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According to an official version the stamp was on sale for only a few minutes and then was withdrawn.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At the time the Battle of Poltava stamp was withdrawn, another stamp dedicated to the visit of Nikita Khrushchev to the Kingdom of Sweden was under design but was never completed because the state visit was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.
Read more on UNIAN:



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Government will put Ukraine on weapons export list: Trudeau

September 23, 2017 (Theglobeandmail) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadian government will place Ukraine on a list of countries to which it will permit certain weapons exports. Trudeau made the comments after a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Toronto on Friday. Trudeau says the government has begun to move forward with the lengthy process that would see Ukraine added to the Automatic Firearms Country Control List.
Placing Ukraine on the list would allow exporters of certain prohibited firearms, such as automatic weapons, to submit permit applications to the government for the export of the weapons to the country. There are currently 39 countries on the list. Former prime minister Stephen Harper's government began consultations on placing Ukraine on the list in 2015, but the process has not moved forward since the Conservative defeat in 2016. The move comes as both leaders continue to denounce Russian-backed fighters who are involved in a conflict in eastern-Ukraine.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko shake hands after holding a press conference in Toronto, on Sept. 22, 2017.
Trudeau said Canada continues to stand with Ukraine against the "illegal, illegitimate incursion of Russia into Ukrainian territory." "Absolutely," Trudeau said when asked if Ukraine would be added to the list. "(It's) something we're moving forward on. There's a process and a series of criteria that have to be reached but it is something we're working on."
Trudeau said Canada has also sent both police and military personnel to Ukraine to train local officers and soldiers. Poroshenko thanked the Canadian government for that assistance. "It has significantly reduced the casualties for the soldiers who pass through this training," Poroshenko said. "(It) significantly improves the co-ordination and tactics we learn. This is a win, win, win, co-operation because our Canadian partners also learn from us the unique experience from the Russian hybrid warfare."
The full article is available at:
https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/government-will-put-ukraine-on-weapons-export-list-trudeau/article36374792/?ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theglobeandmail.com&

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Visit of the SMB delegation to Poltava

The delegation of the Swedish Association of the military history (SMB) visited Poltava on September 13-17. During three-day-long stay in Poltava the delegates visited many sights of the Poltava Battle field, had a meeting with the staff of the Poltava Battle Museum, visited a place where the King Charles XII was wounded on the eve of the Battle of Poltava and planted two oak-trees together with local inhabitants near the monument to fallen Swedish warriors erected by their compatriots near the village Pobyvanka.
The SMB delegation near the redoubt reconstructed in 1909 on the eve of the celebration of 200th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava
The SMB delegation near the redoubt reconstructed in 2009 on the eve of the celebration of 300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava
Poltava military reconstructor Mikhail Mellin (far left) shooting a gun salute to the Swedish guests
Swedes and Ukrainians near the Monument to the fallen soldiers of the King Charles XII
The oak-tree planted by Swedes and Ukrainians near the Monument








Monday, August 21, 2017

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis to Visit Ukraine Amid Russian Resurgence

August 21, 2017 (Military.com) Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is set to travel to Ukraine, becoming the first U.S. defense secretary to visit the country since Robert Gates, the Pentagon announced Friday. Mattis will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak on Aug. 24, Ukraine's independence day. "During these engagements, the secretary will reassure our Ukrainian partners that the U.S. remains firmly committed to the goal of restoring Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as strengthening the strategic defense partnership between our two countries," the Defense Department said.
Mattis' trip comes as the United States is mulling giving Ukraine lethal weapons after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its ongoing incursion into Ukraine's eastern border regions. The U.S. has given Ukraine's military non-lethal supplies, including night-vision goggles, uniforms and surveillance equipment such as Raven RQ-11BAnalog mini-drones. But U.S. officials worry -- with seemingly endless breakouts of hostilities between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine's national guard -- that the conflict will prolong without expanded support. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, an avid supporter of arming Ukraine since then-President Barack Obama cautioned against lethal weapons, has raised the issue repeatedly with defense officials.
During Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's confirmation hearing in June, McCain was unhappy with the incoming deputy's answers about providing arms to Ukraine. "It's still disturbing to me after all these years that you would say that you have to look at the issue," the senator said. "Have you not been aware of the issue? Have you not been aware of the actions of the Senate Armed Services Committee? Have you not been aware of the thousands of people that have been killed by Vladimir Putin? Have you missed all that in your duties at one of the major defense corporations in this country?" Mattis will also travel to Turkey and Jordan next week, meeting with his counterparts to discuss the ongoing air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.