and freed after several weeks when a ransom was paid.

He was already married when he met his second wife, Elena Franchuk, a year later in 1997. She was also married but each left their spouses and wed in 2002. Mrs Franchuk, as she then was, is the daughter of Leonid Kuchma, who was Ukraine’s president from 1994 to 2005.

It was during this period that Mr Pinchuk, who was already successful, turned himself into a billionaire.

His rise did not come without some controversy. Interpipe bought a 50 per cent stake in the Nikopol steel plant in 2003 for $80 million.

The sale was contested two years later following a change in government. Viktor Yushchenko, the president who came to power after the Orange Revolution, said: “Despite all of Pinchuk’s sniffles and groans, the factory will be returned to the state.” In fact, Mr Yushchenko was still in power when the privatisation was confirmed as lawful.

Mr Pinchuk has denied benefiting from favouritism, saying: “The only gift I get from Kuchma is my wife. I am trying to be transparent but nobody likes rich people”. In recent years Mr Pinchuk and his wife have been catapulted into the upper reaches of international society. His 50th birthday party, in the French ski resort of Courchevel, was said to have cost £4 million and included flying in Cirque du Soleil as entertainment.

Mrs Pinchuk, 42, founded the Elena Pinchuk Anti-Aids charity in Ukraine and in 2010 Mr and Mrs Pinchuk received “an Enduring Vision” award from the Elton John Aids Foundation at a special ceremony in New York. Sir Elton played a concert in Kiev last year in aid of her charity ahead of the opening of the Euro 2012 football tournament.

The Pinchuks bought a house in Kensington in central London for £80 million in 2008, a then world record price. The house has an underground swimming pool, gym, sauna and cinema. In it, Mr Pinchuk will undoubtedly house some of his contemporary art collection, reckoned to be one of the best in private hands.

Mr Pinchuk, who also has an office in Mayfair, is a major collector of Damien Hirst’s work but refuses to say which specific works by the British artist he owns. He has also spent large sums on work by Jeff Koons and in 2006, he opened the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev where some of his collection is housed and where Hirsts have been exhibited.

“To spend money is much more exciting than to make it,” he once declared.

A spokesman for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation said: “As we have seen from recent events in Algeria and Mali, there has never been a more important time to tackle religious extremism.

“These projects are helping to do exactly that by teaching young people across the world – from Ukraine to Nigeria to the UK – the value of understanding and respecting different faiths and cultures.”

Culture and education are at the center of shaping Ukraine’s national identity TOP

Presentation
at the Culture and Education Roundtable
Ukraine in Washington 2012 Conference
December 1, 2012 by Marta Farion

Culture and education are at the center of shaping Ukraine’s national identity and recently have been the targets of conflicts and confrontations in Ukrainian society. These two areas are fundamental to Ukraine’s nation-building process as they represent the values, the customs, and the accumulated knowledge reflected through the nation’s history.

I have been involved with Ukraine since the beginnings of perestroika – the thaw during the days of Mikhail Gorbachev. I observed the historic role played by the grassroots pro-democracy movement, Rukh early in the independence process, witnessed some of the negotiations, and had the opportunity to “live in the moment” of Ukraine’s declaration of independence on August 24, 1991, before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, when on December 25,  Soviet President Gorbachev handed over power to Russian President Yeltsin, and the red Soviet flag in front of the Kremlin was lowered and replaced with the three-colored flag of the Russian Federation. 

In neighboring Ukraine, the intellectuals who led the revolt in Ukraine at that time showed great courage. They did not know how the conflicts in Moscow would be resolved, but they recognized that moment as pivotal in the nation’s history and chose to risk a vote for independence.

However, the real heroes were the people of Ukraine. In January 1991, millions formed a human chain through the country to voice their support for independence; on December 1, 82% of eligible voters came to the polls and chose independence by an overwhelming majority of more than 90%. The proposal for the December 1 national referendum to confirm the Parliament’s August 24 declaration of independence came from two politically opposing camps, from majority leader Oleksandr Moroz and opposition leader Ihor Yukhnovsky, as they proposed the referendum together. 

The people were united as citizens of Ukraine.  These events demonstrated that regardless of political, religious, ethnic affiliation, or geographic location, the people of Ukraine identified themselves as citizens of their country, who chose and demanded to be free in their own land. When considering the issue of Ukrainian identity now, the importance of these events and the prevailing sense of nationhood with common rights and aspirations should not be overlooked. 

Ukraine’s position at the time was progressive and inclusive. Ukraine chose citizenship, and not ethnicity, as the basis upon which to define Ukrainian identity. Although the leaders of the new Ukraine belonged to various political parties, they were united on this critical principle of citizenship, which was included in Ukraine’s Constitution with foresight toward unification of the nation. That key phrase in the Constitution states, “All citizens of the former USSR permanently residing within the territory of Ukraine at the moment of declaration of independence of Ukraine (24 August 1991), are citizens of Ukraine”. This was the position that formed the basis of Ukraine’s independence in 1991 in anticipation of building a democratic society for all of its citizens. 

This fact is important to remember in view of the political maneuvering now taking place to destabilize society by promoting ethnic and linguistic divisions and calling into question the idea of citizenship and identity. In turn, good words alone will not sustain the vision of unity and loyalty. Economic security and protection for all citizens under rule of law, a nation governed by the principles of a respected Constitution, these elements will build national pride and identity and will provide legitimacy for the country’s government.  

Furthermore, to understand more fully the issues of culture and identity, reference needs to be made to events that are embedded in the nation’s memory bank. Ukraine in the 20th century was a country that most appropriately has been named “Bloodlands” by historian and author Timothy Snyder and this fact also cannot be overlooked.  

Ukraine still bears the scars of the Soviet occupation, of the repressions and the Gulag, and the deep scars of the politically motivated Great Famine of 1933, known as the Holodomor,  which translates as massive death by starvation. Millions of Ukrainians died during the two-year Soviet-made famine. As historian and Holodomor scholar James Mace perceptively stated – Ukraine is a post-genocide society – a society that is still struggling with the consequences of these traumas. There is hardly a family in Ukraine that has not been victimized by these events.  Therefore,  it should not be a surprise that the population tends to be mistrustful of government and cynical about claims of the powerful to work for the people. It is a population still vulnerable to fear, suspicion, and loss of faith.  In many ways, the nation wants to embrace reconciliation and forgiveness, but many factors prevent such closure.    

Yet despite the traumas of the 20th century, in little more than 20 years, Ukraine has moved well beyond its recent totalitarian past. Six presidential elections and numerous Parliamentary elections have taken place and even though there were serious questions of violations during some of them, the one element that remained constant was that the population of Ukraine always came out to vote. Ukraine’s citizens want democracy. And while we would like to see democracy develop at a faster pace, the process of transformation is moving forward, and the process cannot be turned back.  

However, while the citizens  support the democratic process, there are reasons for the recent pushback to democracy among the power elite.   In a country where the current economic elite believe in a political and legal system of “by the few and for the few,” complete political control is essential to maintain the status quo. Combine this impulse with old habits, a totalitarian mindset that is hard to break and the evolution to an open and progressive society is being stifled.

I recall an “anecdote” from the days when the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was signed between the United States and the Soviet Union in 1972.  During the lengthy and secretive negotiations, President Nixon, Chancellor Willy Brandt, and General Secretary of the Communist Party Leonid Brezhnev met to discuss their various interests.  At one point Nixon said, “You think it is easy for me?  Every day I look outside the window of the White House and I see people protesting again my policies, they carry signs against me, they shout “Down with Nixon! Down with Nixon! But, I cannot do anything… because that is democracy.” Willy Brandt also complained and said, “It is so difficult to be chancellor. Every day outside my office I look out and people carry banners against me and chant ‘Down with Brandt!’, but there is nothing I can do… because that is democracy.” Then Brezhnev said, “Gentlemen, I understand – every day I look out the window of the Kremlin and I see people yelling “Down with Nixon! Down with America! Down with Brandt! and there is nothing I can do.”

So indeed old habits are hard to break. There is a struggle taking place between those who still cling to centralized control, and the younger generation that never experienced the closed doors of the Iron Curtain and understands that the future belongs to those with knowledge, innovation, and a fair share at competitiveness. 

The current backsliding in democracy and rule of law in Ukraine is of great concern. Furthermore, corruption is so pervasive that it affects every aspect of life and provokes political and economic instability in the entire region. 

Recent attacks on culture and education has become pervasive with a focus on disruptions and manipulation for ideological and political purposes that cause social and political unrest. Culture, religion, education, media, and language have been the direct targets.

Examples of this campaign include a focus on the pressure for unification of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate, the illegally passed Law on Language, the rewriting of history textbooks and central control of education promoted by the Minister of Education, politically motivated harassment of non-conforming media, massive financing of Russian language and cultural activities, and illegal changes to the Constitution and national security breaches that other speakers will address. 

During the past two years, educational institutions have become political targets. Financing of culture and education is selective and often based on political loyalties and lack of political submissiveness is punished.

Duplicity and a continuous gap between declaratory statements and implementation have become the norm.  Such a policy led to loss of credibility both at home and in the international arena. The Ministry of Education proposed a law based on central control of universities that has become a topic of scorn and ridicule in the international academic community, and yet, in Ukraine, less than a handful of university rectors openly opposed it. Others, who privately express disapproval with the current policies, are haunted openly by the fear of losing their positions and funding. Such a system prevents serious academic work, innovative research, and blocks the country’s economic growth and competitive position.

A change in leadership in the Ministry of Education is essential.  National education cannot be left to the mercy of conforming to the worldview of one minister or a president. Serious changes need to be made now. This is not an issue that affects only schools, universities and research institutions; this is an economic and security issue as well, one that will affect future generations for years.

This presentation cannot bypass the mention of the grave threat to democracy related to the criminalization of politics, the pattern of selective prosecutions, harassment and imprisonment of political opponents and their families and associates, and control over the media.   

Regardless of these dangerous patterns, there is no denying that the past 20 years have seen the formation of a civil society. There are encouraging signs in the engagement of the private community and philanthropy. Many non-governmental organizations and foundations have been established. Certain universities pioneered innovative programs, transparency in admissions and degree completion, and they are demanding necessary reforms. As a positive sign, Ukraine’s prime minister established a Committee to Propose a New Law on Higher Education, headed by the Rector of the well-respected Kyiv-Polytechnic Institute with experts in the field from National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy and other leading academics.

Other positive signs include social media that is creating new conditions. Technology and innovation is breaking down monopolies on information and control over ideologies and censorship. The internet is a tool that civil society can use to engage and protect itself. Surveys by Internet World Statistics indicate that in 2000, there were 200,000 internet users in Ukraine, or .04% of Ukraine’s population. By 2010, there were 15,300,000 internet users or 33.7% of the population. The numbers keep growing exponentially and now the number is even greater. Such numbers bode well for the growth of civil society.  Ukraine is strong in the field of Information Technology and in the 21st century, the country can play a leading world role in this sector. 

Surveys in Ukraine demonstrate that regardless of political sympathies, ethnic background or geographic location, people seek a better life for their children and grandchildren, freedom from the fear of political persecution, fair and equal opportunities and a system of education that will provide competitive employment, and a quality of life enjoyed by their European peers.

Therefore the people of Ukraine understand that there is something wrong when individuals who have direct control over education and culture, including financing, are the same ones who send their own children to study abroad in the West. This is an unacceptable double standard and the people of Ukraine know it.

As I close, I must state that the Government of Ukraine needs to release Yulia Tymoshenko, Yuri Lutsenko and all political prisoners. And if I could nominate a candidate for the position of Minister of Education of Ukraine, it would be a person who has in mind the best interests of his or her own country, not a neighboring country, an individual who cares about young people and their potential, not just the interests of a select few, a person who is proud and not ashamed to be a citizen of Ukraine and is happy and eager to speak the nation’s language, Ukrainian. It would be a person who  respects the Russian language, and the languages and cultures of all the citizens of Ukraine, including the language and culture of the Tatar people who are also Ukrainian citizens, without denigrating the Ukrainian language, as is being currently done. The new minister will be someone who will not hesitate to collaborate with the best educators in the world, whether they are in the East or in the West, a uniter, not a divider, and someone who respects the dignity of all the citizens of Ukraine. The new minister will be one that will conform Ukraine’s educational system to international norms so that Ukraine’s students can later enter foreign universities for study, rather than returning to Soviet norms of secondary education that were incompatible with those of Europe and North America. The parents and children of Ukraine deserve no less.

And, the rest of the world deserves no less, as well. It is in the interest of Europe, the United States,  the people of Ukraine, and the people of the region to support a stable democracy in Ukraine, to avoid conflict in the region and to avoid a return to repressive authoritarianism with control and power in the hands of an elite, self-chosen few.

Ukrainian music wows Newfoundland TOP

image
image

Downtown St John’s, Newfoundland was treated to something it does not experience every day as the Ship Pub rocked with the sounds of Ukrainian music January 2, 2013. The opening show in the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society’s “Folk Night” concert series featured a program of Ukrainian and Celtic fusion entitled “The Republic of Garlic.”

The show, billed as “Slavic Soul mixed with Celtic Fire,” combined traditional Ukrainian music with fiddle tunes from across Canada. Multi-instrumentalist and raconteur Brian Cherwick lead the festivities, joined by violin phenom Maria Cherwick. Rounding out the group were percussionist Jacob Cherwick, guitarist extrordinaire Ian Hayes and the legendary Darren “Boobie” Browne on electric bass.

The show was a high-energy event interspersed with sublime moments where listeners were introduced to a variety of Ukrainian traditional instruments including tsymbaly, bandura, sopilka, and telenka. The group moved effortlessly between the jigs and reels familiar to Newfoundland audiences and tunes based on traditional Ukrainian dances such as the kolomyika and arkan. All were warmly received by the large crowd gathered for the show.

Commenting after the show, Folk Arts Society Coordinator John Clarke said “That was off the charts man. Incredible musicianship all around. Wow!” He added, “Brian is a tremendous musician on any number of instruments, many of which I can neither spell nor pronounce and Maria is one of the wildest fiddlers I have ever seen.” Clarke noted that the show garnered a great amount of positive feedback in the community.

“Folk Night” is a weekly concert series presenting the best in acoustic music featuring both local and touring artists. It is an ongoing project of the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society, who also produce the annual Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival.

The group is currently planning future performances, so watch for them. Experiencing this blend of jigs, reels and kolomyikas is like alternating shots of vodka and Screech.

Vogue Ukraine is in Russian TOP

image
http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/ukraine-gets-its-own-vogue/

Book: Picnic at the Iron Curtain: TOP

image
Picnic at the Iron Curtain:
From the Fall of the Berlin Wall to Ukraines Orange Revolution

by
Susan Viets

Welcome to the world of collapsing Communism. It is the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall when people are still willing to risk all to cross the Iron Curtain to the West. In this adventure-packed memoir Susan Viets, a student turned journalist, arrives in Communist Hungary in 1988 and begins reporting for the Guardian, not at all prepared for what lies ahead. She helps East Germans escape to the West at a picnic, moves to the Soviet Union where she battles authorities for accreditation as the first foreign journalist in Ukraine and then watches, amazed, as the entire political system collapses. Lured by new travel opportunities, Viets shops her way across Central Asia, stumbling into a tank attack in Tajikistan and the start of the Tajik civil war.

"Picnic at the Iron Curtain" shows every day people at the centre of dramatic events from Budapest to Bishkek and Chernobyl to Chechnya. It is a memoir that spans a period of momentous historical change from 1988-1998, following through with an eyewitness account of Ukraines Orange Revolution in 2004.

Review Extracts:

This is the book Peter Mayle would have written if he'd lived in Eastern Europe instead of Provence. It is warm, funny and factual - could not put it down . . . My Christmas shopping issues are now solved - I'm getting the book for all my friends!
Amazon.com Review

What a fun and interesting read . . . It brings back many memories of an exciting time.
Amazon.com Review

About the Author

Susan Viets reported for the Guardian, the Independent, and BBC World. She has also contributed to CBC, Newsweek, USA Today, the Moscow Times and other publications. She lives with her husband in Toronto.

Book details:

Page Count: 276 pages
Genre: Memoir, history
Available at: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca and other European Amazon sites; ebook available at the Kindle bookstore

Also sold in Bookstores: Toronto: Ben McNally Books and Book City (Bloor St. and Yonge &St. Clair)
Ottawa: Books on Beechwood
Guelph: the BookShelf
Publisher: Delfryn Publishing and Consulting Inc. (author holds all rights)
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9879664-0-7
ISBN Kindle
ebook: 978-0-9879664-2-1

Contact details: susanviets@gmail.com


Novel "Blood & Salt" re: Castle Mountain TOP

Blood and Salt tames the mountains

( Source )

image

Bill Robertson

Saskatoon writer Barbara Sapergia's latest work, Blood and Salt, is an engaging and informative novel based on the internment of Ukrainian immigrants during the First World War. Although these immigrants were invited to Canada with the promise of free land - they were used to wide open spaces and they knew how to farm - the Depression leading up to the war made extra workers undesirable and their Austrian passports - they were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - sealed their fate. Anyone with a passport issued by a country with which Canada was at war came immediately under suspicion, Ukrainian or not.

Sapergia's focus is a group of men swept up from the Prairie provinces into a camp near Banff, in the shadow of Castle Mountain. Here the men try to understand why they've been arrested and how long they are expected to be away from their families and jobs. They also think about, and even attempt, escape, and fight with the guards and among themselves.

What the men are supposed to be doing is building roads, and some of those roads survive today, but the men soon realize, and even the guards do eventually, that these are all make-work projects for people the government isn't sure what to do with. The resulting sense of ennui leads to long days and longer nights during which the men must entertain themselves or go crazy.

Here Sapergia's novel takes on an idealism perhaps not shared by inmates of such a camp, but this is historical fiction and a little fictionalizing is necessary. Indeed, the inmates soon discover that the novel's main character, Taras, and a couple of others, are pretty good storytellers. When they protest that they can't possibly know what various people in their stories were thinking or doing, starting in the old country and coming across to Canada, their eager listeners simply shout, "Make us see it," or "Make us a story."

And that is what Sapergia does, showing the lives of Taras and his love, Halya, in their little corner of the empire and how each with their families got out and came to Canada. Halya's father is dead set against her marrying Taras, so we get a story of love up against unbearable odds in that narrative strain. Then there are the internees, one of whom is a teacher in his real life, conducting philosophical, historical and sociological inquiries about the men in relation to their adopted country, their former country - Austria - and the country of their heart and souls, Ukraine.

These men are so enlightened, or willing to become so, that despite a little infighting, they manage to debate the great issues of nationhood, race, war, immigration policy, economic depression, capital-ism versus socialism, unions, and even spend time, in more than one place, pondering the mysterious disappearance of First Nations peoples in order to make room for white immigrants. Yes, these men are an idealized version of an internment camp - more of a classical debating society than a forced labour camp, but all in all Sapergia pulls off the whole enterprise.

By juggling the men's day-to-day labour with news of the war in Europe, the philosophical oppositions among the prisoners with those among the men guarding them, stories of the past - including a history lesson on the great Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko and his struggle to write as a Ukrainian - with stories of life in Canada, Sapergia keeps her story moving right along, always captivating as well as sympathetic.

And then there's a love story, as well, none of which is easy. Blood and Salt is a lesson in story making as it makes a powerful story whose themes of race, entitlement, and oppression are still required reading today and for days to come.

BLOOD AND SALT By Barbara Sapergia Coteau Books, $21.95

Read more here.

Video documentary "Genocide Revealed" - Educational version newly released! TOP

image
Genocide Revealed

“SO MUCH EVIL DIRECTED AGAINST THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE”

A Review of the Documentary Genocide Revealed
By Cheryl A. Madden, Order of Princess Olha

In his poem, “The Cross,” the poet Mykola Rudenko wrote of Ukraine:

Mother of mine, you have been a milking cow.
You have such a gentle nature that even the loafer will milk you,
And then the same lazy hand will rake your manger bare.

Woonsocket, R.I.: Director Yurij Luhovy’s documentary Genocide Revealed, through use of primary source interviews with Holodomor survivors and explanatory commentary by historians dispassionately addresses many controversial points of the Holodomor.  Well-paced topic development explains contributing historical factors dated from the Soviet takeover enlightens viewers unfamiliar with Soviet history and the Stalinist Famine. Discussion of newly released documentation sparks the interest of those possessing previous knowledge. A director dealing with such dire subject matter might have chosen to employ even greater shock value, and yet by doing so, such a film would have risked losing the audience to mere sensations of horror.  Luhovy chose a higher road, and created Genocide Revealed, a documentary that, thus far, has won a dozen film awards internationally. ...

For more information and to purchase the video, see:
http://www.yluhovy.com/MML/genocide_revealed.html

Антипремія «Гнилий кабак» знайшла свого японського героя TOP

image

image
Вже третій ресторан було нагороджено «Гнилим кабаком» за негідну поведінку

( Джерело )

В день захисту прав споживача, 15 березня, громадські активісти вручили сумнівний приз «найбільш найукраїнофобському закладу громадського харчування» у столиці

Як передає кореспондент «Коментарів», антиприз «Гнилий кабак» вручають  третій рік поспіль. Номінантами стають кафе, бари і ресторани, в яких до прав україномовних громадян ставляться особливо безпринципно, ігноруючи скарги і прохання, поводячись  по-хамському і відмовляючись обслуговувати клієнтів державною мовою.

Продовження тут.

Українська музика лунає Ньюфаундленді TOP

image
image

В популярному серед місцевих жителів і туристів закладі під назвою “The Ship Pub,” розташованому в центрі містa Сейнт Джонс, провінція Ньюфаундленд, відбулося таке, чого не часто доводиться бачити в цьому кутку Канади. Відктиттям цьогорічної серії концертів “Вечір народної музики,” організованої Товариством народного виконавського мистецтва провінції Ньюфаундленду і Лабрадору, став виступ гурту “Republic of Garlic,” який поєднав у своїй програмі слов'янську душу з кельтским вогнем. Традиційні мотиви української народної музики переплелися зі скрипковими мелодіями з усієї Канади.

Керував вечіркою мультиінструменталіст Браєн Черевик. До ньoго долучилася юна скрипалька-віртуоз Марія Черевик і ударник Яків Черевик. Гурт підтримали високомайстерний гітарист Іян Хейз та легендарний Даррен Браун (знаний під псевдоміном Бубі) на електричній бас-гітарі.

Шоу було наповнене динамічною енергією, яку урізноманітнювали моменти майже священної тиші, коли лунали звуки українських традиційних інструментів – цимбалів, бандури, сопілки й теленки. Музиканти легко поєднували знайомі Ньюфаундлендям мотиви з традиційних мелодіями українських народних танців таких як коломийка і аркан. Їх дуже тепло приймала багаточисельна аудиторія.

Координатор Товариствa народного виконавського мистецтва Джон Кларк прокоментував після закінчення шоу: “Це було знаменито! Вражаюча музична майстерність!» І додав: “Браєн – надзвичайний музикан, який опанував безліч інструментів. Імен багатьох з них я не можу ні написати, а ні вимовити. A Марія – одна з найшаленіших скрипальок, яку я коли-небуть бачив.” Пан Кларк також відзначив, що цей концерт отримав величезну кількість схвальних відгуків у громаді.

“Вечір народної музики” – це серія щотижневих концертів, до участі в якій запрошуються найкращі музиканти Ньюфаундленду та інших провінцій. Це поточний проект Товариствa народного виконавського мистецтва провінції, яке також організовує щорічний Фестиваль народної музики в Ньюфаундленді і Лабрадорі.

Гурт “Republic of Garlic» на разі планує свої наступні виступи. Отож, слідкуйте за оголошеннями. Мотиви коломийок у поєднанні з кельтськими мелодіями - це як ковток української горілки, запитий ньюфаундендським скрітчем.

Murder and selective use of justice in Ukraine (Part Two) TOP

( Source )
March 8, 2013

image of Taras KuzioTaras Kuzio

One month ago (February 14), Kyiv’s Pechersky District Court launched investigatory proceedings into the 1996 murder of then Ukraine’s wealthiest oligarch, Yevhen Shcherban. Yet, as investigative journalist Tetyana Chornovil has pointed out, the murder of Shcherban cannot be separated from political-economic-criminal conditions in Donetsk from the late 1980s to the late 1990s (source).

image

Yevhen Shcherban (Source: Kyiv Times)

Part One of this two-part series of articles analyzing the selective use of justice in investigating the Shcherban murder explored why the investigation has been launched now, nearly two decades after the oligarch’s assassination (see EDM, February 25). Part Two will attempt to answer who was actually behind this murder and who benefitted from Shcherban’s death.

In a country with functioning rule of law, it would be impossible to imagine how a trial of a suspect (Yulia Tymoshenko) accused of the grave crime of murder could be undertaken without important witnesses being questioned. In this case, these would presumably include businessmen who founded the Industrial Union of Donbas (ISD) in 1995—Volodymyr Shcherban, Renat Akhmetov and Serhiy Taruta. Other witnesses would likely be President Leonid Kuchma, then-First Deputy Governor Viktor Yanukovych and head of the Social-Market Choice (SMC) parliamentary faction Yevhen Marchuk (the SMC was tied to the Liberal Party led by Yevhen and Volodymyr Shcherban). Yevhen Shcherban had many enemies in Donetsk oblast, Kyiv and Moscow, which raises seven theories as to who may have been behind his murder.

Complete article  here.

The two worlds of Viktor Yanukovych’s Ukraine TOP

( Source )
March 14, 2013

Sergii Leshchenko

Ukraine’s President Yanukovych has completed his takeover of his country’s TV channels, and is making inroads into the internet. As Ukraine faces a choice of whether to align itself with Europe or Eurasia, Sergii Leshchenko wonders if there is a way back. 

Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yushchenko, the father of five children, liked to describe his country as a ‘sleeping beauty’, awaiting her prince. After the Orange revolution of 2004 it looked as though the fairytale had come to its happy end, but eight years later it is obvious that Ukraine is still sunk in a deep, lethargic sleep.

For three years now the government led by Viktor Yanukovych has been dismantling democracy in Ukraine. In its latest report on world press freedom, the organisation Reporters without Borders places Ukraine in 126th position (out of 179), between Algeria and Honduras. In 2009, just before Yanukovych took power, it was in 89th place, but the new president decided not to tempt fate any further by playing the game of western values. 

Two perceptions of reality exist side by side in Ukraine. The first is that shown on television, the main source of information for 87% of the population, owned by the country’s oligarchs and so obliged to remain loyal to the regime. The second, for the small minority of Ukrainians who use it, is that of the internet, where opposition voices dominate.

TV - the government’s weapon of choice.

Television is the government’s chief channel of communication with its voters. Naturally enough, after his election as president in 2010, Yanukovych decided to bring it under control. All the main channels began to function as elements of a homogeneous information stream overseen by Russian spin doctor Igor Shuvalov, and those who refused to toe the line were marginalised. The TVai channel, for example, first lost its broadcasting frequencies, and then, just before last year’s parliamentary elections, even cable operators stopped carrying it. 

The big TV channels belong to four groups, all of them with no option but to be loyal to Yanukovych. Media group No 1, consisting of the popular Inter channel along with half a dozen minor channels, has since January of this year belonged to oligarch Dmytro Firtash and Serhiy Lyovochkin, head of the presidential administration. Group No 2 is in the hands of Rinat Akhmetov, the president’s right hand man, the richest person in Ukraine and chief sponsor of the ruling Party of Regions. Two other media groups belong to ex president Kuchma’s son-in-law Viktor Pinchuk and the Dnipropetrovsk oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky.

Most amazingly, the mainstays of television’s loyalty to Yanukovych are two TV stars from Russia, the legendary Yevgeny Kiselyov from NTV and Savik Shuster from Radio Svoboda. Fleeing from Putin’s authoritarian regime into the arms of Yanukovych, both happily agreed to play by his somewhat less onerous rules.For none of them is television their main business. They have accepted these roles as the price of government support in areas like energy privatisation and favours for their metallurgical companies. The Ukrainian public is moreover not even aware of who cooks up their daily information menu – 82% have no idea who is behind their media. Most amazingly, the mainstays of television’s loyalty to Yanukovych are two TV stars from Russia, the legendary Yevgeny Kiselyov from NTV and Savik Shuster from Radio Svoboda. Fleeing from Putin’s authoritarian regime into the arms of Yanukovych, both happily agreed to play by his somewhat less onerous rules.

No-one is immune

The latest example of an oligarch bowing to pressure from the regime is the UNIAN website, owned by Ihor Kolomoysky. He brought his respected 20 year old brand into disrepute by posting, on government orders, a preposterous story about jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko’s lawyer Sergei Vlasenko. According to this article, Vlasenko was a pathetic character who believed that he was being followed by government agents disguised as cartoon bears. The website’s journalists protested, and were imperiously told by Kolomoysky to shut up, or the site would be closed down.

The fate of Ukraine’s most popular TV channel, Inter, is symptomatic of the trend. It recently changed hands after its previous owner, businessman and former acting deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky, dared to challenge President Yanukovych. After resigning his post last December as a protest against Yanukovych’s choice of Prime Minister, Khoroshkovsky decided to show his independence by dropping all censorship on his TV channel and dismissing a pro-government presenter. But his satisfaction was short-lived. The tax authorities were immediately ordered to investigate his affairs, so he left Ukraine and is now resident in London, where his son is a student at City University. From the UK he agreed to sell his TV shares to Serhiy Lyovochkin, head of the presidential administration, and the change of ownership was immediately followed by the disappearance of a political talk show hosted by journalist Anna Bezulik and the disbanding of the public advisory council set up by Khoroshkovsky to monitor balance in the channel’s news coverage.

Khoroshkovsky decided to show his independence by dropping censorship on his TV channel and dismissing a pro-government presenter. But his satisfaction was short-lived. The tax authorities were immediately ordered to investigate his affairs, so he left Ukraine and moved to London.A recent development has been the idea of the president’s ‘Family’ getting into direct media ownership. Yanukovych is trying to acquire his own information weapon system, to avoid the need for oligarchic support in the 2015 presidential elections. His media group consists mainly of a few small TV channels, radio stations and websites, but his ‘big gun’ is to be ‘Kapital’, a new business newspaper which will be published in conjunction with the Financial Times.

Interrupting the flow of news

The main result of Yanukovych’s media takeover has been to stop corruption allegations leaking from the internet to television. Since  Yanukovych’s election as president in 2010, not a single major channel has mentioned the scandal of his out-of-town residence Mezhyhirya. This tale of corruption on a fantastic scale would be a sensation anywhere in Europe, but in Ukraine it is simply a non-story. The government owned estate, formerly used by Ukraine’s communist bigwigs, is now 140 hectares of presidential private property (an area almost the size of Monaco) with a palatial residence where a single chandelier cost $100, 000.  

The interesting thing, however is that although television has made no mention of the president’s scandalous palace, it seems that the public is well aware of its story. A poll commissioned by the popular internet newspaper ‘Ukrainska Pravda’ showed that 42% of Ukrainians know about the machinations around the president’s residence despite the silence of the TV channels.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/Ukraine%20cameras.jpg
Journalists wait for Viktor Yanukovych to emerge from parliament,
having themselves been prevented from observing.
Photo: (cc) Demotix/ukrafoto ukrainian news

For the moment, the most popular Ukrainian websites have nothing to do with politics. The most visited site is Google, followed by the Russian social networking site ’vKontakte’. The third most popular site belongs to the Russian postal service; the fifth is another Russian social network, ‘Odnoklassniki’ (literally, ‘Classmates’).  Facebook is in tenth place, beaten by the file sharing site Ex.ua, which distributes pirated content. However the recent elections showed that the internet is becoming ever more dangerous for  Yanukovych and his political forces. In Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, not a single seat was won by a Yanukovych candidate. Despite the stream of TV propaganda, Kyivan voters were getting their information from alternative, online sources. Indeed attempts at falsification at Kyiv polling stations were foiled thanks to Facebook and Twitter, which were used to mobilise people to combat fraud.

The internet is even beneficial for Yanukovych, as a safety valve for people’s anger. Ukrainians are not smashing windows and storming the notorious presidential residence. They are too busy honing their artistic skills, drawing cartoons and pressing the ‘like’ button. For Yanukovych, internet users are lost voters. If his name appears anywhere on the web, it is only as a source of mockery for his frequent verbal slips, such as when he described Anton Chekhov as a Ukrainian poet. He has also been known to confuse Montenegro with Kosovo, and Stockholm with Helsinki. An amusing incident when a floral wreath fell on the president during a memorial ceremony during a high wind didn’t make the TV screens, but got 2.7 million hits on the internet and became the subject of innumerable cartoons and satirical remixes.

The internet is still a free zone where people can express their opinions and passions. In fact it is even beneficial for Yanukovych, as a safety valve for people’s anger. Ukrainians are not smashing windows and storming the notorious presidential residence. They are too busy honing their artistic skills in drawing cartoons and pressing the ‘like’ button beside blogs and articles that criticise the regime.

The growing influence of the Web 

Sooner or later the internet will become a powerful weapon against corruption in Ukraine. The ‘Nashi Dengi’ (‘our money’) site, which reports on the abuse of public funds, has become the main source of financial news for the media in general. It is obvious that in the future the internet will have a direct influence on election results. 

If Yanukovych’s name appears anywhere on the web, it is only as a source of mockery for his frequent verbal slips, such as when he described Anton Chekhov as a Ukrainian poet. He has also been known to confuse Montenegro with Kosovo, and Stockholm with Helsinki. Social networking sites may also become an alternative channel of communication between the opposition and the voters, although for the moment none of its leaders has much of a presence on Facebook or Twitter – the person with the most followers (31,000) is Vitaly Klychko, which is hardly surprising given his dual status as sports star and politician. But 31,000 isn’t even enough to guarantee a victory in a single constituency, let alone become mayor of Kyiv or president of Ukraine (on the government side, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s Facebook page has 24,000 followers, and on Friday evenings he opens it for readers’ questions, though only of a non-critical variety, which leads to a widespread suspicion that the answers come from a ghost-writer).Other opposition leaders have an even lower online profile: Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Yulia Tymoshenko’s successor as head of the ‘Fatherland’ party, has only 9,600 followers, while nationalist leader Oleh Tyahnybok has a mere 6,500. These figures are pathetically low, but increasing online interest in political matters is reflected in other ways. For instance, a photo of Arseniy Yatsenyuk doing his bit to combat corruption by flying economy class –unheard of behaviour for a political leader – gathered more than 3,000 Facebook ‘likes’, a record for a photo of a Ukrainian politician.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/yanukovych%20journalists%20masks.jpg
Journalists wearing masks at a press conference with Yanukovych.
Photo: RIA Novosti/Grigory Vasilenko

The regime, meanwhile, has its own use for the internet - to harass anti-Yanukovych journalists, hacking into their email accounts as well as recording their phone calls and publishing them online on pro-government sites. At the same time journalists are in general loath to stand up for their rights. The exception to this is the small number of people who have united under the slogan ’Stop the censorship!’. They recently attended  a presidential press conference wearing Yanukovych masks, the idea being to point out that Ukraine’s leader is out of touch with reality and talking to himself when he denies that censorship exists in Ukraine. 

Which road to take?  Of course the reality is that Ukraine’s whole future hangs in the balance, caught as it is between Europe – it is one step away from signing an Association Agreement with the EU – and the Russian dominated Eurasian Customs Union After a summit in Brussels last month, the EU has compiled a list of a dozen specific issues on which the Ukraine must take action by May in accordance with previous agreements. These include reforms in the justice system, in criminal law and the criminal procedure code, and in the fight against corruption, as well as the implementation of the recommendations of the Cox-Kwasniewski mission. It is clear, however, that for the sake of Ukraine’s future the EU Association Agreement must be signed, however undemocratic its institutions. It is not so important whose face is on the presidential mask. What is important is the fate of a fledgling 46 million strong nation that has spent the last twenty years at the east-west crossroads, and is still waiting for someone else to decide which road it should take.

Sergii Leshchenko is Ukrainian investigative and political journalist. He is deputy-editor-in-chief of Ukrainska pravda, a widely respected investigative online newspaper, and a 2012 Fellow of the John Smith Memorial Trust

The Viktors go to Brussels TOP

( Source )

David Marples and Myroslava Uniat

After the February 25 16th EU-Ukraine summit in Brussels, Ukraine’s chances of signing an Association Agreement later this year in Vilnius appeared as uncertain as they were before the meeting. What is lacking is a single unequivocal statement from President Viktor Yanukovych that he is prepared to meet the EU halfway and agree to the preconditions that have been outlined and reiterated numerous times by various leaders of Brussels. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s relations with the Russian-led Customs Union seem equally as ambivalent, but continue in parallel form in the background.

The Europeans have made it plain that the continuing imprisonment of opposition politicians Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko is part of the equation. If the EU has compromised, then it may be on the issue of the former. While Brussels-based politicians condemn the escalation of the charges against Tymoshenko is an essential prerequisite for the signing of the agreement. Regarding Lutsenko, on the other hand, the situation is simply confusing. Evhen Balitskiy, a deputy from the Regions Party, speaking on Ukraine’s Channel 5 on February 21, stated firmly that the two detained figures would be released only when they had completed their sentences, and that Ukraine would not cave into outside pressure for an early end to their confinement ( Source ).

Another report of February 23 suggested that Yanukovych was indeed willing to compromise on both cases, but without setting a time frame ( Source ). Lutsenko’s wife expressed her view that the president had paid close attention to issues dealing with her husband and that his detention was a political matter, i.e. that he had been imprisoned for criticizing the government ( Source ). Just three days later, a report from the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, maintained that after his meeting with the presidents of Poland and Slovakia, Yanukovych had promised to release Lutsenko in order to demonstrate Ukraine’s commitment to joining Europe. But the press service of the Polish president Bronislaw Kororowski would neither deny nor confirm the statement ( Source ).

Meanwhile EU politicians were expressing optimism both before and after the Brussels summit. European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso enunciated his vision of Ukraine as future member of the European Union and expressed his faith that Ukraine has a European future. The effort to get an Association Agreement signed in November at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius was endorsed not only by Barroso, but also by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule. They did add the proviso, however, that Ukraine should resolve the issue of “selective justice” and remove “deficiencies” in the conducting of parliamentary elections (Source ).

There was, however, another familiar Ukrainian visitor in the Belgian capital. Prior to the summit, at an evening meeting with Barroso that lasted over an hour, former president Viktor Yushchenko commented that the Tymoshenko case should not hold up proceedings ( Source ). The future of the Ukrainian state, stated Yushchenko, should not be a hostage of the “Tymoshenko affair.” Whether the Europeans still perceive Yushchenko as a credible authority is a moot point. The former president has rarely missed an opportunity to denounce his former Prime Minister, whose lengthy jail sentence was due in part to his testimony, and he appears content to serve the Regions government in his new role as an informal negotiator.

The delayed visit of Yanukovych to Moscow, on the other hand, finally took place on March 4, following its postponement last December. The main topics on the agenda were cooperation in energy, trade, and the economic sphere, particularly the conditions on which Ukraine might join the Customs Union. In addition Yanukovych returned to an old conundrum of the Kuchma era, namely the notion that there could be a joint Ukrainian-Russian venture to rent out Ukraine’s gas transportation system ( Source ). Russia, however, is insisting that Ukraine recognize the validity of previous agreements, which include not only the unfortunate 2009 deal on gas prices negotiated by Tymoshenko, but also cooperation and progress toward the integration of the Russian and Ukrainian nuclear industries in accordance with the July 12, 2012 memorandum signed in Yalta. One possible component of this agreement is joint construction of units 3 and 4 of the VVER nuclear power station at Khmelnyts’kyi ( Source ).

In April 2011 Yanukovych suggested that Ukraine might join the Customs Union in a 3+1 format precluding its full integration. That notion received qualifiede support from Regions deputy and Deputy Prime Minister Serhiy Tihipko, a former chair of the National Bank of Ukraine. Tihipko observed that Ukraine’s entry into the Customs Union has been under negotiation since 2010 and that the proposed treaty details are about 1,000 pages in length. Good progress has been made in his view. But neither side has started to work seriously on the 3+1 idea, an approach that he would not reject. Still, the EU market is seven times larger, which renders it more interesting for the Ukrainian economy ( Source ). Implicitly therefore the Customs Union is a viable back-up plan should negotiations with Brussels result in failure.

If, as seems plausible, Yanukovych is using talks with Russia to persuade Brussels to void the various conditions for signing the Associaton Agreement, he is demonstrating remarkable political naivety. The outcome could be the failure of the November meeting with the EU and equally unfruitful negotiations with Russia, which has considerable sway over the immediate future of Ukrainian energy policy in several of its major spheres, but especially oil, gas, and nuclear power. Andrew Wilson of the European Council of Foreign Relations commented that if the president was a wise man, then he would at least agree to release Lutsenko, but [he] «is not wise» ( Source ). Valery Chaliy of the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center maintains that the chances of the Association Agreement being signed are no better than 20%. And Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt declared that «To put it mildly, the current signs of progress in Ukraine are quite limited» ( Source ).

The EU has no doubt taken into consideration the overwhelming support for Ukraine’s European aspirations in the Ukrainian Parliament and the fact that even the government, despite its vacillations and the lack of firm directions at the level of the presidency, is generally in favor. It should take note, however, that negotiations on the side of Kyiv are not taking place with sincerity or even an evident willingness to compromise. All too often the vindictiveness toward former enemies and fear of retribution at some future date for more conciliatory policies, particularly in dealing with the Tymoshenko and Lutsenko cases, mean that at best, the Europeans will see no more than sluggish and very reluctant steps to comply with even modest requests. As Wilson has noted, however, a failure in November could seriously undermine the very existence of the Eastern Partnership. Ukraine might then have no immediate options other than the Customs Union, either in the so-called 3+1 formation or deeper integration on terms emanating from Moscow.

First 100 days of the new Verkhovna Rada: More questions than answers TOP

March 12 marked the first three months of the official start of work of the Verkhovna Rada of the VII convocation. Over this period the deputies worked only seven days in the plenary session mode during which they managed to appoint the new leadership of the parliament and government and adopt a minimal number of legislative acts.

Moreover, the first months of work of the legislative body was marred with fisticuffs between MPs, blocking of the parliamentary presidium and rostrum and stripping of the deputy mandates of MPs through court rulings.

How can the first months of the new parliament be assessed?
What can be expected from it in the future?

Parliamentary clinch

Just as the majority of Ukrainian political columnists had predicted, the level of conflict in the new parliament was considerably higher than in the VR of the previous convocation. There are a number of reasons for this.

First of all, as a consequence of the 2012 elections the composite of deputies was notably renewed: young radical politicians, mainly members of the nationalist party Svoboda and majoritarian MPs that are trying to play an independent game and resist pressure of the ruling majority, won seats in the parliament.

Secondly, centrifugal trends have been noted inside the Party of Regions (PoR), specifically due to the increased role of the inner circle of President Viktor Yanukovych and dissatisfaction of some of the members of the ruling party.

All this combined came to the fore in the very difficult first days of the new parliament, which were highlighted by the blocking of its work, periodical fisticuffs and the inability of the ruling majority to appoint the government and leadership of the parliament in its first attempts.

The months that followed were testimony to the aggravation of the conflict between pro-government and opposition factions, which led to a protracted blocking of the parliamentary rostrum by the opposition members in the first month of 2013 demanding a guarantee of stable compliance to the principle of individual voting. Given the ambiguity of such a method, most political experts gave it a fairly positive assessment. On the one hand, the problem of “button-pushing”, when MPs vote for several of their colleagues, must be immediately resolved. On the other hand, the opposition managed for the first time in years to impose its own order of the day on the parliamentary majority.

Further, the outcome of the parliamentary saga did not give an equivocal answer to the question of whether all MPs will vote only for themselves: instead of fulfilling the initial requirements of the opposition to introduce the new Rada-3 system of voting, amendments were made to parliamentary rules and regulations. While they will most likely increase the level of compliance with the principle of individual voting, they will not completely solve the problem of “voting for one’s neighbor”.

The stripping of MPs of their deputy mandates through the courts that began in February was further testimony to the rise in the degree of tension in the parliament. Furthermore, almost in all cases this was ungrounded and replete with gross violations of the law and the Constitution, which was testimony to the full control that the executive branch, headed by the president, has over the judicial system. The motives for such moves were glaringly obvious: the majoritarian MPs Pavlo Baloha and Oleksandr Dombrovskiy were stripped of their deputy powers for their intractability in cooperation with the PoR, while member of Batkivshchyna Serhiy Vlasenko most likely took the rap as the defense attorney of Yulia Tymoshenko and for his harsh words against the presidential team.

At the same time, stripping of the mandate of PoR member Andriy Verevskiy to demonstrate that Ukraine’s system of justice is unbiased smacked more of the mutual consent between the initiators of this process and the deputy himself, whose parliamentary mandate was more of a burden on his entrepreneurial activity.

Moreover, the precedent of stripping of deputy mandates through the courts did not only deal another powerful blow to Ukrainian parliamentarianism, but also was testimony to the problems the president is having controlling the new Verkhovna Rada, as he who was forced to resort to such unordinary tactics to instill fear in the deputies and keep them under his control.

Onward ho… to new conflicts

Given that the work of the Verkhovna Rada remains blocked in the middle of March, the chances of the opposition factions unblocking it in the nearest days are quite high.

First of all, fulfillment of their demand to rescind the claim of the parliamentary speaker on stripping Serhiy Vlasenko of his deputy mandate is impossible as the court already passed down its ruling.

Secondly, opposition members are exhausted from continuing to block the parliament and this feeling is mutual among politicians and civil society.

Thirdly, both the government and the opposition are in desperate need of the renewal of a normal legislative process. While the government needs the parliament to approve its economic initiatives and legislative documents that are at the very least formally needed to meet the requirements of the EU, the opposition should take interest in calling elections in Kyiv, which are slated to be held this summer.

Besides that, the intervention of the parliament in needed to resolve the convoluted situation with re-elections in five first-past-the-post districts and two districts that lost their winners by court rulings.

While the resolving of these issues will motivate parliamentary forces to unblock the work of the legislative body, given their political sensitivity, the probability that the parliament will continue to be blocked remains quite high.

The problem of possible premature dissolution of parliament and calling snap elections has not been stricken from the order of the day. However, given the fact that this requires the consent of both the opposition and the president, the likelihood of such a scenario remains quite low.

On the one hand, both sides are not fully satisfied with the composition of the new parliament and can count on increasing their seats in new elections if amendments are made to electoral legislation. On the other hand, no deputies that have not even served half a year want to be stripped of their mandates and again invest huge amounts of money into running a new campaign.

For this reason, hoping that a critical mass of proponents of re-elections to the parliament will be accumulated in the foreseeable future is wishful thinking. However, given the high level of conflict in the new parliament, it is clear that the issue of its dissolution in the future will once again rise to the surface, meaning the VR may not last out its 5-year term.

Conclusions

In closing, the first three months of the work of the new Verkhovna Rada were marked by fisticuffs, blocking of the parliamentary presidium, stripping of deputy mandates and extremely low productivity of the country’s main legislative body. Besides that, over this period it has not become clear to what degree the new parliament differs from the previous one in terms of discipline of the factions, individual voting and the parliamentary process. The only conclusion that can be drawn here is that the new parliament will continue to be mired in conflict, both in the cooperation between deputies and factions, and in its relations with other bodies of state power, including the president. Renewal of the normal work of the Verkhovna Rada, which can be expected very soon, will provide answers to the question of how this tension will affect the ability of the parliament to perform its main functions, first and foremost in the sphere of lawmaking.

“Focus in Ukraine” – weekly informational-analytical news bulletin prepared by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (http://dif.org.ua).
DIF Analysts: Iryna Bekeshkina Oleksiy Sydorchuk Julia Ilchuk Maria Zolkina Editor-in-chief: Iryna Filipchuk

"Вставай, Україно!". 10 тисячний марш у Вінниці – ВІДЕО TOP

image
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_G_w154zf-s

15 березня 2013

14 березня 2013 року у Вінниці відбувся десятитисячний марш об'єднаних сил опозиції, що ознаменував початок всеукраїнської акції протесту "Вставай, Україно!". Акцію протесту очолили лідери опозиційних сил -- Всеукраїнського об'єднання "Свобода" Олег Тягнибок та лідер ВО "Батьківщина" -- Арсеній Яценюк. Акція відбулася під гаслами відставки режиму Януковича і дострокових президентських і парламентських виборів.

Перші сто днів верховної ради: Більше питань ніж відповідей TOP

12 березня виповнилося три місяці від офіційного початку роботи Верховної Ради VII скликання. За цей час депутати пропрацювали в режимі пленарних засідань лише сім днів, встигнувши призначити нове керівництво парламенту й уряду та ухвалити мізерну кількість законодавчих актів. Натомість перші місяці роботи законодавчого органу більше запам’яталися силовими конфліктами між депутатами, блокуванням президії та трибуни парламенту й позбавленням народних обранців їх депутатських мандатів через судові рішення.

Як оцінити перші місяці роботи нового парламенту?
Чого чекати від нього далі?

Парламентський клінч

Як і передбачали більшість українських оглядачів, рівень конфліктності в роботі нової Верховної Ради суттєво зріс порівняно з парламентом попереднього скликання. Цьому було кілька причин. По-перше, внаслідок виборів 2012 року відбулося помітне оновлення депутатського складу: до парламенту потрапили як молоді радикально налаштовані політики (передусім з лав націоналістичної партії «Свобода»), так і мажоритарники, які намагаються вести самостійну гру та опиратися тиску правлячої більшості. По-друге, всередині самої Партії регіонів (ПР) також намітилися відцентрові тенденції, зокрема внаслідок посилення ролі найближчого оточення сім’ї Президента Віктора Януковича та невдоволення цим частини депутатів правлячої партії. Усе це разом вилилося в дуже непрості перші дні роботи нового парламенту, які були позначені блокуванням його роботи, періодичними бійками та нездатністю правлячої більшості призначити склад уряду й керівництво парламенту з першої спроби.

Наступні місяці засвідчили загострення конфлікту між провладними й опозиційними фракціями, що призвело до тривалого блокування парламенту опозиціонерами на початку 2013 року з вимогами забезпечити неухильне дотримання принципу особистого голосування. Попри неоднозначність такого методу, більшість експертів оцінили його досить позитивно, адже, з одного боку, проблема «кнопкодавства», тобто голосування картками кількох своїх колег, потребує негайного вирішення, а з іншого – опозиції вдалося вперше за багато часу нав’язати власний порядок денний парламентській більшості. Поза тим, розв’язка цієї парламентської історії так і не дала однозначну відповідь на питання, чи голосуватимуть усі депутати лише за себе: замість виконання початкової вимоги опозиції щодо введення нової системи голосування «Рада-3» було внесено зміни до парламентського регламенту. Вони, скоріше за все, збільшать рівень дотримання принципу персонального голосування, однак повністю не усунуть проблеми голосування за сусідів.

Зростання градусу напруженості засвідчила й низка подій щодо позбавлення народних обранців депутатських мандатів через суд, яка розпочалася в лютому цього року. При цьому практично у всіх випадках це було здійснено без належних підстав і з грубими порушення законодавства й Конституції, що стало свідченням повної підконтрольності судової системи виконавчій вертикалі на чолі з Президентом. Мотиви таких кроків були досить очевидними: мажоритарників Павла Балогу та Олександра Домбровського позбавили депутатських повноважень унаслідок їхньої незговірливості щодо співпраці з ПР, а член «Батьківщини» Сергій Власенко, найімовірніше, постраждав унаслідок свого статусу головного захисника Юлії Тимошенко та різких висловлювань у бік президентської команди. Водночас скасування мандата представника ПР Андрія Веревського, яке використали для демонстрації невибірковості українського правосуддя, більше нагадувало обопільну згоду ініціаторів цього процесу та самого депутата, представницький мандат якого був радше тягарем для його підприємницької діяльності. Поза тим, прецедент позбавлення депутатських мандатів у судовому порядку не лише став черговим потужним ударом по українському парламентаризму, а й засвідчив проблеми з контрольованістю нової Верховної Ради з боку президента, який був змушений вдатися до таких неординарних кроків заради залякування й упокорення депутатського корпусу.

Вперед до нових конфліктів

Попри те, що станом на середину березня Верховна Рада продовжувала лишатись у заблокованому стані, вірогідність того, що опозиційні фракції розблокують її вже найближчим часом, досить висока. По-перше, виконати їх основну вимогу – відкликати позов парламентського спікера до суду щодо позбавлення Сергія Власенка депутатського мандату – неможливо, адже суд уже виніс своє рішення. По-друге, опозиційні депутати дедалі більше відчувають втому від блокування парламенту, продовження якого викликало вже менше ентузіазму в політичному і громадському середовищах. По-третє, відновлення нормального законодавчого процесу потрібне і владі, й опозиції. Якщо для першої парламент потрібен для ухвалення економічних ініціатив і документів на бодай формальне виконання вимог ЄС, то останню має цікавити, зокрема, призначення виборів у Києві, які орієнтовно мають відбутися влітку цього року. Крім того, втручання парламенту потребує і незрозуміла ситуація з перевиборами в п’яти мажоритарних округах, до яких додалися ще два, що втратили переможців за рішенням суду. Вирішення цих питань спонукатиме парламентські сили до розблокування роботи законодавчого органу, хоча, зважаючи на їхню політичну чутливість, вірогідність продовження практики блокування лишатиметься високою.

Остаточно не знято з порядку денного й проблему можливого дострокового припинення повноважень парламенту та призначення дострокових виборів. Зважаючи на те, що для цього потрібна згода як опозиції, так і президента, вірогідність такого сценарію поки не надто висока. З одного боку, обидві сторони недостатньо задоволені складом нового парламенту і можуть сподіватися на поповнення власних лав на нових виборах у разі внесення змін до виборчого законодавства. З іншого боку, мало хто бажає втрачати мандати, не пробувши депутатом і півроку, та знову вкладати величезні ресурси в нову кампанію. Тому сподіватися на те, що найближчим часом назбирається критична маса прихильників перевиборів до Верховної Ради, наразі досить важко. Утім, зважаючи на високий рівень конфліктності нового парламенту, очевидно, що тема його розпуску в майбутньому знову спливатиме на поверхню, а сама Верховна Рада може і не допрацювати свій 5-річний термін.

Висновки

Таким чином, перші три місяці роботи нової Верховної Ради запам’яталися силовими конфліктами, блокуванням парламентської президії, позбавленням депутатів їх мандатів через суд і вкрай низькою продуктивністю законодавчого органу країни. Крім того, за цей час так і не стало зрозуміло, наскільки відрізнятиметься новий парламент від старого в питаннях фракційної дисципліни, персонального голосування та ведення законодавчого процесу. Єдиним висновком можна вважати те, що новий парламент буде куди більш конфліктним як у внутрішній взаємодії депутатів і фракцій, так і в стосунках з іншими органами державної влади, в тому числі з президентом. Відновлення нормальної роботи Верховної Ради, яке варто очікувати вже найближчим часом, має дати відповідь на питання, як ця напруга вплине на виконання парламентом своїх основних функцій, передусім у царині законотворення.

«Україна у фокусі» – щотижневий інформаційно-аналітичний бюлетень Фонду «Демократичні ініціативи» імені Ілька Кучеріва (http://dif.org.ua).
Аналітики фонду «ДІ»: Ірина Бекешкіна Марія Золкіна Юлія Ільчук Олексій Сидорчук Головний редактор випуску: Ірина Філіпчук

Why America’s AES sold its Ukraine utilities to Russians TOP

( Source )
Feb 28, 2013

Roman Olearchyk

High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights.(source).

Western energy majors that are knocking on Ukraine’s door, hoping to profit from a potential shale gas bonanza, would be wise to study the sour experiences of US power giant AES.

The US-based company announced earlier this month that it had agreed to sell two regional electricity distributors – Kyivoblenergo and Rivneoblenergo – to a Russian group called VS Energy.

In a conference call on Wednesday summing up its 2012 financial results and looking on into 2013, AES revealed that it had agreed – pending regulatory approval – to sell both assets to VS Energy for a combined $113m.

That is a bit higher than the $70m AES paid for both companies during a 2001 privatisation, but, as AES pointed out in a press release, it estimates losses due to impairments will be “approximately $20 million in 2013 related to the sale of the Ukraine utilities.”

With the purchase, VS Energy, which already controls a handful of Ukraine’s 27 regional electricity distributors, considerably increased its control over Ukraine’s electricity distribution business.

While AES struggled to find expected profit margins in Ukraine for all these years, the business of VS Energy and other Russian-Ukrainian groups appears to be blossoming. So, the stage is set for VS Energy to dominate the electricity distribution sector of Ukraine, a big economy with a population of some 46m, together with several other regional groups. They include DTEK, the energy group of Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov, and businessman Kontantin Grigorishin’s Energy Standard Group.

In a company statement this month, AES Executive Vice President Tom O’Flynn explained the decision to sell both Ukrainian assets as follows: “We continue to exit markets that are not part of our strategic vision. This transaction represents another step in the process to simplify our structure so we can focus on creating value in markets where we have a compelling competitive advantage.”

That may be so, but the word in Kiev is that AES’s inability to find common ground with local government regulators and its unwillingness to play by local rules, left it with no other choice but to leave.

In a February 28 note to investors, Alexander Paraschiy, analyst at Kiev-based investment bank Concorde Capital, wrote:

Clearly, AES had a negative experience from its investment in Ukrainian power distribution companies (a.k.a. oblenergos), although it invested in good state companies at exceptionally attractive conditions. In 2001, the state sold its 75% stakes in both oblenergos to AES for a total of $70m. This was more of a fixed income investment – the regulator allowed these oblenergos (as well as three other oblenergos privatized in 2001) to generate annual profit that amounted to 17% of AES’s initial investment. AES’s key problem was that it spoiled its relations with the state sector regulator from its first day in Ukraine (in fact, they started lecturing the regulator). Needless to say, with such behavior, the AES-related oblenergos ended up being discriminated by the regulator, which ultimately led to AES’s exit from Ukraine with losses.

Concorde Capital’s Paraschiy added:

In that same time span, VS Energy, a more flexible holding that also participated in the 2001 privatization of the oblenergos, was able to build a constructive dialogue with the regulator and significantly improve the operating efficiency of its oblenergos. With the purchase of the American oblenergos, the holding now owns majority stakes in seven Ukrainian electricity distribution firms.

Ukraine energy sector insiders are quick to point out that energy giants that are now entering Ukraine to explore its potentially large, untapped hydrocarbons reserves – the likes of Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil – are coming on strong terms. A new package of production-sharing legislation has been adopted that better protects their investments. It includes so-called stability clauses, and agreements with Ukraine’s government have clearly laid out prices and production sharing splits for the long-term.

But the experience of AES in Ukraine is a reminder that even the biggest investors can get bullied around hard by officials in countries such as Ukraine. And for them, it may not be worthwhile to watch in pain as smaller domestic groups churn out bigger profits in what are still murky business waters.

New book on deportations of Ukrainians from Poland after World War II TOP

image

Roman Kabaczij, Wygnani na stepy. Przesiedlenia ludności ukraińskiej z Polski na południe Ukrainy w latach 1944–1946 [Exiled to the Steppes: Deportations of the Ukrainian Population from Poland to Southern Ukraine During the Years 1944–1946], 382 pp., with illustrations, paperback, $34.95.

Published by the Association of Ukrainians in Poland with the financial support of the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies and the Kowalyk family, this Polish-language monograph is a thorough study of a series of deportations of Ukrainians from their ancestral lands in what is now eastern Poland (e.g., the Lemko region) to the southern regions of the Ukrainian SSR (mainly the Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odesa, and Donetsk oblasts) in 1944–46. Organized by the Soviet and Polish communist authorities, these deportations were designed to significantly reduce the density of the autochthonous Ukrainian population on Polish-ruled territories and thus to eliminate its support for the Ukrainian underground liberation movement, especially the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The book also describes the brutal “Sovietization” of the deportees in their new places of residence, as well as their efforts to preserve their identity and customs.

Roman Kabaczij is a historian and graduate of the Kherson Pedagogical University and the University of Lublin. He currently works at the Institute of Mass Information in Kyiv.

The book can be purchased from CIUS Press. Outside Canada, prices are in US dollars. Orders can be placed in a number of ways: online by credit card via a secure Internet connection at www.ciuspress.com, by e-mail (cius@ualberta.ca), by telephone (780-492-2973) or fax (780-492-4967), or by mail: CIUS Press, 430 Pembina Hall, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2H8.

The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) is a leading centre of Ukrainian studies outside Ukraine that conducts research and scholarship in Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Canadian studies. If you would like more information on the Institute, please visit our website at www.cius.ca or contact Dr. Bohdan Klid at (780) 492-2972; cius@ualberta.ca.

Канадський інститут українських студій (КІУС) — провідний осередок українознавчих студій поза межами України, покликаний розвивати науково-дослідну роботу з української та українсько-канадської тематики. Щоб отримати детальнішу інформацію, просимо відвідати наш веб-сайт www.cius.ca або зв’язатися з д-ром Богданом Клідом (780) 492-2972; cius@ualberta.ca.

Valentyna Kuryliw named Directo of Holdomor Research and Education Consortium TOP

image\

March 13, 2013 - OTTAWA-The Ukrainian Canadian Congress congratulates Ms. Valentina Kuryliw, Chair of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) National Holodomor Education Committee on her appointment as a director of the prestigious Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC).

The mandate of the HREC includes research, study, publication and dissemination of information about the 1932 - 1933 Famine Genocide in Ukraine, the Holodomor, ensuring that the Ukrainian experience receives greater recognition in society at large and that it is represented in the teaching of history and genocide. The HREC will draw upon the capabilities of CIUS units and engage a range of educators, scholars and institutions in the West and in Ukraine.

"Ms. Kuryliw's dedication to preparing, implementing and disseminating teaching materials on the Holodomor and the Internment of Ukrainian Canadians in World War I, has profoundly influenced the way the Ukrainian community is portrayed in our schools," stated Paul Grod, UCC National President. "Valentina's leadership and passion for Ukrainian truth and history are heartfelt and without her hard work, the teaching of the Holodomor in Canadian schools would remain in the shadows. I would like to congratulate her on this important appointment.

The HREC will call upon the expertise of Ms. Kuryliw to provide the educational component, preparation and dissemination of authoritative and accessible Holodomor resources for students, educators, schools, school boards, ministries and other institutions. Ms. Kuryliw's expertise will be used to engage in ongoing outreach activities to support the inclusion of the Holodomor in programs and curricula.

Ms. Kuryliw has over 40 years of experience as a teacher and department head in the province of Ontario. For over 16 years, Ms. Kuryliw has offered additional qualifications courses for history teachers in Ukraine regarding teaching history using critical thinking skills and interactive methods. Ms. Kuryliw authored "Metodyka vykladannya istorii" or "Methodology for Teaching History", which received the Ministry of Education of Ukraine recommendation (2008) to be used as a text for teacher training in institutes and universities in Ukraine.  

In 2009, she became the Chair of the National Holodomor Education Committee of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.  In addition to this, Ms. Kuryliw has conducted In-Service Teacher Training sessions in Ontario and across Canada for professional organizations and school boards on the Holodomor and Internment.

Under Ms. Kuryliw's guidance the HREC will serve as a repository for existing teaching materials, post materials on a user- friendly website with the ability to reprint and distribute resources essentials to its mandate.

The Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) announced the establishment of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) in January 2013. The HREC was made possible by a generous gift of $1,062,000 from the Temerty Family Foundation (Toronto).

Arbor and Canada-Ukraine Award -- Ihor Bardyn TOP

(CUPP Media, London)

On September 12, 2012 President Dr.David Naylor presented the prestigious Arbor Awards to alumni and friends for their volunteer commitment to the University of Toronto. This annual award is the University’s way of thanking and acknowledging the recipients that their substantial contributions of time, energy and experience do not go unnoticed. Ihor Bardyn, President of the Chair of Ukrainian Studies Foundation, at the University of Toronto, was one of the 2012 recipients of the Arbor Award. The Latin motto of Universitas Torontonensis is “Velut arbor aevo” or as a tree through the ages.  He is the second Ukrainian community recipient of the Arbor Award, after John Yaremko.

On December 5, 2012 at the Embassy of Ukraine in Kyiv, Ambassador Troy Lulashnyk presented Ihor Bardyn with the Exceptional Achievement Award, for outstanding contributions to Canada-Ukraine relations. Mr. Bardyn is the founder and director of the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program, an Internship Program for university students from Ukraine and the Diasporas, in its 23rd year of operation in the Parliament of Canada. He was a co-founder in Kyiv, of the World Congress of Ukrainian Jurists and Amnesty International’s country representative on behalf of Stepan Khmara an Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience.

Previous recipients of the Exceptional Achievement Award were Ruslana Wrzesnewskyj (2010) of the Help Us Help the Children Program (Children of Chornobyl Foundation) and Professor Yurii Makar (2011) founder of the Canadian Studies Program  at Yurii Fedkovych National University of Chernivtsi,

Mr. Bardyn was the Chairperson of the Model Ukraine Conferences dedicated to promoting good government and the Rule of Law in Ukraine. This prestigious series of Conferences, initiated in Ottawa, was attended by government, university and business representatives from Canada, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the UK, the USA and Ukraine and were held at George Washington University (2010), University of Ottawa (2010), Oxford University (2011) and the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy (2012). Mr. Bardyn is currently President of the Ukrainian National Federation of Canada.

Валентину Курилів призначено директором новоствореного дослідно-освітнього консорціуму з вивчення Голодомору TOP

17 березня, 2013

image

ОТТАВА - Конґрес Українців Канади вітає пані Валентину Курилів, голову Комітету Конґресу Українців Канади (КУК) з призначенням на посаду директора новоствореного дослідно-освітнього консорціуму із вивчення Голодомору (ДОКВГ).

Мандат (Обов'язок)  ДОКВГ включає в себе дослідження, вивчення, публікацію та розповсюдження інформації про Голодомор 1932-1933 в Україні, що сприяє отриманню широкого визнання українського досвіду в суспільстві в цілому і представленню його у викладанні історії та геноциду. ДОКВГ буде опиратися на можливості підрозділів КІУС і залучати педагогів, вчених і навчальні заклади Заходу та України.

"Відданість, з якою пані Курилів готувала, виконувала та розповсюджувала навчальні матеріали про Голодомор та інтернування українців у Канаді під час І Світової війни, глибоко вплинула на те, як українська громада зображена в наших школах." - заявив національний президент КУК, Павло Ґрод. "Очолена Валентиною діяльність за правдиву історію України є щирою, і без її важкої праці вивчення Голодомору у канадських школах залишилось би в тіні. Я хочу привітати пані Валентину з цим важливим призначенням."

ДОКВГ звертатиметься до знань і досвіду пані Курилів для забезпечення навчальними матеріалами, підготовки та розповсюдження достовірних та доступних ресурсів про Голодомор для студентів, педагогів, шкіл, шкільних рад, міністерств та інших установ. Досвід Пані Курилів буде використаний для поточної інформаційно-пропагандистської діяльності на підтримку включення Голодомору в програми і навчальні плани.

Пані Курилів має більш, ніж 40-річний досвід роботи викладачем і завідувачем відділу в провінції Онтаріо. Більш як 16 років тому пані Курилів запровадила додаткові кваліфікаційні курси для вчителів історії України, які пропонують викладання історії з використанням навичок критичного мислення та інтерактивних методів. Пані Курилів є автором "Методики викладання історії" ("Methodology for Teaching History"), яка отримала рекомендацію від Міністерства освіти України (2008) для використання як навчальний посібник для підготовки викладачів в інститутах та університетах України.

З 2009 п. Курилів є головою Національного Комітету Конґресу Українців Канади з вивчення Голодомору. Окрім цього, пані Курилів проводила In-Service курси підготовки вчителів на теми Голодомору та Інтернування для професійних організацій та шкільних рад в Онтаріо і по всій Канаді.

Під керівництвом пані Курилів ДОКВГ слугуватиме сховищем для існуючих навчальних матеріалів, розміщуватиме матеріали на зручному для користувачів веб-сайті з можливістю передруковувати і поширювати ресурси, потрібні для  Мандату. 

Канадський інститут українських студій (КІУС) оголосив про створення дослідно-освітнього консорціуму із вивчення Голодомору (ДОКВГ) в січні 2013 року. Створення ДОКВГ стало можливим завдяки щедрому дарунку від Фонду родини Темертей (Торонто) на суму $ 1.062.000.00.

Ukrainian Orthodoxy discussion - VIDEO TOP

image image

In February 2013 a delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada was invited to Constantinople by Patriarch Bartholomew I for discussions on matters affecting Ukrainian Orthodoxy.

The parish of the U.O.C. of St. Demetrius organized a presentation and panel discussion by several members of that delegation, including Bishop Andriy and Fr. Dr. Ihor Kutash, to provide information of the discussions between the UOCC and Constantinople.

image
Report on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada & EP, Victor Lahoda
http://youtu.be/uK9RyD0bUZ0

Report on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada & EP, Dmytro Bilak
http://youtu.be/8pQtMp5B5cM

Report on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada & EP, Walter Chewchuk
http://youtu.be/qXlSZmOZqiE

Report on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada & EP, Bishop Andriy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Bwl_9upd4

Highlights - Report on the UOCC & Ecumenical Patriarchate + Question/Answer Session http://youtu.be/U4aS-_O7LTg 

Playlist - Report on UOCC Meeting & Ecumenical Patriarchate, March 2013
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFDKv3_cxFEeJPbB8III2PpAReEABDA0C&feature=view_all

The above videos were not sponsored by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, St. Demetrius Ukrainian Orthodox Church, nor by the Brotherhood for the Revitalization of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in Canada.

UkeTube typically works quickly & efficiently to post partial, or sometimes even full coverage within 24, 48, or 72 hrs of a taped event in the Ukrainian community here in the GTA. Often, a few videos will be posted within hours of an event.

So if you wish to continue viewing more Ukrainian video content on UkeTube, particularly of important events, PLEASE make a donation of $5, $10, $20 or more at the PayPal link below.

PayPal Donation link to UkeTube:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=SSTGBK265LXK4

Vasyl Szuch



Дискусія про українське православ'я з делеґацією Української Православної Церкви Канади до Константинополя - ВІДЕО TOP

image image

У лютому 2013 року Патріарх Варфоломей І запросив делеґацію Української Православної Церкви Канади до Константинополя для обговорення питань українського православ'я.

Парафії Собору Св. Димитрія організувала презентацію та обговорення з кількома членами цієї делегації, зокрема з Владикою Андрієм і о. др. Ігорем Куташем, які поінформують про переговори між УПЦК і Константинополем.

image

УРИВКИ:
http://youtu.be/uK9RyD0bUZ0
http://youtu.be/8pQtMp5B5cM
http://youtu.be/qXlSZmOZqiE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_Bwl_9upd

Повний запис тут:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFDKv3_cxFEeJPbB8III2PpAReEABDA0C&feature=view_all

Просьба підтримувати UkeTube:
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=SSTGBK265LXK4 

Ці відео не спонсоровані Українською Православною Церквою Канади, ні Церквою Українською Православною Церквою Св. Димитрія, ні Братством для оновлення українського православ'я в Канаді.

Братство для оновлення українського православ'я в Канаді – новий сайт TOP

Сайт: http://www.bruoc.ca/

У козацьких часах, у часах Тараса Григоровича Шевченка, Івана Франка й Лесі Українки, як і в українському-канадському житті, існували різні Братства. Братства були зоорганізовані щоб уможливити спілкування та дискусію над темами загального зацікавлення, політики, релігії, як і бути органом розповсюдження важливої iнформації в даному часі.

Події в останніх місяцях спонукали зоорга-нізoвання нового Братства у місті Торонто у травні 2012 року, а саме Братство для оновлення українського православ'я в Канаді. Головна ціль братства,“Зберігати, захищати та оновляти нашу Віру й українську спадщину для нашого покоління та наших нащадків.” Заохочуємо всіх стати членом нашого Братства, щоб учитися, ділитися думками та досвідом, при захисті нашої суспільно-релегійної ідентичності в цих непевних часах.

Прошу звертатись за дальшими iнформаціями до
Володимира Шевчука, тел. 905-884-0618
або до Івана Москалика, тел. 416-951-8097.

 

Київський Патріархат вітає зусилля Української Православної Церкви Канади TOP

(Source)
Опублікував Прес-центр Київської Патріархії
Перегляди: 1200
П'ятниця, 15 березня 2013, 10:35

«В Українській Православній Церкві Київського Патріархату вітають зусилля Української Православної Церкви Канади, спрямовані на користь українського православ’я, подолання його розділення та штучної ізоляції» – повідомив речник Київської Патріархії, секретар Священного Синоду архієпископ Євстратій, коментуючи інформацію про підсумки візиту делегації УПЦ Канади до Константинополя 7-10 лютого 2013 р.

«Для Церкви в Україні загалом та для Київського Патріархату зокрема дуже важливо, щоби Константинопольський Патріархат та інші Помісні Церкви знали правду про стан українського православ’я, отримуючи інформацію не лише від вороже зацікавленого Московського Патріархату. Це дасть можливість Помісним Церквам робити у розв’язанні так званого українського питання більш відповідні кроки – підкреслив владика Євстратій. – Ми сподіваємося, що Українська Церква в Канаді послужить справі поширення цієї правди».

Речник Патріархії нагадав про подію, яка відбулася 20 років тому, коли Предстоятель УПЦ Канади митрополит Василій відвідав Україну, мав зустрічі з ієрархами Українських Церков, побував у різних областях. «На жаль ця місія не мала продовження. Але ми в Україні сподіваємося, що той позитивний досвід праці Української Церкви в Канаді на благо Церкви в Матері-Україні, який був у минулому, буде поновлений» – відзначив владика.

Архієпископ Євстратій наголосив: «У Київському Патріархаті цінують історичний та духовний спадок Української Православної Церкви Канади, її унікальну ідентичність. Ми сподіваємося на збереження і примноження цього спадку. Ми переконані, що майбутнє УПЦ Канади – в руках її ієрархів, духовенства та вірних, які спільними зусиллями у дусі соборноправності будуть розбудовувати її життя. Є особи та сили, які хотіли би розсварити нашу Церкву та УПЦ Канади, розповсюджуючи думки, ніби Київський Патріархат прагне підпорядкувати собі Церкву в Канаді. Це є неправда, і таких прагнень чи намагань ні в минулому, ні тепер немає – ми цінуємо та поважаємо УПЦ  Канади і переконані, що своє майбутнє вона повинна визначати сама, соборно і самостійно, як вона це робила протягом всього часу свого буття».

Владика нагадав також і про прикрі моменти відносин між двома Церквами, але зазначив, що вони повинні послужити уроком і вести не до конфронтації, а до кращого розуміння одне одного. «Минулого року в складі делегації Всеукраїнської Ради Церков і релігійних організацій Святійший Патріарх Філарет і я перебували на Канадській землі – сказав архієпископ. – Нам, безперечно, було прикро, що тоді у спілкуванні православних українців Канади та Матері-України виникли певні перешкоди. Але Божий Промисел і погане навертає до добрих наслідків – православні у Канаді зокрема і українство загалом отримали поштовх до активної праці в напрямку подолання того ненормального стану, коли через позицію вороже налаштованого Московського Патріархату діти одного українського народу і однієї Христової Православної Церкви не мають можливості вільно спілкуватися одне з одним. Думаю, що і візит делегації УПЦ Канади до Константинополя та обговорення там із Вселенським Патріархом Варфоломієм не лише канадійських, але й українських питань, є певною мірою плодом осмислення минулорічних подій».

Від імені Святійшого Патріарха Філарета архієпископ Євстратій ще раз висловив вдячність всім членам УПЦ Канади, з ким відбулися офіційній та приватні зустрічі – як під час візиту за океан, так і в Україні. «Ми вдячні організаторам та учасникам за теплий прийом, зустрічі й спілкування, які відбулися у Канаді минулого року, а також тут, в Україні. Переконані, що згаданий візит, попри певні труднощі, дав добрі плоди, надихнув повноту Української Церкви в Канаді на роздуми та осмислення свого подальшого поступу, своєї ролі щодо Церкви на Батьківщині, відкрив нову добру сторінку відносин між православними Канади та України» – зазначив владика.  

«Як Церква, яка перебуває під омофором Вселенського Патріарха, УПЦ Канади має унікальну можливість стати дієвим посередником у справі подолання розділення українського православ’я і визнання автокефалії Української Церкви на Батьківщині – відзначив ієрарх. – Ми сподіваємося, що вона скористається цим шансом на благо Православ’я і на благо України та всього українського народу. Маємо надію, що митрополит Юрій разом з ієрархами, духовенством та вірними УПЦ Канади допоможуть нам пробити зведену московськими зусиллями навколо Київського Патріархату стіну неправди і штучної ізоляції».

«Київський Патріархат відкритий до співпраці з Предстоятелем УПЦ Канади митрополитом Юрієм, ієрархами, духовенством та всіма вірними Церкви в Канаді. Сподіваємося, що і вся УПЦ Канади об’єднається у справі допомоги Церкві в Україні та виведенню Київського Патріархату зі штучної зовнішньої ізоляції» – сказав на завершення архієпископ Чернігівський і Ніжинський Євстратій.

ADMINISTRATION, subscribing, unsubscribing, etc. TOP

Myroslava Oleksiuk
-- editor-in-chief


Марта Онуфрів
-- кореспондент
Marta Onufriv
-- correspondent

diana
Діана Мережко
-- кореспондент
Diana Merezhko
-- correspondent


John Heron
-- webmaster www.eposhta.com


Ihor Prociuk
-- story layout and design

We hope you found ePOSHTA informative and will share it with others. Your submissions and suggestions are always welcome.

eposhta-CanadaUS@yahoogroups.com
or
myroslava@rogers.com

Use the following e-mail addresses to:

SEND us e-mail:
eposhta-CanadaUS@yahoogroups.com

Subscribe to the ePOSHTA-CanadaUS NewsMagazine:
Is one of your friends forwarding ePOSHTA to you? Why not subscribe directly! Just enter your e-mail in the box below and click on Subscribe Now!.

Unsubscribe from the ePOSHTA-CanadaUS NewsMagazine:
Send an email to:
eposhta-CanadaUS-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
YahooGroups (which managers our subscriptions) will send you an e-mail -- to which you must reply -- in order to confirm that you want to unsubscribe.

Subscription Issues:
Having difficulty subscribing (or unsubscribing)? Or maybe you want us to add your friends to our newsmagazine? Contact:
subscription@eposhta.com
Make sure you have "Subscription" in the subject line.

Events, Conferences, Employment:
Send announcements at least two weeks before the event date to: events@eposhta.com
See the guidelines for submitting EVENT announcements.

If you maintain a website of events for your city or region, let us know. We will add a link to your site in our ePOSHTA newsmagazine.

ePOSHTA acknowledges the technical support of blackseahall.ca in the production of the ePOSHTA Newsmagazine.