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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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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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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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Happy 22nd anniversary of Ukrainian Independence

August 24th, 2013 No comments

Today marks the 22nd year of Ukraine’s Independence from the Soviet Union. If you are in Ukraine, the celebrations have already started and many more are planned throughout the next few days. Stephen Harper issued a statement today, as well as the White House. Viktor Yanukovych called for Ukrainian unity.

For those celebrating in the next few days, here are some events happening:

imageFlavours of Ukraine

August 24

Toronto, ON

Celebrating Ukraine’s Independence Day with Kozak games, dance shows and live bands. Special performance with Marta Shpak from Ukraine, Zabava with "Hudi i Motsni" and "Zapovid" and Special guest performance "Nadia".

http://www.ucctoronto.ca/

 

parma-ukrainian-village-parade3.jpgUkrainian Independence Day

August 24

Parma, OH

The parade starts at 11 a.m. at Grantwood Drive and will proceed up State Road to St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church Cathedral, located in the heart of the city’sUkrainian Village. The 55 organizations scheduled to march is the most in the parade’s three-year history, with Ukrainian-American military veterans leading the way as grand marshals.

http://www.cleveland.com/parma/index.ssf/2013/08/parmas_ukrainian_village_will.html

4th annual Ukrainian Independence Day Celebration

August 24

Birmingham, AL

"This event is designed to not only reach out to our Ukrainian-American community, but also to those with an interest in the region," according to organizers.

The Ukraine Independence Day Celebration will be held next Saturday, August 24th at noon at Crestway Baptist Church, which is located at 6400 Crestway Boulevard in Birmingham.

http://www.alabamas13.com/story/23165624/preps-are-underway-for-the-4th-annual-ukrainian-independence-day-celebration

Ukrainian Independence Day

August 24

Brandon, MB

The free event itself is set for Saturday, Aug. 24, at Dinsdale Park. The celebrations start at 4 p.m. with a concert of both traditional and contemporary music. The concert will be performed by UCA "Tryzub" members, who were able to practice for the event at the Ukrainian Reading Association Hall thanks to the Ukrainian Reading Association and the Catholic Ukranian-Canadian Men’s Club.

Following the concert, family and children activities will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m., including mini-soccer, a clown and face painting. There will also be food available for purchase, including smokies, muffins, cookies, cotton candy, ice cream and non-alcoholic beverages. Those who wish to can also donate to a children’s charity that will be chosen for the event by UCA "Tryzub."

http://www.westmanjournal.com/article/20130821/BRANDON0101/130829970/-1/BRANDON/two-celebrations-in-one-for-ukrainian-canadian-association

imageBabas & Borshch Ukrainian Festival

August 24-25

Andrew, AB

This FREE Festival will honour and celebrate the very best of the Ukrainian culture–food, history, religion, arts and culture—through a fun, hip approach. Not Ukrainian? No problem. We’ll make it happen when you show up at the Passport Office to "assume" your Ukrainian name and identity.

http://www.babasandborshch.ca/

Ukrainian Days Festival

August 24-25

Chicago, IL

Celebrate the Ukraine’s independence with the Ukrainian Days Festival Aug. 24 and 25 at Smith Park. Enjoy dance performances, live music, food vendors and activities for the kids. (2526 W. Grand Ave.)

http://chicagoist.com/2013/08/23/this_week_in_street_fests_taste_of.php

Ukrainian Festival 2012Ukrainian Folk Festival

August 25

Horsham, PA

Exciting, spectacular, dazzling, breathtaking, exhilarating, spirited, soulful, enchanting, captivating, and intriguing – modest words which describe but by no means capture the essence of Ukrainian folk art, music, and dance. From the rich color and deep symbolism of the delicate “pysanka” (Ukrainian Easter Egg) to the thunderous, climatic, power, rhythm and strength of “HOPAK” – the world’s most exciting ethnic dance, and every brilliant “Kolomiyka” (polka) and soulful folk song in between, we invite you to experience the TWENTIETH ANNUAL UKRAINIAN FOLK FESTIVAL, celebrating the anniversary of our ancestral homeland’s independence. Enjoy a festival stage show, a public dance, Ukrainian foods and baked goods, BBQ pit, kid’s fun area, and Ukrainian hospitality.

http://www.tryzub.org/ukrainian-festival-2013.php
http://www.montgomerynews.com/articles/2013/08/17/entertainment/doc520a69730ea81523902486.txt?viewmode=fullstory

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Friends’ Ukrainian Music Festival

August 25

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village, Alberta

Catch the musical magic at the Friends’ Ukrainian Music Festival featuring an array of the region’s finest Ukrainian folk musicians. This dynamic event encompasses an abundance of entertainment, exhibits, children’s activities, a village market, and delicious foods. Visit the Historic Village where you can enjoy wagon rides and chat with historic settlers as they go about their daily routines.

http://www.history.alberta.ca/ukrainianvillage/specialevents/docs/2013SpecialEventsbrochure.pdf

Ukrainian Day at Golden Gate Park

August 25

San Francisco, CA

Ukrainian Cultural Program for Commemorating of 20th Anniversary of
Independence of Ukraine

http://www.stmichaeluocsf.org/Pages/Calendar.aspx

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Ukrainian American Day

August 25

Buffalo, NY

Featuring delicious foods, music, basket raffle, dance performance, venders, cool beverages.

http://www.ukrainiansofbuffalo.com/
http://www.metrowny.com/features/703-Ukrainian-American_Festival_to_take_place_this_weekend.html

Independence Day Celebration

August 25

Edinburgh, UK

Join us at the Club for a BBQ to celebrate Ukrainian Independence Day.

https://www.facebook.com/events/199750716860869/?ref=22

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