Saturday, December 31, 2011

What Ukrainians associate New Year with?

KYIV, December 31, 2011 (UKRINFORM). A third of Ukrainians associate New Year with the smell of a Christmas tree and tangerines at home, according to a survey conducted by Research & Branding Group from December 4 to December 14 to study the attitude of Ukrainians to Christmas and New Year holidays. Another 36% of respondents associated New Year with a favorite holiday since childhood. One in four Ukrainians associate this holiday with a decorated Christmas tree. Some 26% of Ukrainians associate New Year with a good festive mood, and another 2% of those surveyed - with New Year's feast.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sweden is getting closer to Ukraine.

Within the frame of EUROPE IS OUR HOME project the Santa Lucia holiday has been selebrated for the first time in Poltava on December 13th. In Poltava there is only private school where pupils study history and culture of Sweden. Not long ago they initiated Swedish language course for pupils. Mostly they have taken part in the celebration that taken place in Poltava Art Gallery. Wearing a white gown with a red sash and a crown of candles on her head, Santa Lucia walked at the head of a procession of girls, each holding a candle. Some of those who participated the holiday have been to Sweden recently. They prepared an exhibition of photos taken in Sweden to bring this still mysterious and little-known country closer to Ukrainians.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Seven Wonders of Ukraine

December 2, 2011 (UNIAN) Seven Wonders of Ukraine contest announces results of online voting Mykola Tomenko, chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine: Castles, Fortresses, Palaces contest, has announced the results of an online voting for the final determination of winners of the competition. The TOP10 included
1. Akkerman Fortress (Bilhorod-Dnistrovsk) in Odesa region,
2. Vorontsov Palace in the Crimea,
3. Kamianets-Podilsky Fortress in Khmelnitsky region,
4. Upper Castle in Lutsk, Volyn region,
5. Metropolitan Palace in Chernivtsi,
6. Kachanivka Palace in Chernihiv region,
7. Khotyn Fortress in Chernivtsi region.

Tomenko said that after the awarding ceremony a brochure will be published "Seven Wonders of Ukraine: Ukraine - a Country of Miracles," to be available in several languages. Next year, organizers of the event as part of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine contest plan to determine the TOP 10 parks in the country.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Future programmers get acquainted with Poltava history

My dear readers,

Currently I am working as a teacher of programming in Poltava Teachers Training College. So as you can see my passion for the military history is pretty far from my principal activity. Nevertheless I am always very glad to be able to share my knowledge about the battle of Poltava and about the city itself with my students. On the picture you can see a few future programmers and teachers of informatics near the oldest church in Poltava (Vår Frälsares kyrka) that witnessed the decisive battle of the Great Northern War. In spite of chilly weather they happened to know many interesting about the city they live in. The guided tour ended in a small but cosy café where our friendly chat has been supplemented with flavored coffee and cakes.

Defense Ministry to receive two upgraded Su-25M1 planes

KYIV, November 23, 2011 (UKRINFORM). Two Su-25M1 planes, which were modernized at the state-owned MiGremont enterprise, will be transferred to the Ukrainian Air Force, the press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has reported. The permanent place of the deployment of the aircraft will be the 299th Assault Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Force, which received two Su-25M1s and a Su-25UBM1 in 2010.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Poltava libraries have received 15 sets of computer equipment with full software

KYIV, November 12, 2011 (UKRINFORM). Librarians from Ukraine's central Poltava region have been named the winners of the Bibliomist Program initiated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the Global Libraries program. "Thanks to the victory the city libraries have received 15 sets of computer equipment with full software. Poltava residents will also be provided with unlimited free internet access in our libraries," said the director of Poltava Central Library System Tamila Duzenko.

This is not the first victory of the Poltava librarians. Since the early year, international grants in Poltava region were extended to 10 centralized library systems. The Bibliomost program operates in Ukraine since 2009. Until 2013 the grantors plan to earmark 25 million dollars to purchase the latest equipment for Ukrainian libraries and ensure their transformation into modern data centers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

KYIV, November 10, 2011 (UKRINFORM). Ukraine regards with understanding the construction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which should ensure the transit of additional volumes of gas produced in northern Russia, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Boiko has said.

"We regard with understanding the construction of Nord Stream, realizing that additional volumes of gas that will be produced at the Shtokman field and on the Yamal Peninsula require additional transit flows," he said.

At the same time, Boiko said that the Ukrainian gas transport system would remain the most economically attractive route for Russian gas transit to Europe.

"Our national interests correspond to the position that our gas transport system should be operated at full capacity. And we are demonstrating the reliability of our gas transport system, as well as its potential and economic attractiveness, to all of our European partners and Russian colleagues," Boiko said.

As reported, on November 8, the leaders of Germany, Russia, France and the Netherlands launched the first line of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which was completed in June 2011. This line is expected to transport 27.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The second section of the pipeline, which is almost 70% finished, is to be commissioned next autumn.

Ukraine is the largest supplier of Russian gas to Europe. Gazprom's plan on gas transit through Ukraine this year is 102.7 billion cubic meters, of which over 99 billion cubic meters will be supplied to Europe.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

UK will assist Ukraine in reforming its armed forces.

October 28, 2011 (Interfax-Ukraine) UK Ambassador to Ukraine Leigh Turner (on the photo) said that his country will continue to assist Ukraine in reforming its armed forces. "The Armed Forces of Ukraine face many challenges, and Britain is ready to support you in these reforms," he said addressing the graduates of the institute of state military administration of the National University of Defense of Ukraine in Kyiv on Friday. The British ambassador said that his country would continue sharing its experience with Ukraine in the defense sector. According to him, the British servicemen will continue to play an active role in NATO projects aimed at training of the Ukrainian military and reform of the Ukrainian army.

Friday, October 21, 2011

St Sampsoniy Cathedral in St. Petersburg

St Sampsoniy Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in St. Petersburg. The original wooden church was built in 1710 to commemorate Russian victory in the Battle of Poltava of June 27th 1709. In 1909 Russia was getting ready for the celebration of the 200thg anniversary of the battle of Poltava. The church was considerably renovated and elevated to cathedral status. The same year a monument to Peter I has been inaugurated in front of the church. The monument was removed by the Soviets and restored in 2003 as part of the city's tercentenary celebrations.The parish was disbanded by the Soviets in the 1930s, and the church building was converted into a warehouse and then into ready-made clothes shop. It was restored in the late 1970s and reopened in 2000 as a museum attached to St. Isaac's Cathedral.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Russian battleship Poltava (1911)

Poltava was the second of the Gangut-class battleships of the Imperial Russian Navy built before World War I. The Ganguts were the first class of Russian dreadnoughts. She was named after the Russian victory over Charles XII of Sweden in the Battle of Poltava in 1709. She was completed during the winter of 1914–15, but was not ready for combat until mid-1915. Her role was to defend the mouth of the Gulf of Finland against the Germans, who never tried to enter, so she spent her time training and providing cover for mine laying operations. She was laid up in 1918 for lack of trained crew and suffered a devastating fire the following year that almost gutted her. Many proposals were made to reconstruct or modernize her in different ways for the next twenty years, but none were carried out. While all this was being discussed she served as source of spare parts for her sister ships and was used as a barracks ship. She was finally struck from the Navy List in 1940 and scrapping began at a very leisurely rate. She was intentionally grounded in late 1941 to prevent her from being sunk in some inconvenient location by the Germans. She was re-floated in 1944 and scrapped beginning in 1949.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New criminal case is filed against Tymoshenko

October 13, 2011 (UNIAN) A new criminal case was filed against former Prime Minister of Ukraine – she is accused of laying of the debts of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU) corporation on the budget of Ukraine. According to an UNIAN correspondent, chief of the Main Investigation Department of the SBU (the Security Service of Ukraine) Ivan Derevyanko said this at the press conference in Kyiv. “The Main Investigation Department of the SBU filed a criminal case against citizens of Ukraine Tymoshenko and Lazarenko”, he said.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tymoshenko sentenced to 7 years in jail

KYIV, October 11, 2011 (UKRINFORM). Pechersk District Court of Kyiv has on Tuesday, October 11, produced a verdict on the former Prime Minister, leader of the opposition party Batkivshchyna, Yulia Tymoshenko, sentencing her to seven years in prison, under Article 365, part 3, the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Judge Rodion Kireyev said Tymoshenko's guilt of abuse of office when signing gas contracts with Russia in 2009 is proved, the convict would also have to pay back the damage she had caused to the state at UAH 1.5 billion (USD 1 - UAH 7.97). She was also banned for three years to hold positions in public service. The verdict can be challenged in the Court of Appeals within 15 days. Interrupting the judge, who was reading out the sentence, Tymoshenko said that the country has returned to 1937. Addressing the audience in the court and her supporters who were watching live streaming on TV, she encouraged them to unite and defend Ukraine. "Then the authoritarian regime will be toppled," she said. Speaking about the trial, the ex-Prime Minister said that a "contract verdict demonstrates only the weakness of power". "Glory to Ukraine - Glory to the Heroes!" she said.

Monday, October 10, 2011

KYIV, October 10, 2011 (UKRINFORM). The National Bank of Ukraine and the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority signed a memorandum of understanding in Stockholm regarding cooperation in the sphere of supervision over credit establishments, the NBU press service informs. According to the NBU statement, the document regulates cooperation of two supervisory authorities in different spheres of banking supervision, including mutual exchange of information about the general state of banking systems and individual banking institutions, opening and licensing of branches and daughter enterprises of foreign banks, holding of permanent supervision and examination of such institutions, carrying out consolidated supervision, prevention of the use of banks for money laundering, etc. The memorandum also contains obligations of the parties on confidentiality as regards the bank secret and its use exclusively with supervision aims.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ukrainian books averagely printed in poor circulation of less than 500 copies - Publishers Association

KYIV, September 30,2011 (UKRINFORM). Books in Ukraine are published in very small quantities, on the average not exceeding 500 copies, as announced by President of the Ukrainian Association of Publishers and Booksellers Oleksandr Afonin. According to him, this situation is largely due to the lack of state orders for the book. Afonin said that if there was a state program to provide libraries with new books that are produced in Ukraine, the circulation would have grown to several thousand copies. Now, in his words, "book often do not go beyond the publishing regions, such as Kyiv, Kharkiv and Ternopil." Now Ukraine is in a situation when publishers can not publish books in large numbers, and libraries can not replenish their funds. As reported, the drop in book publishing in 2011 compared to 2010 is 45%. In turn, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov promised that the government will double costs of Ukrainian book publishing in 2012.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

68 years ago Poltava was liberated by the Red Army.

Issued by Marshal Stalin and addressed to Army General Koniev
Troops of the Steppe front, successfully developing their offensive, forced the River Vorskla, and after three days' fierce fighting, today, September 23, 1943 captured the regional centre of the Ukraine, the town of Poltava, a powerful German defence centre in the Ukraine to the east of the Dnieper.
In the fighting for the liberation of the town of Poltava, troops commanded by Lieutenant-General Zhadov, Lieutenant-General Managarov and airmen commanded by Lieutenant-General of Aviation Goryunov, distinguished themselves, especially the 9th Guards Airborne Division (Colonel Sazonov), the 13th Guards Red Banner Infantry Division, bearing the Order of Lenin (Major-General Baklanov), the 66th Guards Infantry Division (Major-General Yakshin), the 95th Guards Infantry Division (Major-General Nikichenko), the 97th Guards Infantry Division (Colonel Antsiferov), the 84th Kharkov Infantry Division (Major-General Bunyashin), the 42nd Light Artillery Brigade (Colonel Skorodumov), the 301st Anti-tank Artillery Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Vlassenko), the 57th Tank Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Federov), the 431st Engineering Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel Boltusevich), the 294th Fighter Aviation Division (Lieutenant-Colonel Taranenko) and the 266th Stormovik Aviation Division (Colonel Rodyakin).
In commemoration of the victory achieved, the formations and units who distinguished themselves in the fighting for the liberation of the town of Poltava are to bear the name of Poltava. Henceforth the above mentioned formations and units are named: The 9th Guards Poltava Airborne Division, the 13th Guards Red Banner Poltava Infantry Division, bearing the Order of Lenin, the 66th Guards Poltava Infantry Division, the 95th Guards Poltava Infantry Division, the 97th Guards Poltava Infantry Division, the 42nd Poltava Light Artillery Brigade,’the 301st Poltava Anti-tank Artillery Regiment, the 57th Poltava Tank Regiment, the 431st Poltava Engineering Battalion, the 294th Poltava Fighter Aviation Division and the 266th Poltava Stormovik Aviation Division.
The 84th Kharkov Infantry Division, which has for the second time distinguished itself in battle against the German invaders, is to be recommended for the award of the Order of the Red Banner. Today, September 23, at 21.00 hours the capital of our Motherland, Moscow, on behalf of the Motherland, will salute with 12 artillery salvoes from 124 guns our gallant troops which liberated the town of Poltava. For excellent military operations, I express my thanks to all troops commanded by you who participated in the fighting for the liberation of the town of Poltava.
Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in the fight for the freedom and independence of our Motherland. Death to the German invaders!

Supreme Commander-in-Chief

Marshal of the Soviet Union

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ukrainian diaspora in the United States have sent an open letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

September 22, 2011 (Interfax-Ukraine). Ukrainian diaspora in the United States have sent an open letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
"Dear Mister President! In September 2010 Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), which represents over a million Americans of Ukrainian origin, sent you a letter expressing its concern about the situation in Ukraine. Not many of those issues have been addressed by the government as of today, on the contrary, the situation with human rights and national rights in Ukraine has become even worse, which is proved by the arrest and prosecution of former Ukrainian Premier Yulia Tymoshenko and former Interior Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko, as well as other political prosecutions in the country," reads the letter.

The authors of the letter added that, "We still hope that you will realize how wrong your current positions are and will take on the burden of honest service to our people in Ukraine and abroad."

"Today we confirm our position and stress that we continue firmly standing for our principles. As we have already said in our previous letter, we are ready to meet with you and other officials from the government for a constructive dialogue, but only under the condition that we see that the Ukrainian government follows democratic principles and that you sincerely care about the Ukrainian nation and its numerous problems. The UCCA also acknowledges that the Ukrainian government has started carrying out its obligations to the U.S. government by transferring the first tranche for the construction of a memorial to victims of the Holodomor in Washington, Columbia," reads the letter. The authors of the letter also said, "the Ukrainian community in the United States will always work to make Ukraine a rich, democratic, equality of rights respecting state in the family of Euro-Atlantic states."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Ukraine, NATO discuss issues about cooperation concerning general European anti-missile defense system

September 9, 2011 (UNIAN). Ukraine and NATO discuss issues about cooperation concerning general European anti-missile defense system. According to an UNIAN correspondent, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Dirk Brengelmann said this at the news conference in Kyiv today. "I realized at an early stage that Ukraine is interested in this," said Dirk Brengelmann. He noted that he discussed this issue with officials of the Administration of the President of Ukraine. “We noticed that there is a great interest from the side of our Ukrainian colleagues concerning anti-missile defense system”, underlined Dirk Brengelmann. At the same time, according to his words, NATO and Ukraine should discuss details cooperation in this direction.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Saint Petersburg marks 70 years of Leningrad Siege

September 9, 2011 (Reuters). Russia's second-largest city is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the start of a deadly 29-month-long Nazi siege during the World War II that cut its population by nearly a million people. Public loudspeakers in St. Petersburg, along with radio and television stations, on Thursday morning broadcast roaring air-raid warnings and sounds of a metronome. The metronome sound was used during the siege to inform residents of air raids and all-clear announcements. The 872-day-long siege of the city, then known as Leningrad, is one of the darkest moments of Russia's participation in the war. A million city residents are believed to have died of hunger and bombings, and while defending the city's outskirts.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ukraine is celebrating Knowledge Day

KYIV, September 1, 2011

Ukraine is celebrating Knowledge Day on September 1 with all school bells ringing for 4,200 million pupils. 416,000 of them are first graders. Almost all secondary schools are ready for the new school year: running and overhaul repairs have been completed for almost 19,000 educational institutions, overhaul - 2,058. Knowledge Day was established by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR on November 1, 1984.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ukraine to start demarcation of border with Russia from Chernihiv region

KYIV, August 29, 2011 (UKRINFORM). Ukraine and Russia can begin the demarcation of the state border in September 2011. Such a conclusion was made by the Ukrainian-Russian interstate commission.

The border demarcation will start from Chernihiv region. The first border pillars on an over 2,000-kilometer-long border will appear in the village of Senkivka. As reported, on June 4, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Hryshchenko said he expected the demarcation of the Ukrainian-Russian border to start in the second half of 2011. The joint Ukrainian-Russian demarcation commission held its first meeting in December 2010.

The commission began its work on the basis of an agreement on border demarcation, which was signed in May 2010 and which foresees the demarcation of the border in line with the agreement of January 29, 2003. Ukraine and Russia have no disputable issues concerning the land border.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Over 5,000 opposition activists protest former PM Tymoshenko's arrest on Independence Day

Over 5,000 demonstrators, many of them wore traditional Ukrainian white embroidered shirts, attempted to march on the president's office in Kiev, but were held back by police in riot gear who flooded the city's center. Smaller groups of protesters were later allowed onto the capital's main avenue. Tymoshenko's abuse-of-office trial and arrest this month on charges of contempt of court have galvanized Ukraine's notoriously fragmented opposition. Wednesday's rally attracted a broad spectrum of government critics opposed to President Viktor Yanukovych's government and a trial they see as selective prosecution meant to bar Tymoshenko from upcoming elections.

Tymoshenko issued an appeal from jail, urging unity among the opposition. She vowed that current authorities will be prosecuted for what she called the crimes they are committing today. Five years from now, "real, and not political, prisoners will be in jail; today we know their names," she said in a letter posted on her website. "Happy holiday, my dear ones! This is our holiday! We will prevail, we will win! I promise!" she wrote.
She was arrested Aug. 5 on charges of contempt of court as part of a trial in which she stands accused of violating official procedures when signing a natural gas import contract with Russian in 2009. Tymoshenko denies all the charges, and the United States and European Union have condemned the arrest and trial as politically motivated. Yanukovych says the criminal cases against Tymoshenko and a number of her senior allies are part of a government effort to fight corruption. Tymoshenko's arrest has threatened the prospects of Ukraine's integration with Europe, but Yanukovych maintained Wednesday that Ukraine was on a pro-Western course. "Our history is inseparably linked with modern Europe," Yanukovych said in a statement on his website. "For centuries the best sons and daughters of Ukraine have dreamt of an independent country which is based on freedom, humanity and democracy. And their dreams have come true." Ukrainian lawmakers declared the Soviet republic independent on Aug. 24, 1991, days after a failed hard-line Communist coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Ukraine's voters overwhelmingly approved the decision in referendum that December, and it became independent later that month when Gorbachev resigned and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Manneken Pis in Brussels dressed in Duke Yaroslav the Wise costume on the occasion of Ukraine's Independence Day

KYIV, August 24, 2011 (UKRINFORM). The famous statue of the Manneken Pis in the Belgian capital Brussels has been on Wednesday dressed in a historical reconstruction of the costume of Duke Yaroslav the Wise of Kievan Rus. The organizer of a traditional action on the occasion of Ukraine's Independence Day in Brussels is the European Association of Ukrainians. A unique costume has been delivered to the City Hall of Brussels by a 10-year-old Ukrainian opera singer Solomiya Lukyanets. Brussels city hall officials said the action to dress the Manneken Pis has became the 871st since the foundation of this tradition in 1698. The organizers expect that by to the end of Wednesday, 24 August, the Manneken Pis wearing the ancient Kyiv costume will be viewed by about 10,000 tourists.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sorochyntsi fair

Sorochyntsi Fair is a large fair held in the village of Velyki Sorochyntsi near Poltava in the Myrhorodskyi district of Ukraine. It was held five times a year during the Russian Empire, then went into a 40-year moratorium during Soviet rule. It is now held annually since its revival after Ukraine gained its independence. Following a Presidential Decree of August 18, 1999 the fair holds the status of Ukraine's national trade fair. If you come to Poltava region at the end of august, you will have a unique opportunity to participate in this famous fair. There you can purchase traditional handicrafts made by skilled craftsmen: embroidery and rugs, famous Ukrainian ceramics created in the village of Opishne, woodcarving, you can watch the fascinating theatrical performance with characters from works by famous Ukrainian writer Mykola Gogol.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

MAKS-2011 International Aviation and Space Show in Russia

Russian first stealth fighters T-50 perform during MAKS-2011, the International Aviation and Space Show, in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, on August 17, 2011. Russian officials said the final version of the jet will not be ready until the end of 2016. India was reported to be interested in up to 200 T-50 fighters for its air force while Russia was planning to order at least 150.

Russia's United Aircraft corp (UAC) has said it is looking to clinch a contract to supply the country's military with ten Antonov An-124 freighters.
"Staring from 2015, we plan to supply the Defense Ministry with ten An-124s as part of the arms procurement program until 2020," UAC chief Mikhail Pogosyan told reporters at the opening of the MAKS-2011 air show outside Moscow.
The An-124, the world's largest military transport plane, is made in Ukraine and Russia and is also used commercially.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A new book published by SMB has been presented to the Poltava Battle Museum

A new book Poltava 1709. Wändpunkten dedicated to the Battle of Poltava and written by Ukrainian historian Valerij Moltusov has been presented to the staff of the Poltava Battle Museum. Valerij är bosat i Poltava där han numera är akademisk lärare i ekonomisk historia. Evgenij Putrja har assisterat Valerij Moltusov i undersökningarna av Pusjkarjovka och bidragit med illustrationer till denna bok.

Forskningsresultaten har i femårig dialog med författaren bearbetats för utgivning i Sverige i samverkan mellan skribenten Einar Lyth och en av våra främsta kännare av Poltavaslaget, Bertil Wennerholm.
On the photo taken soon after the presentation you can see Natalja Bilan, director of the Museum (to the left), and Lyudmila Schendrik, deputy director.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

President Yanukovych wants to reduce armed forces by 8,000

KYIV, August 13, 2011 (UKRINFORM). President Viktor Yanukovych initiates the reduction in 2012 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine by 8,000 people, including - 5,000 of the military, according to the website of the head of state. The president submitted a draft law on the strength of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 2012 for immediate consideration by the Verkhovna Rada. By the end of next year, the president proposes to bring the number of Ukrainian army to the amount of 184,000 people, including - 139,000 of military men, stressing that the task is to be fulfilled within the 2012 budget spending. The instrument specifies the principles for reducing the armed forces, in particular, through the optimization of the structure of military control; eliminating duplication and reducing the levels of control; forming standby military units and mobilization reserves; optimizing the structure and number of combat units - especially those equipped with broken weapons and vehicles, whose recovery is economically impractical. The matter also concerns the dissolution of unpromising arsenals, depots and warehouses that store the excess or unfit for further use missiles, ammunition and propellants, arms and military equipment. The draft law provides for the optimization of the number and strength of units responsible for life and logistical support of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - including through the transition to new forms of organization and implementation of such services (outsourcing). The document aims to bring the military education system in line with modern tasks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including the improvement of training centers for training of junior specialists, introduction of a new system of training and retraining of professional non-commissioned officers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ukraine Judge detains 'disruptive' Yulia Tymoshenko

5 August,2011 (BBC News)
A Ukraine judge has ordered that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko be taken into custody during her trial on charges of abuse of office. Police escorted Ms Tymoshenko out of the courtroom, prompting her supporters to shout "Shame!" and scuffle with police. The judge has accused Ms Tymoshenko of repeated violations of court rules, including impeding proceedings.
Ms Tymoshenko says the charges against her are politically motivated.
She is accused of illegally agreeing a 10-year contract to buy natural gas from Russia, which investigators say meant Ukraine was forced to buy gas at prices that were ruinous for its economy. Until now, Ms Tymoshenko had been required to remain in Kiev but had not been placed in detention. Court proceedings have been adjourned until Monday.
The whole article is available at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Multinational exercise Rapid Trident kicks off in Ukraine

YAVORIV, Ukraine,July 25, 2011 (U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs)

Exercise Rapid Trident 11 kicked off today with an opening ceremony at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center here.
“This Partnership for Peace exercise provides all partner nations the opportunity to enhance your capabilities to conduct multi-national and combined coalition operations,” said Kevin Volk, U.S. co-director of the exercise.
“This exercise will leave an impression in the history of rapid trident exercises because this year we will conduct airborne operations,” said Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav Nazarkin, Ukrainian co-director of the exercise.
Rapid Trident 11 involves approximately 1,600 personnel and will consist of multi-national airborne operations, situational training exercise lanes and a field training exercise. In addition to U.S. Army Europe, the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and Ukraine, participants include: Latvia, Belarus, Moldova, Slovenia, Canada, Poland, Serbia, the UK, Lithuania, Estonia, California and Utah National Guard and U.S. Air Force Europe.
“It is very important that during this exercise we will be visited by leadership of Ukrainian armed forces and force commanders of participating countries,” Nazarkin said.
Rapid Trident is a joint training and exercise program designed to enhance interoperability among Ukraine, the U.S. and Partnership for Peace member nations. This exercise will help prepare participants to operate successfully in a joint, multi-national, integrated environment with host-nation support from civil and government agencies.
“In this safe training environment, I want us to maximize our cultural exchanges and the opportunity to cultivate new friendships,” said Volk.
“We’re here to show them our skills, professionalism and readiness to fulfill tasks in field conditions. I wish every participant high results in the exercise and success in their military career,” Nazarkin said.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Monument to the Battle of the Nations is a monument in Leipzig, Germany, dedicated to the Battle of Leipzig of 1813, also known as the Battle of the Nations. It is one of Leipzig's main landmarks. It was completed in 1913 for the 100th anniversary of the battle.
This battle involved over 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.Casualties on both sides were astoundingly high; estimates range from 80,000 to 110,000 total killed or wounded. Napoleon lost about 38,000 killed and wounded.
During the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler used this monument as a frequent venue for his speeches when in Leipzig. During the period of communist rule in East Germany, the government of the GDR was unsure whether it should allow the monument to stand, since it was considered to represent the staunch nationalism of the period of the German Empire. Eventually, it was decided that the monument should be allowed to remain, since it represented a battle in which Russian and German soldiers had fought together against a common enemy. Since 2010, the monument is under restoration, with work scheduled to be finished by 2013, the year of the two-hundredth anniversary of the battle.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The monument to Prince Jozef Poniatowski in Leipzig

This is another story connected with the Battle of Leipzig that I happened to know while stay in Leipzig.
A modest monument dedicated to Prince Jozef Poniatowski (1763 – 1813) who was a Polish leader, general, minister of war, army chief, and a Marshal of France located in a picturesque park in the central part of Leipzig.
As a reward for his brilliant services, on October 16 during the Battle of Leipzig, Napoleon made Poniatowski a Marshal of France. He heroically defended Leipzig, losing half his corps in the fighting. In the general confusion, the French blew up the bridge before Poniatowski's corps could reach it. Contesting every step with the overwhelming forces of his pursuers, Prince Józef refused to surrender, and covered with wounds plunged into the river. There he died.
The first Monument of Prince Jozef Poniatowski in Leipzig was unveiled in 1834, but in 1939 it was destroyed by Germans who just came to power. In 1970 it was reconstructed by Polish architects. A part of the old monument was integrated into a new one.
On attached pictures you can see the portrait of the Marshal Poniatowski, the first monument, and the modern one.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The monument to the destroyed bridge in Leipzig

Dear readers,
Now I am in Leipzig and decided to show you one interesting monument connected closely with the the Battle of Leipzig or Battle of the Nations, that has taken place on 16–19 October 1813, and was fought by the coalition armies of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Sweden against the French army of Napoleon. This battle involved over 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.
On 18 October, the Allies launched a huge assault from all sides. In over nine hours of fighting, in which both sides suffered heavy casualties, the French troops prevented a breakthrough but were slowly forced back towards Leipzig. The Sixth Coalition had Field Marshal Blücher (Prussian) and Prince Charles John of Sweden to the north, the Generals Barclay De Tolly, Bennigsen (both Russian) and Prince von Hessen-Homburg (Austrian) to the south, and Ignaz Gyulai (Austrian) to the west.

The Prussian 9th brigade occupied the abandoned village of Wachau while the Austrians, with General Bianchi's Hungarians, threw the French out of Lößnig. The Austrians proceeded to give a demonstration of combined arms cooperation as Austrian cavalry attacked French infantry to give Austrian infantry time to arrive and deploy in the attack on Dölitz. The Young Guard Division threw them out. At this point, three Austrian grenadier battalions began to contest for the village with artillery support. In the meantime, at the behest of his Swedish officers, who felt embarrassed that they had not participated in the battle, the Prince gave the order for his light infantry to participate in the final assault on Leipzig itself. The Swedish jägers performed very well, only losing about 121 men in the attack
During the fighting, 5,400 Saxons of Jean Reynier's VII Corps defected to the Allies. Napoleon saw that the battle was a lost cause and on the night of 18–19 October, he began to withdraw the majority of his army across the river Elster. The allies did not learn of the evacuation until 7 a.m, and were then held up by Oudinot's ferocious street-to-street rearguard action in Leipzig. The retreat went smoothly until early afternoon when the general tasked with destroying the only bridge over the Elster delegated the task to a Colonel Montfort. The colonel in turn passed this responsibility on to a corporal, who, unaware of the carefully planned time schedule, ignited the fuses at 1 p.m, when the bridge was still crowded with French troops, and Oudinot's rearguard was still in Leipzig. The explosion and subsequent panic and rout resulted in the deaths of thousands of French troops, and the capture of many thousands more. During that unfortunate event, Poniatowski, the Polish leader, drowned while crossing the river.
On the picture you can see me standing near the monument dedicated to this event. Unfortunately the river Elster is in concrete pipe now, so it is a bit funny to see the monument to the bridge without seeing the river. Nevertheless the city council has already started to reconstruct a former river in its original view. Another attached picture depicts old painting of retreat of Napoleon on 19 October 1813, showing the explosion of the bridge.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Crimea planning to receive six million tourists this year

KYIV, July 18, 2011(UKRINFORM). Crimea peninsula (southern Ukraine) is planning to receive six million tourists in 2011, Crimean Deputy Prime Minister and Resorts and Tourism Minister Heorhiy Psariov said at a press conference in Kyiv on Friday. "We have set the task of resuming all-year recreation. We expect up to six million tourists this year and over 50 percent in revenues from the tourism industry in the Crimean consolidated budget," he said. Psariov said that Crimea had already been visited by 205,000 tourists since the beginning of this year, the record number in recent years.

Ukraine will participate in meeting of CIS Council of Defense Ministers

KYIV, July 5, 2011 (UKRINFORM). A delegation of the Defense Ministry of Ukraine left for Sochi (Russia) for participation in the 60th meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the CIS participating countries, which will be held on July 5-6, the agency's press service informed. The Ukrainian delegation headed by Defense Minister Mykhailo Yezhel will take part in this event with the right of observers. Participants in the meeting will determine the ways for practical realization of the Concept of military cooperation of CIS participating countries till 2015. A special attention will be paid to creation and improvement of joint (united) military systems. In particular, perspective trends will be considered for development of the United Air Defense System of CIS participating countries. Within the frames of the meeting, Mykhailo Yezhel plans to hold a number of bipartite meetings with his counterparts from the CIS countries.
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Putin hints Russia faces "dirty" elections in 2012

01 July 2011 (UNIAN) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Thursday that after the 2012 presidential elections he would immediately take a bath, according to Xinhua. "I shall go and have a wash, in the hygienic sense of the word, but also in the political sense," he told a regional conference of the ruling United Russia party in Yekaterinburg after being asked what he would do immediately after the election. "After all, the campaigns which we will have to go through, we will need to busy ourselves with hygiene," Putin was quoted by local media as saying.
RIA Novosti news agency said the remark was Putin`s cryptic hint on his possible participation in the elections. Under the Russian constitution, Putin, who served two consecutive presidential terms in 2000-2008, will become eligible to run for a new term in March 2012. Both Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev have indicated that one of them, but not both, will run in the election.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ukraine to celebrate Navy Day July 3

KYIV, June 30, 2011 (UKRINFORM). On the Navy Day in Ukraine, which will be celebrated on Sunday, July 3, a parade of ships will be held in Sevastopol. Ukrainian Navy will be represented during the holiday by frigate Hetman Sahaidachny, large landing ship Kostiantyn Olshansky, command ships Slavutych and Donbas, sea minesweeper Chernihiv, medium landing ship Kirovohrad, corvette Ternopil, and others. They will be joined by the ship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. July 3 at 08:45, hoisting of the Navy flag will be held on ships and in military units of the Ukrainian Navy, then - the parade of ships and the traditional delivery of dirks to graduates of the Naval Academy named after Nakhimov. On this day, Sevastopol residents and city guests can visit the Ukrainian Navy ships.

Monday, June 27, 2011

302nd Anniversary of the Battle of Poltava

The main event of this year folk festival dedicated to the 302nd anniversary of the Battle of Poltava is an opening an access for the public to the grave chapel located in the common grave of the Russian warriors killed in the decisive battle of the Great Northern War.

The chapel, named St. Peter and Paul Chapel in honour of the apostles, was consecrated to God on September 3, 1907. In the 1930s a pig-breeding research institute was established near the common graves, and the grave chapel was turned into a storage facility for fuel and chemicals in accordance with decision signed by then director of the institute. This resulted in the destruction of the ventilation system and all of the wall paintings. The walls themselves began to disintegrate because of the dampness and chemical fumes. Although the chapel was repaired several times after WWII, its unique interior has been lost forever. For a period of time the chapel was turned into a simple, somber memorial hall, with a grave stone its only decoration.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A monument to Ukrainian Hetman Pylyp Orlyk has been unveiled in Kyiv.

KYIV, June 24, 2011 (UKRINFORM). A monument to outstanding Hetman Pylyp Orlyk, the author of the first Ukrainian Constitution of 1710, has been unveiled in Kyiv. The unveiling of the monument is the dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the Constitution of Ukraine. The monument consists of a figure of the hetman signing the constitution and a vertical decorative heraldic composition from the elements of weapons, art, and nationhood.
After the Battle of Poltava in 1709, he escaped together with Hetman Ivan Mazepa and king Charles XII of Sweden to Bender in the Principality of Moldavia, where Mazepa soon died. Pylyp Orlyk was then chosen as a Hetman in exile by the cossacks and the Swedish king Charles XII. While in Bender Orlyk wrote one of the first state constitutions in Europe. This Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk was confirmed by Charles XII and it also names him as the protector of Ukraine. Between 1711 and 1714, together with Crimean Tatars and small groups of Cossacks, Orlyk carried out unsuccessful raids into Right-bank Ukraine. Afterwards, Pylyp Orlyk now together with several other cossacks followed the Swedish king Charles XII to Sweden via Vienna and Stralsund. Orlyk with his family and about 40 other Cossacks arrived in Ystad in late November 1715. After some months in Ystad they lived in the city of Kristianstad for some years. Orlyk and his family left Stockholm in 1720 but as late as 1747 his widow and children received financial support from the Parliament of Sweden. From Sweden Orlyk first went to Hamburg, Hannover, Prague, Wrocław and Krakow, where he left his family to stay in a monastery. Orlyk went on to France and in 1722 he arrived in Iaşi in Ottoman Turkey in order to organize an alliance against Russian Empire. From there he went on to Thessaloniki and from the mid 1730s he is known to have lived in Budjak. He died 1742 in Jassy, Principality of Moldavia (today Iaşi, Romania).

Ukraine mourns Great Patriotic War victims

June 22, 2011 (UKRINFORM, Interfax-Ukraine)
Ukraine is holding official events dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Hitler's attack on the USSR and the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. Kyiv, which the Nazis bombed at the dawn on June 22, 1941, commemorated the victims of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Glory Park and the monument to Marshal Ivan Kozhedub. On the eve, President Viktor Yanukovych addressed the veterans and compatriots, stressing that the Ukrainians had paid an incredibly high price, more than ten million lives, for freedom and peace. The Great Patriotic War (Second World War) is not over until the last soldier who was killed at war is buried, and the state will promote such steps, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has said.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The new generation says corruption plagues the nation – poll

June 16, 2011 (UNIAN information agency)

55.4% of Ukrainian youth take the greatest pride in their country and 12% responded in the negative, according to KyivWeekly. In Kazakhstan 68% responded positively and only 9% negatively, a poll by Gorshenin Institute found. The poll was aimed at comparing the systems of values of young students in Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Kazakhstan.

“The poll has found that the main moral reference points for youth are more or less the same, in the four reference countries,” Director of the Human Potential Development Program at the Gorshenin Institute Maryna Tkachenko told Komentary weekly.
50% of students in all four countries responded that problem number one was corruption. They put economic development in second place. Unlike students from other countries, Ukrainian students are concerned about political instability. 44% of Russians are concerned about the level of alcoholism and drug abuse, while the number of Ukrainian respondents that consider this to be a serious problem was two times less. Also, 39.7% of students in Russia are concerned about the threat of terrorism, while in the other countries practically nobody thinks about this problem – in Ukraine – 4%, in Kazakhstan – 3.9% and in Poland – 6%. At the same time, 21% of Ukrainians are worried about the spread of HIV/AIDS, which two-three times higher than people polled in the other countries.
Asked of what was most unexpected in your survey, Maryna Tkachenko said the Poles “were truly amazing.”. While Ukrainians, Russians and Kazakhs associate success with self-realization (77.2%, 66% and 47%, respectively) and a career with material well-being, the majority of Polish students (54%) have chosen love and friendship. And unlike their neighbors, Poles believe independence and freedom are among the elements of success (40%).
The poll indicated that “it was clear that people who were born and raised in a country in which European democratic values and civil rights prevailed are strikingly different from their neighbors.”