After the fall of the Soviet Union, Bukovsky, a former dissident from Russia, decided to attempt the impossible: to convene a trial that would sue not the individuals as was the case in Nuremberg but rather the system of the communist regime. “For me, it seems like we have a moral responsibility to humanity,” he remarks in the documentary Le Nuremberg du communisme.
When Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of Perestroika and Glasnost were introduced in the mid-1980s, people started to believe that the crimes of the communist regime would be punished someday and that justice would prevail. With communism on its way out, anything seemed possible. But sooner or later, that hope vanished from their minds. Historians have noted that while the Soviet regime had failed, the KGB were still active and the former nomenklatura, the communist-era elite, still retained power and influence, making it impossible to achieve justice for the victims of Soviet communism. Vladimir Bukovsky wanted to force the country to deal with its communist past and prevent the regime from gaining power again.
Born 1942, Bukovsky was a prominent activist whose fight against the Soviet regime earned him a total of twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric prison hospitals. In 1976 he was released in a swap for the imprisoned General Secretary of the Communist Party of Chile at the Zürich airport. Once free, Bukovsky felt like he had experienced a second birth. He settled in Cambridge and finished his studies in biology, but he never stopped fighting to free the Soviet Union from the grip of communism.
Judging by income tax returns, Ukrainian declared incomes grew 7% last year, in post inflation terms. According to the State Fiscal Service, Ukrainians paid the hryvnia $3.6 billion in income tax, 17% more than in 2017. Inflation in 2018 was 10%.
See more great business headlines at https://www.ubn.news
This is really a great news source for business headlines about Ukraine: www.ubn.news
Here is a morning update from last week:
🔵Ukraine lost up to 15% of its record 70 million ton grain harvest due to improper storage and handling in transport, estimates Pro-Consulting. Investment is needed in silos and elevators. Competition is needed among the grain handling facilities at the nation’s 13 seaports, reports UNIAN, citing the Kyiv-based market analysis firm.
🔵Construction starts this summer on a $12 million grain storage and processing complex in the Bila Tserkva industrial park. Designed to ship gain by truck or train, the complex is to have the capacity to accept 3,000 tons of grain a day. In the summer of 2020, Volytsia-Agro LLC plans to open the complex which will have an elevator, grain dryers and silos for wet and dry grain. Vasyl Khmelnytsky, owner of the farming company and the industrial park, made the announcement on Facebook.
🔵Epicenter K Group is expanding its modern silo storage capacity to 1 million tons at eight locations, Svitlana Nykytiuk, tells Interfax-Ukraine. In July, the farming group plans to launch the first $30 million phase – 500,000 tons in four locations. While building rail tracks to two silos, the company also is spending $6 million to buy 100 grain trucks.
🔵Kernel, the agro giant, opened its new grain export terminal in Chornomorsk last month, adding one million tons of throughput capacity. By the end of this year, the company is to open a second phase, increasing its Chornomorsk throughput by an additional three million tons. Last month, Kernel, Ukraine’s largest vertically-integrated agribusiness, bought railcar company RTK-Ukraine. Dragon Capital writes: “With almost 3,000 grain hoppers, at a estimated valuation of $64 million, [Kernel] almost met its grain transportation needs, complementing the existing fleet of 500 wagons.”
🔵As demand grows to move grain, Sergey Tigipko is talking with foreign investors about expanding his grain wagon fleet as much as seven times, to 10,000 wagons. Tigipko, owner of TAS-Logistic, tells Novoye Vremya that his company now has 1,200 grain carriers.
🔵Ukrzaliznytsia has posted on its website a list of 301 ‘low-performing’ grain stations that are candidates for closure. During the last harvest season these stations averaged less than 2.3 grain cars a day, Andrei Ryazantsev, director of finance at the state railroad, tells the Center for Transportation Technologies. Last summer, Ukrzaliznytsia announced that 130 grain stations received less than one car a day. One grain hopper typically carries 70 tons of grain.
🔵Ukraine is the world’s largest exporter of millet, a grain used for food and fodder, according to Mordor Intelligence. The smallest of Ukraine’s grain exports, millet goes largely to Germany and South Africa. Ukraine exported 76,000 tons in 2016. By comparison, Ukraine expects to export 49 million tons of grain in the marketing year that ends this June.
🔵Ukraine, South Korea and the US are working with Science Technology, a Saudi company, to design and build an unmanned combat aerial vehicle capable of carrying tons of weapons. Details of the long range ‘unmanned bomber’ were revealed at IDEX 2019, a recent defense show in Abu Dhabi, reports Defense Blog news site. Citing interest by Middle East and North Africa militaries, the Washington-based blog reports: “The UCAV fleet in the region is forecast to increase from dozens of aircraft in 2018 up to 700 combat drones in 2028.”
🔵Ukrspetsexport, the military import-export agency, is building an armored vehicle assembly plant in Myanmar, reports Defense Blog. Equipment and production machines have arrived in Yangon for a plant that is to start operating next year, reports Defense Blog. The plant will assemble 8-wheeled BTR-4U armored personnel carriers, designed by Kharkiv’s Morozov Design Bureau. From the same Kharkiv company, the Myanmar plant will build 2S1U self-propelled Gvozdika howitzers. After Myanmar’s Buddhist majority government forced much of its Muslim minority to flee to Bangladesh, the US and the EU expanded existing bans on sales of arms and equipment that can be used for internal repression.
🔵President Poroshenko says Ukraine will start mass production this year of Neptun, a land-based anti-ship rocket, and Sokil, or Falcon, a reconnaissance and attack drone. Longer range – over 500 km – missiles could be developed now that Ukraine no longer considers itself bound by the defunct intermediate range missile ban treaty, Ukrainian diplomats say. On Saturday, Poroshenko said at a campaign rally in Chernihiv: “We are no longer bound by any limitations either on the range of our missiles or on their power. Let the enemy know about it, too.”
🔵US-based Curtiss-Wright Corporation has signed an agreement with Kropyvnytskyi-based RadICS LLC to market their nuclear power safety systems to US power plant operators. Under the agreement signed recently in Dallas, the Idaho Falls unit of Curtiss-Wright will be the US stocking facility for all RadICS system components for the Kirovohrad region company.
🔵US-owned Jabil Circuit Ukraine, Ltd. is building a second electronics assembly plant in Zakarpattia, 300 meters south of the main rail freight yard for trains to Slovakia. The new, 20,000 square meter plant will be five km south of Uzhgorod and adjacent to Jabil’s existing plant, a workplace for 2,300 people. The new plant is to employ 1,300 people assembling mobile phones, media players and computer equipment for export to the EU.
🔵Slovakian and Ukrainian officials want to speed east-west freight and passenger rail traffic by developing logistics terminals in Košice and Mukachevo and a joint customs and border control point in Chop, reports Railwaypro news site. At a bilateral meeting, Infrastructure Minister Volodmyr Omelyan cited Ukraine’s new double track tunnel through the Carpathians mountains, saying: “After the opening of the Beskidy rail tunnel, the transit though the territory of Ukraine and Slovakia can increase by several times.” Dana Meager, from Slovakia’s Finance Ministry, said: “The development of a logistics complex in Košice can turn Ukraine and Slovakia into a gate between Asia and Europe and into a one big logistics hub.”
🔵ActiveChat, a Kyiv-based chatbot software company, hit the top of sales charts last month at AppSumo, the Texas-based deals website for digitally distributed online services. ActiveChat sold 10,800 subscriptions during the last two weeks of January, making it the period’s bestselling Software as a Service, or SaaS. The previous record for a Ukrainian company was DepositPhotos, which sold 8,000 subscriptions on AppSumo. Believing in the future of voice-activated chatbots, Sergei Kostyukov, the company’s managing partner, is talking with potential American investors with a goal of increasing ActiveChat’s market cap 10-fold in the next three years.
Members of the Sisterhood of St. Olha stood with placards of: “Feminism kills.” They refused to comment to Hromadske, stating that only their organizers can talk to the press. Over the megaphone they called out that they were in the name of the patriarchy and were waiting for the day feminists decide to join their Sisterhood.
A journalist friend of mine has been reporting on corruption. Specifically two types:
1) “Veteran” Land grabs. Corrupt oligarchs are partnering with real and fake veterans to take advantage of a land-donation privilege which has been extended to veterans of the war with Russia.
2) Illegal lumber. Corrupt gangsters team up with everybody from cheap local labor, to the forestry service, to the police, to the prosecutor, to the local governor. Everyone makes money.
I asked him if exposing such corruption may be a threat to his safety. He shrugged it off. “Nowadays it’s cheaper to bribe a judge than to kill a journalist.”
They’re all horribly corrupt clowns, but at least there are pro-Russian candidates.
My son’s grandmother consoled him once or twice by telling him to throw his tears at something – usually a dog, real or toy, or at something outside. She asked him where he will throw his tears, and he thinks about it and does it, and eventually gets distracted enough that he stops crying and switches gears. My wife kept up this habit. I sometimes embellish by asking him to throw his tears at his toy truck, and then I go and flip the truck over and say “boom” and he laughs. Or I have him throw his tears at my slippers, and when he does, I flick them off my feet. This has worked wonders. I see him get control of his own emotions now without intervention. He’ll throw his tears at something, take a deep breath, and say “vse” (“all done”), and move on to the the next thing with his emotions under control. I think this is marvelous for a not-yet-three year old.
We are potty training. He doesn’t usually wear diapers. During our long car ride today, he said he had to pee, and my wife suggested they put on a pamper, but he refused. There was a little discussion and improvisation and he ended up peeing in a cup, which was dumped out the window onto the rainy highway. When we arrived at grandma’s, after not seeing her for a month or so, his first words to her were “I peed in a cup.”
The GPS told us to take this other road which we know to be in horrible shape. Pot holes big enough to destroy your care if you don’t slow to a crawl. It was patched tolerably last year, and saved us maybe a whole hour on the trip, but the work didn’t survive a single winter. A real example of the worst stereo types of Ukrainian infrastructure. Anyway, we passed the turn, and for a while the GPS repeatedly ask us to make a U turn. My asked what she was say, and my wife said “to make a turn.” My son reasserted that he wanted to go to grandma’s, and told us not to listen to her.
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Jakov had been a lieutenant in the Russian army. All Stalin knew was that he had been captured by the Germans at the Siege of Smolensk in 1941, and held in a prisoner of war camp. . . . Sachsenhausen Camp.
Jakov Djugashvili Stalin arrived in this compound towards the end of 1942, a shattered man. Not only had he been taken prisoner but by surrendering at the siege of Smolensk he had directly disobeyed his father’s commands – Stalin had issued orders that Russian soldiers should defend the city to the last man.
The Germans tried hard to win over the young Stalin – including a personal introduction to Field Marshal Goring – but he determinedly refused to co-operate.
At Sachsenhausen, Jakov was expected to work but was still accorded certain privileges. He was billeted in Hut A, inside the special compound, with five others. The hut was spacious. It had a communal eating area and two lavatories. There were two bedrooms. Jakov shared one with Wasili Kokorin, a nephew of the Soviet Foreign Minister, Molotov; in the other were four British prisoners-of-war, Staff Sergeant Cushing, William Murphy, Andrew Walsh and Patrick O’Brien. Cushing is the only member of the British party still alive today. . . .
The British suspected Kokorin, a small self-centred man anxious to curry favour with the German guards, of passing information to the Gestapo. They were equally contemptuous of Jakov. Unlike Kokorin, he became increasingly aggressive in his defence of Russian communism, continually ‘shouting bolshevist propaganda’, according to a statement Cushing made.
There was a constant barrage of accusations between the two sides: the British felt the Russians were always seeking personal meetings with the camp commandant to obtain special favours – cigarettes, clean clothes.
For their part, the Russians goaded the British about their wealth, in particular over an expensive watch one of the Irishmen was wearing. They attacked the calibre of British troops in general, and criticised the soldiers for standing to attention when spoken to by the German officers in charge of the camp – the implication being that the British were cowards.
According to the documents we have scrutinised Stalin’s son became particularly provocative. He said that when the war was over, the Red Army would drive through to Spain, English dukes, earls, barons and landowners – according to Jakov they were
‘Hitler’s puppets’ – would all be murdered.
In early 1943, the atmosphere was poisonous. Small events sparked off violent quarrels. There were rows over the distribution of Red Cross parcels, and petty disputes about national habits. The incident that triggered off the final tragedy of Jakov Stalin was typical: it concerned the latrines.
On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 14, 1943, in a particularly heated exchange, Cushing accused Stalin’s son of refusing to flush the lavatory and of deliberately fouling the wooden seat. If true, it was an offence calculated to enrage Cushing, who, as a British POW did not have to work, and saw himself as the hut ‘housekeeper’ keeping the quarters clean.
The row spread quickly to the other prisoners. Murphy accused Jakov of the same behaviour. Outside the hut, O’Brien confronted Kokorin with the allegation that he defecated on the ground and fouled the latrine used by the British soldiers. O’Brien called Kokorin ‘a bolshevist shit’; Kokorin called O’Brien ‘an English shit.’ A fight broke out and O’Brien hit Kokorin.
The precise role-played in these exchanges by Jakov Stalin, and indeed his responsibility for them, remains unclear. What does seem certain, however, is that the accumulated effect of constant bickering, rows, accusations – and finally the fight – broke the spirit of a man already suffering from confused emotions about his loyalties, his background and his future.
That evening, at curfew, Jakov refused to go back into the hut. He demanded to see the camp commandant, claiming he was being insulted by the British prisoners, and when his request was turned down, he appears to have gone berserk.
Wildly waving a piece of wood, he ran about the area of the camp, shouting in broken German, to the SS guards on duty, ‘shoot me, shoot me’. Then, in what appears to have been a clear desire to kill himself, he turned and ran towards the three-stage electrified fencing-surrounding perimeter.
Cushing himself saw what happened. He had placed the blackout sheeting on the eight windows of Hut A a few minutes earlier, when he heard the commotion in the yard and peered out.
Talking to the Sunday Times at his home in County Cork last week, he described what followed: “I saw Jakov running about as if he were insane. He just ran straight onto the wire. There was a huge flash and all the searchlights suddenly went on. I knew that was the end of him.”
The final moments of the tragedy were graphically related in a statement we have examined that is made by SS officer Konrad Hartich, who was on duty at the fence.
“He (Jakov) put one leg over the trip-wire, crossed the neutral zone and put one foot into the barbed wire entanglement. At the same time, he grabbed an insulator with his left hand. Then he left go of it and grabbed the electrified fence.
“He stood still for a moment with his right leg back and his chest pushed out and shouted to me ‘Guard, you are a soldier, don’t be a coward, shoot me.’ ”
Harfich fired a single shot. The bullet entered Stalin’s head four centimetres in front of his right ear. Death was instantaneous.
“Afterwards the Germans tried to make me take him off the wire and wrap his body in a blanket,” said Cushing. “It was the first time I felt sorry for the poor bastard.”
The death of Jakov Stalin was a grave embarrassment to the German high command who feared that the Russians would discover what had happened and exact retribution on German prisoners. But early in July 1945 an Anglo-American team sifting through German archives in Berlin unearthed the full details of the story.
Realising the implications the British Foreign Office reacted quickly, and on July 27, 1945, Michael Vyyyan, a senior Foreign Office official, wrote to his opposite number in the American State Department.
“Our own inclination here is to recommend that the idea of communicating to Marshal Stalin should be dropped…It would naturally be distasteful to draw attention to the Anglo-Russian quarrels which preceded the death of his son.”
Paul Hanebrink, Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, takes on a controversial topic:
For much of the twentieth century, Europe was haunted by a threat of its own imagining: Judeo-Bolshevism. This myth―that Communism was a Jewish plot to destroy the nations of Europe―was a paranoid fantasy, and yet fears of a Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy took hold during the Russian Revolution and spread across Europe. During World War II, these fears sparked genocide.
Paul Hanebrink’s history begins with the counterrevolutionary movements that roiled Europe at the end of World War I. Fascists, Nazis, conservative Christians, and other Europeans, terrified by Communism, imagined Jewish Bolsheviks as enemies who crossed borders to subvert order from within and bring destructive ideas from abroad. In the years that followed, Judeo-Bolshevism was an accessible and potent political weapon.
After the Holocaust, the specter of Judeo-Bolshevism did not die. Instead, it adapted to, and became a part of, the Cold War world. Transformed yet again, it persists today on both sides of the Atlantic in the toxic politics of revitalized right-wing nationalism. Drawing a worrisome parallel across one hundred years, Hanebrink argues that Europeans and Americans continue to imagine a transnational ethno-religious threat to national ways of life, this time from Muslims rather than Jews.
High Praise from the NY Review of Books: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/02/21/fake-threat-of-jewish-communism/
Harsh Criticism from the Occidental Observer: https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2019/03/02/lying-about-judeo-bolshevism/
In the video below, Sargon of Akkad picks apart the writings of some idiot who thinks Marx meant well and never really did anything wrong.
Postmodern culture, he argued, was first theorized by neo-Marxists to refer to what they saw as a new phase of capitalism, characterized by heightened skepticism and a preoccupation with subjectivity. However, one need not adopt Marxist social theory in order to agree with the basic point that the social conditions which characterize twenty-first century liberal democracies make it difficult to take our beliefs for granted. The unprecedented degree of cultural and religious pluralism on offer in developed nations today undoubtedly has an impact on what we can take to be certain….
Charles Taylor in his masterpiece A Secular Age called this process “fragilization,” the basic idea of which is that it is more difficult to believe in something wholeheartedly when that belief is not shared by the people one is surrounded by (indeed, we might call this sociology of knowledge 101). So, there is a real sense in which we do in fact live in a post- (or what I would prefer to call “late”) modern culture, whereby our awareness of the existence of “other options”—made especially acute as a result of recent digital technologies—fragilizes our beliefs, leaving us without firm epistemic anchors….
This speaker applied a hermeneutics of suspicion with great skill to these discourses, identifying how they were not only socially constructed, but also how they served the nefarious ends of their various proponents. It was a well-argued paper that left me impressed but also puzzled. The speaker had deconstructed all of these accounts but supplied no alternative account. After the session ended I approached him to inquire about this. But he just stared at me blankly, as if I had just asked him how to tie my own shoelaces. This was not his job, he told me. He seemed to believe an alternative account to be unnecessary. I wanted to know what underlying values and beliefs were motivating his critique so I asked him to describe his worldview. He responded, “I have no worldview.”…
postmodernism is popular—especially among academics—not merely because of the social and cultural conditions of late modernity, but because it is immensely powerful as a tool or strategy of argument. For how can you possibly refute a person’s position when they deny even having one? In turn, arguing with someone who subscribes to postmodern thought is like fighting someone who has nothing to lose. There is no winning….
By feigning a position of critical neutrality, the postmodern critic can stand back and deconstruct everyone else’s discourses, as if they occupy an archimedean point….
the postmodern critic has entered into a Faustian bargain: they have traded in their humanity.”…
much of what we see being advanced under the banner of “postmodernism” is simply hypocrisy in disguise….
An American destroyer is sailing to the Black Sea to conduct naval exercises with Ukraine to demonstrate “solidarity” in response to a clash with Russia that has a top U.S. admiral furious.
“The whole episode in the Sea of Azov was extremely bothersome to me,” Admiral James Foggo, commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe and Africa, told reporters on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference over the weekend.
Russian forces fired on three Ukrainian naval vessels that attempted to pass through the Kerch Strait, the narrow waterway that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, and arrested the sailors in late November.
First, no openly pro-Russian candidate can win and this is a major change from the past….
Second, the polls will prove to be very wrong. Ukrainian media publishes almost daily polls, all of which show Tymoshenko leading, a relatively new face in a distant second place, and the president in third….
Third, the majority of presidential candidates are actually campaigning for parliament. Six candidates currently average 10 percent in the presidential polls—Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, former defense minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Radical Party Leader Oleh Lyashko, and Opposition Bloc leader Yuriy Boyko—but Tymoshenko and Poroshenko are the ones to watch. The other four are campaigning for seats in the parliamentary elections, and standing in the presidential election is merely a method to raise their visibility beforehand….
Fourth, Tymoshenko and Poroshenko will battle again in the runoff….
Fifth, the winner of the presidential election will have momentum going into the parliamentary elections….
I’ve been called all sorts of names for not believing this thing. I received messages like “how could a Ukrainian possibly support Trump when he’s obviously Putin’s puppet.”
Lies should not be so powerful. If you were one of these people who confronted me, I will now be accepting apologies.
Imagine if the US government spent this many resources investigating the Vegas shooting which killed 58 people. Imagine if all foreign interests lobbying the US received this level of scrutiny. The hypocrisy is too much to bare with a straight face.
They hate Poland for its nationalism.
On Wednesday NBC News hack Andrea Mitchell told the NBC audience the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto rose up against the Polish and Nazi regimes.
This is ludicrous and outrageous!
In World War II there was NO collaborationist Polish government with the Nazis. The Poles were victims of the Nazis and later they were victims of Stalin. The Polish Home Army provided some support to Jews fighting against the Germans.
Kyiv, Ukraine – The ongoing transformation and modernization of Ukraine’s healthcare system was dealt a blow this week when a Kyiv District Court judge issuing a bizarre ruling that prohibited Dr. Ulana Suprun, the country’s Minister of Healthcare, from performing her duties. Having lost the battle in parliament in October 2017, and with sociology showing the key elements of the reform being solidly popular, the medical mafia retreated to the murky court system in a last ditch effort to thwart the transformation of the healthcare system. Now the country’s progress in healthcare hangs in the balance as the battle continues in the courts next week.
Serhiy Karakashiyan, an odious judge, from Kyiv’s notorious District Administrative Court, issued the dictate on February 5th stating that Dr. Suprun could not serve as an “Acting Minister” for more than a period of a month, and also made mention of her citizenship. Based on these arguments, Karakashiyan prohibited Dr. Suprun from performing her duties as the Acting Minister of Healthcare. However, the basis for the ruling is dubious. Dr. Suprun has served as the Acting Minister of Health since her appointment by the Cabinet of Ministers, led by Premier Volodymyr Groysman, since August 2016. The post of Minister, which requires parliamentary approval, has been vacant since April 2016. Constitutionally, the Parliament is responsible for approving government ministers, but in their dereliction of duty, the Cabinet of Ministers can appoint Acting Ministers. Without Acting Ministers, medicines can’t get to patients, hospitals can’ receive state funding, and medical professionals can’t be paid. For example, currently, more than $23 million dollars of medicine is held hostage by Karakashiyan’s ruling and is prevented from getting to patients and doctors.