Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yanukovych in Wonderland

Very intersting article by Alexander J. Motyl.

Claim: “for the first time in the modern history of Ukraine – the President, the Government and the Parliament (to be exact the coalition majority that has been formed) are moving in the same strategic direction, not in the three different ones as was the case earlier.”

Reality: Yanukovych fails to mention that this unprecedented unanimity is the product of crude constitutional shenanigans that enabled his Party of Regions to form a majority in the Parliament and thus a government.

Click here to read complete article.

Source: Atlantic Council

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thugs attack pro-Ukrainian rock festival

Eyewitnesses said about two dozen men carrying baseball bats attacked a rock festival at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 in Irpen, a town outside Kyiv.

Several security guards at the festival received injuries during the melee. Several well-known Ukrainian rock groups, such as Sun Shadow, TNMK, Dead Rooster and Tartak, from performing at the venue, named "" Police made no arrests.

The 2-day festival was sponsored by Last Barricade, a non-profit organization co-founded by Oles Doniy, an opposition parliament deputy from the Our Ukraine - Self Defense faction.

"No one was drinking alcoholic beverages at the concert and none of the bands performed controversial ultra-nationalist songs," Doniy said, adding that several security gaurds received injuries requiring hospitalization. "We have filed compaints with the police and are waiting for their response," he told the Kyiv Post on Sept. 27.

Pro-presidential deputy Vadym Kolesnychenko had asked the State Security Service to check whether organizers of the venue obtained necessary permits for staging the concerts, noting that several of the songs of the bands promoted fascism and xenophobia, a charge Doniy denied.

Source: Kyiv Post

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The First And Second Murders Of Heorhiy Gongadze

Gongadze stood out from the journalistic crowd by daring to ask the unpleasant questions. I remember a television program during which Kuchma was taking questions from journalists. All but one posed polite questions that would not upset the president. The one who did not was Georgiy Gongadze. It is highly unlikely that Kuchma could forget this episode. When he later claimed that he didn’t even know who Gongadze was, the Ukrainian president was patently not telling the truth.

Gongadze created the first popular and influential Internet site in Ukraine, “Ukrainska Pravda.” There are many rumors as to who financed the initial project, but those rumors are meaningless. What is important is that these were not criminal funds. Had this been the case, it would have become eminently clear during the first days following Gongadze’s disappearance.

Click here to read complete article.

Source: RFE/RL

Friday, September 10, 2010

Press Freedom Under Threat In Ukraine

Last month, the International Press Institute wrote Yanukovych to "express its concern at the significant deterioration” in press freedom. Reporters Without Borders warns of disturbing recent trends in censorship, political pressure, and physical attacks on journalists, and criticizes "the government's desire to control journalists" in its latest fact-finding report.

Press freedoms are under attack in many ways. In May, journalists from Channel 1+1 television released an open letter complaining of censorship. In July, after a Ukrainian blogger criticized Yanukovych, the State Security Service interrogated him for allegedly threatening the president’s life and insulting him.

Click here to read complete article.

Source: RFE/RL

Friday, September 03, 2010

Mountain hideouts sheltered Ukrainian freedom fighters

Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast was the site of heated battles in 1944-5, as Ukrainian freedom fighters descended from the mountainous terrain to launch attacks on Soviet-occupied towns. Fighting continued well into the 1950s, pitching fighters from the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, or UPA, against the Soviet NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB.

Located in the Black Forest, 63 kilometers southwest of Ivano-Frankivsk on the edge of the village of Maksymets is a typical example of a bunker where partisans hid out.

Colonel Mykola Tverdokhlib, a regional UPA commander whose nom de guerre was Hrim, or Thunder, spent the winter of 1953-4 here with five other fighters before they were discovered by the NKVD.

Click here to read complete article.

Source: Kyiv Post

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Education Minister Tabachnyk out to censor Ukrainian history

There is no Ukrainian history program on education ministry’s site. Instead, we can see only a blank space where the program should be. And there are no ministry’s regulations obliging authors to rewrite history textbooks, says historian Volodymyr Vyatrovych in his article “Back to USSR, or the art of editing out history textbooks.”

Click here to read complete article.

Source: ZIK