- 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
- Nick Lajszczuk received the Ukrainian President’s Service Medal for his work in Keighley, Britain – the first council in the country to recognise the Holodomor. He arranged for the “Torch of Remembrance” to pass through the town.
- Oles Yanchuk has won the first prize of Henri-Langlois (the European nomination) for his film Famine-33 (Holod-33) at this year’s Vincennes Cinema Festival in France on February 3.
- The number of Eastern Europeans looking to move to Britain is down 40% as the credit crunch takes its toll, the vast majority are younger than before – 78% fall into the 18-34 age group – and travelling alone – only 11% of applicants reported bringing dependents with them.
- The ‘Faina’ ship that was hijacked in the waters of Somalia was finally returned, cargo untouched and crew members alive. The ship owner paid 3.2 Million USD for the ship’s return.
- All five crew members died when a South African-owned airplane crashed in Egypt on flight from Uganda to Ukraine. Two Belarusians, a Russian, and two Ukrainians were aboard.
- NATO defense ministers sought Friday to find ways to keep the door open to Ukraine’s membership, despite opposition from Russia over the alliance’s perceived encroachment into what Moscow considers its historical sphere of influence.
- 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.
- Ukraine’s hryvnia tumbled, closing at a record low against the dollar. It has lost more than 50 percent against the dollar in the past six months as reduced demand for exports and a lack of foreign credit causes Ukraine’s first economic contraction in a decade.
- The IMF says there is no risk of a payment default in eastern and central European countries hardest hit by the global financial crisis. Defaulting is highly unlikely for Ukraine. Ukraine is likely to weather this financial crisis as it has taken the right steps earlier on”. Are the crisis fears overblown?
- Ukraine’s state-run natural gas company Naftohaz is warning it may again default on payments for Russian gas imports, because of what it calls the “catastrophic” effects of the global financial crisis. Naftohaz officials said their latest warning is aimed at collecting hundreds of millions of dollars owed it by regional Ukrainian gas companies.
- Tottenham striker Darren Bent is expecting a very tough game when Harry Redknapp’s side take on Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Cup on Thursday. The round of 32 first leg clash is expected to take place in freezing conditions in Ukraine but Bent is looking forward to having a rare opportunity to show Redknapp what he can do.
- Viktor Yushchenko is now on Twitter! In case you didn’t know, so are we! Edit: JNW adds there is one also for ex-chief of Parliament Arseniy Yatsenyuk
- The latest Ukrainian edition of Maxim has a poor photoshopped cover.