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Ukrainians’ Quest for Permanence and Sanctuary

What remains is history or rather, a memory of history for many older Ukrainians. An agrarian country, Ukrainians’ undisputed connection to the land surpassed Tsars and Communist leaders alike. The dacha, originally a shed next to an accompanying plot of land, embodies a necessary “retreat” from the urban Ukrainian landscape.

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Features

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution Suffering a Case of the Blues

Two years after the peaceful protests that shone a spotlight on the falsified presidential elections and eventually ushered in the pro-democratic, pro-Western government of Viktor Yushchenko, Ukrainians are in a political funk. Disappointment and disillusionment with both the revolution’s opponents and the current leadership has soured the once buoyant mood.

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Features

European Union Membership

Amidst the region of the world once behind an Iron Curtain, a race to join Europe’s elite union is heating up, and while Poland may have been one of the first countries to be embraced by the European Union, quickly followed by Bulgaria and Romania, but one country, Ukraine, is turning the heads of European Union leaders since the heady days of the Orange Revolution in 2004.

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Features

The Future of Ukrainian Education

Two world wars drove many to America as did years of Soviet domination, yet, as the history unfolds Ukrainian-Americans remained fiercely committed to their Motherland. These days, Ukrainians on the streets of Chicago and Philadelphia, New York and Detroit are enjoying the early flush of their Motherland’s independence from afar, and raising money for the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy (NUKMA) to educate the next generation of Ukraine’s leaders.

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Features

A Giant Easter Egg Is Just One Attraction Kolomiya Has To Offer

Towering ducks, coffee pots, Paul Bunyan, mini-Stonehenge monuments made of refrigerator doors, bovines and 12-story apples may dot the roadside’s of America, and while the town of Vegreville in Alberta, Canada boasts a 26 foot long and 18 foot wide pysanka Easter egg that spins like a weather vane and was constructed in the 1970s to honor the centennial year of the Mounties, the Ukrainian town of Kolomiya wins the prize for the prize for turning a roadside structure into a museum.

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Features

Towering over the City of Kiev

Nicknamed the Iron Maiden, Brezhnev’s mother, and Mother Motherland, an angry goddess dominates the skies above the Dnieper River in Kiev. Weighing 1,000 tons, 15 times the weight of Lady Liberty, and reaching 68 meters into the sky, conveys the shock and rage of war. Dynamic and fierce, the surprisingly girlish and vaguely eerie face commemorates the Siege of Stalingrad and memorializes the 200 days of the Battle of Stalingrad during the Second World War. Over 1.1 million Soviet soldiers died during the bloody weeks, and more than twice as many Russian civilians perished as well.

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Features

Icons of Mystery; Icons of the Faithful

During the summers when wheat does not grow and at times when hope drains away from the soul, Ukrainians turn to faith. From farmhouse to farmhouse, men and women once worshipped wooden icons, ones they believed were endowed with a mysterious power to link the soul of a mortal with God. Peasant icons were mostly conspicuously displayed placed prominently on a table or in a wooden cabinet draped with embroidery.

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Features

A city for ‘walkers’, Kiev traces centuries of history on one street

Walking through Kiev’s repository of history and travelers will find vendors selling old Lenin busts, Wehrmacht medals from World War II and banners proclaiming communism’s glory. Andrew’s Ascent or Andriyivky Uzviz is Kyiv’s most popular street with tourists and locals alike. Named after the Baroque St. Andrew’s Church, this street has earned its reputation of being Kiev’s Montemarte.

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