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Poroshenko to visit Canadian Parliament and US Congress this week; Ukrainian parliament concedes to Russian rebels and ratifies agreement with EU

September 16th, 2014 No comments

Petro Poroshenko is pictured. | AP Photo

What a week. New Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is scheduled to visit Ottawa on Wednesday, followed by a visit to the US congress on Thursday.

 

Visiting Canada

Poroshenko is scheduled to address Parliament Wednesday at 2PM EST, and you can watch live on CPAC. The Harper government pledged $200 million back in March, but it has yet to be delivered – even causing Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada to ask about the money back in July. Canada also added additional sanctions against Russia and pledged more than 300 election monitors for the fall Ukrainian parliamentary elections.

Update: Here is Poroshenko’s Address to Canadian Parliament:

 

Visiting USA

Poroshenko is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama on Thursday, and was subsequently invited to speak to Congress the same day. You can watch the Congressional address Thursday at 10AM EST on CSPAN. The US and the EU added additional sanctions against Russia last Friday.

Update: Here is Poroshenko’s Address to the US Congress:

 

 

Association Agreement with EU

The association agreement with the EU, originally rejected by Yanukovych back in November which plunged Ukraine into rebellion then war with Russia, has finally been ratified by Ukrainian Parliament. It won’t be fully implemented until 2016.

For about 15 months, Ukraine will be able to ship its goods to the E.U. without paying export tariffs, but Europeans will not be able to enjoy the same free access to the Ukrainian market. That is what Russia has long demanded.

Recently, at the end of August, when the leaders of Russia and Ukraine met for the first time in nearly three months to discuss the war raging along their border, Vladimir Putinused his time at the microphone to rant about Ukraine’s trade deal with Europe. The Russian President insisted that it would cost Russia around $3 billion if Ukraine went ahead with the agreement, which he said would disrupt the customs rules and sanitary inspections that Russia conducts at its border.

How Putin Got His Way In Ukraine

 

Autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk

Ukrainian Parliament also voted for autonomy and self-governance for the two terrorist-occupied oblasts for Donetsk and Luhansk for the next three years, as negotiated with Russia as part of the ceasefire. Amnesty has been granted to those who did not commit war crimes.

Many argue that these two areas will pave the way for disgraced Party of Regions and Communist party officials to return to office and have a say in Ukraine:

Holding elections in the occupied territories with the almost guaranteed victory of the Akhmetov-Medvedchuk project would return to parliament the most odious names from the previous era. On the other hand, it would permit the transfer of the separatist war from the terrorist to the political format. This has always been the path for dealing with “separatist” conflicts in the West.

Is Medvedchuk coming back?

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How to stay up-to-date on news from Ukraine

May 12th, 2014 No comments

From mass protests to invasion and now on the verge of all-out war, the latest news from Ukraine comes out almost hourly and too fast to analyze. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have become great resources to get the latest news, and today I’m going to share some great resources to help you stay up-to-date:

 

Articles Online

Euromaidan PRhttp://euromaidanpr.com/

This site has a great group of volunteers who are actively translating the latest news from Ukrainian and other websites into English, and quickly posts them not only on their website but their Facebook and Twitter pages as well. If were to only follow one source for news, this would be it.

Voices of Ukrainehttp://maidantranslations.com/

If you’re looking for a more daily analysis wrapped up in a single post, then this would be your best bet. The Military Blog summary by Dmitry Tymchuk is done fairly well. The posts go online at their website as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Help Translate

Both sites are actively looking for help translating articles from Ukrainian (and some others) to English. If you can spare some time, check out their Facebook page for requests to translate.

 

Watch Video

VICE News has a very comprehensive on-the-ground video series on Ukraine since late in the Maidan, and is still being updated! Its main correspondent Simon Ostrovsky made recent news being a captor in Sloviansk, and is returning to complete the series. Below is a playlist of all the videos so far (some might be out of order, so please check accordingly):

 

Watching Live

imageEspresso TVhttp://espreso.tv/

This internet TV station sprang up back in November in order to broadcast the Euromaidan protests worldwide. It broadcasts live.

 

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Hromadske.TV – http://hromadske.tv/

An internet TV station started by many former TVi journalists who quit the TV channel last April after it was dubiously handed over to Russian oligarch Konstantin Kagalovsky, a Yanukovych ally. It broadcasts live.

 

Spilno.TV – http://spilno.tv

Another great internet TV station, features a video playlist of stories to browse, as well as a live stream.

Do drop me a comment if you have any other resources!

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Ukrainian news round-up–March 26, 2013

March 26th, 2014 No comments

Editors note: It has been a difficult trying to keep up, while posting regularly on Facebook and Twitter, trying to write an in-depth analysis for the main page becomes obsolete over a few days. Instead, I will try and post news updates whenever I get a chance.

Some great sites that are providing updates are EuromaidanPR and Voices of Ukraine,

Tanks amassing near the north Ukrainian border in Klimovo, Russia.

 

Economy

Russian economy grinding to a halt as Ukraine crisis takes heavy toll

Ukraine agrees to 50% gas price hike amid IMF talks

An analysis of by Dmitry Tymchuk

 

Military

One-Ship Ukraine Navy Defies Russia to the End

Ukraine Crisis in Maps – A visual guide to the continuing conflict over Crimea.

Argentina to Host Russian Military Bases While America Sleeps

Are Ukraine and Russia at war or not?

U.S. intel assessement: greater likelihood Russia will enter eastern Ukraine

 

Opinion

If Russia swallows Ukraine, the European system is finished – Timothy Snyder

 

Crimea

Crimea Referendum: 34 Percent, Not 97 Percent, Says Former Russian Government Adviser

My documentary crew was attached in Ukraine for being American

“Another genocide has started already” – Crimea’s Tatars dread the consequences of the peninsula’s annexation

How Crimea’s Annexation Plays To Russians’ Soviet Nostalgia

 

Politics

‘War without weapons’: Russia singles out Canada over tough line

Putin’s BRICS allies reject sanctions, condemn West’s ‘hostile language’

 

Other

Russia’s Online-Comment Propaganda Army

The Mafia Ruling Ukraine’s Mobs

Here Are The American Executives Who Are Working On Behalf Of Putin

Movie Star Seagal Backs Russia’s Actions in Crimea

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Ukrainian protesters topple Lenin statue in Kyiv [Video]

December 8th, 2013 No comments

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Angry anti-government protesters in Ukraine toppled a statue of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin in the centre of Kyiv on Sunday and blockaded key government buildings amid huge street protests, raising the stakes in an escalating standoff with President Viktor Yanukovych.

The biggest protest in the former Soviet republic since Ukraine’s pro-democracy Orange Revolution in 2004 led the government to fire back. It announced an investigation of opposition leaders for an alleged attempt to seize power and warned the demonstrators they could face criminal charges.

The West pressed for a peaceful settlement.

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians flooded the centre of Kyiv, the capital, to demand Yanukovych’s ouster after he ditched ties with the European Union in favour of Russia and sent police to break up an earlier protest in the nearly three-week standoff.

Read more

Head of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress interviewed on CTV News Channel after just returning from Ukraine (click to play):

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Canadian Museum of Human Rights to put Holodomor exhibit by bathroom, ignores WW1 internment

April 21st, 2013 No comments

The latest in the struggles for Ukrainian-Canadian issues such as the Holodomor and WW1 Internment to be included in the upcoming Canadian Museum of Human Rights continues to get worse:

After fighting for a spot at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, Ukrainian-Canadians are asking just how much respect coverage of the Holodomor will receive when it’s located right next to the bathroom.

Read the rest of the article

Stories of the Holodomor have "either been ignored or minimalized" and the history of Ukrainian-Canadian internment camps will be addressed only by "a nondescript picture" rather than a full-fledged exhibit.

The subject of the Holodomor is relegated to a minor panel in a small obscure gallery near the museum’s public toilets.

"This is offensive, intolerable and jeopardizes the credibility of the museum to provide a balanced and objective perspective of key Canadian and global human rights stories," said the release from spokeswoman Darla Penner.

"The Holodomor is the lens through which the museum can teach the crimes of communism which were responsible for the subjugation, persecution and destruction of tens of millions of people."

Read the rest of the article

UCC President Paul Grod released details of the museum’s current plans in a video the group posted last month, here are some notes I made on it:

(At around 5:50) Grod says that WW1 Internment will not have a kiosk/exhibit, only a picture on the wall above Japanese Internment.

There will be a separate Holocaust room, which will include genocide discussion – the Lemkin model with background discussion, and the Holodomor will be discussed among other genocides.

The Holodomor will be featured in a separate "Hope and Hardwork" room, on the second floor, with "high-traffic location to the toilets" (at 9:00). The room will contain the 5 Canadian-recognized genocides, including the Holocaust (which has its own room as well).

The UCC has new demands: A dedicated kiosk for Internment, and to showcase the effect of War Measures Act for immigrants to Canada.

Watch the video

The UCC initially supported the museum 10 years ago, when promised to support prominent displays for the Holodomor and WW1 Internment. Last year though the museum decided not to have a permanent Holodomor display after all. The UCC, along with other groups like the UCCLA who started a postcard campaign, have urged Canadians to contact their MPs to support inclusiveness and no community be elevated above others.

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