Ukrainian news round-up – Feb 24, 2009

North America

  • What happens when the Washington Times get a pro-Soviet freelance journalist to write about the Crimea? You get a letter from the Ambassador of Ukraine, that’s what.
  • Prof. John-Paul Himka, a professor with the department of history and classics who specializes in the Holodomor takes a dim view of Canadian efforts to help prevent famines and has no lack of front-page new stories to help make his point. He has a special interest in how governments use food as a political tool to coerce civilians and enfeeble political opponents. “The blockade around Gaza is about resources as are many of the political conflicts in the world right now.”
  • Obama’s Foreign policy adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski: “We should work so that Georgia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan do not become victims of US-Russia dialogue. If we sacrifice these republics, Russia’s integration into the world will slow.
  • Exotic and cheerful community gathered at the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington, D.C. for the 10th annual celebration of the International Mother Language Day on Feb. 21. Bangladeshi saris, Ukrainian embroidered clothing, African golden dresses, and Russian red sarafans represented the diversity. The Ukrainian community actively participated in the event. The multicultural audience applauded Solomia Dutkewych, singing the songs Rodymyi Krayu (My Beloved Homeland) and U Sadu Vyshnevomu (In the Cherry Orchard).

Europe & Africa


  • Ukrainian officials claim Russia is rapidly distributing passports in the Crimea peninsula. Many influential Russian politicians, such as Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, believe Khrushchev’s decision was illegal and Russia is duty-bound to repossess Crimea. It is estimated that about 200,000 people – or nearly every 10th resident – has dual Russian-Ukrainian citizenship, although it is prohibited by law. “(Russia is) trying to do the same thing they did with Abkhazia and South Ossetia – establish legal grounds, at least in the Russian legal system, for intervention, whether that be economic, political or military”.
  • Ukraine’s top intelligence official announced that a significant part of the country’s secret archives would be made public. But Ukraine has never undergone a lustration process, o weeding out of government officials who collaborated with the Soviet-era intelligence services, they made a smooth transition from the Soviet era to an independent Ukraine and remained in power. How much of the former KGB’s most secret legacy even remains in Ukraine in documented form is also in doubt.
  • An explosion of traffic and comments came to a blog that described what a “Russophone Ukrainian nationalist” is.
  • EU foreign ministers on Monday considered increasing economic and other aid to Ukraine and four other ex-Soviet republics to try to counter Moscow’s continuing influence. The proposed partnership does not promise EU membership — something Ukraine, in particular, wants. The plan is expected to be formally approved at a mid-March meeting of the 27 EU leaders.



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