The outgoing week turned out to be rich in emotions: many Ukrainians honored the Croatian footballer almost to the level of Messiah, forgetting about our hero – Oleg Sentsov, who celebrated his 42nd birthday in a Russian prison. Thousands of Kyiv residents blocked capital’s streets because of European license plates issue, and Trump started to talk about Crimea. In detail and concisely – under the heading “A week in the prism” from Opinion.
Oleg Sentsov is 42 years old! For someone, this may be a holiday and for many Ukrainians, this a real Friday the Thirteenth. Oleg has already been In captivity for 4 years. He’s been starving for 2 months and it seems that everybody demanded his release, from Stephen King to chairman of the EU Council Donald Tusk. On director’s birthday, his mother Lyudmyla sent an open letter to Vladimir Putin with a request to pardon her son. The full text was published by media source “Echo of Moscow”. Its editor-in-chief Alexey Venediktov has friendly relations with Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “Contra spem spero” that this prayer of a poor woman will reach Putin. Don’t forget that on the same Friday the Ukrainian Yevhen Panov was sentenced to 8 years for the alleged preparation of a terrorist attack.
As in the “Gamer”, it seems that everyone becomes crazy about games, and don’t even notice the real life. Many Ukrainians raised up Croatian football player Domagoj Vida and his comrade Ognjen Vukojević to the Messiah level. They dedicated the victory of their team over Russia to Ukraine. They also exclaimed, “Glory to Ukraine”. Because of the scandal that was spun by Russians, the whole world learned our patriotic slogan. Vukojević himself was kicked out of the national team, and FIFA fined Vida. The following night 150,000 Ukrainians put 1 star on the web page of football organization on Facebook. However a few days later the footballer apologized and said that his conduct was wrongful. So, maybe it’s better not to cheer so actively for foreign drunkard players, but just to vote at elections and to fight for your rights? The benefits from that, for sure, will be greater.
NATO summit in Brussels a real “smoking spot”. Indeed, behind-the-scenes issues are resolved much faster than at the official negotiating table. So our President, literally, managed to catch Donald Trump and hold with him a 20-minute meeting “off the records”. It is not known what exactly Mr. Poroshenko said to his American counterpart. However, on the same day, Donald Trump accused his predecessor, Barack Obama, of the Crimea annexation and said that such a tragedy would not have happened during his presidency. Anyway, on Monday the head of the White House will meet with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. They will also talk about Ukraine, spokesperson of the American leader said. Whether it will be possible to reach agreements in favor of Ukraine – we will see, but from the North Korean example, Donald proved that he knows how to deal with crazy dictators.
Half a week owners of the cars with European license plates blocked the passage through the government district. They demanded to simplify the regulations for owners of the cars with European registration. On the first day of the protest, more than five thousand protesters gathered. They demanded to reduce the excise tax and simplify cars’ registration. And they were heard – MPs adopted the corresponding bill on the first reading the very next day. However, along with simplifications, members of parliament voted for huge fines. For violation of period that is permitted in the mode of temporary import it is proposed to establish a fine level of 17 thousand UAH if the term is exceeded by 10-20 days; 85 thousand UAH for 30 days; 170 thousand UAH or confiscation, for more than one month. So who won in this war is unknown, but it’s definitely not the citizens of Kyiv, because in order to avoid many kilometers of traffic jams, almost for one week the only thing they could use was a subway.
It seems that son of the minister of Internal Affairs, Oleksandr Avakov, won the lottery. The prosecutor of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office closed the case on embezzlement of public funds that was against him and ex-Deputy Minister Serhii Chebotar. Therefore, the third person involved remains the suspect in misappropriation of 14 million UAH. This is businessman Volodymyr Lytvyn, the representative of a company that won tender for the backpacks’ supply. The investigation lasted almost for a year. The minister’s son was wearing a bracelet, and his property was taken under arrest. Completely in vain. As it turned out, he is as clean as water in the Carpathian spring.
Resort Odesa this week turned into a real theater. In the darkened halls dramas of the Odesa International Film Festival are shown, and in the waters, there is a real action film by NATO squadron. On the same dates Ukrainian-American military exercise “Sea Breeze 2018” has begun. Before each film, the audience silently stands up in support of Oleg Sentsov and every political prisoner of Russia. Every shot of a gun from the sea sounds like a memory of annexed Crimea, where the director filmed his only film. Thanks to the military, intellectuals enjoy new Ukrainian cinema and a serious festival program, they entertain Hollywood actors and walk through the French Boulevard. I want to believe that every ovation and every maneuver of a combat frigate bring us closer to the moment, when Sentsov, like in 2013, will once again become a full-fledged guest of OIFF in hot Odesa, and the “Rhinoceros”, a film about bandits of the 90’s, will be released.
Text by Kostyantyn Rul