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Friday, August 24, 2007

The Ukrainian flag makes its way to the floor of the Verkhovna Rada. Interestingly, it then “cohabited” for several days with the Ukrainian Socialist Republic’s blue-red banner until completely replacing it.

З Днем Незалежності, Україно! Happy Independence Day, Ukraine!

Today, Ukraine celebrates her Sweet Sixteen, still full of adolescent insecurity as she reaches adulthood.

I’m proud to recall that on August 24, 1991 — the day our country declared her independence — my dad and I were rallying outside the Verkhovna Rada,
among thousands of other Ukrainians young and old.

We saw history in the making. We consigned the USSR to the dustbin of history, finalizing Ukraine’s centuries-long struggle for independence.

Great links:


Anonymous said...

Happy Independence Day to Ukraine and Ukrainians everywhere!


Taras said...

Slava Ukrayini! Glory to Ukraine:)!

Anonymous said...

how things play out and spin, spin, spin for the world press.

Headline from yesterday's Pres. Independence Day speech

Version 1
"Yushchenko calls for change to constitution ... President Viktor Yushchenko pledged quick action yesterday to restore presidential powers in Ukraine after an early election next month meant to end a political deadlock with the prime minister." AP Gulf Times


Version 2
"Ukraine president setting up council to draft new constitution ... Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko [official website] said Friday that he establish a body to draft a new Ukrainian constitution [text] and will propose amendments to clarify the distribution of power between the presidency, parliament, and the cabinet." Jurist

Quite different but same event based on same words.



Taras said...

Different people, different perspectives:)?

Taras said...

Check this out:

Qatar Cat said...

Ha, yes, good old days.

I was at home. My parents, terrified of the mayhem on the streets, wouldn't let me out. I can see their point now, I guess ;-)

Taras said...

Hi Dubai!:) May there be peace in the region.

You were at home where? You’re not saying you were here in Kyiv, are you;)? Where are you originally from:)?

Qatar Cat said...

Of course and I was in Kiev, where else? As for "originally from" - half Ukrainian half European mix, born and raised in Kiev, graduate of a fine communist establishment called sredniaya shkola #86 (now some sort of poshy lyceum or so I heard), upon finishing which I left Ukraine for good and have been travelling the world and living in weird places ever since.


And compared to Ukraine, Dubai is a very peaceful place by the way!

Qatar Cat said...

Oh yeah, a minor detail, my home is in Cyprus, where all my family is, mom being half Greek and all. I've been living in the Middle East for the last... ugh... 6 years.

I'm totally Ukrainian at heart tho.



Anonymous said...

Buchanan's opinion is the classic - "why should anyone care about what goes on in Ukraine ...?" and contrast this with Bush's "A Frustrated 'Democracy Agenda'"

and from the other side the very classic "Ten Reasons Why Russia Can’t Trust Uncle Sam"

Who's right?/who's wrong? Unfortunately only hindsight is 20/20.


Pawlina said...

I was safe and snug in Canada, sitting with my jaw in my lap as I watched and listened to events unfold. I truly had never expected to see Ukraine become independent in my lifetime!

That year my co-hosts and I had some news coverage of the events on our show (the first incarnation of Nash Holos). Fortunately, I saved it on cassette ... in those days we recorded on reel-to-reel tapes that we erased and reused, and no one kept archives.

Anyway, maybe I should dig out that cassette, convert it to a digital file and put it up somewhere. It's history, after all...

Happy Independence Day (a little late!) to all Ukrainians.

Slava Ukraiyini!

Anonymous said...

All I know is that I would not want to be an Austrian footballer today. Do they know who they are ticking off?

"Salzburg Threaten Shaktar Ambitions"


Anonymous said...

"Today activists of the Youth Union Our Ukraine picketed the Cabinet of Ministry’s building demanding from the Prime Minister Yanukovych and his officials to promulgate their income statements.

The picketers carried flags of the Our Ukraine and the People’s Self Defense. They also held such banners in their hands: “Due date of income statements is April 1! Have you pulled up?”, “Prime Minister goes to shamans”, “Time of “proffessors” passes on”, “Students! Help a “proffessor” with filling an income statement in!” and “You’re not ministers, you are swindlers” etc, press service of OU-PSD reports. "

A spelling mistake that just WON'T go away ...


Taras said...

Qatar Cat,

So you come from this place?:) Wow! I can’t believe it! You are the definition of a global villager, and one who knows that blood is thicker than oil:)!

Cyprus tax havens and resorts have long become a mecca for Ukrainian oligarchs, many of whom have been aggressively buying up local real estate.

It’s a miracle that, besides this connection, we have such a nice presence in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf:) By the way, as you know, my name, Τάρας, is Greek;)

And here’s your school:)

Taras said...

Thank you for continuing the thread!:) You’re my best supplier of fresh articles:)

I couldn’t stand the way in which some Americans and Europeans turned the Orange Revolution into forum fodder — “Chicken Kiev” style — bombarding us with biased worldviews that barely scratched the surface.

Following Bush’s election to second term, hordes of liberals went berserk, glaring at Ukraine through the prism of their own domino theory.

To them, Bush was on to another geopolitical crime — stealing "the Ukraine" from Putin using Yushchenko, whom they thought to be a CIA stooge with a neocon agenda. Thus, the "kick-the-Uke" syndrome came into being.

It pained me to watch my country being kicked around in the crossfire between the political right and left on both sides of the Atlantic.

I wonder if Shakhtar, Ukrainian for “coalminer,” is already outspending the entire Donbas coal industry on total labor costs:) Absolutely loved Lutsenko’s meat procurement expedition to that Kharkiv bazaar:)!

When this year’s income statements start popping up, we’ll probably find out that Yanukovych made less than what he shells out on his ostrich footwear:)

Get a load of Hanya’s "bra-burner" outfit:)

Now that the Orange Revolution is over, a sexual one may well be under way in the Party of Regions:)

Taras said...


One of my best friends spent the summer of ‘91 with a family in Seattle, as part of a charity program. And guess what? They woke him up early in the morning on August 24 (mind the time zones), and greeted him cordially:) Talk about Sleepless in Seattle!:)

Let me know when you have the file. I'd love to know what it was like for you out there in Canada:) After all, the Diaspora played a key role in Ukraine’s recognition efforts:)

Qatar Cat said...

Haha that school hadn't heard a word of Ukrainian outside Ukrainian language classrooms when I was there and now look, Ukrainian site and all! I bet all the teachers had to take lessons.

I wonder whether the kids can speak either Russian or Ukrainian good enough, and I hope they stopped translating Pushkin into Ukrainian language. What a joke.

Taras said...

Tempus fugit! Time flies;)!

That was the state of things when you left us — at the pinnacle of Russification.

For baby and echo boomers, a Ukrainian translation of Pushkin indeed sounds like a joke. But not for the kids who go to school these days.

For Y-geners and millennials, it’s a whole new ballgame. They learn about the USSR from parents/grandparents and history textbooks. They grew up in a post-Soviet reality. In informal settings, Kyiv kids still converse in Russian more often, but write better in Ukrainian.

Born in 1980, the year Moscow hosted the U.S- boycotted Olympics and Reagan won the election, I have vivid memories of some perestroika and even pre-perestroika days.

But my lifespan is already leaning toward Ukraine rather than the USSR — and that’s what time is all about:)

Qatar Cat said...

I only know Soviet Ukraine. I can't imagine any school classroom without a portrait of Lenin. In fact, the only English verse out of school program that I remember is about Lenin:

I see the well known portrait
Upon a classroom wall
I see a face of Lenin
So dearly loved by all....

And so on.

And although I can't spell either Russian or Ukrainian anymore to save my life, I still speak Russian with no accent, but my conversational Ukrainian is non existent. Sad, really.

I last visited Kiev in 1998. I didn't like it one bit. My house is in the centre, K. Marx street, but I found out it's Horodetskogo now. Not bad, he was an awesome architect, but I still call my street K. Marx street. And that's that.

Taras said...

It’s OK:) If I were you, I’d feel the same way. Childhood nostalgia often grips me, too;)! And if you’re interested in recapturing things Soviet, visit

The last statue of Lenin can be found next to the Besarabsky Market. It’s a communist shrine during holidays like May 1 and November 7.

Karl Marx would roll over in his grave at the sight of all the fancy cars in which the “reactionary forces” of capitalism roam the street that once bore his name:))) Don’t be surprised to find local dwellings more expensive than comparable ones in Nicosia and Dubai.

1998 marked the beginning of a great reconstruction in downtown Kyiv, with the entire Khreshchatyk sealed off for months. By 2001, they built an underground city: miles of stores, boutiques, and cafes stretching from Maidan Nezalezhnosti to Lva Tolstoho metro station.

Anyway, you should come back to us more often!:)