Category Archives: politics

Ukrainian news round-up–March 26, 2013

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.



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



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



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



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



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

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



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

Recount no help as Borys Wrzesnewskyj loses seat (Updated)

Edit: I’ve updated this post using a much more detailed Toronto Star article as opposed to the smaller CBC one I posted earlier.

In a nail biter that was decided by only 26 votes before and after the recount, Borys Wrzesnewskyj lost his seat and strong Liberal riding of Etobicoke Centre to Conservative Ted Opitz.

Update: There was a surprising number of people who seemed to have voted for Borys but filled out the ballot improperly, if there were more than 26 of these it could have delivered him a victory:

Over the long-weekend, about 800 questionable ballots were reviewed by a judge, with lawyers for the candidates making arguments for or against the admissibility of each.

There were plenty of problems, according to Wrzesnewskyj, who sat in a nearby room waiting for the final results on Sunday night.

Some voters simply circled their choice. Others couldn’t keep their X in the lines. Others just crossed out the names of candidates they presumably didn’t like.

A surprising number of voters used the ballot to write messages to their favorite candidates, Wrzesnewskyj said.

Some drew hearts.

In the meantime, a silver lining. After the “agonizing” recount process was complete, Wrzesnewskyj’s lawyers offered some encouragement.

“If it’s any consellation,” they told him. “None of the other candidates got hearts.”

Read the article

Goodbye Michael Ignatieff and sadly, Borys Wrzesnewskyj


Like it or not, the Conservatives reached their majority last night while the Liberals got their worst government in their history (since Confederation): 3rd place behind the NDP. With that, Michael Ignatieff announced today he has stepped down as leader of the Liberal party, after losing his Etobicoke-Lakeshore seat he was parachuted into back in 2006 (a very strong Liberal riding for many years).

Ignatieff was certainly no friend to the Ukrainian Canadian community, denouncing Ukrainian nationalism and labelling it anti-semitic in his book Blood and Belonging. He has never really renounced these passages.

From the BBC documentary adapted from his book ‘Blood and Belonging’


images[1]Sadly Etobicoke-Centre MP also Borys Wrzesnewskyj lost his seatto the Conservatives by only a mere 26 votes, and a recount will be under way. When Ignatieff became the Liberal leader in 2009, he sacked Borys from his shadow cabinet only to promote him back months later amid his sagging popularity. Borys was a champion for Ukrainian and Eastern European causes on Parliament Hill, and was instrumental in Canada passing a law recognizing the Holodomor as genocide. His service will be sorely missed from the community, thank you for all your hard work!

Conservatives calling for ‘national folklore costumes’ at rallies

Last month, Conservative MP Jason Kenney was caught using ministerial letterhead to raise money by targeting areas for the ‘ethnic vote’, now Etobicoke-Centre Tory’s campaign staffers for Tim Opitz have been e-mailing:

“Do you have any cultural groups that would like to participate by having someone at the event in an ethnic costume? We are seeking one or two people from your community,” the email signed by Zeljko ‘Zed’ Zidaric said.

The email stated that the Etobicoke Centre campaign was seeking to create a “photo-op about all the multicultural groups that support Ted Opitz our local Conservative candidate and the Prime Minister.”

“The opportunity is to have up to 20 people in national folklore costumes which represent their ethnic backgrounds,” the email said.

Ted Opitz’s campaign spokesperson Patrick Rogers confirmed that Zidaric is a campaign staffer.

The email quickly drew criticism as it made the rounds on blogs and via emails on Wednesday.

Mouamar compared the photo-op to asking people to come to “a Halloween party.”

The Conservative government cut off more than $1 million in funding to the Canadian Arab Federation after the president expressed “hateful sentiments” toward Israel and Jews, according to then immigration minister Jason Kenney.

“So suddenly now we exist as props for a photo op?” said Canadian Arab Federation president Khaled Mouamar. “This is hypocrisy.”

Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the Liberal incumbent who has represented the west-end Toronto riding since 2004, said he was stunned to learn of the email.

“It’s really unfortunate,” said Wrzesnewskyj. “My goodness, we’re not in the 1950s here… Canada is a global village and Toronto is especially so.”

The Conservative Party has aggressively courted the ethnic vote in hopes of wresting ridings from the Liberals and gaining a majority. Outreach efforts have been spearheaded by Kenney.

Read the article

Etobicoke-Centre has been a Liberal immigrant-concentrated riding for quite some time:

About 44 per cent of the riding’s residents are immigrants. Most come from Europe, specifically from the eastern and southern parts of the continent. However, almost half (47.7 per cent) of Etobicoke Centre’s most recent immigrants hail from Asia and the Middle East.

Since 1993, Etobicoke Centre has been decisively Liberal. Incumbent candidate Borys Wrzesnewskyj has served as MP since 2004, and in 2008 defeated Conservative contender Axel Kuhn by more than 10 percentage points. The Wrzesnewskyj-Kuhn race had been identified by Stephen Harper as one that could see a Conservative breakthrough. This time around, Wrzesnewskyj will face Conservative candidate Ted Opitz, a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian military. Also in the race are Ana Maria Rivero for the NDP and Katarina Zoricic for the Greens.