The Nazino Affair: The Tragedy of Cannibal Island

On March 11, 1933, a plan for a very different kind of gulag was presented to Joseph Stalin. Devised by Genrikh Yagoda, Stalin’s head of the Secret Service and Matvei Berman, the head of the Soviet Gulag system, the scheme proposed that the government resettle 2,000,000 political undesirables in self-sufficient settlements in Siberia and Kazakhstan. The idea was that the “settlers” would work to bring a million hectares of untouched land into agricultural production, thus helping famine struck Russia- and sustaining themselves. So, in May 1933 the first assortment of 6,000 political dissidents and petty criminals were loaded up into trains. Their destination was the isolated Western Siberian Island of Nazino.

The Nazino colony was meant to achieve self-sufficiency in two years. However, thirteen weeks after its conception, the project had failed spectacularly. For the settlers were abandoned in a hostile Siberian wilderness, under-resourced and unprepared. All too soon, anarchy, violence, and disease became rife in the community. When the authorities finally intervened, after the rejection of the plan by Stalin, they discovered that 4,000 of the original deportees were either dead or missing. Most disturbingly of all, however, was the number of survivors who had turned to cannibalism. Until Glasnost, the Nazino Affair remained buried. Since then, historians have revealed what happened on that remote Siberian Island. . . .

As a result, the original target of 2,000,000 deportees over ten years was halved. However, worries about costs did not stop the deportations beginning immediately- even before Stalin had given his official approval. . . .

. . . by the time the barges reached Nazino on May 18th, twenty-seven people were already dead. . . .

On board the barges, the deportees had been issued with 200grams of bread a day. Now, they had nothing but 20 tonnes of flour- around 4 tons per person. For the first four days, even this was denied them. In these conditions, it is hardly surprising that in the initial twenty-four hours, a further 295 people died. . . .

When the guards finally attempted to distribute the flour, there were riots as the hungry settlers began to fight for rations. Unable to restore order, the guards fired shots and moved the flour to the shore opposite the island while the settlers calmed down. The guards tried to distribute the supplies again the next day. However, once more fights broke out. Finally, it was decided to split the settlers into brigades of 150 people, each represented by a leader or Brigadier. These brigadiers were responsible for collecting the flour and distributing it. Unfortunately, many of these leaders were self-nominated criminals appropriated all the flour for themselves. This inauspicious beginning was only the prelude for the horrors to come. . . .

Apart from the imprisonment of several of the surviving guards, the authorities swept the whole matter under the carpet. However, with the advent of Glasnost in 1988, the details of the tragedy became publicly available for the first time. However, the Ostyak people around Nazino never forgot the terrible events of summer 1933. To them, Nazino was and always will be Death Island.

Ukraine activist Kateryna Handzyuk dies after acid attack

Kateryna Handzyuk, 33, suffered burns over 40% of her body and severe eye damage as a result of the assault on 31 July in the southern city of Kherson.

Ms Handzyuk, who was also a Kherson city council member, had undergone 11 operations in the capital Kiev.

President Petro Poroshenko on Sunday called for the killers to be punished. Five suspects are already in custody.

The exact cause of Ms Handzyuk’s death was not immediately known, but reports in local media suggested it was a blood clot.

In September, the activist – who also campaigned against Russian-backed separatism – posted a video in which she urged Ukrainians to fight rampant corruption.

“I know I look bad now. But at least I’m being treated,” she said. “And I definitely know that I look much better than justice in Ukraine. Because nobody is treating it.”

The death of the activist on Sunday triggered an avalanche of reactions on social media in Ukraine, with many users expressing shock.

I want to fund anti-corruption movements.

How do I explain Swiss Cheese to Ukrainians?

My wife is making Reuben sandwiches after trying the most heavenly Reuben in Cracker Barrel when we visited the US. The conversation goes like this:

– What type of cheese goes on them?

– Swiss?

– Huh?

– Swiss. “Shvaitsarski.” You know.

– They make lots of different cheeses in Switzerland.

Apparently, there’s no conception of an individual flavor of cheese called Swiss in Ukraine. Wikipedia sheds some light:

Swiss cheese is a generic name in North America for several related varieties of cheese, mainly of North American manufacture, which resemble Emmental cheese, a yellow, medium-hard cheese that originated in the area around Emmental, in Switzerland.

Also, this is cool:

Swiss cheese without eyes is known as “blind”. . . .

In general, the larger the eyes in a Swiss cheese, the more pronounced its flavor because a longer fermentation period gives the bacteria more time to act.[9] This poses a problem, however, because cheese with large eyes does not slice well and comes apart in mechanical slicers. As a result, industry regulators have limited the eye size by which Swiss cheese receives the Grade A stamp.[10]

Land Lady

This month, we are moving away from our crazy and oppressive land lady. We found out from a neighbor whom we said goodbye to that she got the property in a deeply immoral way. She was hired to help an aging couple that lived there. She either forged documents or somehow manipulating or tricking them into signing the property over to her.

Unfortunately, this type of behavior isn’t unusual in post-communism. I would like “post-communism” to be thought of and discussed as its own distinct social order.

World’s oldest intact shipwreck discovered in Black Sea

Archaeologists have found what they believe to be the world’s oldest intact shipwreck at the bottom of the Black Sea where it appears to have lain undisturbed for more than 2,400 years.

The 23-metre (75ft) vessel, thought to be ancient Greek, was discovered with its mast, rudders and rowing benches all present and correct just over a mile below the surface. A lack of oxygen at that depth preserved it, the researchers said.

“A ship surviving intact from the classical world, lying in over 2km of water, is something I would never have believed possible,” said Professor Jon Adams, the principal investigator with the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP), the team that made the find. “This will change our understanding of shipbuilding and seafaring in the ancient world.”

The ship is believed to have been a trading vessel of a type that researchers say has only previously been seen “on the side of ancient Greek pottery such as the ‘Siren Vase’ in the British Museum”.

. . . .

It was among more than 60 shipwrecks found by the international team of maritime archaeologists, scientists and marine surveyors, which has been on a three-year mission to explore the depths of the Black Sea to gain a greater understanding of the impact of prehistoric sea-level changes.

They said the finds varied in age from a “17th-century Cossack raiding fleet, through Roman trading vessels, complete with amphorae, to a complete ship from the classical period”.

Donald Trump is Finished

This is a clue why I had so many unproductive correspondences with people who couldn’t reconcile my support of Trump and my being in Ukraine. These very official looking script-readers repeat the same phrases for years and create illusions of consensus where none exist.


Even better compilation, with some of the same content, here:

Ecumenical Patriarchate proceeds to granting autocephaly to Church of Ukraine: Synod decision

Announcement (11/10/2018).
Presided by His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018, in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda.

The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length the ecclesiastical matter of Ukraine, in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Edmonton, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed:

1) To renew the decision already made that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of Autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine.

2) To reestablish, at this moment, the Stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarch in Kyiv, one of its many Stavropegia in Ukraine that existed there always.

3) To accept and review the petitions of appeal of Filaret Denisenko, Makariy Maletych and their followers, who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarch of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy from all of the Autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above-mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church.

4) To revoke the legal binding of the Synodal Letter of the year 1686, issued for the circumstances of that time, which granted the right through oikonomia to the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kyiv, elected by the Clergy-Laity Assembly of his eparchy, who would commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the First hierarch at any celebration, proclaiming and affirming his canonical dependence to the Mother Church of Constantinople.

5) To appeal to all sides involved that they avoid appropriation of Churches, Monasteries and other properties, as well as every other act of violence and retaliation, so that the peace and love of Christ may prevail.

At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 11th of October, 2018

Veterans-turned-mafiosos in Lviv

Post-Communist problems.


Last week the Lviv City Palace of Culture. Hnat Khotkevych broke up a group of men who demanded that the “anti-Ukrainian fascist measures” be stopped. Although it turned out that nothing like this happens in the palace, men refused to leave the premises, threatening and humiliating the workers of the institution. The restoration of the palace of culture succeeded only after the intervention of the police.

ZAXID.NET has been studying video and photo material from the scene to tell more about the group members who dare to storm the communal institution of culture. And it turned out that they are equally close to the authoritative ex-deputy Ihor Krivetsky known under the nickname “Pops” and to the head of the Lviv regional state administration Oleg Synyutki.

Not “National Corps”, then who?

Immediately after the incident, the workers of the palace of culture named after him. Hnat Hotkevich spread the information that representatives of the “National Corps” broke into their institution. Svyatoslav Seryry, head of the regional headquarters of the National Corps, denied this information, while clarifying that only one member of their organization, the head of the Lviv branch Stepan Vinyar, was in place.

56-year-old Stepan Vinyar, a long-time participant in various types of paramilitaries, in the early 1990’s he represented the “battle wing” of the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU), which was created in Lviv in 2004, which was transformed into “Liberty” in 2004. In 2015, Stepan Vinyar became a member of the civil corps Azov, which later became the basis for the creation of the “National Corps”.

ZAXID.NET was able to recognize photos and videos from the scene of another four members of the group who broke into the Palace of Culture. These are Sergey Favorsky, Maxim Kamenetsky, Ruslan Mutsin and Oleg Dudok. None of these men is a member of the National Corps, but they all have much in common with each other.


Night at Sokolniki robbed and shot their leg 37-year-old Lviv


“Lviv is already divided between Kopytk and Mordov. If we come here first, then this is ours”

Pislya vykhodu materialu «Fantastychna chetvirka» do ZAXID.NET pochaly zvertatysya meshkantsi Lʹvova ta oblasti z informatsiyeyu pro diyalʹnistʹ fihurantiv statti. Sered zvernenʹ buv lyst vid meshkantsiv m. Vynnyky. Vony stverdzhuvaly, shcho kolyshni atovtsi obsluhovuyutʹ interesy firmy, yaka nezakonno zabudovuye yikhnye podvirʺya. Tsi lyudy zalyakuyutʹ meshkantsiv i bʺyutʹ yikh navitʹ u prysutnosti pravookhorontsiv.

Zakhystyty vynnykivchan ne spromihsya navitʹ mer Volodymyr Kvurt. Dopomohty lyudyam z·holosyvsya narodnyy deputat Dmytro Dobrodomov. ZAXID.NET vyrishyv pereviryty tsyu «fantastychnu» istoriyu.

Chy domovytʹsya Dobrodomov?

«Do p’yatnytsi vy stattyu ne davayte. My chekayemo rezulʹtatu vid Dobrodomova. Vin vzhe zustrichavsya z Veremeyenkom. Nam mayutʹ podzvonyty i skazaty, chy viddayutʹ podvirʺya. A todi my hotovi na budʹ-yaki intervʺyu», – poyasnyuye meshkanka Vynnykiv Tetyana Kizyma.

Tetyana Kizyma, yiyi cholovik Taras ta susidy zvernulysya do ZAXID.NET pislya toho, yak vpiznaly v publikatsiyi «Fantastychna chetvirka» cholovikiv, yaki vzhe druhyy rik zalyakuyutʹ i napadayutʹ na nykh.

«YA khochu, shchob vony viddaly lyudyam zemlyu, ale za stav ya budu sudytysya i dali», – zvertayetʹsya do Tarasa i Tetyany susid Yaroslav Semenyuk. Vin rozkladaye na stoli kupu sudovykh rishenʹ, skarh i prypysiv.
After the release of the material “Fantastic Four” to ZAXID.NET began to appeal to residents of Lviv and the region with information about the activities of the contributors of the article. Among the appeals was a letter from the inhabitants of Vinniki. They argued that former attacks served the interests of a firm that illegally built their yard. These people intimidate the inhabitants and beat them even in the presence of law-enforcers.

Even the mayor Volodymyr Kvurt failed to protect the vinnikivschans. People’s Deputy Dmytro Dobrodomov called on people to help. ZAXID.NET decided to check out this “fantastic” story.

Do Dobrodomov agree?

“Until Friday you do not give the floor. We are waiting for the result from Dobromodov. He has already met Veremeyenko. We have to call and say, give the yard. And then we are ready for any interviews, “says Vinnikov resident Tatiana Kizima.

Tatiana Kizima, her husband Taras and his neighbors turned to ZAXID.NET after finding out in the publication of the Fantastic Four men who have been intimidating and attacking them for the second year.

“I want them to give land to people, but I will continue to judge myself afterwards”, – addresses Yaroslav Semenyuk, Taras and Tetyana. He lays a bunch of court decisions, complaints and orders on the table.

The state of Utah recognizes Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people

The press service of the Ukrainian Embassy in the US reports that the American state of Utah recognized the Holodomor (famine) of 1932-1933 as the genocide of Ukrainian people.

“On October 10, in Salt Lake City, in the presence of the Ukraine Ambassador to the USA, Valeriy Chaly, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Utah Jonathan Friedman and the Governor of the State of Utah, Gary Herbert signed the Declaration of Victims Commemoration of the Holodomor genocide of 1932-1933 in Ukraine,” the statement reads.

The state will honor the memory of the Ukrainian victims on November 24, 2018. The US Senate also recognized the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people on October 4th.

The Holodomor has been recognized as agenocide in 12 more states: Ohio, Missouri, Washington, Wisconsin, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Kansas. Moreover, in June, the governor of Illinois declared 2018 the Year of Memory of the victims of the Holodomor in Ukraine.