Archive for June, 2008

Russian anthem for the Toronto Zoo?

June 28th, 2008 2 comments

This is a commercial for Stingray Bay at the Toronto Zoo where two sailors are looking for the elusive Sting rays. One of the sailors reminds them they have to head back to Minsk first and the commercial ends with the Russian Anthem playing.

Perhaps someone should have pointed out to them Minsk is in Belarus and not Russia. Also the coordinates they show at the beginning of the commercial point to the Black Sea, where the Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed in Sevastopol, Ukraine until 2017. Ukraine has stated they will not renew the agreement to lease its Crimean base, but Moscow insists it will be there forever.

Former Soviet Republic + Tsar’s Anthem + Imperial Outpost begs the question… who’s making these ads?


Tetiana Ostapowych eliminated from Canadian Idol

June 26th, 2008 No comments

Toronto native Tetiana Ostapowych was eliminated from the first round of Canadian Idol last night after singing ‘Feelings’. This was her second attempt as Idol fans may have recognized her from American Idol auditions in San Diego at the beginning of the year. She grew up in Etobicoke (a West Toronto suburb), attending Ukrainian-Catholic elementary school Josyf Cardinal Slipyj and then onto Etobicoke School of the Arts for highschool. You can visit her MySpace page for more info.


Holodomor Flame in South America

June 22nd, 2008 No comments

This month was a busy one for the International Holodomor Flame as it toured South America. It left Ottawa for one-day visits to Columbia, then Ecuador as well as Peru in its first week. Its second week was spent in Brazil and made several stops. Brazil has the third largest diaspora population, outside the US and Canada.

Next the Flame was in Paraguay for a few days where it received some media attention. Also a very nice amount of attention from the following stop in Argentina, including some videos here, here and here (there’s also a Ukrainian newspaper there in Spanish). The Flame is in Chile for the rest of the week and then it heads for Britain (where it is trying to get recognized as genocide and has been for some time) and a large tour in Europe for the next couple of months.

I apologize for the non-English articles, I hope someone’s Spanish & Portuguese is up to par! Thanks to reader Bogdano for the links.


Is the Vatican the next genocide denier?

June 19th, 2008 4 comments

Last month President Yushchenko invited Pope Benedict to Ukraine to set up a working group to research and study historical documents in the Vatican Secret Archives related to Ukraine, including the Holodomor.

Unfortunately what they got was Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a Secretary of State who loves the lime light – he appeared on many TV shows and articles denouncing the Da Vinci code and on his first day on the job announced “the Pope’s option in favour of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue is equally unequivocal”.  His attitude towards the Holodomor isn’t any better:

“The Ukrainian people and authorities perceive the tragedy of the Holodomor very painfully primarily because, as we know, the tremendous failure of crops that affected Ukraine in those years provoked the death of seven million people,” Bertone said.

Crop failure, are you serious?  It’s such an outdated defense not even the deniers are using it anymore!  Even the slightest amount of research will draw you the conclusion that the Holodomor was the result of a state-sponsored famine through confiscation (Fact #2), not a natural catastrophe.

The new direction the Vatican is taking is a complete turn around from the days of Pope John Paul II who was a staunch opponent of CommunismHe addressed to Ukraine on the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor:

These are the sentiments that the 70th anniversary of the consequences of the Holodomor tragedy awakens in my heart: millions of people suffered an atrocious death due to the nefarious success of an ideology that caused suffering and bereavement in many parts of the world throughout the 20th century. It is for this reason, Venerable Brothers, that I want to be present in spirit at the celebrations to commemorate the countless victims of the great famine instigated in Ukraine by the Communist regime. It was an inhuman scheme put into effect in cold blood by those in power at the time.

As is proving more and more evident, larger groups of concentrated power aren’t beneficial to the individual no matter what group you belong to.

I’m still looking up how to contact Cardinal Bertone.


Manitoba recognizes the Holodomor as genocide

June 16th, 2008 No comments

Last Thursday was the final sitting of the Manitoba legislature before it breaks for the summer, and a historic bill passed that received little media fan-fare:

The lone opposition bill passed was one establishing the fourth Saturday in November as Ukrainian Famine and Genocide Holodomor Memorial Day.

Bill 217 received royal assent on June 12, 2008 and was introduced by Selkirk-Interlake MP James Bezan who also got a similar bill passed in the Senate along with Etobicoke-Centre MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj to recognize the genocide nationwide.

First Saskatchewan, now Manitoba and Ontario is next with Bill-C61 that has been ordered referred to the Standing Committee on Regulations and Private Bills.

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