Monday, October 30, 2017

Dirty political games around Poltava Battle Museum

October 29, 2017 It is impossible to deny an assertion about close connection between political life in Ukraine and ongoing war in the Eastern Ukraine. An aggressive policy of our eastern neighbor provokes an adequate counteraction in the field of culture and social life. What is at issue is reducing of impact of Russian Federation and its state institutions on Ukraine. It is easy to understand a natural wish of Ukrainian authorities to force some mass media to use Ukrainian language instead of Russian one. But unfortunately sometimes such a struggle for the dominance of all Ukrainian over all Russian can take, to put it mildly, a very strange form. I am talking about constant political pressure on Poltava Battle Museum brought by those who would like to turn the museum dedicated to the decisive battle of the Great Northern war into Museum of Ukrainian Cossacks. One of those who assail Poltava Battle Museum is Taras Chukhlib, famous Ukrainian historian, doctor of historical sciences, senior researcher at the Institute of History of Ukraine National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. He demands in mass media of removing all exhibits dedicated to Peter I including the monument near the entrance from the museum. Unfortunately even such a highly educated scientist can’t understand that the museum dedicated to the battle between Swedish and Russian armies must represent (by means of exhibits) both enemies.
On my understanding, if Ukraine had been a rich state, it would be possible to order the monument to Charles XII in the same size and stile to be placed near the monument to Peter I. It would be great also to order another copy of Charles XII’s bust, because as you know this masterpiece created by Bernhard Englund has turned out to be in another museum in Poltava.
Finally I would like to thank Svenskt Militärhistoriskt Bibliotek for their important contribution to increasing a number of "Swedish exhibits" in the museum’s collection. This year Poltava Battle museum got a unique copy of the old Swedish gun, a few documents dated after early 18th century and two sets of tin soldiers created by Christer Pettersson, who visited Poltava in April 2017.
On the pictures below you may look at some “Swedish exhibits” in the museum. Thanks to SMB once again for such an important contribution!
Swedish replica of the Swedish cannon in the hall dedicated to the fortress of Poltava

Tin soldiers created by Christer Pettersson in the hall dedicated to the outbreak of the Great Northern war

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Unique Postage Stamp Dedicated to the Battle of Poltava and Its History

This postage stamp (face value 40 kopecks), dedicated to the “250th Anniversary of the Battle of Poltava of 1709,” was issued by the USSR in 1959 during the rule of Nikita Khrushchev. The stamp is considered to be one of the ten most rare and valuable stamps ever issued by the Soviet state. Although the entire run of the stamp was printed, it was never put into circulation due to the political situation at the time. After the renewal of the relationships between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which included a state visit to the Soviet Union by the Swedish Prime Minister Tage Erlander in 1956, Nikita Krushchev had planned a return visit to Sweden in 1959.
The postage stamp depicts Swedish prisoners of war, led by Prime Minister Carl Piper and top commanders, dipping the Swedish battle standards in front of Russian Tsar Peter I. The decision to destroy the entire circulation of the stamp was made in order to avoid focusing attention on Sweden’s defeat at the Battle of Poltava.  However, the  decision did not prevent the stamp’s appearance in the collections of private philatelists. In fact, the story of this stamp is not unique. Stamps issued by the Soviet postal service but never distributed, and therefore considered very rare today, have found their way into private collections on several occasions. 
According to an official version the stamp was on sale for only a few minutes and then was withdrawn. Only
one sheet (40 stamps) avoided destruction, which explains the magical appearance of some “living” copies of the stamp. The current value of one of these stamps is about $10,000 to 20,000. One stamp was sold by Cherrystone, a global leader in philatelic auctions, on June 28th 2012 for $15.000.
At the time the Battle of Poltava stamp was withdrawn, another stamp dedicated to the visit of Nikita Khrushchev to the Kingdom of Sweden was under design but was never completed because the state visit was cancelled. Instead of visiting the Scandinavian countries the Soviet leader set out to the USA after receiving an invitation from President Dwight D. Eisenhower
As a result another stamp  with the title “The Visit of Nikita Khrushchev to the USA on September 15th 1959” saw the light of the day.

Ukraine was represented at “Bokmässan” International Book Fair in Gothenborg

October 2, 2017 (Embassy of Ukraine in the Kingdom of Sweden) On 29 September - 1 October 2017, annual “Bokmässan” International Book Fair took place in Gothenborg. Ukraine was represented at the art stand "Ukraine" (organized with the assistance of the community organization of Ukrainians in Sweden "Ukrainian Alliance of Sweden" (chairwoman - Tetyana Rep) with the participation of representatives of other community organizations of Ukrainians in Sweden - members of the "Ukrainian Alliance of Sweden", in particular, "Ukrainian Cossacks" (chairman - Alexander Erikson) and "Ukrainian Women's Association in Sweden" (chairwoman – Zoryana Kiktsö). Books of Oleksandr Prytula, founder of “Spas” All-Ukrainian organization of Ukrainian Cossack fight, were presented at the art stand.
Ukrainian Institute in Sweden (director - Natalya Pasichnyk) organized participation of Ukraine in the stand of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture), where prominent Ukrainian writer, poet and translator Yuri Andrukhovych took part in the grand seminar “New Dimensions of Freedom” and discussion club “Cafe Europe”. Key outlines of the current developments in Ukrainian literature within the framework of comprehensive democratization processes in Ukraine and restoration of Ukraine’s national identity were presented to the Swedish and international audience.
H.E.Ambassador of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Sweden Mr.Ihor Sagach took part in the events. 
Visitors and guests of the annual  “Bokmässan” International Book Fair in Gothenborg were highly interested in the presence of Ukraine in the event.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

One more evidence that Ukraine is rich in talents

Yaroslav Dzhus is a Ukrainian musician-bandurist (bandura is a Ukrainian string folk instrument), composer, music arranger, DJ, winner of a number of international and national Ukrainian competitions. 

He is a member of National Union of Kobzars of Ukraine (kobzar is a Ukrainian bard who sing to his own accompaniment played on a bandura).
See and listen to worldwide hits  performed by Yaroslav Dzhus at

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Swedish military chief visits ATO zone in Donbas

October 2, 2017 (UNIAN) Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Armed Forces Gen. Micael Bydén on Monday paid a visit to the zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in eastern Ukraine, accompanied by his Ukrainian counterpart Gen. Viktor Muzhenko, according to the ATO HQ press center.
 "During the official visit to Ukraine of the military delegation of the Kingdom of Sweden and its trip to the ATO zone, the parties discussed the issues of the intensification of the military-political dialogue and clarified prospective directions and effective forms of military cooperation between the armed forces of Ukraine and Sweden," the press center wrote on Facebook. While familiarizing the Swedish delegation with the security situation in the war zone, Muzhenko drew the attention of his Swedish counterpart to the critical state of civilian infrastructure affected by the attacks of Russian-terrorist forces.

The Chief of Ukraine’s General Staff informed Gen. Bydén that the hikes in ceasefire violations by Russian proxies traditionally coincide with the rounds of peace talks in Minsk, which indicates Russia’s continued pressure on the negotiation process.

"The sides also exchanged experience on the issues of reforming and developing the armed forces of both states and strengthening friendly partner relations between Ukraine and Sweden," the press center wrote.
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