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Archive for July, 2009

Russian Patriarch arrives in Ukraine to unite Orthodox under Russia

July 30th, 2009 No comments

From Associated Press:

The patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church has arrived in Kiev for a 10-day visit aimed at reasserting Moscow’s dominance over the church’s leaders in Ukraine.

Patriarch Kirill said Monday he would pray for the two nations’ "unbreakable spiritual and church unity." The statement was a reference to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko’s efforts to establish an independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

The country’s main Orthodox church answers to Kirill, but some church leaders have proclaimed themselves independent of Moscow and have been gaining popularity and political support from Yushchenko.

The president is encouraging church leaders in Ukraine to shake off Russia’s spiritual and political grip.

(Wow the Associated Press got it right!). And while the President is trying to establish an independent church free from Muscovy rule, the pro-Russian opposition has a different view of the Patriarch’s visit:

The visit by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to Kiev will unite the Ukrainian people, said leader of Ukraine’s Party of Regions Viktor Yanukovich.
"I think this very landmark visit will unite the Ukrainian people, unite the Orthodoxy. I think new and better times are coming," he told journalists on Tuesday at the Kiev Monastery on the Caves where Patriarch Kirill had performed a church service.
Yanukovich said he has not spoken personally to the Russian Church Primate yet. "I think this will happen at today’s function," he said.

Gladly, the BBC among other news outlets can see this visit for what it truly is:

Thousands marched through the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday to protest against the patriarch’s visit.

Demonstrators carried placards denouncing what they see as Russian interference in their country, and in support of the Kiev Patriarchate.

However, BBC Russian affairs analyst Steven Eke says the Russian Orthodox Church wields considerable political weight, and plays a role in the Kremlin’s policies aimed at strengthening the Russian state and its influence abroad.

This is what makes Patriarch Kirill’s visit to Ukraine so divisive, our correspondent says.

Nationalist groups, many Ukrainian-speakers and the congregations of the Kiev Patriarchate see him less as a religious pastor, and more as a political activist seeking to boost the Kremlin’s influence in their land, he adds.

For anyone who’s unfamiliar with Ukraine’s church politics:

Since the 90s, there are three different churches: the Ukraine-Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), the Ukraine-Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous (UAOC). They are in stark contrast with one another, staunchly oppose to the rebirth of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and only the UOC-MP is recognised by Moscow and in full canonical communion with the Patriarchate.

What’s more interesting is the Patriarch’s anti-genocide position on the Holodomor:

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has said that the Holodomor (the 1932-1933 Ukrainian famine) is one common historical tragedy both for Russians and Ukrainians.
"This [Holodomor] was a common misfortune for all the people who lived in the same country at the time," the Patriarch said on Monday after visiting together with Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko a monument to the famine victims in Kiev.
The Patriarch urged all believers to pray so that this tragedy never happens again and "so that none of these tragic events of our history hampers our fraternal communication," Patriarch said.
Hopefully, the Holodomor and related "tragic circumstances of our history" will not encourage the development of the "fratriphobic philosophy of history," the Patriarch also said.

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Have you watched Kontakt lately?

July 29th, 2009 No comments

Kontakt is a magazine-style programme that links Ukrainians throughout North America with Ukraine and with each other. It currently airs in Toronto every Saturday at 1pm on OmniTV.

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Weekend Watching: ТAPAC ЧУБAЙ Live in Toronto

July 25th, 2009 No comments

From UkeTube:

Taras Hryhorovych Chubay (Ukrainian: Тарас Григорович Чубай), (born in June 21, 1970, in Lviv) is a Ukrainian musician and poet. He is the son of the poet Hryhoriy Chubay.

Taras Chubay founded the Plach Yeremiji rock band in February, 1990. The songs of Chubay and his band are usually serious, philosophical poems accompanied by rock. The music sounds hard, then changes to an easy ballad, and again explodes, overfilled by emotions.

The musician has created more than 100 songs and one overture for an orchestra. He is also known for his active social position, taking part in democratic and pro-European movement gatherings.[1] The old UPA song Lenta za Lentoyu performed by Chubay had become a hit at events organized by the "orange forces" and was performed at the meetings of Narodna Samooborona Movement.[2]

In 2006, the rock band Plach Yeremiji and its frontman took part in the "Concert for Angels" devoted to the memory of Kiev students killed during the Battle of Kruty.[3]

Many songs of Taras Chubay are dedicated to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army.[4]

[Wikipedia]

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More Ukrainian news round-up while I’ve been away

July 23rd, 2009 No comments

A lot of news can happen in a few weeks, here are some more notable stories that have occured while I was away:

“Bruno“ Banned in Ukraine

It only takes one of these ‘bans’ for the movie producers to get the free exposure they need for the movie’s success. Unfortunately Ukraine’s culture ministry took the bait

From Celebrity Cafe:

Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest box office hit was too much for Ukraine’s officials.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy, “Bruno.” has been banned in Ukraine, reports Reuters.
The film depicts a gay Austrian fashion reporter trying to make it famous in the United States after being fired and blacklisted in his homeland.
Officials said Wednesday that the motion picture could have damaging effect on Ukrainians’ moral health due to its scenes of nudity and homosexual sex, says Agence France-Presse.

Google Translator adds Ukrainian

I tried it out yesterday for Ukrainian Pravda and the results weren’t too bad, now English speakers have access to more Ukrainian media.

Read more…

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Biden & Yushchenko visit Holodomor memorial, talk women and churches at a bar and split a Coke (Updated)

July 22nd, 2009 No comments

Yesterday after landing in Kyiv, US VP Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko went to a Holodomor memorial to lay candles and plant trees. After that they headed to the pub where they had a traditional American Coca-Cola. While Yushchenko was talking about Ukraine’s beautiful churches, Biden was overheard saying:

I cannot believe that a Frenchman visiting Kiev went back home and told his colleagues he discovered something and didn’t say he discovered the most beautiful women in the world. That’s my observation.

Full article is available at Ukrainian Pravda (now with an English Translation via Google)

Update: The NY Daily News has posted their top 10 hottest Ukrainian women, but I think they have missed TV actress and Ivano-Frankivsk native Oksana Lada who’s been on the Sopranos (that had a little Ukrainian in the final episodes), 30 Rock and CSI Miami.

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