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Friday, October 30, 2009

Flu Epidemic Kills 440 in Ukraine, Thousands More Infected (Updated)

At least 61 people are in critical condition. H1N1 has been officially confirmed in seven cases. Schools and kindergartens in nine oblasts have been closed: Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Zakarpattya, Chernivtsi, Rivne, Volyn, Khmelnytsk and Vinnytsya.

“Ukraine has entered a flu epidemic, of the so-called California (swine) type. As of October 29, we have 951 people hospitalized. Unfortunately, we have to note 30 fatalities,” Minister of Healthсare Vasyl Knyazevych said at a briefing Friday.

More recent reports bring the death toll to 37.

Tymoshenko, Yanukovych and Yushchenko have canceled their campaign rallies. Interoblast movement will be restricted. Mobile military hospitals are on standby.

This Channel 1+1 report looks into an HMO in Irpin, Kyiv oblast, flooded with sick people who fear for their lives.

Every doctor gets 50 patients per day. The situation is deteriorating. An epidemic is going on but nobody will admit it officially.

The number of confirmed H1N1 cases has climbed to 11. According to online rumors, Kyiv disease control authorities will send helicopters spraying anti-H1N1 chemicals overnight.

As of Sunday morning local time, 48 people have died, 150,000 are suffering from respiratory diseases and 14 swine flu cases have been officially confirmed.

As of 13:01 local time, 53 people have died, 184,919 are suffering from
respiratory diseases, including 82,691 children. Some 7,383 people have been hospitalized, of whom 123 are in ICU.

As of 5:00 pm local time November 1, 60 people have died and 191,431 are suffering from respiratory diseases.

As of Monday afternoon local time, 67 people have died. All deaths are alike, with 22 confirmed H1N1 cases as testing and autopsies continue, Deputy Minister of Health Vasyl Lazorshynets said.

As of 5:00 pm local time November 2, 70 people have died.

As of Tuesday afternoon local time, 71 people have died and some 255,516 are suffering from respiratory diseases. Contrary to earlier statements, the government now says there's no swine flu epidemic in Ukraine but a seasonal flu epidemic only.

As of 1:00 pm Wednesday local time, the first H1N1 fatality in Kyiv has been officially confirmed.

As of Thursday afternoon local time, the official death toll has reached 92, including 6 children, 4 pregnant women and 4 doctors.

As of Friday afternoon local time November 6, we have seven confirmed H1N1 cases in Kyiv, including one fatality. Six infected people are fighting for their lives, including a 2-month-old baby and a 23-year-old pregnant woman.

As of November 6, 135 people have died.

As of November 8, 144 people have died.

As of November 9, 155 people have died and 65 swine flu cases have been officially confirmed. A total of 969,247 have become ill with respiratory diseases since the epidemic's outbreak.

As of November 10, 189 people have died. Some 1,122,188 are suffering from ARVI, of whom 57,286 have been hospitalized.

As of November 11, 213 people have died. Some
1,192,000 are suffering from ARVI, of whom 62,000 have been hospitalized and 350 are in ICU.

As of November 14, 282 people have died (17 died during the last 24 hrs). Some 73,373 have been hospitalized since the outbreak (3,682 during the last 24 hrs).

As of early November 16, 299 have died (17 during the last 24 hrs); 1,364,939 have fallen ill since the outbreak (17,401 during the last 24 hrs).

As of November 17, 328 people have died; 1,457,000 have fallen ill since the outbreak (56,000
during the last 24 hrs).

As of December 2, 440 people have died.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Tale of Two Conventions: Yanukovych v. Tymoshenko

They’re working. They want it all.

MP Hanna Herman (PRU): When you’re standing, you feel some sort of movement. And we here are ready to take the first steps.
MP Serhiy Kivalov (PRU): People were saying really sincerely that the only candidacy from the Party of Regions is Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych.
MP Oleksandr Kuzmuk (PRU): There will be order in the country.

Reporter Mustafa Nayem:
What happens if Yanukovych doesn’t win?

MP Nestor Shufrych (PRU): No way!
MP Vladyslav Lukyanko (PRU): What? It’s unrealistic! You know, I think Ukraine will lose everything.

Kharkiv Mayor Mykhailo Dobkin (PRU):
Yanukovych will definitely win. It’s just a question of how much he scores in the first round and how much in the second one.

Singer-supporter Taisiya Povaliy: But he will win!
Dobkin: It’s a situation when Yanukovych will be competing with himself.
Producer-supporter Ihor Likhuta [Povaliy’s husband]: All the candidates are decent people, but ours is the most decent one.

Vice Premier Oleksandr Turchuynov (BYuT): It’s a very serious event, one on which our country’s future depends.
Singer-supporter Pavlo Zibrov: I’m a grown-up person and I made a choice, and those kids running back and forth are just making money, I think.

Reporter Mustafa Nayem:
Many are saying it’s a Maidan [protests] rehearsal in case Yulia Tymoshenko doesn’t become president.

Turchuynov: You know, Maidan cannot be rehearsed, it cannot be arranged technologically. Either you have it or not. Our Maidan is in our hearts.

MP Andriy Shevchenko (BYuT):
Yulya is cute?

Daughter: Yes!

[Welcome] Yulia Tymoshenko!

Don’t you have the reflex to shout “Yushchenko?”

Shevchenko: Hahaha!

Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko:
No, [incoherent]. In 2004, Yushchenko was the only way for the country not to roll back. Uh...but it’s only idiots and corpses who don’t change their points of views.

What happens if Tymoshenko loses?

MP Serhiy Sobolev (BYuT): I can’t even imagine.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Tymoshenko Campaign Kicks Off (Officially) With Rally in Kyiv

Thousands of people, but not as many hopes.

That’s how I’d compare fall 2004 Yushchenko rallies to fall 2009 Tymoshenko ones, which seek to mobilize the same electorate.

North Donbas for Yulya!

Her “They’re talking. She’s working. She’s Ukraine!” campaign boils down to one real selling point: “They’re worse.” (And she often fails to prove it.)

Her real selling point doesn’t imitate Yushchenko’s 2004 slogans: “The rich will help the poor!” and “The bandits will be sitting in jail!” (Hahaha!) Nor does it emulate her party’s 2006 and 2007 slogans: “Justice does exist. It’s worth the fight!” and “She did it back then. She’ll do it again!” (Really?)

To counter these voter doubts, she armed herself with a panoply of endorsers and performers. On Saturday, they royally descended on Maidan, the heart of Orange Revolution.

Coming from all walks of life that lead to Tymoshenko, dignitary after dignitary waxed eloquent and lavished accolades on their president of choice. A cornucopia of promises, memories and sales pitches flooded a Maidanful of people, many of whom had traveled to Kyiv as party delegates by bus or train from all over Ukraine.

(Tymoshenko’s main rival had unleashed his yanucopia on Friday, delivering a just-name-it-and-claim-it stump speech at a Party of Regions convention. One can compare Yushchenko’s and Tymoshenko’s 2004 and 2009 open-air stump speeches to Yanukovych’s 2004 and 2009 members-only ones.)

Yulya Will Win!

Endorser: Oleksandr Ponomayov

Ukraine Will Win

Endorser: former foreign affairs minister Borys Tarasyuk

Ukraine Will Win!

Tymoshenko collected two endorsements from the European People’s Party (EPP): from Wilfried Martens and Antonio Lopez-Isturiz.

Endorser: Ruslana

Endorser: Borys Paton, 91, chairman of the National Academy of Sciences

The funniest one came from our former president Leonid Kravchuk — an ardent endorser of Yanukovych in 2004! For some reason, Tymoshenko decided that the man who had pissed away our nuclear arsenal, presided over hyperinflation and endorsed Yanukovych would be an asset to her campaign.

Endorser: former president Leonid Kravchuk

Finally, the Queen of the Night steals the show, in a vyshyvanka coat. Her speech, emotionally charged and long-winded, electrifies but a few souls.

At the opening, she credits herself with the blessings of Pope Benedict XVI and the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. A prayer, sung by Nina Matviyenko, follows.

After praying, Tymoshenko pays tribute to Ukraine’s heroes, thanks her team, recalls the Orange Revolution and calls for unity.

Then, she blasts Yushchenko and his hobbies. Later, she blasts Yanukovych and his oligarchs. She blames obstruction and corruption. She blasts and blames this and that. She forgets about her aborted grand coalition plans. She sidesteps her Draconian gas deal with Russia. She keeps mum on the Pedogate scandal. She pretends there’s no corruption in her own camp.

What struck me as novel amid these otherwise routine rhetorical escapades was her likening disenchanted voters to special needs people who still can win. Like Olena Yurkovska, the Ukrainian Paralympic biathlon champion who won four gold medals in Turin in 2006. What a nice analogy and pep talk! Coach Tymoshenko dissociates herself from her job, associates me with her failures and inspires me to push the envelope. (And push yet another ballot down her ballot box!)

It’s like saying, “Yeah, I screwed up. I didn’t deliver. But it’s all your fault anyway so shut up and take courage! Your disenchantment cripples you. Just vote for me one more time and you’ll be all you can be!”

She launches into an us-against-them diatribe and proceeds with a massive deja-vu stereotype-busting attack: Don’t think that all politicians are alike. They're not. She’s not like them! She’s moral and can be trusted!

To inject the masses with her “She’s Ukraine!” slogan, she levels with them:

  • Small business owners — fed up with red tape and bribery (while running her own small business in Dnipropetrovsk, she had to deal with bureaucracy and extortion);
  • Homebuyers — hard-hit by dollar-denominated mortgage loans (she hates the exchange rate);
  • Students — suffering from joblessness and homelessness (born and bred in a khrushchyovka, she knows how it feels; while a student, she jockeyed tires “twice my height” at night and, if elected, will make housing affordable, at low interest rates.)

What did I miss? Oh, yeah, she also talked about how she:

  • Handed out those Hr. 1,000 worth of Soviet savings to 6.5 million people;
  • Reined in the energy and payments crises as vice premier in 2000-2001 crisis;
  • Ended up in jail for upsetting Kuchma’s cronies;
  • Kicked RosUkrEnergo’s and Vanco’s asses;
  • Boosted coal reserves;
  • Doesn’t care about approval ratings;
  • Cares about stabilnist only;
  • Loves the Ukrainian language;
  • Will feed the world with Ukrainian agriculture;
  • Will make Ukraine the most energy-efficient country in the world by relying on coal;
  • Will make Ukraine a full-cycle nuclear fuel state (no kidding, Uncle Sam!)
  • Will offer 10-year tax breaks to renewable energy producers;
  • Will restore justice;
  • Will build a Europe within Ukraine and maintain friendly relations with neighbors;
  • Will protect Ukraine’s national interests;
  • Will deliver everything she promised;
  • Expects winning the respect of future generations;
  • Has a dream like Martin Luther King’s;

And guess what? Her dream is to make other peoples’ dreams come true. (With other people’s money?)

She misspoke on the energy issue: “And everyone should know that if we burn coal instead of gas, we’ll triple the cost of heating and hot water for the people.”

She also burnished her idea of “dictatorship,” couching it in Putin’s “dictatorship of law” terminology. offers a full Channel 5 video of her stump speech.

PM Yulia Tymoshenko [final words]: And that’s why this election is a struggle for our Ukraine’ preservation, and not a struggle between politicians. And I know that it is Ukraine that will win this presidential election and it is she that will gain what she’s been waiting for for hundreds of years. And we all will be serving this right and truthful cause. And that’s why I want God to be with Ukraine. I want God to be with every one of you. And that’s precisely why, with great pride, I say: Glory to Ukraine!

I didn’t stay for the concert. I went home, along with throngs of other rally-goers. While not depressed, we were nowhere as cheerful as five years ago. Nobody had the heart to scream “Ty-mo-shen-ko!” again and again like we screamed “Yush-chen-ko!”

She's working. She's Ukraine!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tymoshenko Is a 'He' According to Her Google-Translated Website

If AKPD runs Tymoshenko’s campaign, they should consider rebranding to LMAO.

Holy cow! You can see for yourself. Hurry up before they pull this case study in arrogance and stinginess from her website!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let’s Sleep With an Elephant (Russia), Says Ukrainian Diplomat

Obviously, some senior Ukrainian diplomats see little difference between diplomacy and prostitution.

Oleksandr Chaly: We really shouldn’t have inferiority, but we should understand that we’re a not-so-large state and we’re no match for Russia. Canada taught us, from 1998 to 2002, how to build relations with a big neighbor — because they have a history of relations with the United States. And the first thing they taught us: Remember that these relations are asymmetrical. And when Trudeau was asked how he was building relations with the United States, he said, “Very simple. Imagine you’re in the same bed: [pause] a not-so-large person and an elephant — and you have to sleep. If you accommodate the elephant, you’ll sleep very well.” [some applause] And we should understand this: That we’ll never make Russia accommodate us.

Sleeping with an elephant. What an enlightening realpolitik perspective from a senior Ukrainian diplomat and Yushchenko’s former deputy chief of staff! (As if one fake degree wasn't enough.)

Did you notice how this guy fantastically rejuvenates Trudeau’s terms of office and enriches his original
elephant quote?

Nitpicking aside, either the U.S. is questioning Canada’s sovereignty and territorial integrity — like Russia keeps questioning Ukraine’s — or I’m missing something important here. (That’s not to mention not-so-large countries like Israel, Pakistan, France and the UK and their anti-elephant nuclear deterrents.)

Mr. Chaly, do you prefer that the elephants use condoms while sleeping with us or do you prefer love at first sight?

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Monday, October 19, 2009

3 MPs in Controversial Child Molestation Case

Forget about Sen. Larry Craig. In Ukraine, sex offender suspects don’t get busted.

Even when it comes to child
sexual abuse.

The lawlessness of our lawmakers knows no bounds. In June, MP Viktor Lozynsky (BYuT) hunted and killed an unarmed man. He then posed before the cameras and came close to being awarded for his party called assisting in the “capture of an armed criminal.” As a sign of goodwill, Lozynsky even filed a motion that his parliamentary immunity be lifted pending investigation. But once details of the shocking murder emerged, he ran away and remains on the run.

On top of this comes the case at hand: two kids, a boy and a girl, ages 12 and 9, sexually abused for three years by a number of people whom they may or may not have identified.

Those people are:

Three BYuT MPs: Serhiy Teryokhin, Ruslan Bohdan, Viktor Ukolov;

Four Artek youth camp workers: Borys Novozhylov, Genrikh Ratt, Dmytro Lepeshev, Volodymyr Dunayev;

An Orthodox priest: Vadym Payevsky; and

The kids’ adoptive father: Dmytro Polyukhovych.

Some of the evidence presented so far appears to be incomplete or inconclusive. Claims regarding the MPs originated from the father, the prime suspect, while under arrest, as cited by the mother in the criminal charges. According to lawyer Tetyana Montyan, the kids corroborated these claims in a private conversation with her.

As of this writing, no charges have been officially made against the MPs, all of whom deny wrongdoing.

The videotaped orgies took place at two locations and may have involved other children:

  1. At Artek, the famous Crimean youth camp. (The victims mentioned other children, in “old-fashioned clothes,” who came to Artek from orphanages and may have been involved.)
  2. At a Kyiv apartment, which, upon examination, fit the victims’ description, according to earlier reports. (A more recent report, however, states that during a crime scene reconstruction on Saturday the boy neither denied nor confirmed being raped there.)
With 98% probability, polygraph tests confirm the kids’ abuse claims, as do child psychologists and medical examiners. Ukrayinska Pravda offers a transcript of the polygraph tests.

The mother, Olena Polyukhovych, in her own words, had noticed her kids’ depressed behavior sometime ago and even consulted psychologists but they, she says, weren’t able to determine the cause.

A psychologist consulted by Ukrayinska Pravda disputes this claim, arguing that the cause would have been all too apparent to a mother, let alone to a psychologist.

She filed the charges in Kyiv on April 16 but ended up sabotaged and, according to her claims, even threatened. Ukrayinska Pravda offers a copies of the medical examiner’s opinion and “no corpus delicti found” rejection letters from the police.

There's also a copy of the
seek help elsewhere” letter from the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights.

At that time, the mother was having an affair, trying to get a divorce and going through a custody battle of sorts.

According to conflicting claims, either she or her husband or her boyfriend told the kids about their adoption.

Finally, the story found its way to the public, leaked to various outlets and exploited by renegade BYuT MP Hryhoriy Omelchenko, a retired colonel, and by the Party of Regions. Viktor Yanukovych, leader of the Party of Regions, will be the main rival to PM Yulia Tymoshenko in the January 2010 presidential election.

Interestingly, MP Viktor Ukolov happens to be a Tymoshenko strategist, apparently responsible for her ubiquitous and heavily spoofed “They’re interfering. She’s working” ad campaign. Facing public scrutiny, he now has stepped down. In his latest blog on Ukrayinska Pravda, he described himself as a misled, disappointed and self-exiled friend of the stepfather, and one who wishes him justice.

Prominent Ukrainian lawyer and activist Tetyana Montyan talked to the kids and their mother. Speaking at a press conference Thursday, she said the kids have intimate knowledge of the abusers’ anatomy. And, as we all know, some of the suspects have parliamentary immunity.

Lawyer Tetyana Montyan: On July 7, this woman, having understood that, despite all this, nobody cares that her children were raped, writes petitions to the President, to the Prime Minister and to Commissioner for Human Rights Karpachova. Let me quote the reply from Karpachova’s office. The mother gets a letter from some employee Tarhulova from the secretat…secretariat of the Ombudswoman of the Verkhovna Rada (she acts as an adviser to the Ombudswoman): Tarhulova Iryna Herasymivna [family name, first name, patronymic]. “Dear Olena Valentynivna, your petition to the Commissioner for Human Rights has been reviewed. Let us inform you that your petition concerns inadequate pretrial investigation by an investigator of the investigation department of the Dniprovsk department of the Ministry of the Interior in the city of Kyiv, whereas oversight of the legality of pretrial investigations is the prerogative of prosecutorial authorities. Therefore, we’re forwarding your petition accordingly to the prosecutor of the Dniprovsk district of the city of Kyiv.” This woman Karpachova gets a petition, which you all have read online, citing all the possible facts pertaining to this case. That’s the reply of our Commissioner for Human Rights.

On Friday’s “Shuster Live,” Montyan shared her knowledge of the case, saying that the girl had confessed to being “touched” on April 16, 2009. Upon hearing this, the mother filed the charges immediately but criminal proceedings were not opened until August 14. Ukrayinska Pravda provides a copy of the criminal proceedings.

Montyan describes the mother as naïve, easily manipulated and sexually inexperienced — a perfect match for a husband-father-pedophile. He mentioned the three BYuT MPs while under arrest. The kids identified them based on photographs from the Verkhovna Rada website. In a private conversation with her, Montyan says, the kids referred to the three as “Uncle Seryozha,” “Uncle Vitya,” “Uncle Ruslan” and described their sexual behavior in detail. [diminutives for Serhiy, Viktor, Ruslan]

The kids’ identity, leaked to the public, will make their lives unbearable in Ukraine, Montyan legitimately concludes.
After questioning the kids intensely, Montyan became convinced that their statements could not be the product of brainwashing.

An expert in child molestation cases, she would practically stake her professional reputation on the veracity of the kids’ claims.

Speaking with a trembling voice, Iryna Bohdan, wife of MP Ruslan Bohdan (BYuT), made a case for her husband’s innocence. She emphatically refuted the accusations, calling them “a strictly political game,” and expressed her and her husbands’ readiness to take a polygraph test.

In an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda, MP Sehiy Teryokhin went as far as to volunteer for a live broadcast polygraph test, provided so does the kids’ mother. He has also appealed to the Prosecutor General to open criminal proceedings against what he called the mother’s perjury.

How much of this accounts for a smear campaign and how much portrays a shocking case of child
sexual abuse remains to be seen.

One thing is clear: The government doesn’t care.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

An Ethnic Russian UPA Vet Tells His Story

In this Channel 1+1 report, Volodymyr Chermoshentsev, an ethnic Russian, recalls his past: He fought in the UPA.

After the Bolsheviks killed his father, amid the man-made famine in his native Povolzhye village in 1933, he and his mother and aunt found the situation even worse in Ukraine, settling in Crimea.

Captured by the Germans in 1942, he escaped captivity only to be captured again and then freed by the UPA, which he joined.

Because, naturally, he spoke Russian, the UPA initially treated him with suspicion but finally appointed him an aide to a UPA commanding officer.

The UPA mainly fought the NKVD, not the Red Army, Chermoshentsev says.
Captured and tortured by the NKVD, he managed to escape to the Crimea, to his mother, and later got 10 years for stealing grapes and dodging the draft. Had the Soviet authorities learned about his UPA involvement, they would have probably executed him.

After Ukraine became independent, Chermoshentsev’s story became the plot of a UPA book of memoirs.

Volodymyr Chermoshentsev: I took an oath to love Ukraine, the Ukrainian people. I’m even proud of being called a Banderite — yes I am — a Banderite, not a nobody, not a somebody-for-somebody, but for Ukraine.

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UPA Marks 67th Anniversary

The Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) that fought both Hitler and Stalin during WW II turned 67 yesterday.

As always, the UPA vets who gathered in downtown Kyiv drew catcalls from the Communists protesting nearby.

In this Channel 1+1 footage, the first UPA vet decries being a “second-class citizen,” under-recognized and under-compensated by the state of Ukraine, for which he fought. The second one, a bit more cheerful, touts a German-made MP-40 submachine gun, also widely used by Soviet partisans.

On the other side of the barricade, the first Communist lady refuses to calls them humans and the second one calls them “up to elbows in blood.” A Red Army vet emphasizes that it was he, not the UPA, who defended and liberated Ukraine.

Toward the end of the first footage, a Ukrainian Navy officer calls for reconciliation between Red Army vets and UPA vets, citing civil war-ravaged Spain as an example: “They fought for Ukraine, and it’s important.”

The footage ends with the rallying call of Ukrainian nationalists: “Glory to the nation! Death to the enemies!”

Turbulent, violent and divisive, history doesn’t heal easily. Elderly people cannot be reconciled against their will. But they certainly do deserve recognition and respect from current and future generations.

The thousands of UPA Ukrainians who fought for their native land deserve it no less than the millions of Red Army Ukrainians who fought for theirs.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A DUI Mayor Hits a Woman in Donetsk Oblast (Updated)

If they don’t kill you in the mine, they can try to kill you outside.

On October 8, Yuriy Anisimov, 58, the dead-drunk mayor of Dymytrov, a town in Donetsk oblast, raced his KIA Cerato into Iryna Tymoshenko, 48, an employee of a local coal mine.

The woman was hospitalized with multiple injuries, including a concussion, broken teeth, fractured ribs and chest trauma. The mayor tried to flee the scene but was surrounded by his constituents, some of whom wished him death.

Police made sure he sustained no further injuries.

On October 20, the mayor was freed on bail. On October 22, the woman died.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Public Executions of MPs Would Be Popular, MP Lyapina Says

PM Ksenia Lyapina (NUNS):
I want to tell you that the people are so screwed that the people will now support — if we take 3-4 MPs to a square (it doesn’t matter which ones) and shoot them, everyone will come out and watch this execution with pleasure like it’s some kind of, you know, show.

Can’t argue with that! All we need is a strong legal, not political, basis for this.

Do the crime, do the time. Or, if your white collar crime exceeds a certain amount — say, $10,000 — go meet your maker.

Without a harsh rule of law that meets the challenges posed by rampant corruption, China and South Korea would resemble North Korea economically.

Without it, Ukraine will continue depopulating because higher living standards and corruption don’t mix.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tymoshenko Equates Herself With Ukraine (Part 3)

“Each of us is being taken care of by Stalin in the Kremlin.”
“Stalin's kindness shines on the future of our kids!”

“Thanks to native Stalin for the happy childhood!”

Welcome to the 21st century! She’s larger than she.

PM Yulia Tymoshenko (voiceover): Every day, I work till late night because I know that my every minute is for the sake of the people, for the sake of my native Ukraine. I know that millions of people work a lot every day as well because they know that today their work is needed like never before. Every minute, our country smelts ore, sows bread, heals the sick, creates art, teaches and brings up kids. It is she, our best country. She works. She is Ukraine!

Never mind that it’s the oligarchs who own the plants, the cops and the courts, and it's she who serves them.

Never mind that your labor earns them billions of dollars and leaves you struggling to make both ends meet.

Never mind that Ukraine ranks 85th out of 182 on the Human Development Index.

If she lived like you do, would she call it “our best country?” Or would she run away?

“Life's getting merrier by the day.”

“Beloved Yulia — people’s happiness.”

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ukraine #85 Out of 182 on Human Development Index

Based on 2007 figures, one should add.

Which means that, given the 25% GDP contraction in Q1 2009 and the hryvnia's 60% devaluation, Ukraine's up-to-date ranking may be lower.

With real wages falling twofold, GDP per capita of $6,914 (PPP) — whatever its accuracy — is history now.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Yanukovych Keeps Hearing Things

Have you ever thought of Yanukovych as a genie? Here’s your chance. You call him, and he’ll take you for a magic carpet ride!

Voiceover: Does your opinion matter? Viktor Yanukovych believes it does. And he wants to hear you. Tell him what troubles you most. He’s listening to you.

Quick, what’s the difference between Yanukovych and a genie?

A genie only hears you until you tell him your third wish. Yanukovych only hears you until you vote for him.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Ukraine Marks Babyn Yar Massacre Anniversary

On September 29-30, 1941, more than 33,000 Jews perished in the Babyn Yar ravine in Kyiv, machine-gunned by the Nazis, in what became the largest single massacre in the history of the Holocaust.

Later, thousands of Gypsies, Ukrainians and other people followed the Jews into Babyn Yar, including 621 members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and poetess-activist Olena Teliha. Altogether, an estimated 70,000-120,000 people lie buried in the mass grave.

On September 29, 2009, President Yushchenko and Premier Tymoshenko attended the Babyn Yar Memorial.

To bring the tragedy alive, local actors staged a short historical reenactment. A monument depicting a scene from Babi Yar: A Document in the Form of a Novel was opened.