Nor Shall She Die

"Let's die, my brothers, or on high
Maintain the flag of liberty
To perish—there's no other way—
Shall it be chains or in the fray ?

He who doth hate a captive's chains,
The test of battle ne'er disdains! . . .

No more with evil temporize!
Fall, rather than your powers waste!
Stand proudly, do not bend the knee,
Better to die than traitor be!
The morrow will bring victory.

Then not in vain shall we see rise
From slumber Ukraine's virile race;
And not in vain in their young eyes
Those old-time fires we shall trace.

Perhaps in their good, strong right hands
Will gleam and flash new shining brands.
Long have we been by woes bestead,
A grievous lot our souls doth try,
But let us shout:
‘Ukraine's not dead,
She's not yet dead, nor shall she die!’"

--Ivan Franko


March 01, 2008  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Girls


"The Girls" were my boys' best friends in Ukraine. They are visiting the States for a little while and were recently at Heather's church. I hope they come to Florida! One of the hardest things about the choices we've made in our lives is how far away so many people are, people who are very dear to us. Email and internet help, but aren't the same.


February 16, 2008  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Razom Nas Bahato

I was surfing around some UkrBlogs and then YouTube, and when watching this version of Razom Nas Bahato, thought I saw Hubby. Look closely around seconds 23-25. See the grey hat guy with a goatee? The quality isn't that great, and Hubby didn't do much chanting. . .so I'm not certain. But Hubby wore that grey knit hat all winter, and in Ukraine, only Americans and Ukrainian pastors had goatees. . .


June 04, 2007  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ну, погоди!

Memories of Ukraine, just for my boys.

Ну, погоди!


May 12, 2007  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Гагарин, я Вас любила

Гагарин, я Вас любила

Он обернулся простой такой
И белозубый, незнакомый,
Пригладил волосы рукой,
Пока еще не сведен оскомой
Добрый-добрый рот его,
Нежной-нежной щетиной рыжей
Касался, пусть бы был никто,
Прощай, прощай, родной, бесстыжий.

Жизнь била, била, да.
Жизнь крыла спалила
Гагарин, я Вас любила.

Не знал он после, как долго я
Плыла осколком его медали,
И в спину била его струя,
И жал он молча свои педали.

Больно-больно потом упал,
Расшибился. Из-под обломков
Извлек себя и начертал
По фюзеляжу златой иголкой.

Жизнь била, била, да.
Жизнь крыла спалила
Гагарин, я Вас любила

Как будто правда, что Млечный Путь
Господь спустил ему на лампасы
Его погоны горят, как ртуть,
Он так прекрасен, что нас колбасит.
Белым светом наполнен он,
Добрый, славный себе смеется,
Душа его, как полигон,
Ему светло и ей поется

Жизнь била, била, да.
Жизнь крыла спалила
Гагарин, я Вас любила


This is one of my favorite pop songs from when we lived in Ukraine. Jen reminded me of it recently, and now I have the words and tune going through my head. The main line is Gagarin, I loved you, referring to cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. I found the words, but so far I haven't been able to find an online clip of the song. If anyone finds it, will you give me the link?

Listen to "Gagarin" by Underwood here.


April 14, 2007  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Pray for Peace in Ukraine

I don't really know what is going on. . . one of the difficult things about living on this side of the pond.

However, my friend in Kherson e-mailed me to alert me about the political unrest, especially in Kyiv.

It makes me cry. I know that some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. And though the Lord worked mightily in the winter of '04-'05, still much of that was political and not spiritual--so why am I surprised at the recent events?

Please pray for Ukraine.

More info:
From Neeka
From our friend Dan
From Homeward Bound


April 03, 2007  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Images of Easter in Ukraine

These are some images from my teammate in Ukraine, Little Mrs. Reformed, showing the pysanky and paska that were so common in the this time of year in Ukraine.

Writing Pysanky.jpg




My mom with special eggs from Ukraine.


April 02, 2007  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Kyiv Memories: From The Window

R Looking Out the Window

R7 (when he had just turned 6) is standing on the radiator and looking out of the boys' bedroom window in Kyiv. That flat was on the 15th floor, and provided a great view of the construction of the yellow/triangular-roofed building.

Out the Window

(Kyiv, March 2005)


November 08, 2006  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Only In Ukraine. . .

. . .would you see a campaign ads like this.


March 04, 2006  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




The boys got a book on Ukraine from the library. I got an e-mail from a teammate in Kyiv with greeting from Babushka. I haven't done well in e-mailing our Ukrainian friends.


I'm feeling sad and sentimental and missing Ukraine.


July 21, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



On the Cover of Elle


That's our Yulia! And yes, the women in Ukraine are tall, gorgeous and well-dressed.

(Via Google News)


April 19, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



No, not THAT Orange Ukraine Website

After a meeting yesterday, Hubby and I went to one of our favorite coffee hangouts, the Fashion Cafe. The decor is great, they broadcast fashion shows all day long, they have two walls of English language books for sale, and they have some of the best cappuccino in town.

I was browsing through the business section of the Kyiv Post, when I came across this article,

American firm claims 'key role' in revolution

Rock Creek Cooperative says they helped coordinate online media for Orange Revolution, but gov't begs to differ…

Unfortunately, the Kyiv Post has gone back to paid subscription to read many of their articles online, including this one. In the last paragraph, however, our friend Dan at OrangeUkraine blog was mentioned!

Their [Rock Creek Cooperative] Orange Revolution site should not be confused with OrangeUkraine (, a popular blog that teamed up with the Kyiv-based Internet portal Maidan ( to popularize the non-stop demonstration on Independence Square that began after the second round of presidential elections on Nov. 21.

Way to go, Dan--you're now recognized as the blogging power you are not just around the world, but also locally!


February 12, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Speeding Lisa

A guy who regularly comments on Hubby's blog e-mailed this week about tonight's Speeding Lisa concert at Art Club 44. It was great. There is just something about good rock'n'roll that is balm to the soul.

They started the set with a rousing rendition of Razom Nas Bagato, but leaving out Ми не бидло, Ми не козли. A bit of whimsy came across in Back in the USSR. The Ukrainian girls behind us went wild for Basket Case and I'm a Believer (during which I couldn't help but think about Joe's recent post and wondering if any seeker-types out there had already fiddled with the lyrics and included it in a church service.)

The rest of the show rocked, and I must say my fave is still Anarchy in the Ukraine. The only thing that could have improved the music would be adding Bullet with Butterfly Wings. *hint, hint*

We saw a few people we knew there, and had a chance to visit with Castor after the show. It was a great night and I don't remember the last time I got home from a date at 3:30 am. Check out Hubby's blog for some pics.


January 29, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Just Call Me Prime Minister


Yes, our dear Yulia Tymoshenko was appointed Prime Minister today. She'll be confirmed by parliament in mid February.

(Via Kyiv Post)


January 24, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko, Tak!

Victor Yushchenko was inaugurated today.
What a victory for the people of Ukraine! A triumph over corruption!


President Yushchenko with his daughers, Sofia and Krystyna

Photo: AP/Efrem Lukatsky

Via Neeka's Backlog

My Mom wrote to me from Chicago, Today I watched the inauguration of Yuschenko and felt joy for the Ukranians as they sang with their orange scarves bundling hopeful hearts....and felt close to you. . . I am glad you will take home a greater part of history. . .

Both the inauguration and that note made me smile and cry.

More inaugaration photos at Le Sabot, Orange Ukraine, Blog de Connard, and Neeka's Backlog.


January 23, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Anti-Yushchenko Fringe

In some corners, people still refuse to accept the validity of the Orange Revolution. They do not want to see that it sprang up from the Ukrainian people themselves. They find comfort, or political advantage, in positing elaborate political conspiracies in an attempt to minimize the truly momentous, peaceful revolution it was.

Those of us who live in Ukraine or intimately understand the region clearly see that the Orange Revolution did come from the hearts of the people of Ukraine.

Over at Le Sabot, Hubby is dialoging with Justin Raimondo of He's well known for his attacks on basically anything America does. Raimondo's anti-Yushchenko (and anti-Ukraine?) rants are simply grasping at air. Why is it some people seem so set upon seeing machinations and conspiracies instead of appreciating this movement for democracy and true freedom?

If you've heard any of the American money bought the election screeds, you need to go over and read Le Sabot. Be sure to also read Hubby's commentary on Jake Rudnitsky's slapdown of the pro-Yanukovich crowd.

Update: Instapundit gets in on the action: A fly, SWATTED.

Also joining in are BloggledyGook, Fire Ant Gazette, The Senescent Man, The Argus here AND here, and in the comments were Orange Ukraine, Aris Katsaris, Ivan Lenin and Mr. Tom G. Palmer. If I were Justin Raimondo, I think I'd go crawl under a rock. . .


January 04, 2005  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Getting Orange Gear

Dan and Lesya over at Orange Ukraine have taken on the unenviable task of trying to supply Orange Revolution stuff for those outside of Ukraine. They're working out the details.

Get yours while it lasts. Or do the Ukrainian thing, and apply orange liberally and creatively wherever you go, whatever you wear.


January 02, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Happy New Year!

My boys, getting ready to go down to Independence Square for Yushchenko's inauguration and to welcome in the New Year!

More New Year's photos from Maidan, courtesy of Hubby.


December 31, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko Boys

Yushchenko Boys

These aren't my boys, but my boys would certainly join them in accessorizing with orange ribbons.

Photo from obdymok, thanks to Hello.


December 28, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Kathy She Knew

"I met Kathy during the Cold War days, doing rallies and events in support of freedom and democracy for the Soviet bloc. (She loved Ukraine deeply -- to this day most of what I know about Ukrainian culture is what she taught me -- but she cheerfully worked to free all the Captive Nations.) At the time, most people thought the Cold War would go on for decades. Only true believers did the work Kathy did. There was no glory in it; certainly no money (one usually had to supply one's own money) nor prestige. . . . But Kathy wanted Ukraine to be free and she was in the cause because of that love. I can't say I am surprised to see that she is still on the job, because I never met anyone more dedicated to the freedom of her homeland than Kathy.

Amy Ridenour has a great post about when she knew and worked with Kateryna Chumachenko Yushchenko.

Quite a vivid difference from Lyudmilla "And their hands reach out for another orange" Yanukovich.

(Via FeebleKnees)


December 28, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko, Tak!

55.21% Yushchenko!
44.01% Yanukovich

From the Central Election Committee
99.09% of the votes tabulated
Reported at 3:38 p.m.


Watch the celebrations here and here. The boys are going around the flat singing, Yushchenko! Tak! Yushchenko! Tak! Nash president, tak, tak! They're even more excited about Yushchenko's election than they were about Bush's. . . And that's saying something.


December 27, 2004  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



The Heart of the Orange Revolution

If you are just starting to follow what is going on in Ukraine, let me help you find the heart of the matter. As our friend Lena wrote,

". . .2 month ago I guessed that I live in the worst country in the world. I was oppressed when I could not see a dignity in my fellow citizens, willingness to freedom and happiness. . . . November, 22 I started to be really proud of my co-citizens. Now I can see that they are not passive mammals who want just to dig comfortable burrow, to generate they own posterity and to finish life in poverty, pretending that there is no another way. Since November, 22 there are not a crowd on the main square of my country. This is the PEOPLE. . . . And now I know for sure that there are a lot of us. But we are not only the force who able to be the opposition to criminals and cads. It can't be enough for me, I think. We are the people in the most exalted and humane sense of this word. And not only number turns us to be the force, but exactly these LOVE, FAITH and HOPE which live in everyone now. . ."

Serhii Rakhmanin writes in the Mirror-Weekly,

"Ukraine has been awaiting this day since 1991, when independence fell to the people’s feet as an overripe fruit from a dried tree. At that time we were not ready to digest it. . . .The number of sincere dreamers was too small. There were too few new heroes to form a new type of elite. The same old people kept their offices, having only modified their rhetoric a bit.

We got a new state. . . . Yet it proved insufficient to become a nation.

. . .

We have stood this test to be rewarded with a new generation of people.

We do not want to be disillusioned again. Yet even if it happens, today’s events will be remembered by generations to come."

And please take the time to read Oksana Zabushko's essay on Ukrainian Solidarity.


December 26, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Election Observers Beaten?

From Ovozrevatel:

Observers shot at in Zaporizhzhya

At polling station №83 of constituency № 215 in Zaporizhzhya an hour ago, observers found a violation of the law, which centered on dozens of applications to vote at home written in the same handwriting. As soon as the observers began to draw a judicial act about the violation, the members of the election commission began to expel them from the polling station by beating them.

The observers, with a video-tape of the violations, tried to leave the constituency. At that time they were shot at. As a result, the driver was wounded near the heart, and was hospitalized.

I hope this early report is an exaggeration of what happened, and I pray the driver and all involved will sustain only minor injuries.


December 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Exit Poll Results

the Center for Social Monitoring: YUSCHENKO - 58.1%, YANUKOVYCH - 38.4%

The Razumkov Center: YUSCHENKO - 56.5%, YANUKOVYCH - 41.3%,

The Interfax-Ukraine Exit Poll: YUSCHENKO - 53%, YANUKOVYCH - 41.3%

The Luntz Research Company at the request of ICTV: Yuschenko - 56%, Yanukovych - 41%

Poll numbers courtesy of InterFax.

Note: The polls have been closed for over an hour now. These polling results, to my knowledge, reflect the results from the whole day, not just part of the day (as the misleading Kerry-leading-polling was.)

(Via OrangeUkraine)


December 26, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Live-Blogging from Kyiv

Dan and Hubby are at Maidan, in the center of Kyiv tonight. Both are live-blogging, posting as regularly as they can in the midst of participating. Keep checking on them throughout the day to see what's really going on here in Ukraine.

Obdymok and Veronica are also updating pretty regularly.


December 26, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Election: Take 3

Today is the election day in Ukraine--the third election in less than two months. And this time, with over 12000 international observers, we all hope that this vote will be held and counted as fairly and accurately as possible.

To keep updated, check out these blogs and news sources:

UkrBlogs, in and out of Kyiv:
Hubby, at Le Sabot
Neeka's Backlog
Orange Ukraine
Foreign Notes
Ukraine, Oh My!
The Argus
Fistful of Euros
Daniel Drezner
The Periscope
SCSU Scholars
A Step at a Time

UkrNews in English:
Kyiv Post high integrity
Maidan News
Ukraine Now
Ukraine Observer
Mirror Weekly
Google News - Ukraine
EinNews - Ukraine
Hotline News

And, a big thanks to Instapundit, for keeping the Orange Revolution on the minds of his readers. *grin*


December 26, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (3)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko / Yanukovich Debate

I didn't watch the debate on Monday. My Ukrainian is rustier than my Russian, and our tv cables aren't working at all. I knew, however, I could rely on Dan to give a summary of Monday nights' Yushchenko / Yanukovich debate.

If you've been listening to Разом нас багато, you might recognize the line Ми не козли or "mi nye kozli." We're not goats!

Yanukovich called the protesters who had gathered in Independence Square, one of the foulest names in this culture. Here's my favorite part of the debate:

"Are you ready to apologize to the ten million active opposition supporters for calling them 'goats'?" asked Yuschenko. "I mean, maybe you could say they're only ten million, but they're still Ukrainians."

"I called them goats in the biblical sense, in the sense of betrayers," answered Yanukovych, which made Yushchenko laugh. . ."

Read Dan's thorough debate commentary here.


December 22, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Orange Revolution Accessories


As Disco says, When you revolutionize--accessorize!


December 21, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Bits and Pieces

Today is the last day to bid on Angel's Tak Oranges original painting with proceeds going to charity. Even if you don't buy it, click on the link and be inspired by the story and photos of the creative process.

Dan warns about some money-for-Ukraine scams and has a list of solid MSM articles about what's going on here.

Check out this brand-spankin' new blog, originating from Kyiv. Little Miss wonders, Is Yushchenko Really a Believer?

Klitschko beats Williams.

Ukrainian politics--it's not about the Left or the Right. . . To borrow Disco's phrase, it's a mix of politico-economic tribalism and Pragmatic Kleptocracy. Read more.

Foreign Notes writes more about the US money that was involved in the Ukrainian election. My take? If US money wasn't involved, then it should have been. . ..

And wow, I'm flattered! Included in the same category as the Big Daddies, like Instapundit and Atrios. *blush, blush*


December 14, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



So You Want To Spend Christmas in Ukraine?

I've been looking for this information, and only just now have it, thanks to Dan. The desired deadline is past, but I don't think it's too late to contact them about being involved as an Election Observer. The following is from Orange Ukraine:

Continue reading "So You Want To Spend Christmas in Ukraine?"


December 14, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko's Poisoning

While it's old news that Yushchenko has been poisoned, today the Ukrainian Rada re-opened investigations.

Nikita Demosthenes has written extensively about Yuschenko's poisoning and chloracne. Read here and here.


December 13, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



From the Archives. . .

Hubby has some of my favorite photos that capture Kyiv in his archives.

Possible Blog Photo1.JPG
From our kitchen window during our first winter in Kyiv.

December 13, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Orange Revolution Timeline

Thanks to the Kyiv Post, here's a Timeline of the Orange Revolution.


December 10, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



From Georgia

"When a person knows freedom, they want other people to be free."

(via Le Sabot)


December 09, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Update

The Tent City will remain through the run-up to the Ukrainian elections on December 26th, but the protests are more low key, now. Orange ribbons are still seen everywhere throughout the city, as people return to a more normal rhythm of life. Things are not "over" but definitely have shifted focus.

Activism has shifted from protest mode to campaign mode. Dan at Orange Ukraine has the scoop on Yushchenko's campaign strategies.

Wikipedia has expanded to include a new section--WikiNews. I think this has great potential, depending on how it's executed. Here's their news page on the Ukraine Political Crisis. (Via EuroPhobia)

Hubby has some new photos up along with news and analysis.

Things are so hopeful!


December 09, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Going, going, gone. . .

As I post this, there are only four hours left to bid on this painting inspired by the Orange Revolution. All proceeds will go to charity.

Update from Angel:

Hi! I have terrific news!!!!!! Thanks to the auction $217.50 will be donated for the people on the square! Here is a bit of the email from the winning bidder:


I'm looking forward to receiving your painting (saw it on My wife and I are moving to Kiev for work next spring and the painting will be going with us.

Thanks to all who bid in support of Ukraine!


December 07, 2004  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Who's Doing What in Kyiv

Neeka has been spending time with Crimean Tatars.

And Scotthas met the Egg Guy.

Dan and Lesya have been down at the tent city, "They'll easily make it until the 26th." They participated in a multi-religious rally and prayer time. Hubby also has photos illustrating the support the revolution has among the religious.

Maidan reports just how close things came to military force on November 28th.

Hubby has been in the center tonight. Keep checking his blog for updates.

And, on a personal note, our local grocery store has been out of eggs for about a week. It puts a cramp in my plans to make Christmas cookies with the boys. I'm curious whether it is related to the strike, which I am willing to forego eggs to support. Or, if it is simply a breakdown in the distribution system for this chain. It's been known to happen even without a revolution going on--in October toilet paper was out of stock for two weeks. . .


December 07, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Orange Babushka

orange lady.JPG This is one of my favorite photos of Ukraine, ever.

Hubby has a whole slew of new photos up.


December 06, 2004  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



And Reagan Should Know. . .

"Evil is powerless ... If the good are unafraid."

--Ronald Reagan


December 03, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Just In -- Supreme Court Has Ruled!

Our friends Lena and Seryozha just came over. At 5:58 the Supreme Court decision was read. The Supreme Court has ruled that:
1. The election from November 21 is invalid.
2. There will be another run-off election, between Yushchenko and Yanukovich.
3. The election will be held before the end of December.

We were all jumping up and down and so excited. This decision is wonderful and right. And honestly, I am so happy and amazed at how things are turning out. We're celebrating!

As soon as I find this from an English news source, I'll provide a link.

Update: Here's the story from the Kyiv Post Some excerpts:

Ukraine's Supreme Court on Friday invalidated the official results of the disputed presidential runoff election and ruled that a repeat vote must be held.

Presiding Judge Anatoliy Yarema said the rerun should be held by Dec. 26.

. . .

The court's ruling is binding and cannot be overturned.

Yushchenko has pushed for a quick rerun of the runoff, saying it may come as early as Dec. 19. He has rejected outgoing President Leonid Kuchma's call for a completely new election, which was widely seen as a bid to field a new candidate more popular than Yanukovych.

Tens of thousands of opposition protesters who had massed in central Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in anticipation of the decision cheered, waving blue-and-yellow Ukrainian and orange Yushchenko flags and chanting "Yushchenko! Yushchenko!" The crackle of fireworks could be heard in the distance.

. . .

"This is a great victory of all people who have been standing at the square, a great victory for Ukrainian democracy," said Mykola Katerinchuk, the Yushchenko lawyer who wrote the appeal.

Read the rest here.

Update: Read the text of the decision at obdymok.


December 03, 2004  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Online Translator

Update! Thanks to Paul, here's an online Ukrainian/English translator!

For those who are trying to dig a bit deeper to understand what is going on in Ukraine and want first source material, I recommend this internet auto-translator. You still have to gist and guess a bit, but it's the one I use. Unfortunately, it's only Russian/English. I still haven't found a reliable Ukrainian/English online translator

Update: How cool is this? I just went to use the online translator to prepare vocab words for a class, and there's an orange Tak! banner at the top of the page! *grin*


December 02, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Backgrounder

One of the best overviews I've seen for Ukraine's history and politics is at Wikipedia.

Also check out:
Wikipedia: Ukraine
Wikipedia: Verkhovna Rada
Ukraine Constitution in English
Ukraine History Timeline
Map of Ukraine
Three Language Map

And, if you can get to a library or bookstore, Borderland: A Journey Through the History of Ukraine by Anna Reid is a very moving and readable history of Ukraine.

(Especially for Helena. *grin*)


December 02, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Who is Victor?

Check out Dan's character sketches of Victor Yushchenko and Victor Yanukovich over at Orange Ukraine. Great for both background and "big picture" info.


December 02, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Art for Democracy II

Support Democracy in Ukraine -- All Proceeds Donated

created by Angel

Painting inspired by and painted while listening to:
Музика: гурт ГРИНДЖОЛИ & радіо "Західний Полюс" Повстанська пісня

Разом нас багато
Нас не подолати!

Фальсифікаціям. Ні!
Махінаціям. Ні!
Понятіям. Ні!
Ні брехні!
Ющенко, Ющенко!
Це наш президент.
Так! Так! Так!

Разом нас багато
Нас не подолати!

Ми не бидло
Ми не козли.
Ми України
Доньки і сини
Зараз чи ніколи
Годі чекати
Разом нас багато
Разом нас не подолати

Разом нас багато
Нас не подолати!"

(Dan has the translation online.)

More art for Ukraine


December 01, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Worries about Using Force Tonight

From Hotline:

"All the officers of the department of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kyiv were called to the department for 23.30. All the employees received an order to come in winter clothes and with weapons. They will receive other instructions at the meeting."

Please continue to pray for peace in Ukraine, especially in Kyiv. I'm concerned that possibilities of violence may increase, with the new agreement reached and confusion about what it means. And that Kuchma et al may be desparate enough to use force.

I rejoice, however, that it appears that all parties involved have agreed to not use force in resolving this. Thank you for your ongoing prayers.


December 01, 2004  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Just In, Big News

From Le Sabot:

"From the press conference at Marinskiy Palace. From what I'm hearing, President Kuchma announced:

1. All parties have signed an agreement. It was a "genuine compromise." There is going to be a revote, though I don't think the type has been decided yet.

2. There is going to be an expert working group to look at the legal issues of the election. They will follow the recommendations of the Supreme Court.

3. All sides are renouncing violence.

4. The protesters are going to stop blocking government buildings.

5. There will be constitutional reform during the upcoming period.

From the quick bit I saw on the TV here, everyone was smiling, including the "sick" Yanukovych. With only the above info, it's hard to say what the significance of this is. I need to know what kind of constitional reform. To date, that phrase means a weakening of the president in favor of the PM. We'll have to see what it means here.

A lot of the activists here at this spot aren't happy about the agreement. There's always an undercurrent of mistrust that he's too timid, so I'm taking this with a grain of salt. But it does seem like an ambiguous step at best.

Unrelated note: Channel 5 is announcing a massive removal of official documents from the Ministry of Internal Affairs office. They had footage of voting slips in the back of dumptrucks."

Related news articles:

Ukraine's Opposition Agrees. . .
Rumors of New Election in a Month
Yushchenko wants New Vote Dec 19
Snow Truck Smuggles Documents
Blockade Lifted, Agreement Signed


December 01, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko: How to be Victorious

In tonight's speech to the Ukrainians gathered at Independence Square, Yushchenko stressed that the two main ways to gain a victory are:

1) love, warm-heartedness and unity

2) people should stay on Maidan untill Supreme Court and Verkhovna Rada declare precise date of revoting

(Via Maidan News)


December 01, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



No Compromise, No Separation

Yanukovich is no longer Prime Minister.

The Rada has dismissed the government.

Yushchenko has refused to compromise, when it means betraying the protesters, and has stopped negotiating with Kuchma et al for now. Key in this: Refusing a revote where neither Yanukovich nor Yushchenko is allowed to run.

The separatist movement seems to run out of steam.

All these are good developments.

In other news. . .

According to Ukraine, Oh My! "Tuesday, at midnight, Kuchma's constitutional term of five years as President ended. Theoretically, Ukraine is without a president."


December 01, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (3)  |  Permalink



Lyudmyla makes Teresa look Good

Not-quite-First Lady Lyudmyla Yanukovych, recently ranted in Donetsk :

«Dear friends, I’m fresh from Kyiv, I can tell you what’s going on there. It’s simply an orange orgy there! So, there’s rows and rows of felt boots – all of it of American make! See! And mountains of orange oranges. And the background is “Orange sea, orange sky…” [a line from a popular kids song – tr.] Gosh! It’s just… It’s a nightmare! And look here guys: those oranges ain’t just any oranges – they’re loaded. People take an orange, eat it – and take another one. See! And the hand keeps reaching, keeps reaching for it. I was on my way here, there was news. They said – people in the square are getting poisoned, on a mass scale. Frequent hospitalizations. They bring people in with meningitis! What have we come to! And they keep standing, keep standing! Eyes simply glazed over! Just like that!»

Excuse me a moment.

Bwa haha haha haha!

Yeah. Riiiiiiiight.

However, please pray for the general health and continued peacefulness of the protesters. The weather is frigid, and it's been snowing a lot. Some people have been sick, but there are medical clinics set up as well as ambulances available.


November 30, 2004  |  Comments (22)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink



Photos from Kyiv, Nov 28 - 29

From Maidan

From Le Sabot

From Neeka

From Orange Ukraine

From International Support for Ukrainian Democracy

Crocodile's Collection


November 29, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Art for Democray


by Maia, at House of the Dog


November 28, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine News Sources

It's been amazing to see the outpouring of interest in and support for Ukraine and her people. The big daddies are keeping it in front of their readers on a daily basis--especially Instapundit, but also Andrew Sullivan, NRO's The Corner, PowerLineBlog and Hugh Hewitt.

Over at LoboWalk, Daniel's Ukraininan wife Anna has started translating news stories into English. Hooray!

The following are some helpful links, but is in no way an exhaustive list.

UkrBlogs, in and out of Kyiv:
Hubby, at Le Sabot
Neeka's Backlog
Foreign Notes
Orange Ukraine
Ukraine, Oh My!
The Argus
Fistful of Euros
Daniel Drezner
The Periscope
SCSU Scholars
A Step at a Time

UkrNews in English:
Kyiv Post high integrity
Maidan News
Ukraine Now
Ukraine Observer
Mirror Weekly
Google News - Ukraine
EinNews - Ukraine
Hotline News


November 28, 2004  |  Comments (10)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Please Pray Now. . .

There are several reports of Kuchma planning on declaring martial law and possible attempting to raze the tent city at 8pm local time. Please pray that peace will prevail, Kuchma will not use violence, and the protesters will remain level-headed.

And Yushchenko has issued this statement,

"Ideas of force resolutions are appearing from time to time. Mr. President, I'm appealing to you: God forbid the government should resort to force. You will confront unimaginable power, and these 500 thousands, who are standing in this square, will grow tenfold."

"If any preparations for resolution by force come to light, we will break off negotiations immediately."

"I would like to appeal to people who wear the military uniform. Remember one thing - weapons always speak in unison with the truth, they never work against your own people."

Update: As of now, my Ukrainian friends who are following the news or have been in the center have not seen any actions against the demonstrators or tent city. Maidan continues to report concerning developments.

As Neeka says, "many believe that all these rumors are based on the very real threats that keep being averted through pressure and negotiations."

However Chairman Volodymyr Radchenko of the The Council on National Security and Defense of Ukraine says the use of force against the protest participants is "impossible."

2 am update here, from Hubby.


November 28, 2004  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink



Babushki of the Revolution

". . .We were told that she went up to the guards in front of the entrance, guards in full riot gear, masks and shield, in ranks twenty deep. She went up to one and said, “I am a babushka [translated roughly as “grandmother” but used for every older woman grandmother age] from the village. I came here to find out how you are. Are you fine? Are you hungry? Maybe your parents are somewhere worrying about you?

“Babushka has come from the village with some warm socks for you. Maybe your feet are cold and you need some socks?” She talked to this fellow in this way and won him over. He lowered his shield to expose his face and he was grinning at her while she spoke to him.

Today, she was supposed to come over and see us. She likes to do this especially since she has a new grandson she dotes on. But today she can’t be bothered with that sort of thing. She is part of the revolution. Getting out of bed this morning, she went to the store, bought bread and sausage and is on her way down to make sure that the protestors are fed and taken care of.

Before she left, she called her husband in the village. She had been planning on going back home and letting him come to take part but, when she called, she told him “There is nothing for you to do here. There are enough men here already. A woman’s touch is what is needed here to help take care of the people down at the square. So I will stay here. You don’t need to come.” (This is terribly un-PC but that is the way she is and the way of life is in the village.)

Read the rest.

I'm tired of people outside of Ukraine trying to frame what is going on here as a "US/EU vs. Russia" thing, and so condescendingly refusing to see this is all about Ukraine. It is Ukrainians who have risen up, joined together, and finally have hope that things here can change.

The above story is from ForeignNotes who lives here in Kyiv, and is about his mother-in -law. This is the real story of this rally. Each day, a million individual gestures of freedom and unity are joined together to make up the big picture on the Square.

I sure wish ForeignNotes would allow anon comments. hint, hint.


November 27, 2004  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (3)  |  Permalink



Rada Says Election not Valid!

Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada has declared the November 21 election to be invalid! They have also voted no-confidence in the CEC. This is reported by the ever-reliable The Kyiv Post. (No registration required right now--that should be a permanent change, imo.)

These votes are non-binding, but still, are hugely significant!

Update: Just got an e- from our friend Pasha, "Hi, here is some info. You might have heard of it! Did you watch our parliament conference live on different chanels? There're some good results but did you see corruption and desire to leave some power in the hands of Yanukovich's "region party"... As soon as I find the info in English, I'll link to it.


November 27, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



New and New-to-me Ukraine Sites

Orange Ukraine, Helping to pull 48 million chestnuts out of the fire. is a brand new blog to watch. It's authored by former Peace-Corps volunteeer and freelance journalist Dan McMinn, who lives in Kyiv with his Ukrainian-born wife. Keep checking back--Dan really understands the situation here.

Photos from Kyiv and around the world are being collected by Crocodiles Ukrainian Election 2004 site. It was especially neat to see the pics from Chicago, where my Mom lives and where I attended my first political rally (skipping school, naturally.)

AidUkraine is run by a Ukrainian in diaspora and has some good info. Note, they are asking for donations. And while it looks legit, I cannot personally vouch for this group..


November 27, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Conversation in a Taxi

On our way home from Thankgiving Dinner yesterday, our taxi took us near the center, but not close enough for the boys and I to see the heart of the demonstration. We did see many people walking to and from the rally, all wearing orange, waving flags, and sometimes chanting "Yu-shchen-ko!"

J8, budding politico that he is, was sure to ask our taxi driver, "Are you for Yushchenko?" Of course he was, and that opened a whole conversation.

"It'll be much better for our country when there isn't corruption," Oleg said. "We need to be more like Europe." Oleg has a friend in Canada and has thought of moving there with his daughter, but he needs money, a job there--and he just can't leave his mother here in Ukraine. Sadly, we know a lot of Ukrainians who have wanted to leave--the corruption here has been too oppressive and until now, escape seemed the only solution. Now there is hope that things really can change.

The boys kept injecting their own comments and cheers for Yushchenko, as Oleg and I talked. We drove past the Central Elections Committee building, and Oleg pointed it out and told me what it was like the other day when there were so many protesters. We saw a group of 30 or so people waving flags and cheering in front of a government building that is quite a ways from the center. While Maidan and Khreshatyk are still the center of activity, it seems obvious that the demonstration is growing and spreading.

Oleg asked me why I supported Yushchenko. "Look at the economic plans he had in the past--the dollar/grivnia exchange rate has been constant since we moved here. His past plans were responsible for that, so I think his plans for the future will be sound, too. I really believe he is a true reformer."

At one point Oleg asked if anyone in the US knew what was going on here. "The world is watching," I went on to tell him about all the people I've heard from (online especially) who care about what is going on here. He was visibly moved knowing that people around the world are watching--and care.


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Parallel Gov't Issues Decrees

Yesterday, November 25th, Victor Yushchenko's parallel government issued its first decrees, focusing renewal of democracy in Ukraine and on safety issues for the Ukrainians who are protesting corruption in government.

Read them here.


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Emergency Parliament Solution?

"Parliament Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn. . . gathered with parliament faction leaders to discuss the possibility of convening an extraordinary parliament session to unblock the current political crisis. . . . (Lytvyn) believes the current predicament can be resolved "independently" and is seeking to determine the role of parliament during the emergency."

(Via the ever-reliable Kyiv Post)


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink




From Victor Katolyk, translated from the very reliable

" The negotiations between Kuchma, Yanukovych, and Yushchenko will be held at 18:00 in the presence of international mediators. Yushchenko refused to hold eye-to-eye meetings with Kuchma or Yanukovych.

The negotiations will be mediated by Xavier Solana, Jan Kubish, Alexander Kwasniewski (President of Poland), Valdas Adamkus (President of Lithuania) and, possibly, other European and Russian diplomats."

Please pray that these will be fruitful, and that in negotiating an outcome, the people of Ukraine will not be subject to compromises that dash their hopes of freedom.

(Via Fistful of Euros)


November 26, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Support Ukraine Buttons

Amy has designed a series of buttons to show your support for democray in Ukraine on your website. Thanks, Amy!


Also, Nathan at Registan have also designed several buttons to show support for Ukraine.



November 26, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (4)  |  Permalink



A Thousand Words

This PORA associated blog is worth checking out for the great photos, even if you don't speak Ukrainian.


November 25, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Sign and Pass Along

From PORA, A Letter of Freedom and Solidarity:


Now, while you are reading this letter, 48 million people in one of the largest countries in Europe have a unique chance to make their choice and change a corrupt ruling regime.

This autumn 2004 is the moment of truth for the Ukrainian nation

We know that the choice of the Ukrainian people is clear.
They are tired of years of corrupt and untrustworthy government. They are exhausted by permanent lies and lawlessness. They want prosperity and stability for their children. They want to live in a democratic country. They value freedom of expression and freedom of the press They want to join the European community. They want their choice to be heard and respected.

But we also know that they can be robbed of this choice, as happened during parliamentary elections in 2002, during the elections in Mukachevo and in multitudes of small towns all over Ukraine. We recognize that the People’s choice could be disgraced and replaced by the will of a small oligarchic group. And once again millions of Ukrainians will be deceived

We started this letter of freedom and solidarity to defend free and fair election results.

If you believe in freedom, if you care about the future of Ukraine, sign this letter to prevent falsifications and to protect the thousands of young Ukrainians who have created a national network of volunteers and started PORA ("It's Time!"), a civic movement aimed at ensuring and protecting fair and democratic election of the President of Ukraine.

We need your help because the regime will be afraid to break the rules in front
of because only UNITED we can win.

There is no alternative to public action:
1. Check our website
2. Sign our letter of freedom and solidarity
3. Make a difference: join PORA Campaign and contribute to campaign
4. Forward this letter to your friends

There might not be other chance.

It is TIME to act, TIME to struggle, TIME to win

The letter was signed by: Show All

If you want to sign this letter please send your name, organization you represent and your email to"

(Via Le Sabot Post-Moderne)


November 25, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



$21 Million Dollar Bribe?

Serhiy Kivalov, head of the Central Elections Committee, reportedly received a bribe of $21,600,000 to proclaim Yanukovych as President of Ukraine.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



"The struggle is just starting!"

These are the things that have been announced in Kyiv in the last hour:

1. "The struggle is just starting!" declared Yushchenko.

2. In response to the announcement made today by the Central Election Commission of Ukraine that Yanukovych won the election Yushchenko calls for nation wide strike.

3. The Committee Of National Salvation, responsible for the rescue of democracy in Ukraine, has been formed.

4. Ukrainian military officers and ensigns support Yushchenko.

Frequently Updated News Sites / Blogs

Le Sabot Post-Moderne
Kyiv Post high integrity news source
Neeka's Backlog
The Periscope
Maidan News English
Pora News
Fistfull of Euros


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (9)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Prayer for Ukraine

Before this evening's Yushchenko speech, preachers came to the camp and prayed for the activists.

This is a song we regularly sing in church, "A Prayer for Ukraine". Please continue in your prayers for Ukraine and her people, and a peaceful and just resolution.

Молитва за Україну

Моя молитва нехай лине
До Тебе, наче фіміам.
І серце лине без зупину
В чудовий Твій небесний храм.

Боже, я молю за Україну,
Боже, молю тебе за людей,
Ти їх прости,
Ти їх спаси,
І милість Твою нам яви.
Боже, я знаю,
Що Ти будеш з нами
В храмі Твоєму під небесами
Радість і мир Ти дарував,
Життя для людей віддав,
В Книгу Життя нас записав!

В Своєму Слові Живому,
Ти для людей ведіння дав,
Щоб люди всі молились Богу,
Що на Хресті за нас вмирав.

And thanks to Maureen, here it is in English.

A Prayer for Ukraine

My prayer does not go unheard,
To you, our incense rises.
And my heart is heard without difficulty
In strange lands, in Your heavenly temple.

God, I pray for Ukraine,
God, I pray to you for its people.
May You forgive them,
May You save them,
And may Your favor on us rest.
God, I know
That You will be with us.
In Your temples under heaven
Joy and peace You're giving,
Life to the people You're showing,
Us in the Book of Life You've written!

In Your Living Glory,
You to the people have given power,
So that the people all pray to God
Who in Christ was reconciled to us.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



What's Going on in Ukraine?

"I am just a little Ukrainian. But the whole pyramid of Ukraine is built on top of little people like me. I should be home working in the soil, but instead I'm here in the (Independence) Square. And I'm not leaving until we have real democracy." --Nikolai

If you are just starting to follow the news of what is going on in Ukraine, check out this Q&A from the BBC.

But to get to the heart of the matter, Oksana Zabuzhko's essay is a must-read.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Conflict Avoidable?

Europhobia has compiled and excellent by-the-hour summary of what's been going on today. Honestly, I'm surprised in many ways at the direction things are going. I really thought that the overwhelming demonstration from the citizens of Ukraine would keep the current authorities from declaring Yanukovich the 'winner."

PeaceYulia.jpg Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko Photo via KyivPost.Com

November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Evening Roundup. . .

Our phone has been on the fritz again today. I'm not sure whether it's just our line being tempermental, it's the weather, or it's the Kyiv circuits. The mobile phone circuits have been overloaded from time to time, too. and though the webcam doesn't show it, we've had snow flurries off and on all day. It makes me all the more thankful for those at the rally who place freedom and democracy over comfort.

So, I've finally been able to call Hubby and skim around online to see what's going on in the center.

Lots of reports of unstability, in spite of the peaceful energy the protests have had so far. To this point, the Ukrainian police and military have been very "friendly" towards the people at the rally, as Neeka puts it, and the Ukrainian Marines have declared for Yushchenko. However, are many reports of Russian troops, some in Ukrainian uniforms. Ukraine, Oh my! has further details about this.

Hubby, who is currently helping at one of the media centers to get news into English, including the latest reports, "Authorities have begun violent action against peaceful protesters near the Presidential Admin building. 2 buses of special ops police units drove up and have moved on the demonstrators. . . Provocateurs planted an "explosive" device in our tent city. Snipers were called in."

Victor continues to get news into English as well, translating from radio and tv reports.

PORA It's Time, is updating its English news site frequently. Included are reports of troops being flown in and plans for Yanukovich being sworn in today. I haven't verified whether this has happened or was just planned. More on that here, too.

Oh, and I just read that some internet services have been terminated in Kyiv. If you don't hear from us, that may be why. . .


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Not Just Kyiv

Vinnytsia -- 5 thousand participants
Dnipropetrovsk -- 10 thousand
Zhytomyr -- over 40 thousand
Zaporizhzhia -- nearly 10 thousand
Ivano-Frankivsk -- 60 thousand
Kamyanets-Podilsky -- 15 thousand
Kyiv -- 500 thousand – 1 million
Kirovohrad -- over 10 thousand
Kremenchuk -- 2 thousand
Lebedyn -- 6 thousand
Lutsk -- 15 thousand
Lviv -- 120-150 thousand
Mykolayiv -- 3 thousand
Okhtyrka -- 15 thousand
Poltava -- 15 thousand
Rivne -- 6-7 thousand
Simferopol -- 1 thousand
Sumy -- 30 thousand
Ternopil -- 30 thousand
Uzhhorod -- 12 thousand
Kharkiv -- 80-100 thousand
Kherson -- 1 thousand
Cherkasy -- 10 thousand
Chernivtsi -- 30 thousand
Chernihiv -- 2 thousand
Shostka -- 15 thousand

The Ukrainians who are not travelling to Kyiv to rally, are making their voices heard in their home towns.

And around the world, Ukrainians and world citizens are joining together to show their support for true democracy in Ukraine: Warsaw; The Hague; Buffalo, NY; New York, Washington, and across the US; Toronto and throughtout Canada; Rome; London; and Paris.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



To Do Justice

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good;
and what doth the LORD require of thee,
but to do justice, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?

Micah 6:8


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Slideshow: Kyiv Rally

Yahoo News has great photos and descriptions from the rally in Kyiv. Scroll down past the first few paragraphs, and there is a link for "Slideshow: Ukraine Elections" on the left. No direct link.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Friendly Riot Police?

Neeka was walking around in the center in the wee sma's of the morning, and this is what she saw:

"At 3 am, the city's so loud you'd think it's daytime. . . .

Every once in while a journalist barged in and announced that, according to some very well-informed sources, the riot police were beating everyone up over there, or that the armored personnel vehicles (is that what they're called?) are approaching the city center. . .

Those were all rumors, thank God. Later this evening, reports came in that the riot police are acting friendly and tolerant, and that they've declared their support for Yushchenko, and that they aren't embarrassed to put on some orange stuff on themselves. I assume it happened thanks to Yulia Tymoshenko - thanks to her charisma."


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Election Observers

If you're interested in primary source documention, here's a PDF file of the International Election Observation Commission Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



CSS Changes Ahead

No, you are not seeing things. Yes, this blog is orange.

And I keep misreading the CSS, so no telling what you'll see here before I finally figure it out. Thankfully, MovableStyle has helped keep me out of too much trouble.


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



From the White House

"The United States is deeply disturbed by extensive and credible indications of fraud committed in the Ukrainian presidential election. We strongly support efforts to review the conduct of the election and urge Ukrainian authorities not to certify results until investigations of organized fraud are resolved. We call on the Government of Ukraine to respect the will of the Ukrainian people, and we urge all Ukrainians to resolve the situation through peaceful means. The Government bears a special responsibility not to use or incite violence, and to allow free media to report accurately on the situation without intimidation or coercion. The United States stands with the Ukrainian people in this difficult time."

(Via Instapundit. Hooray for Glenn!)


November 24, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



From the Velvet to the Orange

"Dear Citizens,

Allow me to greet you in these dramatic days when the destiny of your country is being decided for decades ahead. You have its future in your hands. All trustworthy organizations, both local and international, agree that your demands are just. That is why I wish you strength, perseverance, courage and good fortune with your decisions.

Yours truly,

Vaclav Havel"

(via EuroPhobia)


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



UkrNews in English

Victor Katolyk at The Periscope is summarizing Ukrainian news reports in English, updating constantly.

I'm not surprised that most of the up-to-the-minute news about the Ukrainian elections is coming from the blogosphere. Kudos to Neeka, A Fist Full of Euros, Europhobia, A Step at A Time, Ukraine, Oh My!, Le Sabot and many others who are helping to bring the world's attention to Ukraine.

I heard there is a football game tonight. That worries me a bit. After all, past attacks on unpopular journalists have been blamed on "soccer hooligans." I'm concerned that the oligarchs could use the pretext of inebriated football fans to start trouble among those who have peacefully rallied in the center.

I don't expect to hear from Hubby until morning. Off to scrub his bright-orange winter coat. It has PBA glue on it from hanging up flyers.


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Kyiv Rally Photos

I just posted photos from Independence Square on Hubby's blog.

1 + 1


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Update from Hubby

Hubby describes what is going on in Kyiv here:

A Dispatch from the Barricades in Kiev!
Update from Kyiv


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



More Ukraine Election News

NRO has some essays on the Ukrainian election:
"People Power" 2004? By Nikolas K. Gvosdev
Waiting for the Inevitable

The Kyiv Post has waived their registration / subscription requirements to read the current articles on the election. I wish they'd go back to that permanently. . .

Europhobia is constantly updating the Ukrainian news links he finds. (And even links mnye!)

Some photos from obdymok.

And this just in from the boys who are looking out the window. . . Look! It's snowing hard! Poor Dad, and all those people out there on Khreshatyk. . .


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Yushchenko Sworn In!

"Victor Yushchenko has taken an oath of the President of Ukraine at the Verkhovna Rada; he did it laying his hand on the 300-year-old Bible.

That happened after Volodymyr Lytvyn closed the parliamentary session on hearing that Yuriy Yukhnovskiy had suggested that Yushchenko take such an oath.

The assembled deputies greeted the new president. They sang Ukrainian National Anthem." -- Yushchenko's Web Site

We'll see where this leads. . .

More on the Verkhovna Rada special session:
Turmoil Deepens, Rada Meets
Parliament to Consider Election Results
Yushchenko Takes Oath, Protests Widen
Ukraine's Parliament Fails to Secure Quorum


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



A Picture of Ukraine

Ukranian novelist Oksana Zabushko had an excellent essay in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. I can't find the article online, so I'll copy the text here.

For those who are hearing about the Ukrainian run-off elections and post-election excitement, this provides a quick overview of what is going on. Ms. Zabushko's essay very much mirrors what we have observed here, too.

November 22, 2004


Ukraine's Solidarity


KIEV -- On Saturday afternoon, I was going by taxi past the Central Election Committee headquarters. The grand edifice was surrounded by two rows of steel fences, the construction, ironically, copying "maximum security" prisons. Inside, in the courtyard, there are camouflaged armored vehicles, waiting. For what?

"Here they are," said the driver with a wry smile. "Barricaded against us. They must be scared like sh-t now, what'ya think?" He turned his head and gave me a companion's wink. "Their last days are coming!"

There's no need now in Kiev to explain who "they" are, and who "we" are. "They" sit in "their" fortresses, in the government and presidential administration buildings on the downtown core's high hills. "They" stop traffic to let "their" motorcades of black BMWs and model Mercedes 600s rush across the city, and treat "us" as dirt -- or, more precisely, as a cheap labor force enabling "them" to sell "their" steel abroad at the most favorable price for "their" benefit. "They" own the police that beats protesters, the national TV channels that pour tons of lies on "us," and the tax service that pumps money out of "us" for "their" needs, until "we" are left naked as a worm. (Last week, for example, my publisher received an urgent demand from the local tax service to pay, out of the blue, 44,000 extra hryvnas, or about $7,000, and was happy to conclude from this that "they" must have exhausted "their" financial resources for the electoral campaign, and were now panicking.) To put it simply, "they" are the power -- the most widely hated power in Ukraine since Soviet times. And "we" -- we are the people.

* * *

And that's what we are. Never before -- even 13 years ago, on the eve of the collapse of the Soviet Union -- has Ukraine witnessed such a massive upsurge of national solidarity. People who've always remained politically indifferent and had missed voting in all previous elections, were disseminating self-printed leaflets from the Internet (samizdat is back -- any piece of information was voraciously devoured on the spot!) in public places, and volunteering to monitor the elections on behalf of opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. At a peasant food market a merchant first asked who you're voting for -- the right answer (with which you could count on a generous discount) was "Yushchenko," while incumbent Prime Minister's Viktor Yanukovych's supporters were more than likely simply refused service. In the playgrounds children were playing a game called "Yushchenko beats Yanukovych." To quote my seven-year-old neighbor, "in our class Irka alone stands for Yanukovych, and no one wants to play with her." The slogan chanted by protesting students at demonstrations reads in English as "We're together! We're many! We won't fall!" And just how may of "us" there are, one can easily see in the streets. These days Kiev, as well as other major Ukrainian cities, is defiantly demonstrating its political sympathies by wearing orange, the campaign color of opposition candidate Yushchenko.

A special term has come into use -- "The Orange Revolution." It looks like people have dragged all shades of orange, from yellow to vermilion, out of their wardrobes and adorned themselves with them simultaneously -- vests and sweaters, scarves and purses, coats and umbrellas. Orange ribbons flutter everywhere -- on trees, fences, lanterns, and cabs. Drivers joyfully beep to each other, and pedestrians (traffic police included!) salute them with smiles and raised fists. It feels like the capital of three million has been transformed into a sea of brotherly love! The windows of shops are lavishly decorated with things orange. Among my favorites is the stunt of my neighborhood coffee shop -- its windows glow with pyramids of oranges!

Much of this may sound childish. But some call it the awakening of the nation. And the authorities didn't find it childish, either. Every night criminals brought to Kiev by special trains to provoke disturbances slash tires of orange-ribboned cars. On Saturday night, a day before yesterday's runoff, people adorned in orange were attacked. A friend of mine, wearing a ribbon on his coat, was knocked down in a dark alley with two blows -- to his head and kidneys. His even bigger shock, though, was to hear the bandits calling him, in Russian, "a dirty Jew" (my friend is Jewish, and looks unmistakably so) -- the words which seemed to have been long forgotten during 13 years of Ukrainian independence. "Rats," he commented afterwards. "They ran away before I was able to fight back -- just disappeared into the darkness."

That's the way it goes: Days are "ours," nights are "theirs." In the daylight of Oct. 31, we went to the polling stations and voted for the first time in this presidential race -- that is, those of us who managed to wade through all the mysterious "irregularities" in the voters-lists, because of which around three million Ukrainians were denied their right to cast a ballot. This appeared to be good training for a nation striving for democracy. Yesterday, the second time, we arrived at the polling stations far better prepared to protect our rights while in the daylight. By the time I voted, hundreds of multifarious "irregularities" (like, say, busloads of people with absentee coupons running from polling station to polling station to cast multiple votes, people with files of ballots pre-marked for Yanukovych caught red-handed, cases of gunfire and arson at polling stations, etc.) had already been reported by voters calling hotlines from all over the country. I had to wait in line for my ballot for a while: The place was overcrowded, yet somehow strangely silent, and the tension in the air was more than palpable. Everybody knows that the ballots will be counted at night, and that thus "our" part in the elections doesn't exhaust itself with putting a ballot in the box.

* * *

Here I have to clarify one important point. A widespread cliche used by many Western journalists to describe the major collision of our dramatic elections is that the establishment candidate, Viktor Yanukovych, is "pro-Russian," and that opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, is "pro-Western." This version has as little to do with the feelings of an average Ukrainian voter as with those of the belligerents of the Trojan war. Mr. Yanukovych is perceived not so much as being "pro-Russian," but as, first and foremost, being "pro-criminal" -- a Ukrainian Al Capone, who has under his belt two prison sentences for robbery and assault, and publicly uses criminal argot compared to which even the boorish tongue of retiring President Leonid Kuchma sounds as innocuous as a school textbook. A former governor of Donetsk, Mr. Yanukovych in power represents the so-called "Donetsk fellas" -- a business clan with a notorious criminal background. That the latter have close ties with similar mafia clans in Russia seems to be the most immediate explanation for the pre-election outburst of a passionate love between Russian and Ukrainian leaders, an affair of which Yanukovych-as-president had been designed as a mutually satisfying offspring.

I doubt whether we'll ever know exactly how many million Russian petro-dollars were spent on this project, yet it's been afflicted by one crucial fault from the very beginning. It failed to take into account the possibility of a free will being manifested by the people of Ukraine. This is the problem of all authoritarian rulers. After a while, they lose touch with their people, and never really know who they rule.

Leonid Kuchma's presidency has been extremely unpopular. During his last year he has never enjoyed more than 10% of the people's support. His choice as his "successor" of a prime minister with prison terms and 15 spelling mistakes on his CV, with an accompanying uncurbed propaganda campaign by the national media, was taken by only too many as a brazen act of national humiliation not to be borne -- as a sign that the "shamelessness" of the corrupted establishment had reached rock-bottom. It was from my hairdresser -- a Russian-born and Russian-speaking girl -- that I first heard, about a month ago, this vox populi, boiling with genuine wrath. "Who do THEY think WE are?" she kept lamenting while doing my hair. "What do THEY think THEY can do to US? What am I going to tell my son if this gangster makes it to the presidency -- go ahead, sweetie, rob, steal, and rape, and one day you'll become the president of your country?"

One shouldn't play jokes with millions of indignant mothers. A nation with its dignity so deeply wounded constitutes a force not to be ignored. The first round has already proved this. The fraud committed was probably one of the biggest, and the most elaborate in modern history. None of the applied falsification techniques, however, could provide outright victory for Mr. Yanukovych. What the real figures in the first round were, we'll never know. The official result, meant to show the country as "split" between the two men, has only annoyed people more. If you think that of the nearly 12 million of the officially recognized Yushchenko supporters in the first round at least 10 million have never had a chance to see him on TV other than in an outrageous defamation campaign, clearly modeled after old Stalinist (or Goebbelsian?) techniques, you can easily imagine to what extent Ukrainian authorities have lost their credibility with the nation. It was primarily the "if-THEY-hate-this-man-so-much-then-he-must-be-right" logic that has given the Ukrainian revolution its orange color.

The "harsh scenario" implemented by the authorities for the second round leaves little room for hope that the elections will be everything but fair. A week ago, in the long-awaited live TV debate between the "two Viktors," Yanukovych addressed Yushchenko with a statement sounding like an undisguised threat: "The new power has already arrived (!), and you won't squeeze us out!" And it looks like "the new power" means it, no matter what the cost. The pre-election week alone has provided enough material for dozens of horror writers (and for some 15,000 complaints about the violation of the electoral law now in courts!). News reports read like those from an invaded country under the boot of an occupation regime: Arrests and detainments of public activists (over 200 of them), tear gas and clubs used against protesters (with a police promise that "next time we'll use bullets"!), blackmail and assaults (with bullets included!), committed upon representatives of the opposition candidate, the replacement of administrators in "pro-Yushchenko" areas with "obedient" ones, blatantly promising (as in a village in the Sumy region) that "everyone who voted for Yushchenko will be shot by the police," and many other things, more and more reminiscent of Germany back in 1933.

There is, however, one crucial difference. Them "Bavarian fellas" from 70 years ago were also armed with an ideology, which, however pernicious, after all, addressed "the people." The present-day "Donetsk fellas," apart from money, have at their disposal nothing but guns. And it's known that humans, not guns, decide the outcome of any war.

* * *

This fall, history has turned Ukraine into its unique playground, to check whether this truth is still valid in our brave new world. Thirty-five thousand civilians have volunteered at opposition headquarters to guard polling-stations on the night of vote-counting. This seems to be the only way to make sure that the opposition's landslide victory (the most professional exit poll suggests 58% of the votes for Yushchenko and 39% for Yanukovych) won't be turned on its head the next morning.

Such "civil control" proved to be quite effective a strategy in the first round. Wherever electricity was "inexplicably" cut off, people turned on their car headlights to light up polling-stations, so that election committees could continue their work. No ski-masked attackers risked appearing in well-lit, crowded places, in the flashes of cameras. So far, "they" have stuck to the darkness -- however burning "their" desire is to emerge from out of it and fully establish themselves in the open light on Monday morning.

While I'm writing this, my boyfriend is packing his backpack for the night. Crackers, chocolate, water, a thermos of coffee. Camera, a set of batteries. Candles, matches. Flashlight.

We'll be keeping our place lit. It's beautiful, our place. Never before have we realized how much we loved it all these years. And what a painfully powerful, orange-blazing thing wounded love can be.

Ms. Zabuzhko is a novelist and poet.


November 23, 2004  |  Comments (16)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



Post-Election Ukraine

As I mentioned yesterday, I thought it was a bit premature for Reuters to be declaring Yushchenko the winner of the presidential run-off in Ukraine. The "official" count from Electoral Commission currently has Yanukovych as the winner wtih 49.4 percent of the vote to Yushchenko's 46.7 percent. There are myriad indications that this is not accurate.

Election observation committee OSCE spokesman Bruce George said, "The second round did not meet a considerable number of standards of the OSCE and the European Council for democratic elections." They are calling for a review of each area of the country before.

And so, Ukrainians have taken to the streets to rally and protest. One news source estimates over half a million Ukrainians participating in this post-election rally. Some locals estimate about 250 thousand people were down at Independence Square today. The rally is ongoing--right now there are tents set up and people staying the night in sub-zero weather.

Europhobia's Election news, updated regularly.
MPC's photos from today's rally.
Neeka's observations from the rally.
Independence Square, Kyiv, Live WebCam


November 22, 2004  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukraine Election Update

Reuter's is already reporting that Yushchenko has been elected. Exit polls show he has won by a large margin. However, the official vote counting has been going on for only three hours at this point.

We've heard of disappearing ink on ballots, students being paid 100 uah ($20) to vote for Yanokovich, and "absentee voters" arriving by train-car-full to vote in Kyiv.

While it may be premature to announce the next Ukrainian president, things are looking pretty positive. Please continue to pray, especially for peace for the next few days.


November 21, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Ukrainian Election Run-Off

Today is the run-off election in Ukraine between oligarch-supported Yanokovich and reformer Yushchenko. Please be in prayer that the voters will be respected and their decision honored. We have friends who are official election observers who will be present during ballot counting tonight. This election has seen so much. . . irregularity. . . that it's hard to ask for prayer that it be a fair and just election. It's just not possible at this point.

If you are interested in reading more about the election, there are several newsites and blogs being updated throughout the day:

EinNews - Ukraine Feed
Yushchenko's Tak Site
Maidan News
Teksty Blog
Blog de Connard
Neeka's Backlog
Ukraine, Oh my!


November 21, 2004  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (1)  |  Permalink



The Other Election

For those interested in Ukrainian politics, I recommend Hubby's post about Europe's Most Important Election.

And, Einsondernull recommends the following blogs for "on-site news. Sometimes biased, maybe incomplete - but definitly commited and first hand."

Natalka’s Diary
Blog de Connard
Neeka’s Backlog
Ukraine, Oh My!

Also, check out:
Ukraine Election NewsFeed

Disclaimer: I haven't screened all of the content of these sites, so linking to them is not an endorsement of their views or validity of their information.

Update: Batesline Blog is also blogging on Ukrainian elections.


October 30, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Reading Love in Chicken Entrails

This morning J7 was my grocery helper and went shopping with me in preparation for the fellowship dinner we have before Bible study each Thursday.

Our first stop was the Chicken Truck. We buy our chicken from the back of a truck that is parked across the street from the grocery store.

"Ewww! She's using her hands!" J7 exclaimed as the Chicken Truck Lady plopped three kilos of chicken breasts into a plastic bag.

"It's okay, hon. I wash the chicken and then we cook it to kill the germs."

"But, she's touching raw meat with her bare hands!"

"Yep. Pretty gross, huh?"

"I don't think I want her job when I grow up." This from the child has his life planned out--starting with being an army general. I was thinking that I'm not sure I want him to grow up to sell chicken from the back of a truck, either.

"You know, I'm glad I'm not a girl. Then I won't become a Mommy and have to touch raw meat."

I quickly disabused him of that idea.

"Well, when we lived next to the market, Daddy would go and buy a whole chicken for me, and then take off the skin and clean out all the insides. With his bare hands. Just so that I wouldn't have to do that yucky job."


May 27, 2004  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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