All posts by luba

Ukrainian Christmas arrives early: Stalin statue in Zaporizhia blown up

While Ukrainian Christmas is less than a week away, an early Christmas present has arrived as the Stalin statue erected in Zaporizhia last May at the Communist headquarters was blown up last night:

"By a pure chance there were no casualties. Most probably the explosive was filled with the metal items," lawmaker Oleksiy Baburin, head of the Zaporizhia Communists told a press conference.

The local police said in a statement that according to its information a group of several people passed the monument just a few minutes before the explosion.

"One of them climbed over the fence and fastened to the monument a shopping bag which evidently contained the hand-made explosive device," the police said, adding that those behind the blast were currently being searched.

Not all good news from this event though, as police have used it as an excuse to harass local groups:

Meanwhile, the nationalist Svoboda (Freedom) group reported that the police had already arrested its head in Zaporizhia, Vitaliy Podlobnikov, and his deputy on the youth issues, Yuriy Hudymenko, on charges of causing the Stalin monument destruction.

The same statue had been badly damaged last week in a blast claimed by Nationalist group Tryzub (Trident) which denounced Stalin as "the executioner of the Ukrainian people and an international terrorist."

Then, there had been some doubt over the true state of the statue as the Communists had draped it in a large white cloth to prevent the extent of the damage from being seen.

However there was no mystery on this occasion as pictures showed that the bust had been completely destroyed by the blast, leaving only the plinth in place.

Stalin is a hate figure for many in Ukraine who blame him for intentionally allowing the deaths of millions of Ukrainians in a 1930s famine known as the Holodomor that nationalists regard as a genocide.

Read the rest of the article

I was also sent a video of the statue supposedly being decapitated a few days earlier:

Thanks http://ucrania-mozambique.blogspot.com

Gearing up for Ukrainian Christmas 2011

For some Ukrainian Canadians and Americans, Christmas was celebrated on Sunday – but the majority are still preparing to celebrate on the traditional date of January 7th. If you’re a little unclear on the details why or want a refresher on what to serve feel free to read up on our very popular Introduction to Ukrainian Christmas. And while the malls may not play ’Carol of the Bells’ anymore, you should know it’s a Ukrainian song! As well you can download some Ukrainian Christmas music for your holiday enjoyment. If you need some additional inspiration, check out some photos of a traditional Christmas meal.

And when your Christmas dinner is done and you’re still wanting more, don’t fret as Ukrainian New Years ‘Malanka’ – is right around the corner!

Canadian Museum for Human Rights won’t have permanent Holodomor or WW1 internment exhibits

image There are two secrets the upcoming Canadian Museum for Human Rights doesn’t want you to know: First, it’s not Canadian – that is, it’s not a federal institution but rather owned by the Asper family (who runs CanWest Global – Global TV, the right-wing NationalPost, Astral Media, etc.) and wants operating funding from the government too! Second, it’s not even a museum – it will not contain any artifacts or other objects of importance but rather only two permanent exhibitions which has upset the Ukrainian community and others in the Winnipeg area:

The committee calls for only two permanent galleries in the museum: one for the Holocaust and the other for Canada’s indigenous people.

The (Ukrainian Canadian) Congress wrote to several Cabinet ministers to complain that the genocide-famine in Soviet Ukraine and the national internment of Canadians during the First and Second World wars aren’t getting permanent exhibits.

The Congress is urging people to write to their MPs and federal Heritage Minister James Moore and demand a change in the makeup of the museum’s governance and advisory committees.

"We’ll only get one chance to make sure it’s done right," said Mr. Zalusky.

The national umbrella group that represents 1.2-million Ukrainian-Canadians said it supported the new museum politically and its members have donated to it. But when the final content advisory committee report was made public this fall, members of the congress were disappointed.

"It makes only one minor, passing reference to Canada’s first national internment operations,” the Congress report said. The Congress also says there is only one reference to the Holodomor.

Survivors of the Holodomor shared some horrific recollections of the genocide with the museum committee as it elicited input across Canada, said Mr. Zalusky.

"There were some absolutely stomach-churning issues and events that took place," said Mr. Zalusky. None of the witnesses’ information and input was included in the content advisory committee report, though, he said.

"We don’t believe their report is balanced," said Mr. Zalusky. "Nor does it reflect a Canadian approach to human rights issues," he said.

the Ukrainian Canadian Congress says the museum’s board and committees are "dominated by friends and supporters of the Asper Foundation" and lack objectivity.

You can read the UCC’s full report on this issue

Anyone notice this on The Simpsons last night?

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For anyone who’s curious as to meaning of this picture, it’s a sarcastic statement on the relationship of President Roosevelt & Joseph Stalin just after WW2:

All three leaders were trying to establish an agenda for governing post-war Germany. Churchill’s attitude towards the Soviet Union differed vastly from that of Roosevelt, with the former believing Stalin to be a "devil"-like tyrant leading a vile system.[1] In 1942, U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union William Christian Bullitt, Jr.‘s thesis prophesied the "flow of the Red amoeba into Europe". Roosevelt responded to Bullitt, Jr. with a statement summarizing his rationale for war time relations with Stalin:[2]

“I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. … I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won’t try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.”   Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1943

Roosevelt met Stalin’s price, hoping the USSR could be dealt with via the United Nations. Later, many Americans considered the agreements of the Yalta Conference were a "sellout", encouraging Soviet expansion of influence to Japan and Asia, and because Stalin eventually violated the agreements in forming the Soviet bloc. Furthermore, the Soviets had agreed to join the United Nations, given the secret understanding of a voting formula with a veto power for permanent members of the Security Council, thus ensuring that each country could block unwanted decisions.

At the time, the Red Army had occupied and held much of Eastern Europe with military three times greater than Allied forces in the West. The Declaration of Liberated Europe did little to dispel the sphere of influence agreements that had been incorporated into armistice agreements.

Wikileaks shows Russia blackmails other countries into Holodomor denial

imageMost of Ukrainian-related Wikileaks news you read about is Libyan leader Gaddafi’s ‘voluptuous’ nurse Galyna Kolotnytska. But among the many cables released this week it revealed Russia using political pressure to force countries into denying the Holodomor as Ukrainian genocide:

It says that Aliyev (President of Azerbaijan) had received a document from President Medvedev indicating that in case Azerbaijan recognizes Ukrainian famine as “genocide” in the UN, he can forget about Nagorno-Karabakh. Prince Andrew confirmed that other presidents had also received such instructions from Moscow

Nagorno-Karabakh is an unrecognized state vying for independence between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

It was also seen in the cables Russia’s talks with Israel on Ukrainian statehood and the Holodomor:

Lavrov (Russian Finance Minister) raised Russian concern with "historical revisionism" regarding the Soviet Era and Second World War, which, he said, was particularly acute in Eastern Europe but was also present in Israel. He cited Israel’s official recognition of the Holodomor, the 1930s famine that occurred in Ukraine. Lieberman explained that by recognizing this tragedy, Israel had not said Russia was guilty of causing it, nor that it was an act of genocide.

The ‘historical revisionism’ that deviates of course from the official Soviet view, ignoring atrocities and the fact it was a Nazi ally that started WWII. The cables from French diplomats reveal more of Russia’s true directives towards Ukraine:

while noting that it may take a generation before the Russian public will be able to accept their loss of influence, from Poland and the Baltics to Ukraine and Georgia. Unfortunately, the Russian tendency is
to view "good neighbors" as totally submissive subordinates.

..

French President Sarkozy was "convinced" that Ukraine would one day be a member of NATO, but that there was no point in rushing the process and antagonizing Russia, particularly if the Ukrainian public was largely against membership.

And some interesting cables from German diplomats too:

Taking a hard line against EU membership not only for Turkey but also for Ukraine. The CSU could lump Turkey and  Ukraine together so neither country could feel singled out  for bad treatment.

..

The winter gas crisis made Germans rethink Russia, reliability as a supplier, but the lack of alternatives and the desirability of gas as a clean energy source have left the government resigned to dependency on Russia in the near-to-medium term.

..

We expect Germany to be less forgiving of Russian bullying of its eastern European neighbors through cut-offs of natural gas supplies, especially given the departure of former Foreign Minister Steinmeier — known for his relatively pro-Russian views.

image Some US-related cables paints US-Ukraine relations in a more positive light:

Vershbow (US Assistant Secretary of Defense) criticized as “counter-productive” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s vitriolic open letter of August 2009, which attacked then-Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko’s “anti-Russian” policies.

“Vershbow emphasized that Russia’s efforts to assert a regional sphere of influence posed a threat to the reset in bilateral relations, and reiterated the U.S. commitment to the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Georgia, Ukraine and other partners in the region.” He added that the U.S. didn’t see Russian-Ukrainian relations as a “zero-sum game.”

All Ukraine related cables are availalble from Pravda. What else will come out from these cables? Meanwhile ex-Canadian aides are calling for the Wikileaks’ founders assassination! And Stepan Bandera provides some great insight on these new Wikileaks developments