Tag Archives: ukraine

US VP Joe Biden arrives in Ukraine

Photo: Biden in Ukraine, Dipping Bread into Salt

From the Washington Post:

KIEV, July 20 – US Vice-President Joe Biden arrived in Ukraine on Monday to reassure its leaders Washington has not forgotten the ex-Soviet republic following President Barack Obama’s push to improve ties with neighboring Russia.


"This is the balancing trip by Biden to Obama’s Moscow visit but the balance is very different to that under the Bush administration," said Christopher Granville of Trusted Sources, an emerging market research firm in London.

"It is the vice-president making the balancing trip and not the president, after all."


Biden is expected to signal support for Ukraine but the Obama administration is less strident than Bush in backing Yushchenko’s NATO bid.

At the bottom of the article it lists additional reporting by a Moscow correspondent and you can see that reflected in some of the suspicious wording in the article:

A snap poll by the English-language Kyiv Post found that 66 percent of respondents wanted Biden to tell Ukraine’s leaders: "Get your act together" while only 5 percent suggested "Resist Russia with all your might."

The author uses a newspaper website poll (as opposed to a more credible Angus Reid poll) to downplay the Russian threat.

President Viktor Yushchenko, vaulted to power in the 2004 Orange Revolution, has angered Moscow with an aggressive bid for Ukraine to join NATO and his promotion of Ukrainian nationalism.

There’s been a recent trend by Russian media to erase the Orange Revolution – labeling it ‘so-called’ as to downplay its importance and inferring Yushchenko was somehow placed into leadership by a coup as opposed to the reality that was a re-vote from a rigged election. And nationalism is just media slang for xenophobia.

Anyways, we’ll see what Biden does in Ukraine and on Wednesday he leaves for Georgia.

Update – UNIAN reports on what Biden is doing in Ukraine:

As UNIAN reported earlier, during the visit it is planned that Joe Biden will meet with President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko and Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko.

It is expected that V. Yushchenko and J. Biden will honour a memory of victims of Holodomor (the Great Famine) in Ukraine in 1932-1933.

It is also planned that J. Biden will deliver  a speech before the representatives of business circles of the Ukraine.

Ukrainian news round-up – Sept 1, 2008

Ukrainian news round-up – August 11, 2008

Russian anthem for the Toronto Zoo?

This is a commercial for Stingray Bay at the Toronto Zoo where two sailors are looking for the elusive Sting rays. One of the sailors reminds them they have to head back to Minsk first and the commercial ends with the Russian Anthem playing.

Perhaps someone should have pointed out to them Minsk is in Belarus and not Russia. Also the coordinates they show at the beginning of the commercial point to the Black Sea, where the Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed in Sevastopol, Ukraine until 2017. Ukraine has stated they will not renew the agreement to lease its Crimean base, but Moscow insists it will be there forever.

Former Soviet Republic + Tsar’s Anthem + Imperial Outpost begs the question… who’s making these ads?

Is the Vatican the next genocide denier?

Last month President Yushchenko invited Pope Benedict to Ukraine to set up a working group to research and study historical documents in the Vatican Secret Archives related to Ukraine, including the Holodomor.

Unfortunately what they got was Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, a Secretary of State who loves the lime light – he appeared on many TV shows and articles denouncing the Da Vinci code and on his first day on the job announced “the Pope’s option in favour of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue is equally unequivocal”.  His attitude towards the Holodomor isn’t any better:

“The Ukrainian people and authorities perceive the tragedy of the Holodomor very painfully primarily because, as we know, the tremendous failure of crops that affected Ukraine in those years provoked the death of seven million people,” Bertone said.

Crop failure, are you serious?  It’s such an outdated defense not even the deniers are using it anymore!  Even the slightest amount of research will draw you the conclusion that the Holodomor was the result of a state-sponsored famine through confiscation (Fact #2), not a natural catastrophe.

The new direction the Vatican is taking is a complete turn around from the days of Pope John Paul II who was a staunch opponent of Communism.  He addressed to Ukraine on the 70th anniversary of the Holodomor:

These are the sentiments that the 70th anniversary of the consequences of the Holodomor tragedy awakens in my heart: millions of people suffered an atrocious death due to the nefarious success of an ideology that caused suffering and bereavement in many parts of the world throughout the 20th century. It is for this reason, Venerable Brothers, that I want to be present in spirit at the celebrations to commemorate the countless victims of the great famine instigated in Ukraine by the Communist regime. It was an inhuman scheme put into effect in cold blood by those in power at the time.

As is proving more and more evident, larger groups of concentrated power aren’t beneficial to the individual no matter what group you belong to.

I’m still looking up how to contact Cardinal Bertone.