Friday, November 30, 2018

Today is the 300th anniversary of the death of King Charles XII of Sweden

November 30, 2018 (Poltava) Today I was very pleased to present my paper dedicated to the death of the King in the frame of historical seminar, commemorating 300 years since the death of Charles XII of Sweden, whose extraordinary story inspired many poets, writers, artists, and of course historians. 

Many students from Historical Department of Poltava Pedagogical University attended a seminar to learn new things about the Swedish king, whose life was surrounding with. I told them a few stories about fortress of Fredriksten, two Norvegian campaigns of 1716 and 1718 including a story about Galärvägen from Strömstad to Hällesmörk.
Besides I told them stories about seven monuments erected at different years in the fortress of Fredriksten on the assumed places where Charles XII was killed, and about three openings of King’s sarcophagus at Riddarholmskyrkan in 1746, 1859, and 1917. 
I was very glad to know that a big group of SMB delegates has visited Halden and Fredriksten to commemorate Charles XII at the site of his last battle. Hope to see a video captured there by the SMB delegates.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Ukraine's Navy placed on alert

November 26, 2018 (UNIAN) The entire Ukrainian Navy has been placed on alert. "All the units of Ukraine's Navy have been placed on alert. All the ships and other vessels are heading to the sea," the Ukrainian military news portal said Twitter on Sunday evening. As UNIAN reported earlier, Russian coast guard ships opened fire on a group of vessels of the Ukrainian Navy – two small-sized 'Berdiansk' and 'Nikopol' armored artillery boats and the 'Yany Kapu' tugboat – as they were leaving the Kerch Strait on Sunday evening. Prior to that, on Sunday morning, the 'Yany Kapu' (Yani Qapi) tugboat of Ukraine's Navy was rammed by a Russian coast guard ship while the Ukrainian vessels were carrying out a planned transfer from the port of Odesa to the port of Mariupol in the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian side said notification about the transfer plans had been done in advance in accordance with international rules to ensure safe navigation. Russia, in turn, claims that the Ukrainian vessels "illegally" entered the temporarily closed water area of the territorial sea of the Russian Federation. The FSB alleges that the Ukrainian side did not file an application for passage and its boats were not included in the timetable for navigation through the Kerch Strait. Read alsoNumber of Ukrainian navy men wounded by Russians in Kerch Strait incident grows to six The Ukrainian Navy's command insists that under Articles 17 and 38 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and Article 2 of the Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, Ukrainian warships enjoy freedom of navigation, and therefore can pass through the Kerch Strait at any time, subject only to navigation safety regulations. Later, it became known that a Russian special ops unit had seized all the three Ukrainian boats when they were leaving the Kerch Strait. Six members of Ukraine's Navy were wounded, two of them were in serious condition.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Russia blocks Ukrainian navy from entering Sea of Azov

November 25, 2018 MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia stopped three Ukrainian navy vessels from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait on Sunday by placing a huge cargo ship beneath a Russian-controlled bridge, with officials from both countries accusing the other of provocative behavior. A bilateral treaty gives both countries the right to use the sea, which lies between them and is linked by the narrow Kerch Strait to the Black Sea. But tensions around the sea have escalated since Russia annexed Ukraine’s nearby Crimea in 2014. Moscow is able to control access between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea after it built a bridge that straddles the Kerch Strait between Crimea and southern Russia. A Reuters witness said on Sunday that a bulk cargo ship had been used to block the channel beneath the bridge and that he had seen two Russian Sukhoi Su-25 warplanes flying overhead. Russian state TV said Russian combat helicopters had also been deployed to the area.
Tensions surfaced on Sunday after Russia tried to intercept the three Ukrainian ships — two small armored artillery vessels and a tug boat — in the Black Sea, accusing them of illegally entering Russian territorial waters. The Ukrainian navy said a Russian border guard vessel had rammed the tug boat, damaging it in an incident it said showed Russia was behaving aggressively and illegally.

Russian jet fighters fly over a bridge connecting the Russian mainland with the Crimean Peninsula with a cargo ship beneath it after three Ukrainian navy vessels was stopped by Russia from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait in the Black Sea, Crimea November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Pavlishak Alexey

It said its vessels had every right to be where they were and that the ships had been en route from the Black Sea port of Odessa to Mariupol, a journey that requires them to go through the Kerch Strait. Russia’s border guard service accused Ukraine of not informing it in advance of the journey, something Kiev denied, and said the Ukrainian ships had been maneuvering dangerously and ignoring its instructions with the aim of stirring up tensions. It pledged to end to what it described as Ukraine’s “provocative actions”, while Russian politicians lined up to denounce Kiev, saying the incident looked like a calculated attempt by President Petro Poroshenko to increase his popularity ahead of an election next year. Ukraine’s foreign ministry said in a statement it wanted a clear response to the incident from the international community.
“Russia’s provocative actions in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov have crossed the line and become aggressive,” it said. “Russian ships have violated our freedom of maritime navigation and unlawfully used force against Ukrainian naval ships.”
Both countries have accused each other of harassing each other’s shipping in Sea of Azov in the past and the U.S. State Department in August said Russia’s actions looked designed to destabilize Ukraine, which has two major industrial ports there.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Danish furniture chain JYSK has reached Poltava at last

November 22, 2018 Danish furniture chain JYSK has finally reached Poltava. Previously, only Northern Europe had access to its products, but now the company is physically present in 44 countries worldwide including Ukraine. A new JYSK shop has been opened recently in Poltava biggest shopping center “Kyiv”. I decided do not wait until Black Friday is officially launched and visited JYSK today.

I hardly could boast about picking up a good bargain, but nevertheless I’ve got a nice hand towel and a winter slippers. As it comes to the level of service, I was very pleased to feel myself like in IKEA or Clas Ohlson shops which I visited for the first time on 1998. Another good news is JYSK's web shop is now available in Ukraine too. Scandinavia and Ukraine is getting closer to each other!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Swedish Ambassador advises Ukrainian companies in European market to pay more attention to environment protection, human rights

November 21, 2018 (Interfax-Ukraine) Ukrainian companies operating in the European market will be able to reach greater heights if they pay more attention to environmental issues and human rights, Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Hagstrom believes.

"For most companies from Sweden and the EU, it is important to cooperate with partners who respect human rights, who pay attention to environment protection. This is what you must take into account and then you can reach great heights in cooperation with partners and in exports, because for many companies their consumers are very important," Hagstrom said at the conference "Women in Business. Entrepreneurship for a Sustainable Future" in Kyiv.
He also noted that an insufficient number of women are involved in business.
"Now in the world there is a growing understanding of the fact that it is very important to attract the entire population but not only half of it to business," the ambassador said.