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29th Anniversary of Chornobyl

April 26th, 2015 No comments

29 years ago today is the anniversary of the Chornobyl (Ukrainian spelling) disaster. While there’s little new news coming from that event, here are some finer points all should remember:

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Ukrainian state film to debut in Toronto this spring

March 17th, 2015 No comments

The HotDocs documentary film festival has always shown movies about Ukrainians or set in Ukraine,  but now it will finally debut an official state film from the National Cinematheque of Ukraine:

"ЖИВА ВАТРА" (The Living Fire)

Set in the breathtaking Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine, Living Fire is a captivating story of three shepherds, each at a different stage in his life. Living in a world bound by tradition, they reflect on the meaning of their own existence as the contemporary world begins to encroach into their remote community. 10 year-old Ivanko must leave a carefree childhood behind as he transitions into adulthood. 39 year-old Vasyl reflects on a youth lost as he toils with unforgiving daily labor. Ivan, at 82, is recently widowed, and reflects with gratitude on a life that was good when rooted to a bountiful land. As the snow begins to melt and spring approaches, all three men prepare to begin the difficult journey of following their sheep into the mountains, a journey that his been a part of their families for generations. But with the temptations of an easier contemporary life and the pressures of modernity, they find themselves caught between two worlds—and the struggle to maintain their way of life becomes increasingly difficult.

[Hot Docs]

 

Screening Info:

 

Trailers:

 

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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.

 

image

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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Ukraine-Russian relationship analyzed on TVO [Video]

January 15th, 2014 No comments

On Monday TVOntario’s current affairs programme ‘The Agenda’ had 30 year international affairs veteran Matthew Fisher on to see what 2014 had in store, and right away he commented on the latest happenings in Ukraine and its relationship with Russia, the West and Yulia Tymoshenko. Worth a watch, goes for about 6 minutes:

[YouTube]

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