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Tuesday
Jul292014

Russia Is Not Nigeria... But Is The Ukraine Nigeria? 

Well, at least it is much closer...

Mark Adomanis published a post where he points out the folly of comparing Russia to countries of sub-Saharan Africa. He uses economic data to demonstrate why such comparisons are off the mark.

Nevertheless, comparing the level of development of East European countries to sub-Saharan Africa is certainly not an unworthy exercise. It is not very intellectual to be honest, but entertaining, especially if you give it a good spin. Take for instance Botswana, with GDP per capita of $15,675 (World Bank -2013), and population of 2,155,784 (CIA -2014), if she wasn't a remote country south of the equator, it would be a hot candidate for membership in the EU. I mean Bulgaria is already a member with GDP per capita of $15,941 (World Bank -2013), and population of 7,364,570 (census -2011).

So is the Ukraine Nigeria? Not quite yet I must say. At present, GDP per capita of Ukraine is at $8,788 (World Bank -2013); Nigeria's is $5,862 (World Bank -2013). That is Ukraine's GDP per capita, is greater than Nigeria's by $2,926. For comparison, Russia's GDP per capita is $24,120 (World Bank -2013). Quite clearly, Russia is in a different league than the Ukraine and Nigeria. 

The nominal GDP of Nigeria is at $522,638 which is far more than that of Ukraine which is at $177,431. This clearly has to do with Nigeria's large population, more than four times that of Ukraine, and even bigger than that of Russia. Perhaps the comparison of the Ukraine to Nigeria is not the best. With GDP per capita of $9,685 (World Bank -2013), Namibia appears to be a far more suitable country to compare to the Ukraine. 

To those wishing to compare other East European countries to sub-Saharan Africa, I also suggest comparing Moldova to Ghana, and Georgia to Swaziland.

Friday
Jul252014

Mass Desertion From Ukrainian Army

Directly from the horse's mouth...

A curious, a report written by Valentin Nalivaychenko, the head of Ukraine's secret service (the SBU), and addressed to the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, detailing mass desertion from Ukrainian army. I found it here

And here is my translation, I have focused on translating only the main text:

***

I report that...

...in the period between 14 to 19 July 2014 we are observing a catastrophic rise (to 47% that is 3473 people) in the number of deserters from the Armed Forces and National Guard of the Ukraine in comparison with the same data from only a week before (25%, that is 1847).

Besides that, the number of those that went missing has risen (to 47%, that is 1344 people, last week: 344, that is 10%). 

This phenomenon is linked to the increased activity of the enemy in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and the increase in casualties of the abovementioned forces. This fact influences the combat capability of the manpower, and makes the continuation of the Anti-terrorist Operation (ATO) impossible. In case this negative dynamic continues, within 2-5 days, 2 thirds of battle-worthy units taking part in the ATO will cease existing.

In the interests of maintaining the capability of armed forces, I suggest conducting a withdrawal to the area of Dobropol'e and Smolyaninovo. After restocking ammunition, regrouping, and rotation of 60% of the troops, offensive shall continue. 

***

While the head of the secret service complains about soldiers losing their will to fight, the Finance Minister, Oleksandr Shlapak, complained that the state is running out of money to fund the war. 

Wednesday
Jul232014

New Military Units And Gear In Crimea

The Russian force in Crimea gets reinforced...

Certain Russian public figures who are supportive of Russian military intervention in Eastern Ukraine to help the rebellion in Donbas, argue that having crushed the rebellion in Donbas, the Ukrainian military, emboldened by its victories in the East, will move to attack Crimea. This fear was recently repeated by the commander of rebel forces in the Donbas, Igor Strelkov. There is certainly some evidence suggesting this fear is not unfounded. We cannot count on the Ukrainian government remaining rational. It can actually be argued that the Ukrainian government might find war with Russia rather reasonable given its situation. The economic troubles Ukraine faces can in that case be blamed on the hardships of wartime, and potential protests suppressed as provocations abetting the enemy. And for that, war with the rebels in the East might not be enough. We can only hope that sanity prevails. 

There have been reports suggesting that Ukraine is bringing troops and gear close to the border of Crimea. Ukrainian politicians have for months now promised to return Crimea back into Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov recently warned against desires to attack Crimea. But of greater interest than the warnings of the Foreign Minister are the actual developments on the ground in Crimea herself. What follows is my account of some reports. 

A recent report in Rossiyskaya Gazeta says that new military units are being formed which should defend the peninsula from both land and sea invasions. These new military units fall under the Black Sea Fleet. One more artillery regiment of the Black Sea Fleet will now defend the coastline. The regiment is armed with 300 units of military gear, including 60 artillery systems. To this group belong the anti-tank missiles "Khrizantema", 152 mm howitzers "Msta-S" with automated systems of guidance, and multiple-rocket-launchers "Tornado-G".

A bit earlier a new regiment tasked with the protection against radioactive, chemical and biological dangers was formed. They have around 200 vehicles and special gear. Among them is a modern vehicle for radioactive, chemical and bacteriological reconnaissance, the "RKhM-4", which is based on the "BTR-80". Likewise in the arsenal of the regiment are smoke screen creating devices, the "TMS-65" and "TDA-2K" (Watch videos below:)

These are used to hide ground installations from aviation and radars. 

Back in March this year, the newspaper Izvestiya reported that, according to their information the "Club-K" rockets were delivered to the peninsula. The "Club-K" rockets are transported in classic containers that one sees on freight ships. They can be based on the coast, or mounted on trucks, trains, ships. The Izvestiya article calls them "the killer of aircraft carriers". The rockets are designated to strike objects both on land and on sea within a radius of 300 km. 

Wednesday
Jul162014

11 Reasons Why Russians Do Not Respect Ukrainians

A friend of mine translated the following blog post (here is the original in Russian on his personal blog) into English. It was allegedly originally posted at some forum by a Chechen with no love lost for the Russians...

1. Point 1 is, of course, lack of principles and new "truth" daily. A Russian loves fundamentality, but not floating opinion. To him, floating opinion equals lies. As I remember the Russians, they always had their truth: in 1991, in 2014. And if this truth evolves, then only a little. A Ukrainian always tailors the events, which gives the perception of being unscrupulous and slippery.

2. A Russian dislikes betrayal, and senses the Ukrainians as traitors. He knows that a Ukrainian will always have an excuse to betray. Excuses can differ, but the essence is always the same - to inflict maximum harm to a Russian. Everything that a Ukrainian does, he does not for himself, but to harm the Russians. They usually don't care about themselves, that's why they are so poor.

3. Unreliability is the prime factor. Today one thing, tomorrow the other. See point 1.

4. A Russian disrespects a Ukrainian for his disrespect of his own history. To a Ukrainian, history doesn't exist. To him it is only a closed-circuit set of excuses, but not a science. He can rewrite it infinitely, that's why a Ukrainian doesn't know his own history. To a Russian, a Ukrainian is "an Ivan who doesn't remember his kin".

5. A Russian doesn't tolerate scapegoating and shifting the blame. Yes, USA is his enemy, but you rarely hear him saying that USA is guilty of Russia's problems. A Russian blames all his problems only on himself. A Ukrainian, quite the opposite, is never guilty. He is always dressed in white and a victim. The Ukraine is a sugar country that is surrounded only by piles of shit that spoil her life.

6. The Ukrainians, compared to the Russians, don't feel the intimate zone of a man, his untouchable freedom. The Ukrainians often easily invade it with vulgarity and unsportsmanlike behaviour. No matter how much riot policemen beat the Russians, they will never hunt them in their homes - sportsmanlike behaviour is the very essence of Russians. Not so for the Ukrainians, who try to hit where it hurts most, which shows their innate lowly, petty meanness. In Russia, this is considered unacceptable.

7. Gossip and rumors - not respected in Russia. Despised actually. Not so much on the Ukraine.

8. Demagoguism. In everything and everywhere, with use of double standards. See point 1. The Russians are, after all, fundamentalists. Even I, a Chechen, can understand them more easily, and make an arrangement with them. What's more: with the Russians, you can make a long-term arrangement. While with the Ukrainians you can make an arrangement for an hour... And then the Ukrainians' short-term desires will cancel the arrangement.

9. Lack of love towards one's homeland and one's people is truly a Ukrainian thing, despite their radical nationalism. A Ukrainian never compares the Ukraine and Russia, he always compares Europe and Russia. Which proves that, subconsciously, the Ukraine doesn't exist for him...

10. A Ukrainian won't see a plank in his own eye, but sees a speck in the eye of a Russian.

11. From the experience of Chechen War, which I have. An Ukrainian will never fight on the front-lines like a Russian will. The Ukrainians [they fought on Chechen side] were used by [Chechen warlord] Gelayev for diversions. While the Russians, yes, we picked them up from pools of piss and shit, crying, but: they never leave their positions. Actually, that's what always shocked me. While the Ukrainians fight only when the luck is on their side. Naturally, I agree with [Chechen warlord] Khattab, who called Russians "stubborn silent"...

Monday
Jul142014

The Ukraine Goes Into A Saving Mode

Kiev and Khar'kov were left without gas. Original

The Ministry of Energy reacted to "Gazprom" stopping deliveries.

The head of Ukraine's energy ministry, Yuriy Prodan, ordered that gas shall not be delivered to Kiev's and Khar'kov's heat and electro-power central stations (TEC). The goal is to save the resource, the delivery of which "Gazprom" stopped. For the very same reasons, heating will be switched off.

The Ministry of Energy of Ukraine ordered Naftogaz to limit gas deliveries to TEC of the company "Kievenergo", and to the TEC-5 in Khar'kov, and end gas deliveries to the company "Khar'kov gas systems" in connection with saving of gas.

Therefore, the ministry set new limits to the volumes of natural gas [that can be] consumed, for TEC-5 of "Kievenergo" 480,000 cubic metres per day, for TEC-6 of "Kievenergo" 48,000 cubic metres of gas per day, writes Ukrayins'ki Noviny referring to the orders of the Minister of Energy and Coal Industry, Yuriy Prodan. 

For Khar'kov's TEC's, TEC-5 and "Khar'kov gas systems" there have been set zero volumes of consumption, that is gas deliveries to Khar'kov were stopped.

The limits are set to begin on 10 July.

Prodan also ordered the directors of businesses to ensure limiting the consumption of gas in accordance with the established norms.

The reason for these limits, according to the document, is to save gas.

[But] not only gas.

Apart from this, as became known, the president of the observatory council of the company "Kievenergo", Ivan Plachkov said that to pass the heating season (that is "cold period") normally, it is necessary to immediately quit hot water deliveries. That too happens to be a method of saving gas. 

We should mention that hot water has already been turned off in nearly half of the homes in Kiev. As of morning 10 July, 4,936 homes out of 11,000 were left without hot water. The day before, RBK reported [that] 3,305 homes [were left without gas].

On 16 June 2014, "Gazprom" stopped deliveries of gas to "Naftogaz". Both companies filed lawsuits on each other in the Stockholm Arbitration Court.  

Friday
Jul112014

Novorossiya Agitation Spotted In Odessa

Novorossiya is a separatist project that envisages creation of an independent state in the South-Eastern part of the Ukraine. It was first mentioned on this blog in this post from 2011 as "New Russia", as a historical name for the South-Eastern region of the Ukraine. I did not assign much importance to the name then, so much so I decided to render the name "Novorossiya" into English.

But in the wake of the Maidan coup, Novorossiya has become more than just a historical name, it is now a name of a movement for self determination of the territory described by me in the above-linked post. While the Donbas erupted in an armed rebellion, other regions of Novorossiya have been more peaceful. Some, such as Kherson and Dnepropetrovsk, still retain a considerable loyalty to Ukraine. The liberation of Novorossiya will therefore be a long term process requiring some enlightenment of the population.

The Odessa based venue, Timer, published some photos of posters, newspapers, and graffiti related to propagating Novorossiya in the city.

According to my information, the above newspaper has been spotted even outside the borders of Novorossiya, in Kiev and in Sumy.

 

The graffiti above reads: "Odessa is Novorossiya"

"The butchers of Odessa and Donbas, under a tribunal."

The above poster says "karateli", translated as: "one who participates in a punitive operation", accompanied by the faces of Stepan Bandera, the leader of Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, and Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of Right Sector. Below are pictures from WWII atrocities, Lugansk bombing of 2 June, and the Odessa Massacre of 2 May. 

Thursday
Jul102014

In The Ukraine An Austerity Maidan Is Brewing

I have decided to translate reports from Ukrainian press that speak about the highly unsatisfactory economic situation in the country. This one comes from Vesti.ua.

On Tuesday (1 July), things were hot around the Rada. There the members of the (Maidan) self-defence have mutinied (in the process, even the former acting head of the Presidential Administration, Pashinsky, was beaten up), and the "Credit Maidan" protested, demanding a law be enacted which would fixate payments in the hryvna according to the old exchange rate. The latter demonstration the government already labeled as paid hirelings. But nobody can deny that the issue of payments on hard currency loans has become rather serious after devaluation. Those that in 2008 took loans with the exchange rate being 5,05 (hryvna to 1 USD) are hardly happy now that they are forced to return their loans with the exchange rate being 12. And that's by far not the only social problem.

In recent months, most protests in the capital were political. However, in their background, events have taken place that concern all of us right now. The price of imported goods rose, fuel and marshrutka [prices rose] by 50% because of the falling hryvna, the wages of government employees and pensions have been frozen, bonuses to wages were cut.

The price of gas for the population has risen in May, the price of electricity in June, the price of heating and hot and cold water in July. Moreover, for the birth of a second and a third child [the government] will pay the same [reward] as for the first, that is several tens of thousands less than before. Meanwhile, they are talking about the danger of a social revolt due to the impoverishment of the people even among the pro-government majority. "In my opinion, somebody really does not take into consideration that for the past 10 years he became the government purely thanks to the Maidan, and not at all through elections. Well, I have news for these gentlemen: preconditions for a revolutionary situation have not gone anywhere, rather the opposite. And considering that every subsequent revolution is more bloody and merciless than the previous one... [this time] you will not be able to run to the airplanes." -wrote a "Bat'kivshchina" MP, Vladimir Polochaninov on his facebook page.

"It is possible that not everything is this tragic. However, if the government keeps on only working on the East, and [keeps on] brushing away the increasing social problems in the country, the people will suffer for a month or two, but in six months [the people] will ask [retribution] for everything" -said the deputy head of the committee for social policy, and an MP from UDAR, Pavel Rezenko. "Everybody understands that the economy is in a dire state. And we do not observe anything being done so that the situation improves in the future. In a situation where on one hand there are very low living standards, and the absence of prospects that they will improve, and on the other hand there aren't any real reforms, there is a real likelihood of, if not revolution than social tensions which will lead to a crisis of the government and of the parliament. Only early elections into the Rada, which would give hope for a qualitative change of the government, can partially reduce the tensions."

Political commentator, Vladimir Fesenko thinks that so far social protests are being controlled artificially, and if this isn't stopped than the situation in the country could spiral out of control. "I will agree that social tensions are growing, and in autumn can spill over into mass protests." -says political commentator Vladimir Fesenko. "However, now the protests are being fueled artificially. The "Credit Maidan" is a hired [protest] using the technology of the Maidan to stir up tensions in the society. And I would suggest to Polochaninov, who is said to be a person close to Avakov, to turn the attention of the head of the Interior Ministry to the necessity of the police doing what they are responsible for. If this disorder continues, there will be anarchy and chaos in the country."

PS: Recently, the offices of Vesti in Kiev were recently attacked by Ukrainian nationalists. Watch a video of the attack below:

 

The nationalists were allegedly unhappy about Vesti's "pro-Russian" content, according to reports

Friday
Jul042014

Russia Does Not Want Donbas

It does not mean that Russia will not at a certain point use force to stop the humanitarian catastrophe brewing in that region. But Moscow really does not wish to involve herself in this affair, and here is why.

The coal producing Donbas is tied to the metallurgical industries of Dnepropetrovsk, and to the industrial ports on the Black Sea. Without them, it would be an economic burden for Moscow with an absence of any considerable benefits. Hence we do not see Moscow rushing to invade the place, and instead we see Moscow stubbornly promoting federalisation as a way to accommodate the conflicting sides. Even though the prospect of a federal arrangement appears increasingly more remote with violence escalating.

Moscow's takeover of Crimea was motivated by a number of strategic interests Moscow had in the Ukraine. Russia secured her naval base, and having her territory not in order prevents the Ukraine from joining NATO. Donbas does not provide any such benefits. Donbas has population three times that of Crimea, and Crimea already costs Russia billions. Therefore Moscow incurs the costs, and no benefits from invading Donbas.

By not invading Donbas, Moscow incurs the anxiety of concerned citizens of Russia who happen to be outraged by the crimes of the Kiev regime. Something I believe Moscow finds much more manageable. Perhaps the increasing number of refugees will force Russia to take measures, but none of which will involve a ground invasion in my opinion. 

Thursday
Jul032014

The Return

Welcome back readers, I have returned to writing this blog...

And as you can probably guess, my writing will be devoted to a favourite topic of mine which is the Ukraine. But I am returning to a far different Ukraine than the one I left last Autumn. Last Autumn, Ukraine was an impoverished East European country with a corrupt and weak government. Now the country is in an even worse condition. 

In the Ukraine I left, 1 USD sold for 8 hryvna, now the price of 1 USD is almost 15. In exchange for loans from the IMF, the Ukraine agreed to draconian rise in commodity prices, and austerity measures which will only further impoverish Ukraine's destitute population. A putsch back in winter plunged the country into perhaps the most serious political crisis since independence. 

But most importantly, this blog always focused on identity issues in the Ukraine, and on that front we have seen rather dramatic developments. Since my absence, the Ukraine literally changed shape. Crimea protested against the Kiev putschists, and demanded greater autonomy. Crimean uprising caught the attention of Moscow which annexed the peninsula mainly as a way to prevent the Ukraine from potentially joining NATO. 

In the South-East, also known as Novorossiya, protests against the government, not so vigorous as in Crimea, but nevertheless significant, have taken place. They were for the most part suppressed by Ukrainian siloviki and hired thugs. Donbas erupted in an armed secessionist rebellion.

Elsewhere in the Ukraine, thanks to Ukrainian nationalists being the driving force behind the Maidan protests, their presence, and their ideas are now ever more felt in the Ukraine. All this should provide for enough interesting material.  

Monday
Dec022013

Disneyland Protest

Source

The above is from a recent demonstration named "Carpathians go to EU" which took place in Lvov. The placard reads: "We want to go to Disneyland"...

The adults appear to be on their way to Disneyland as well... 

Saturday
Nov232013

The Essence Of Current Events

This is genius...


Translation:

You take the blue pill, the fairytale ends. You take the red pill, and I will show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. 

...

Welcome to the real world Vitya.

Friday
Nov222013

I Want The Association With The EU To Be Signed: Sign It You Freaks!

I thought I will translate this text, it is by my favourite commentator on Ukrainian affairs Anatoliy Shariy. The text was a bit tricky but here comes the translation... 

Ukraine has flown around the signing of the association like asteroid DA-14 around planet Earth in February 2013. Sort of close, but luckily 27, 000 km away. It did not crash. It missed. And many are happy, many who were against the signing [of the Association Agreement (association)] are jumping as high as the ceiling not hiding their joy.

But I want that the signing [of the association]. I understand that NOT signing it [would be] a catastrophe.

I want the signing [of the association], I demand it, do not deprive me of it you freaks!

I am very well aware of what the Ukrainian people like. They like that which has not happened. They would cherish the legend about the gold of Polobutok, they would pass on to their descendants freezing in cheap Chinese cradles the legend: "...and then each resident of Ukraine would get his $100,000 my son..."

My grandmother was very educated and intelligent. But she liked to repeat: "Had Lenin lived ten years longer, we would be awash with gold.." He did not live. It did not come about. We were awash with other substances.

The association became a legend, it is the topic of all talk shows and speeches, it is a golden dream, a dream about Communism, when you would not longer have to work, and when you would only get [paid]. And now they are depriving [us of that] dream. Why?! Give these people association. Let them try it out, let them taste it, get stuffed by it at last.

Let Ukraine join such "associative" countries as South Africa, Albania and Tunisia, Lebanon and Macedonia, Algeria and Bosnia, Mexico and Palestine.

Someone said that the sound of the association is hollow, that it provides absolutely nothing, apart from the ephemeral possibility to join the EU not earlier than in 10-15 years. [This is] a lie! Now it will forever be a lie. And you will in no way be able to disprove it.

For instance, to find out what is the EU, we need to join it as a "little [brother]". You have been led to believe that "it is better to ride with the rich than with the poor. So [please], enter a cigar club where the millionaires comfortably gather in your worn out pants on patched up shoes.

Do they entertain you, treat you like their equal? Give these people association, because if they do not taste it, they would remembering it for 100 years.

After all, they would write history textbooks, scholarly works, dissertations on the topic "What would have been if Ukraine signed the association."

There is a category of citizens who have beer splashing in their cranium, so they think that it would have been better to lose the Second World War. And today, instead of pouring bum wine into plastic cups under mushrooms in the kindergarten, they all would be driving in Mercedes and would gobble Bavarian sausages. (note: Shariy alludes to a situation where a bunch of bum alcoholics occupy a playground of the kindergarten at night)

It is impossible to convince them. They need to live under occupation to understand their mistake. Nobody will convince the Ukrainian people that the association sounds hollow. An overwhelming half of this country seriously thinks that "association with the EU" and "EU membership" are one and the same thing. They have not made up their minds themselves, this was insinuated to them by the politicians. And the people believe it. They await 1000 euro pensions after the signing of the association. They would understand that all this was a fraud when their factories close and they would lose even their 5000 hryvnas.

But now they will not lose them. And [therefore] they will dream about that which has not happened. And they would blame (they will find who [to blame]), and curse. A historic chance fucked up and lost in vain. Il'enko (note: Andriy Il'enko from VO "Svoboda") would be stricken by convulsions, would shake his fourth chin, would frown his harsh eyes. F...up and lost in vain.

If all the time before the summit they talked about nothing but the summit, then few years after the summit they will talk about nothing... you guessed it...but the summit. About something that did not grow together. After all, they were near, totally within reach. 

And new Ukrainians will tell their children in cardboard cradles about how the country could have become oh so cool, and they could have had oh how much money, and everything would be oh so...if it wasn't for... If only a little. But now it is over. The chance was lost. Sleep well my son, may you dream about EU.

Before her own landing [in jail], Yulia Vladimirovna [Tymoshenko] dreamt about it (landing in jail). These are not fabrications, nor are they allegories, she in fact really wanted to end up in prison. Naturally not for long. She understood that after her time in jail she would become a president.

However, everything went south in Yulia's case, but what I had in mind was that, in principle, she needs to be released. Let her walk free.

What happened to Lutsenko after his release granted by the DADDY? He flashed for few weeks and then... then he became completely uninteresting to the public.

Everybody knows that he dances to the tune of the chocolate king, (note: Petro Poroshenko) nobody takes the former minister seriously, everyone can care less about the former political prisoner. The initial rush of opposition and prison charm has come down.

Not signing the association, the Ukrainian government does not let Tymoshenko go free. Yes, yes, just like that, and not otherwise. Because not signing the association that is Lutsenko in jail. Interesting, significant, that Lutsenko who's blogs are read by thousands of people on Ukrains'ka Pravda.

Signing of the association would be an accomplished fact that would deprive the sellers of a dreams of their product in store. That's Lutsenko running around with EU flags between carriages in the subway. That's unemployment, halted production [in manufactures], that have not withstood the competition, and... the arrival of a bright future, which turned out to be not so bright.

Until the child is hit by a discharge from a plug, you can explain to it even millions of times that thing is painful, it will not understand. Give the people the association, do not deprive the child of a discharge of current, do not grant a gullible nation the dream about what could have been if...

I want the signing of the association. Sign it please you freaks!  

Friday
Nov152013

Shevchenko Prize Nominees 

Or at least some of the more curious ones...

The Shevchenko prize is a prominent award for creative works in the Ukrainian language. Or as it is described on wikipedia:

Національна премія встановлена для нагородження за найвидатніші твори літератури, мистецтва, публіцистики і журналістики, які є вершинним духовним надбанням Українського народу, утверджують високі гуманістичні ідеали, збагачують історичну пам'ять народу, його національну свідомість і самобутність, спрямовані на державотворення і демократизацію українського суспільства. 

Translation:

National prize established to award the most outstanding works of literature, art, publicism and journalism, which are the highest spiritual accomplishment of the Ukrainian peoples, which affirm high humanistic ideals, enrich historical memory of the people, their national consciousness and originality, aimed at state making and democratisation of Ukrainian society.

The prize would not be anything out of the ordinary, and certainly not anything worth mentioning on this blog, if it was not for some of its rather curious contenders. Their creative works are so to speak out of a parallel universe. I have posted about award winning Ukrainian language creative works here before, it is a really rewarding topic.

And so, among the nominees in the category, «публіцистика і журналістика» ("publicism and journalism"), we find the notorious Valeriy Bebyk, a man whose creative work can be described as "the first man was Ukrainian and all humanity originates from Ukrainians." He is nominated for his documentary series project «Цивілізація INCOGNITA» ("Civilisation INCOGNITA"), and I shall here speak about the contents of one particularly interesting instalment of the series that I have found. In the rest of the post I shall mention other interesting works nominated.

Those of you reading this who understand Ukrainian can enjoy the clip under review below, it might enrich your historical memory, or restructure your national consciousness perhaps.

       

The above was "Bohdan Gengiskhan". While most of my readers have most certainly heard about the great conqueror Gengiskhan, the mentioning of the name Bohdan might conjure up various images... a brand of cars perhaps? Or perhaps a Ukrainian nationalist commenter on La Russophobe back in the days. But how was Bohdan married to Gengiskhan in the film? That's what Valeriy Bebyk calls the man that you know simply as Gengiskhan in the film above. Apparently, Gengiskhan and the Yuan Dynasty rulers of China used the title Bogdokhan, which according to the "great etymologist", Valeriy Bebyk, comes from the name of Dana, a water goddess that apparently the ancestors of the Ukrainians have worshiped.

The film is based on the idea which Valeriy Bebyk peddles, that all humanity comes from Ukrainians, and in this installment he tries to find Ukrainian connection with the Mongols. For instance the film shows some sort of a pitchfork symbol above the yurta, and it says that the Mongols used "Ukrainian tryzub". As if the tryzub that one can see used in Ukrainian coat of arms was some kind of a traditional Ukrainian symbol. Perhaps it is a traditional symbol of the Ukrainians, however the Ukrainians as a national phenomenon are not very old, certainly much younger than the story of Gengiskhan.

The symbol of Ukraine was originally a personal symbol of Prince Vladimir I who reigned in tenth century. Similar symbols were used by Vladimir's relatives, the Rurikovichi. After Vladimir, and the Medieval Rurikovichi, the symbol vanished from official use, (unofficial use was never there) and even its true meaning has been lost to time. It resurfaced again in the twentieth century at a suggestion of historian and political activist Mykhailo Hrushevsky, as a symbol of Ukrainian statehood.

The film rambles about the tryzub being an ancient Aryan symbol, and since the Aryans (and all humanity and civilisation) come from Ukraine and populated the lands of the East, then according to Valeriy Bebyk there must be a a Ukrainian connection to Gengiskhan. For some unknown reason when saying that the tryzub became a symbol of Buddhism, the film shows the Hindu God Shiva. But this is not the only weird moment. At one point the film talks about sources for their Aryan-Ukrainian-Mongolian connection, and mentions certain Arthur Kemp who is described as an American Historian. Kemp is in fact a British far right writer of South African origins. His March of the Titans: a history of the White Race, whose cover appears in the film, makes the claim that race is driving engine of history.

I can of course continue to go on picking out all the weird moments in the film above, or perhaps take on another installment and discuss it, the series is gold, but I think you get the idea about its intellectual merits. The other works nominated look pretty interesting as well.

For instance: Олександр Михайлюта (книги «Відкриття Миколи Руденка», «Святий Петро із Дивина») translation: Oleksandr Mykhailyuta (books "Revelations of Mykola Rudenko", "Saint Petro from Dyvyn")

I have investigated the second title above and it is about a certain folk healer and prophet Petro Utvenko from the village of Dyvyn. Mumbo Jumbo basically, much like the next title:

Василь Базів (книги «Кінець світу: до і після. Сага про космологічну долю людства» т.1, т.2.) translation: Vasyl Baziv (books: "End of the World: before and after. A Saga about the cosmological fate of humanity)

Great number of works nominated appear to be pseudo-scholarly mumbo jumbo, and I have to ask, is this the best Ukrainian language has to offer? 

Sunday
Nov102013

Yesterday's Scenery In Central Kiev

Source

The above was a concert held at Kreshchatik, the main central avenue of Kiev, called "We are one", dedicated to 70th anniversary of Kiev's liberation from Nazi occupation. Who was meant to be one is not hard to guess from the wealth of Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian flags.