Monday, February 27, 2017

Hallelujah in Ukrainian

Beautiful. Great to hear Алелуя not Hallelujah! Lovely iconostas and vyshyvka in the background.  Leonard Cohen's masterpiece sounds lovely in Ukrainian. Nice choir arrangement, too.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Bitter Harvest: New Movie About Holodomor

Holodomor is the genocide committed by Stalin in the 1930s in which 10,000,000 Ukrainians were starved to death. Stalin forced collectivization of their lands,shipped the food to Russia, then took away their identification papers; not only were they starving, they couldn't leave. I'll have to see the film, but the reviews are pretty awful.

Article in the Huffington Post

Review in the Irish Times

A review from the UK

Winter on Fire

In the run up to this year's Academy Awards, if you have not seen Winter on Fire yet, it is worth viewing on Netflix. Evgeny Afineevsky's documentary is about the unrest in Ukraine in 2013-2014 during which time they ousted the Russian-backed President Yanukovich. What became known as the Euromaidan, with student demonstrations supporting European integration, grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich. It was nominated for an Oscar last year. The BBC reviewed it favorably.

Academy Awards, USA 2016

Best Documentary, Feature
Evgeny Afineevsky
Den Tolmor 

Toronto International Film Festival 2015

People's Choice Award
Evgeny Afineevsky 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tryzub - yet another link with Ireland

Wikimedia Commons

In researching the connection between Ireland and Ukraine, I found yet another link. Not only does Ireland share the heritage of Celts and Norwegians intermixing, so does Ukraine. Even the national symbol of Ukraine, the Tryzub or Trident, may have its roots in Scandinavian falconry, shared with that of a Viking King of Dublin. 

From Wikipedia:
"Most historians agree that the medieval symbol was not intended as depicting a trident, but most likely a stylized falcon. Depictions of a flying falcon with a cross above its head have been found in Old Ladoga, the first seat of the Kievan Rurik dynasty[2] of Scandinavian lineage.[3] Such a falcon, along with a cross are also featured on the coins of Olaf Guthfrithsson, a Viking king of Dublin and Northumbria.[2] Falconry for centuries has been a royal sport in Europe. The gyrfalcon (known also as Norwegian falcon) was considered a royal bird and is mentioned (ukr.: кречет) in one of the earliest epics of Ruthenia, the 12th century poem The Tale of Ihor's Campaign."

Monday, February 20, 2017

Trump associates form a plan on Ukraine

What makes someone think they can just plan to resolve another country's problems?  The NY Times reports that a back channel plan forged by Trump associates with ties to Russia have been delivered to Trump. The deal is that Russia will leave Eastern Ukraine, the people will vote on whether to give Russia a 50 year or 100 year lease on Crimea, and sanctions against Russia would be lifted. This by Artemenko, a Ukrainian opposition leader who sees himself as the next President of Ukraine, a Russian American who worked deals for Trump in Russia, and an attorney with ties to Russia. This is choice.

The Ukrainian Ambassador has attacked the secret peace plan, rightly so. These people are dangerous. That they think they can negotiate a deal on Ukraine's behalf is ludicrous. I wish the FBI would hurry up with their investigations into the Trump Russia connections and expose him before he brokers a deal that will devastate eastern Europe.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Irish came from Ukraine

I have always felt that there was an alignment of the Irish and Ukrainian cultures. My mother noticed that both liked potatoes, singing, and spirits. But since living here, I have noticed many parallels that made me wonder about the anthropological connections. Perhaps I noticed these connections because I studied anthropology as a minor in University. Perhaps, as a scientist, I am just observant and happen to have a unique combination of perspectives to draw on. As a Ukrainian American Irishwoman, I was uniquely positioned to notice the anciently-rooted similarities rather than the modern day differences.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

While Trump stomps on US, Putin attacks Ukraine

The war in Donbas has been stepped up. The Russians began shelling on Sunday and haven't stopped. This is a test. A test to see how far they can push Trump. If he does nothing, as he is apt to do, then they will know they have the freedom to push hard into Ukraine.

Theresa May has stood fast with Nato in supporting the cease fire and sanctions. Trump has not. Let's see what happens next in this deadly game of chess.