Author Archives: RomanInUkraine

Churchill Conspired with Stalin to Give East Europe to Soviet Union, Secret Documents Reveal

The Churchill-Stalin pact was drawn up in secret during Churchill’s 1944 visit to Moscow, and has now for the first time been displayed to the public in a new exhibition by the UK’s National Archives, titled “Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed.”

The handwritten document, apparently from Churchill’s hand, also contains a tick mark made by Stalin, showing the latter’s agreement with the distribution of Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union.

Previously, Churchill had mentioned the document in his World War II memoirs, but only in passing and omitting all detail.

According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, Churchill himself described the pact as “naughty document” and said that it would “come over as ‘callous.”

Furthermore, Churchill said, his American allies would be “’shocked if they saw how crudely he had put it.”

The exhibition’s chief curator Mark Dunton told the Daily Telegraph that this “was the result of late night discussions between Churchill and Stalin, they both had a fair bit of whiskey.

“I think it’s important that this document is going on display because there’s so much significance in that little square of paper.

“It’s potentially incredibly significant—the fate of millions being decided with the stroke of a pen as a result of a casual meeting.”

The note begins by saying that it was written by Churchill during a meeting with Stalin at the Kremlin.

It reads:

Russia – 90 per cent
The others – 10 per cent

Great Britain, in accord with USA – 90 per cent
Russia – 10 per cent

50/50 per cent

50/50 per cent

Russia – 75 per cent
The others – 25 per cent

As events transpired, the Soviet Union seized even more territory than this, taking 10 percent of all the countries listed (except for Greece, which remained free of Soviet occupation) and included Poland, Czechoslovakia, eastern Germany, and the three Baltic states.

Millions of people were displaced, killed and tortured under the Soviet rule during the next four and half decades in Eastern Europe. At least three major uprisings against communist rule followed: In 1953 in East Germany, in 1956 in Hungary, and in 1968 in Czechoslovakia. All three were suppressed with force by the Soviet army.

Remembering Bulgarian novelist and playwright Georgi Markov

The Bulgarian novelist and playwright Georgi Markov was a Communist-era dissident best known outside Bulgaria for being assassinated with a ricin-poisoned device (believed to hidden at the tip of an umbrella). It happened in central London on September 7, 1978. He died four days later, age 49.

The murder was a textbook case of a KGB-style killing and was likely the work of the Bulgarian Communist regime’s secret police. One can read about it at The Forensic Library in books published by the Royal Society of Chemistry and on Wikipedia or watch movies about the case on YouTube here and here. It is known as the infamous “Umbrella Murder.”

To many of us in Bulgaria, Markov is a hero. His closest friend, Dimitar Bochev, aptly stated that it was his “talent” as a writer that got him killed. I’m proud to tell you why as part of this weekly series on

In the 1950s and 1960s, Markov emerged as a prolific author of novels, short stories, and plays, for which he received numerous awards. As he became increasingly and devastatingly critical of communism and socialism, the regime of Todor Zhivkov (long-time Communist dictator of Bulgaria) began keeping an eye on him. The country’s censors blocked the printing of some of his works and banned others altogether, but that didn’t prevent him from becoming a well-known and admired author in his native land.

George Orwell was Markov’s favorite author, and Orwellian themes showed up in much of his writing. Markov’s novel, The Roof, for example, focused on the collapse of the roof of the Lenin Steel Mill and the comical efforts of central planners to rebuild it. It was banned by the government.

“Not to Live by Lies” was Markov’s credo, as much as it was that of fellow writers Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Russia and Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia.

A popular Bulgarian literary fashion of the 1960s involved a small group of extraordinary and original authors, relatively carefree and nonchalant fellows of which Markov was one. For the most part, they were not overt rebels, but they did resent the daily lies imposed upon the Bulgarian people by communism. The characters of their novels were normal humans with doubts and weaknesses, regular people dealing with the challenges of life. Under communism, those challenges were ubiquitous. These writers fostered a quest for normalcy which, twenty years later, helped mightily to topple the regime.

“Not to Live by Lies” was Markov’s credo, as much as it was that of fellow writers Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in Russia and Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia. In an essay he wrote comparing communism with the years before 1944, he explained that the most important change was that people were forced to live in fear and lies. Bulgaria, like the other East bloc communist nations, was an Orwellian nightmare come to life.

Remember the Russia Collusion Hoax?

Top 10 Propagandists Who Pushed Russia Collusion Hoax

Here are ten of the top promoters of the narrative:

CNN — CNN first reported that President Trump was briefed on the “pee dossier,” which prompted BuzzFeed to publish the dossier in full. CNN has also given vast amounts of airtime to analysts, former officials, and Democrat lawmakers pushing the Russia collusion narrative. It has also published a number of stories that advanced the narrative, including several that turned out to be false.

BuzzFeed — BuzzFeed first published the “pee dossier” in full — which released to the public unfounded accusations against President Trump, including the unverified claim that he hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed during a visit to Moscow in 2013. At the time of publish, the dossier remained “salacious and unverified,” in then-FBI Director James Comey’s own words.

The Washington Post — The Washington Post was on the forefront of publishing anonymously-sourced stories suggesting collusion between Russia and Trump campaign officials. It published the intelligence leak that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak that led to his firing later. Flynn ended up pleading guilty to one count of lying. There were no collusion charges.

The New York Times — The New York Times published a front-page, top-of-the-page story on Inauguration Day suggesting that President-elect Trump’s associates had been “wiretapped.” Though the report admitted, “It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself,” it set the very inauguration of President Trump as part of a Russian conspiracy.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) — Schiff, now the House Intelligence Committee chairman, has been the No. 1 pusher of the Russia collusion hoax in Congress. Absent any direct evidence of collusion, Schiff has argued for months that the evidence is “hiding in plain sight.” Schiff has also tried to fundraise off of the hoax.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) — Lieu has been a close second to Schiff’s promotion of the Russia hoax in Congress. He once called for a pause in the “entire Trump agenda” until an investigation into the collusion ties was completed.

Benjamin Wittes — Wittes, a journalist who is close to former FBI Director James Comey, was a lead inciter on Twitter of the Russia hoax, infamously tweeting cannon gifs every time a new sensational report came out that advanced the Russia collusion narrative.

Louise Mensch — Mensch, a former British parliamentarian, has become a household name among the anti-Trump resistance in the U.S., with her fantastical tweets about “sealed indictments” and grand juries.

Hillary Clinton — Clinton, the day after losing the election to Trump, wanted to promote the idea that Comey’s reopening of the investigation into her emails and Russia led to her defeat, according to the book Shattered. “She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,” a Clinton ally told the book’s authors.

Robby Mook — Mook was the first Clinton campaign official to go on record suggesting there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, during an ABC News interview at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, shortly after stolen DNC emails were released.

Life in Quarantine in small town Ukraine

I’m living with my in-laws, in a town of about 20,000. There a small town center, two super markets, and several grocery stores.

All the changes to daily life seem exceedingly sensible. Everybody is at home. Most businesses are operating, though restaurants and coffee shops are closed.

Supermarkets only allow ten people inside at a time, and there are lines by the front door or people standing less loosely packed than normal. When we drove by there were maybe fifteen people in line. The bazaar is closed. I heard there was outrage a few days ago that people from the next town over, Radomyshl, were visiting our bazaar. The first death from Corona virus in Ukraine happened there — a lady who had returned from Italy.

Perhaps 10% of the people in the streets wear masks. And there don’t seem to be any fewer people in the streets than usual. I think the percentage will go up.

The electronics shop I entered yesterday allowed for three people inside at once, and the delivery service Nova Poshta (Ukraine’s FedEx) allowed four. All the people working in shops had facemasks and some had gloves.

We went for a drive today for a change in scenery, driving through surrounding villages and speculating about what life would be like there. Love village Lyubovychi which means “loving town” had a wooden sculpture of a man embracing a woman by their entrace.

Horribly biased pro-Russian article about Crimea in WaPo

Points I’d like to correct or see included:

1) the “vote” was an absolute joke, tightly controlled by armed men, and not even Russian media was allowed .

2) From what I understand, lots of Russian pensioners, following Moscow’s encouragement and moved to Crimea. Population displacement has been a Russian / Soviet strategy for centuries.

3) Two points for historic context:

a. Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, 55% of Crimeans voted to join independent Ukraine.

b. As part of Ukraine giving up it’s arsenal of nuclear weapons, Moscow signed the Budapest Memorandum, promising to recognize and respect Ukraine’s borders.

(1998) CONTRABAND WOMEN — A special report; Traffickers’ New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women By Michael Specter

Centered in Moscow and the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, the networks trafficking women run east to Japan and Thailand, where thousands of young Slavic women now work against their will as prostitutes, and west to the Adriatic Coast and beyond. The routes are controlled by Russian crime gangs based in Moscow. Even when they do not specifically move the women overseas, they provide security, logistical support, liaison with brothel owners in many countries and, usually, false documents.

Women often start their hellish journey by choice. Seeking a better life, they are lured by local advertisements for good jobs in foreign countries at wages they could never imagine at home.

In Ukraine alone, the number of women who leave is staggering. As many as 400,000 women under 30 have gone in the past decade, according to their country’s Interior Ministry. The Thai Embassy in Moscow, which processes visa applications from Russia and Ukraine, says it receives nearly 1,000 visa applications a day, most of these from women.

Israel is a fairly typical destination. Prostitution is not illegal here, although brothels are, and with 250,000 foreign male workers — most of whom are single or here without their wives — the demand is great. Police officials estimate that there are 25,000 paid sexual transactions every day. Brothels are ubiquitous. . . .

Many end up like Irina. Stunned and outraged by the sudden order to prostitute herself, she simply refused. She was beaten and raped before she succumbed. Finally she got a break. The brothel was raided and she was brought here to Neve Tirtsa in Ramle, the only women’s prison in Israel. Now, like hundreds of Ukrainian and Russian women with no documents or obvious forgeries, she is waiting to be sent home.

”I don’t think the man who ruined my life will even be fined,” she said softly, slow tears filling her enormous green eyes. ”You can call me a fool for coming here. That’s my crime. I am stupid. A stupid girl from a little village. But can people really buy and sell women and get away with it? Sometimes I sit here and ask myself if that really happened to me, if it can really happen at all.”

Then, waving her arm toward the muddy prison yard, where Russian is spoken more commonly than Hebrew, she whispered one last thought: ”I’m not the only one, you know. They have ruined us all.” . . .

The Tropicana, in Tel Aviv’s bustling business district, is one of the busiest bordellos. The women who work there, like nearly all prostitutes in Israel today, are Russian. Their boss, however, is not.

”Israelis love Russian girls,” said Jacob Golan, who owns this and two other clubs, and spoke willingly about the business he finds so ”successful.” ”They are blonde and good-looking and different from us,” he said, chuckling as he drew his hand over his black hair. ”And they are desperate. They are ready to do anything for money.”

Family Moments

We’d been noticing the stars and my son having been alerted to the possibility that a light in the sky may be either a star or a planet, typically asks for every star whether or not it’s a planet. I drew the sun and planets for my almost-four-year-old, telling him that stars are far away suns. Then I drew our own moon, and then moons around some of the other planets, and rings around another.

It was all very interesting to him. He said that when he is like we we’ll go and look as the cosmos together. He asked how old he needs to be, and first tested ten. I said ten was about like this and held my hand to about chest level. Then he tested fifty. I said twenty would be enough – at twenty he’d be about like me.

I told him there were no people on the other planets. He asked if there were policemen (his current fascination), and I said that there were no people at all there. Then he asked if corona virus was there. I laughed and said no.


We play checkers. Long ago, Danny made some winning moves that seemed to have nothing to do with the rules of checkers. I said, “what is this, checkers or shmeckers?” It made a big impression.

Now, when we sit down we even decide whether we are playing checkers or shmeckers. Similarly, we decide between chess and smesh.


For a while Danny liked to set up his pawns on the back rank when we played chess. I’d set up his major pieces on the third row in front of my own. He’d choose them one at a time, and I’d move the piece, knight, bishop, rook, queen, or king, according to how it moves, toward it’s appropriate square. The piece then shouts at the pawn occupying its square and kicks it out.

Ukraine gets serious about Corona Virus countermeasures

All of this and more at Ukraine Business News.

🔵Starting today, foreigners without residency permits are barred from entering Ukraine. Starting tonight, all international flights, trains, and buses to and from Ukraine are suspended for two weeks. As of tonight, all train service stops between Ukraine and Poland, Moldova, Russia and Slovakia. Airports will only be open for cargo flights. The measures are designed to block, or at least slow, the entry of coronavirus from the EU, officially named by the World Health Organization as a hub of the global pandemic.

🔵Almost half of Ukraine’s 230 border crossings are closed through Friday, April 3, Serhii Deineko, head of the State Border Guard Service told reporters on Saturday. The 107 that will remain open have largely been selected to keep Ukraine exports and imports moving.

🔵“Cargo checkpoints – air, railway, sea and automobile – will continue to operate,” President Zelenskiy said in video address Friday night. “Crews of ships, airplanes, trucks can enter Ukraine and are obliged to undergo medical verification with rapid tests.”

🔵This means Polish truck drivers can drive into Ukraine. Poland is Ukraine’s third largest trading partner, after China and Russia. In one sign of cargo disruptions, Ukrainian trucks traveling from Italy are stopped on Slovenia’s western border, reports Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister. Similarly, trucks traveling from Italy to Croatia or Hungary are not allowed to drive out of Slovenia.

🔵Maxim Nefyodov, head of the State Customs Service, clarified on Facebook: “All major [Ukrainian] checkpoints will operate, including major airports, ports, landing points. The restrictions will apply to certain local checkpoints, pedestrian crossings, low-load railway crossings.”

🔵In a next step, Prime Minister Shmygal asks Ukrainians to stop traveling within Ukraine as a measure to stop the spread of coronavirus. “I also ask you, very insistently…to stop travelling between the cities of Ukraine,” he said in a video address posted Saturday night on his Facebook page after an emergency meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers.

🔵This week’s air travel bans will brake Ukraine’s double digit air passenger growth. In the first two months of this year, the flow of air passengers using Ukrainian airports was up 15% y-o-y, to 3.2 million. The State Aviation Service reports that last year, air passenger growth was up 18.5% y-o-y, to 24.3 million.

🔵At checkpoints on the line of control with Russia-controlled Donbas, only Ukrainians registered as living in Kyiv-controlled Ukraine, will be allowed to cross. Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Friday: “We now have preliminary information about 12 cases of coronavirus in Horlivka.” Horlivka is in the separatist section of Donetsk Region.

🔵After a 71-year-old woman returning from Poland died Friday in Radomyshl, Zhytomyr Oblast, authorities placed the entire city 110 km west of Kyiv under lockdown. In response to Ukraine’s first coronavirus fatality, authorities closed markets, stopped bus service, and started checking everyone driving in or out of the city of 15,000.

🔵With 40% of Ukraine’s migrant workers going to Poland, the suspension of flights and trains will cause problems for many, including involuntary overstays of the 90-visa free Schengen limit. If borders are not fully reopened, farms in Poland and Lithuania will lose Ukrainian migrant workers crucial for cultivation and harvests, reports the Kyiv Post in a survey story. The National Bank of Ukraine predicts that labor remittances will decrease slightly from the current level of $1 billion a month.

🔵Preparing for a possible Italy-size epidemic, Zelenskiy said that 2,000 infectious disease physicians and 5,000 nurses are ready to staff designated hospitals with a total of 12,000 beds. For a nation of 37 million people, he said the government is preparing this week 200,000 rapid tests and 10 million masks.

🔵Turning to employers, the President appealed: “I personally ask business executives – if possible, allow your employees to work at home, remotely. Especially those who have children and who cannot leave them because of quarantine at schools and kindergartens.”

🔵The coronavirus disruption of China’s role in global supply lines offers opportunities for Ukrainian companies to supply components and semi-finished products to EU manufacturers, argues Hennadiy Chizhikov, president of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The spread of coronavirus can cause large-scale changes in the distribution of production and the creation of new production chains,” Chizikov said Friday at a business forum in Lviv. He said some EU companies are studying transferring orders for components to suppliers in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Turkey.

Family of heroic Welsh journalist blast new movie ‘Mr Jones’ for showing him resorting to CANNIBALISM after sneaking into Soviet Union to uncover horrors of Ukrainian famine in 1953

What a disgraceful thing to do!

The family of a Welsh journalist who uncovered the horrific truth about a Ukranian famine claims an upcoming film’s depiction of him eating the remains of a dead boy is one of ‘multiple fictions’ invented by the screenwriter.

Gareth Jones travelled to the Soviet Union and onto Ukraine in 1933.

There, he uncovered truths about the Holodomor, a horrific famine that claimed the lives of millions.

Chernobyl shocker as fungi that eats radiation found inside nuclear reactor

A type of black fungus that eats radiation was discovered inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

In 1991, the strange fungus was found growing up the walls of the reactor, which baffled scientists due to the extreme, radiation-heavy environment.

Researchers eventually realized that not only was the fungi impervious to the deadly radiation, it seemed to be attracted to it.

Introductory remarks by Frank Sysyn, Professor of History, University of Alberta, at the Symposium — Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence

Introductory remarks by Frank Sysyn, Professor of History, University of Alberta, at the Symposium — Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, 27 October 2016.

– In the 1960s the Ukrainian diaspora formed dialogue groups working directly with Jews in Israel, not between the Ukrainian diaspora and the Jewish diaspora
– 1:28 Two major historical paradigms of Jewish Ukrainian visions of Ukraine: 1) Early modern, end of the 18th century, 2) Modernization, emancipation, nation and state
– 2:20 Jews supported of the oppressive regime of the Polish-Lithuanian State against Ukrainians
– 2:35 Ukraine was the land of milk and honey, Ukraine was a “Ukrainian Volcano”. Ukraine offered Jews ability to live in a way they had never lived before, to take up new positions but this was dangerous and often lead to violence
– 3:13 Modernization, emancipation, nation and state
– 3:48 Jews opposed to social and cultural advancement of Ukrainian population
– 5:00 Dangers of stereotypes, Kulish, Jewish historians
– 7:00 Context for difficult stories
– 9:32 Ethnic Jews: 38,000 people on the Canadian census declared themselves ethnic Jews but not Jews by religion
– 10:02 Many Ukrainians viewed Jews as a nation before Jews themselves
– 10:17 Categories of Ukrainian Jews and Jewish Ukrainians
– 10:56 Holodomor project, Temerty Foundation; 4-5 million killed in Ukraine during the Holodomor. Stalin
– 12:10 Special treatment of Ukraine. Many members of the Ukrainian government were of Jewish extraction.
– 12:51 Mennonites were a great segment of the population in Ukraine. Mennonite committee in the West got aid through to Ukraine during the Holodomor, bribed Soviet authorities and saved lives
– 13:20 Maidan changed the entire civic national makeup of Ukraine. Russian Jews/Ukrainian Jews in the diaspora are retro-grade in their views and support Putin

I’m now very curious to read the book.

How Different Are Ukrainian and Russian?

Incredible analysis from Lang focus:

Ukrainian “Lexical Similarity” with

Russian: 62%
Polish: 70%
Slovak: 66%
Belarusian: 84%

Russian vocabulary – from Lativ via Old Church Slavonic
Ukrainian vocabulary – Original vernacular slavic words

I think the last fact of vocabulary origin speaks to the socio-political difference that defines the two cultures: centralized and authoritarian vs individualistic and free

Chabad, Mossad and the KGB – very interesting history!

I stumbled across this really fascinating discussion by Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie about Chabad in Russia and Ukraine. You get a little bit of news about their revival after Communism, struggling to build ties between communities despite the watchful eye of the KGB, and, interesting for me two rivalries — 1. between Chabad and Mossad, and 2. between Chabad and Western Jewish Lobbies.

Video here:

4:30 – Underground network run by Chabad superior to Mossad’s.

5:00 – Same division of Mossad that integrated with Chabad’s underground network, is the one whhich ran Jonathan Pollard in the US.

7:30 – Chabad system was a huge secret to Jews of America and Mossad as well.

13:00 – Ari Fleisher (Bush Administration) Connection.

16:00 to 17:00 – How Chabad U.S. prepared their man for a trip to Russia to build ties with Jewish community despite KGB interference.

24:15 – Finding people with common surnames in Russia and Israel to get family out of Russia using “family re-unification” rule.

34:30 – Chabad anticipated fall of communism just three weeks after Gorbachov became leader of the Soviet Union. They began preparing for the emigration of Jews from Russia. When Gorbachev heard the story he said “how could they have known when I didn’t know.”

38:30 – Sending people to the big cities in Ukraine and Russia – Moscow, St Peterburg, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv.

42:00 – Description of influence in Dnipropetrovsk.

45:30 – “Putin may not be good for Russia, but he’s definitely good for the Jews of Russia.”

48:20 – Putin bought an apartment for a teacher in Israel whom he apparently knew during childhood.

51:30 – Probably between half a million and a million Jews in Russia.

56:20 – Argument that Jackson Vanic Amendment that didn’t help Jews leave the Soviet Union.

57:10 – Russia, unlike America has to be deal with in quiet back-door deals. American political mentality is that public conflict works.

58:45 – Funny story about Russian-Jewish oligarchs dancing.

59:20 – Boasting about Chabad’s influence in Russia and independence from Western Jewish organization.

Family Life – visiting nature

I”ve found my rhythm, living with the in-laws. Work, gym, work. Relax on weekends. Yesterday, we went to the woods near a lake and cooked hotdogs over an open fire. There was a mist over the water and a lone fisherman in a small boat on the other side. Dalyno and I unsuccessfully tried to spot the woodpecker he’d heard in the trees. Twice heard squawking from the woods behind us. Then we heard a reply from up over the lake, and a stork flew over us, calling. We take that as a sign that delivery will be soon.

The Pysanka (Easter Egg) Tradition lives on in Mt. Airy NC

The origin of the batik workshop series at the museum has a direct link to Ukraine, due to it being led initially by Maria Skaskiw, a Ukraine native who lived in Mount Airy before moving away to be closer to family.

“I have been teaching it ever since Maria left,” said Nealis, who assisted Skaskiw.