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What's happening? Ukraine 12/7/2013

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  #1016 (permalink)  
Old 25th September 2017, 22:16
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Ukraine's star rockband leader Vakarchuk to join Stanford as visiting scholar this fall Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) is pleased to welcome Sviatoslav Vakarchuk as a visiting scholar for the fall quarter, the organization wrote in a statement on its website.

https://images.unian.net/photos/2017...48834-7671.jpg

Vakarchuk is a Ukrainian civic activist, musician and the lead vocalist and founder of the band “Okean Elzy.“ He will be in residence at CDDRL this fall to attend courses and study with some of the leading intellectuals and academics at CDDRL. He holds a doctorate degree in theoretical physics from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

Vakarchuk is also the founder of a charity fund called “Lyudi Maybutnyogo” (People of the Future) and co-founder of the Center for Economic Strategy, an independent policy think tank dedicated to supporting reforms and sustainable economic growth in Ukraine. He served as a Yale World Fellow in 2015.

Vakarchuk will be interacting with the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program during his residency at CDDRL. Launched in 2016, the Program seeks to provide Ukrainian leaders with opportunities for professional growth and development, as well as the chance to work on a project over the course of a 10-month residency at Stanford.

“We look forward to welcoming Slava Vakarchuk to the CDDRL community this fall,” said Francis Fukuyama the Mosbacher director of CDDRL. “His presence will add a great deal towards our understanding of Ukraine's democratic transition.”

During his stay in the U.S., Vakarchuk will be offering a set of open lectures on Ukraine and participating in several events at CDDRL. More information on these public events will be forthcoming.

https://www.unian.info/society/21518...this-fall.html
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Old 4th December 2017, 08:37
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GoCamp looking for volunteers to teach English to Ukrainian kids
EUOMAIDAN PRESS Olena Makarenko 2017/11/29 - 22:49

http://euromaidanpress.com/wp-conten...a6e235ce_z.jpg

Volunteers teaching English for Ukrainian kids are wanted. In a few days the initiative GoCamp will announce its third call for foreign participants. The program, called GoCamp, was launched by the Global Office NGO in the summer of 2016. During the last 2 years, 487 volunteers, 69600 kids and 750 teachers took part in it. The English camps were organized in 382 towns in all oblasts of Ukraine. Also the volunteers worked in the near the frontline Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Euromaidan Press talked to one of the volunteers who told us what the camp is about.

Sarah Jennings is a 52-year-old volunteer from California. She was interested to see the situation in Ukraine for herself, which is why she joined GoCamp initiative. As a destination she chose eastern Ukraine. She volunteered in the towns Chervoniy Donets and Pokrovsk in Donetsk Oblast: “I had been watching Ukraine since Maidan. And here in San Diego we have a large Ukrainian population. I saw that there are problems and people needed help getting aid into the east.”

In her career, Sarah worked in accounting, quality control, and investigation. Also she has a big experience in training people, including first aid training courses.

Unlike many other foreigners, the woman was not concerned whether going to the front line regions is dangerous. Starting from 2008, she spent three and a half years in conflict zones – in Iraq and Afghanistan: “My job was to take care of the soldiers and while I was there a part of my job was to take care of the Afghans. We had over 10,000 Afghan employees.”

In Afghanistan, Sarah worked at places which were attacked with rockets almost every day, some of her employees were killed. Coming to Ukraine, she had no expectations, but her family and friends did:

“When you go to places that people think are dangerous, you can tell people the truth about it. A lot of my friends and family were afraid for me to go to Ukraine, because everything in our news was about eastern Ukraine and the fighting. But I was not afraid and if there is fighting I would deal with it.”

Instead, the women saw that people are trying get their lives back to normal:

“Not every day is about being afraid. There are people going to work, children going to school. It was very encouraging coming home and saying that people in Ukraine are fine. The children are so excited for all these people coming from different places to talk to them,” says Sarah and adds that there were even some things which surprised her:

“I found that even folks who missed Russia didn’t hate me for being American. I found that everywhere where I’ve gone, where I might be a little worried how people may treat Americans, people were really great.”

Being a volunteer in small cities made Sarah feel like a celebrity: “30 thousand people knew you were coming because you were in a newspaper before you even get there. And everyone is looking for the American who is coming to visit.”

Sarah was the only GoCamp volunteer in towns she worked, but in her activities she was always assisted with local English teachers. She stayed in their families. Her responsibility was to work in a team with the teachers. The camps were located in schools. The women also set a task for herself – to break stereotypes about teaching:

“I think the biggest thing I brought to both camps is being spontaneous. From the teachers I talked to, I understood that when they taught in the past, every pupil’s paper had to look the same. All the answers and pictures had to be the same. I was happy to say: this is summer school, this is fun. It is not about being perfect, it’s about wanting to try.”

She also showed that everything around can become a lesson. For example, they found a big bug. Sarah picked it up, took it to the class and suggested to turn it into a lesson: “I wrote questions on the board: What kind of bug is this? Where do they live? What do they eat? What countries do they come from? Let’s build a little terrarium and keep it as a pet. How are we gonna name it?”

The volunteer together with local teachers created a lesson where kids should have been detectives, creating their own magic story and acting it out, pretending that they are going to a grocery store. Once she even organized a day when everyone should have come in clothes which don’t match: “All the kids brought their clothes in bags, but I was the only one who came in these clothes from home, like an idiot. But I had to be the idiot because I was a volunteer.”

Sarah is still friends with teachers with whom she worked with and says that majority of them were open to change their attitude to teaching. And she sees one of the main contributions of the volunteers from different countries coming to Ukraine as showing the teachers that being spontaneous is fine.

In terms of English, Sarah recommends to teachers and volunteers just to find any opportunities to make kids speak the language: “One of the things that I found frustrating that kids learn about present, past or simple tense, they know how to do tests, but they don’t know how to talk the way that we do in English.”

Sarah used to pay special attention to the kids who seemed alone and for whom it was difficult to join the group:

“Part of what I am doing in activity is to actually trying make those children integrate better into the group. So I don’t allow the groups that are together all the time to sit together in a class. I put everybody in mixed groups. I put the kids who know English very well and I pair them up with the kids who don’t know English that well. And I would like to see the kids who know English well to become junior leaders in GoGlobal in the future. I think it would be great for schools that don’t get volunteers.”

Troubles did happen to Sarah in Ukraine. She broke her feet. Ironically, it happened when she came from eastern Ukraine to Kyiv for an event. The incident took place when she was doing rope jumping. So she had to interrupt her volunteering mission and to come back home.

The women hope that she will have an opportunity to join the GoCamp initiative next year. Now she recommends it to her friends and even persuaded her daughters to come. The only condition she gave them is that they should earn the money for tickets to Ukraine by themselves.

“Volunteering creates a lot of opportunities. When you go to a job you are not always yourself, you have your work personality. And the nice thing about being a volunteer is that you can be yourself and being around the kids and you can laugh and you can play. And that was nice to be around the kids and I did not need to be super responsible one,” says Sarah.

She also assumes that the main benefit for the kids from the program is an opportunity to meet real people from countries that they only read about or saw on TV:

“I think it’s also good for them to realize that not every country is as good as it sounds. We don’t have the war, but we still have the same problems. To show them that just like in your country if you work hard and you try hard and you don’t give up just because something is hard you can become part of the whole solution to make it better. It was really fun because we don’t talk to the kids about politics. And it’s the kids that were asking me questions. The biggest thing one could bring to them is the message: always keep trying, it’s never perfect, but it becomes better.”

According to Sarah, the drawback of volunteering in Ukraine might be becoming 20 pounds heavier because every family you meet is trying to feed you.

The women also sees a need to show volunteers from other countries that Ukraine is safe, not like it used to be presented in the news: “It’s important to show how beautiful it is. I love Odesa. People here do not know that you can actually take a ferry from Ukraine and to go to Turkey. So much about your country that we don’t know and people should know.”

APPLY NOW “I think it’s also good for them to realize that not every country is as good as it sounds. We don’t have the war, but we still have the same problems. To show them that just like in your country if you work hard and you try hard and you don’t give up just because something is hard you can become part of the whole solution to make it better. It was really fun because we don’t talk to the kids about politics. And it’s the kids that were asking me questions. The biggest thing one could bring to them is the message: always keep trying, it’s never perfect, but it becomes better.”

According to Sarah, the drawback of volunteering in Ukraine might be becoming 20 pounds heavier because every family you meet is trying to feed you.

The women also sees a need to show volunteers from other countries that Ukraine is safe, not like it used to be presented in the news: “It’s important to show how beautiful it is. I love Odesa. People here do not know that you can actually take a ferry from Ukraine and to go to Turkey. So much about your country that we don’t know and people should know.”

APPLY NOW https://gocamps.com.ua/en/volunteer/create
=================================================
GoCamp looking for volunteers to teach English to Ukrainian kids -Euromaidan Press |
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Old 6th January 2018, 07:36
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Ukrainian Roman Catholics celebrate Christmas as an official holiday for the first time ever
EUROMAIDAN PRESS UATV 2017/12/27 - 00:27

https://youtu.be/o756Vskh-mI

On 25 December, Christians around the world celebrated Christmas.
Most of Ukrainians mark Christmas on 7 January, because all Christian Orthodox Churches popular in Ukrainian and even the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are using the archaic Julian calendar, which is 14 days late and its 25 December falls on 7 January by the world’s most common Gregorian calendar. However, 25 December has officially become a state holiday in Ukraine, making it a country having two official Christmases. Ukrainian Roman Catholics have celebrated Christmas on 25 December as an official Ukrainian holiday for the first time ever.

For the most faithful, on this day, going to mass or other church services is essential. UATV visited one such service – at St. Alexander Cathedral here in Kyiv.

For Catholics, Christmas morning started with prayer and repentance. Unlike most Ukrainians, Mariia Lozova is Greek Catholic. Her family has a tradition of celebrating Christmas twice a year.

Mariia Lozova, parishioner:

I celebrate Christmas on the 25th, mostly symbolically, with the entire Catholic world, and with Christian churches, more spiritually. And on the 7th we break the fast because the body must receive pleasure too. I prepare kutia and 12 dishes, as I was taught by my grandmother and great-grandmother.

The service in this church has not yet started. But the children are already preparing for their Christmas presentation of the nativity scene. Mariia is playing one of the sheep present at the birth of Christ.

Mariia Dziuba, parishioner:

This means that today is really a holiday and it blesses all people. We silently say “take it away” and then “baaaaa.”

In the Holy Scripture, it’s said that Jesus Christ was born in a barn, sheltered from the weather, and attended by shepherds. Angels and Magi came to worship the baby. This scene is recreated in millions of churches and homes around the world.

Valeriia and Vladyslav Zhanovski:

There’s the star which helped the shepherds and kings to find the road to Bethlehem to see Jesus.

Also it symbolizes the Birth of Jesus, and the people around him are Joseph and Mary, his parents.

This Christmas service is more solemn than the other ones.

Father Vitalii, pastor of Saint Alexander Roman Catholic Parish:

During working days, people only came to the service in the evening, and on the morning of the 25th, they had to go to work. But today the church is full of people. This gave us the ability to celebrate the holiday at home with one’s family or to go to church.
Ukrainian Roman Catholics celebrate Christmas as an official holiday for the first time ever -Euromaidan Press |
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Old 18th January 2018, 08:16
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Photo exhibit on Donbas war kicks off at NATO HQ
An acclaimed Ukrainian volunteer and activist Dmytro Muravsky on Tuesday opened the "Face of Peace" photo exhibit at NATO Headquarters, which drew much attention on the part of the representatives of the Alliance. The event also featured a presentation of Muravsky's book titled "War it is! Through volunteer's eyes", published in English.
UNIAN 16 January 2018

Opening the exhibition, Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, Ambassador Tacan Ildem, suggested that photographs give “a sense of what war situations create”.

He says that besides the traumatic environment, viewers can also see “hope for the future” in the eyes of those depicted in the pictures.

Pictures “reflect the hardships and difficulties at the moment in Ukraine after the illegal, illegitimate annexation of Crimea but also the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine,” the NATO official said.

He underlined that “this is important for all of us to stick to our principles, and first and foremost it respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries.”

In a comment to UNIAN, Muravsky said he is convinced that "we are doing what we have to do".

"I'm sure we will achieve the necessary result, which would be a deeper understanding of what's going on in [Ukraine’s] east. If decision-makers and those who influence decision-making take a deeper and more focused look at the photos, read the book, I believe their position on what is happening will be more objective. And this is what we want, for them to look at the situation a little more through our perspective, through the perspective of those people who are there, those guys sitting in trenches, to realize that we’re doing it for Europe, not just ourselves. We must stop the horde approaching from the east. This is Ukraine’s mission," he said.

Head of Ukraine’s Mission to NATO, Ambassador Vadym Prystaiko, in his comment to UNIAN stressed that after the three years of war in eastern Ukraine, "people are losing the sense of acuteness of a problem that such a conflict is taking place in Europe."

"This exhibition is what we need,” said Prystaiko, adding that it shows people in a wild environment.

“If we are now able to show that here is a Crimean Tatar man, and here is an ethnic Hungarian, someone returning after a 24-hour battle, defending Ukraine's independence, this is something we, as an embassy, could not have done. But this is what our artist is doing,” he said.

"This makes a serious impression on people," said the Ukrainian diplomat.

https://images.unian.net/photos/2018...3000-4444.jpeg

UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/society/23491...t-nato-hq.html
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Old 23rd January 2018, 10:26
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Ukraine marks the 100th anniversary of independence of Ukrainian People’s Republic
EUROMAIDAN PRESS Olena Makarenko 2018/01/22 - 21:00

http://i1.wp.com/euromaidanpress.com...05_n.jpg?w=960
Kyiv, 22 January, 2018, people gathered at Paton's bridge in Kyiv to mark the Act of Unity. Photo: @backandalive

On January 22, Ukraine marks two significant historical dates. On this day in 1918, the Ukrainian People’s Republic proclaimed its independence by adopting the IV Universal of the Ukrainian Central Rada (parliament). A year later in Kyiv, the Act of Unity between the Ukraine’s People’s Republic and Western Ukrainian People’s Republic, two state entities which formed during Ukraine’s struggles to form its own states out of the shambles of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires, was declared.

Today, people in Kyiv traditionally gathered at Paton’s bridge. The activists connected the right and left banks of the Dnipro river, remembering the human chain linking Kyiv and Lviv in 1990. That time around three million people in Ukraine took each others hands to connect the two cities. Remarkably, it was during the time when Ukraine still was a part of the Soviet Union.

Today people held a 30-meter-long flag of Ukraine, with two columns moving towards each other from the opposite sides. One column carried the blue cloth and another – the yellow one. The columns met each other on the bridge. Afterwards, they sang Ukrainian hymn and commemorated those who died during the Euromaidan Revolution and in de-facto war in eastern Ukraine.

To understand what the Act means for Ukrainians, one needs to recall the historical context in which it was signed. Then, Ukraine was in even worse conditions than now: it experienced aggression not only from the side of Russia, but also from its western neighbors.

West Ukrainian People’s Republic
On the eve of the World War One, a large part of the territories of modern Ukraine, in particular eastern Galicia, Bukovyna and Transcarpathia, were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In October 1918, the Empire ceased existing because of the defeat of Austro-German bloc in the War and because of the struggle of nations that were part of it for their independence.

Western Ukrainians also started creating the own state. In the end of 1918, a military commissariat was established in Lviv to plan a military uprising against the Austrian government. On 18 October 1918, in Lviv at the meeting of all Ukrainian deputies of Austrian Parliament, Ukrainian members of Galicia and Bukovyna Seims, representatives of the parties of Galicia and Bukovyna, clergy and students created the Ukrainian National Rada (a Council) which became a political representative body of Ukrainian people in Austro-Hungarian Empire. In October 19, according to the right of people to self-determination, the Rada claimed the creation of a Ukrainian state on all ethnic territories of Galicia, Bukovyna and Transcarpathia. On this meeting Yevhen Petrushevych was appointed as the President, and the decision to create a democratic constitution was made. The Rada also raised the question on giving all the power to Ukrainians, however, the Austrian side rejected it.

Then, on the evening meeting of 31 October 1918, a decision to seize power in Lviv in a military way was made. Rifle regiments captured the buildings of important state institutions. A temporary body of executive power was created, and the law on “The basic temporary law on state independence of Ukrainian lands of ex Austro-Hungarian Empire” was approved. According to this law, the new state was called Western Ukrainian Peoples Republic (ZUNR), which included Ukrainian ethnic lands and covered Galicia, Bukovyna and Transcarpathia. The population of the state was 6 million people. National symbols also were approved and the main law later was complemented by the number of laws directed on political and economical aspect of life of the new republic.

As a result of active foreign policy, embassies were opened in Austria, Hungary and Germany and diplomatic representations were opened in Czechoslovakia, Canada, USA, Brazil, Italy and others.

However, the movement of the new republic towards independence was interrupted.

The Poles initiated hostilities against the Ukrainian government. Simultaneously, Romanian troops crossed the border of ZUNR. As a result, despite the local population’s resistance, Romanians captured the city Chernivtsi and later all South Bukovyna. After bloody battles, Polish troops captured Lviv. Ukrainian Government moved to Ternopil, and later to Ivano-Frankivsk (then, the city was called Stanislav). A new government headed by Sydir Golubovich was formed.

Ukrainian People’s Republic
http://i2.wp.com/euromaidanpress.com...-20.jpg?w=1331

Ukrainian Peoples Republic (UNR) is the name of the Ukrainian state during 1917-20 years.It was declared by the Third Universal of Ukrainian Central Rada (council). In the circumstances of military aggression of Bolshevist Russia, Ukraine’s Central Rada declared the independence of UNR as a free sovereign state. According to the third Universal, the republic included Kyiv, Podil, Kharkiv, Katerynoslav, Kherson and Tavr (excluding Crimea) gubernies, the administrative units of that time.

The highest legislative body Ukrainian Central Rada was headed by the president Mykhailo Hrushevsky. The new Republic was facing the obstacles on the way towards it’s development, the main one being aggression of Bolshevist Russia.

One important diplomatic action of UNR was signing the Brest Agreement in February 1918 with the countries of Quadruple Alliance which defined UNR as an independent state. It was also recognized by Romania. The new republic opened embassies in Berlin, Constantinopol, Vienna, Sofia, and Bucharest. Also here, national symbols and currency – hryvnya, the same currency as in modern-day Ukraine, were introduced. Ukrainian Central Rada elected the president – Mykhailo Hrushevsky, and the constitution was adopted. However, at that time Ukraine was plagued by an internal power struggle. In April 1918, the Central Rada was removed from power by the Ukrainian Congress of Farmers and Petro Skoropadskyi was elected as the new Hetman of Ukraine. As a result of anti-hetman uprising in 1918, UNR was replaced by the Directoria.

The Act of Unity
http://i0.wp.com/euromaidanpress.com...19-1.jpg?w=510
People gathering to support the Act of Unity in 1919, Sophia Square, Kyiv

The authorities of ZUNR considered the unity with UNR as the main state priority. This position was supported by the population. Ukrainian Central Rada sent its representatives to Kyiv to talk to the Hetman Petro Skoropadsky. After the beginning of anti-hetman upheaval the negotiations were conducted with the Directoria. A Preliminary agreement on Unity was signed in the end of December 1918.

In 22 January 1919, the Act of the Union claimed that UNR and ZUNR are united in one independent state. It was stated in the Universal that this state include Galicia, Bukovyna, Hungarian Rus and Central Ukraine. At the same time, on Sofia Square in Kyiv, in official atmosphere the delegations of the both republics read this decision to people.

The decision was not implemented on practice because of martial law. Later, it also became clear that the two republics have different strategic visions. However, from today’s perspective, the Union had a significant meaning for Ukraine and for its people, showing that for a long time Ukrainians were struggling to be united, not separated. Ukraine marks the 100th anniversary of independence of Ukrainian People's Republic -Euromaidan Press |
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