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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Russia to Ukraine: No Demand for Ukrainian Schools Among 2.9M Ukrainians Living in Russia

In the excerpts below, Andrey Nesterenko, a Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry representative, explains the absence of Ukrainian-language schools in Russia:

It can probably be explained by the similarity of Eastern Slavic languages and cultures, by a common history (Kyivan Rus, the Moscow state, the Russian Empire, the USSR) and by the same Orthodox Christian faith.

Due to the causes mentioned, there are no schools in the Russian Federation where the entire curriculum is taught in the Ukrainian language.

Russian Federation citizens of the Ukrainian ethnicity and Russians with Ukrainian citizenship are in different ethnocultural situations.

Attempts at comparing their positions by merely counting, for instance, the number of Russian schools in Ukraine and Ukrainian schools in Russia are illegitimate.

Illegitimate? Really?

So the 2.9 million “Russian Federation citizens of the Ukrainian
ethnicity eagerly assimilate and simply don’t want to preserve their language and culture. By contrast, not only do the 8.3 million “Russians with Ukrainian citizenship” want to preserve their mother tongue, but many of them also want to never ever learn Ukrainian.

Why? Could it be that Russia’s big brotherly attitude toward Ukraine aims at perpetuating the centuries-long Russian superiority/Ukrainian inferiority complex?

Bottom line,

The policy Russia offers to Ukrainians living in Russia: melting pot
The policy Russia demands for Russians living in Ukraine: multiculturalism

Well, multicountryism would be more accurate.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Russian Pop Diva Helps Tymoshenko’s ‘Friend of Russia’ Image

Tymoshenko recalls dancing to Pugacheva’s songs. Pugacheva calls Tymoshenko a good politician, a smarty and a beauty.

In a smart public relations move, they’ve made good friends.

Alla Pugacheva is the Soviet pop legend of the ‘80s who recently celebrated her 60th anniversary. Yulia Tymoshenko is Ukraine’s PM who courts pro-Russian voters in this year’s presidential election.

Last Wednesday, Pugacheva threw a concert in Kyiv. Tymoshenko mounted the stage as a prominent guest, along with Russian Ambassador Viktor Chernomyrdin, the foot-in-mouth man who routinely meddles in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

The song Pugacheva did with Tymoshenko was some sort of East-West balancing act.

Tymoshenko: I wanted to do “Million alyh roz,” (“A Million Scarlet Roses”) but then I thought that a million Ukrainian hearts that sincerely love Alla Pugacheva would be better. And I think that every time a family celebrates a birthday — they have a birthday cake, candles — and then, after all this beauty is rolled out, everyone in the family cordially sings “Happy Birthday.” And I want us now to cordially sing to Alla Borisovna, on a count of three: one, two, three! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, dear Alla! Happy Birthday to you!
Pugacheva: Now, in Russian! S Dnem Rozhedeniya menya! [Happy Birthday to me!]
S Dnem Rozhedeniya tebya! S Dnem Rozhdeniya, nasha Alla. S Dnem Rozhdeniya, tebya! [Happy birthday, our Alla! Happy Birthday to you!]

It’s an ode to happiness, an ode for a-l-l t-i-m-e-s! The ode of all odes! [giggles] I missed you. [kisses Chernomyrdin] How happy it is when goodness dwells with people and among people. You know, I have this boy — this smart boy, he’s 9 years old — and when asked about what makes a good politician (what can a 9-year-old kid say? who are they?), he responds: “Those are the big boys and girls who are doing everything to…keep people from q-u-a-r-r-e-l-i-n-g.


Pugacheva: From the lips of a child, the t-r-u-t-h s-p-e-a-k-e-t-h! Thank you for the love!

I have no quarrel with Pugacheva’s ‘80s songs. I actually like them. I even recall this famous perestroika joke: “Q: Who are the three most popular women in the country? A: Katya Lycheva, Alla Pugacheva and Raya Gorbacheva.”

However, when it comes to the “good politician” issue, Ambassador Chernomyrdin and his friends in Tymoshenko’s BYuT give that title a bad name.

When a big group of people tries to control a smaller group of people — using the help of a big girl within that smaller group — all you get is quarreling.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chernobyl Is 23

We remember.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Collecting Another Bagful of Trash

I made a cameo appearance at the Saturday cleanup on Trukhaniv Island. (HT: Elmer)

Moroz comin' thru

IMHO, the effort lacked coordination and field resources. There weren’t enough bags for everyone. Some people were promoting corporate brands, some where loafing, and some couldn’t find those bags. I only found one bag. Bagless people would ask me where I found it.

Under the Tree, or 10 Minutes X 10 Square Meters

Mine is the biggest:)!

The Green Party of Ukraine
Is that a hybrid car?

Oleh Skrypka thanks everyone. The next scheduled cleanup: May 16.

There's enough work for everyone...but not enough bags.

I'll be back.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Picture of Kyiv Mayor Gets Framed in Article on Polygraph Tests for Pedophiles

Anyone notice any similarities?

The picture featuring Kyiv mayor Leonid “Kosmos” Chernovetsky dates back to the 2006 mayoral campaign. As a mayoral candidate, Chernovetsky aggressively advocated polygraph testing for municipal officials but dropped the idea once facing corruption allegations as mayor.

Anyway, thank you for this funny perspective, Daily Mirror! You made me wanna play this song:

The Daily Mirror has pulled the article.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tymoshenko, the Mother Of All Miners 2

Last October, she said this: “The crisis is knocking, but we don’t have to open the door.” Welcome to another don’t-worry-be-happy fairy tale from the same old fairy:


Voiceover: The world financial crisis has hit Ukraine’s coal mining industry hard. Coal demand has fallen severalfold. Will the government be able to save the industry from meltdown?

PM Yulia Tymoshenko: To combat the world crisis, we are carrying out a special program in the coal mining industry. First, we’ve created a state reserve of energy-use coal at power stations. This means that every ton of coal will be paid for. Second, we’ve allocated 4 billion hryvnias from the stabilization fund for the coal mining industry. This means that the industry will have investments and the coal miners will have pay. All miners will receive pay on a timely and complete basis. Should officials do something wrong, call the government using the number you see on the screen. Don’t worry. The crisis will be overcome. Ukraine is strong.

Strong enough to elect you president once you saddle it with every kind of I[nvesting] M[oney] in F[riends] debt possible? Or maybe you want to be elected in Parliament, by partnering with the Party of Regions and rewriting the Constitution?

Video uploaded from:
Original source:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easter and the Environment

Economically, Ukrainians are doing better than Indians. Environmentally, it’s hard to tell.

Yesterday, Ukraine celebrated Easter.
I took a walk through my riverside Obolon neighborhood in Kyiv.

So here's the beauty of my
Obolon Riviera. Littered with broken glass. Paved with plastic. Crucified with carelessness.

10 minutes of my time

What will this place be like when the baby grows up?
(All things being equal.)

I even invented terms like бидлоболонці or picnic pigs. That's what I would call people who come here and leave behind a trail of trash. Tons of trash.

This recreation culture puts a whole new spin on “Don’t shit where you eat.”

I'm not a big believer, but I believe that churches should organize community service days and promote a culture of environmental stewardship.

The shit I've seen starts with the soul.

Clean souls, clean shores.