Thursday, 13 December

The passing week began with the sad and tragic news on the death of Katia Handziuk. The murder of the activist, the late words of compassion and apologies, the promises to punish those who are responsible – the last seven days were full of them. About this and the news, that took place in and out of the background – in the traditional digest of Opinion.

Hrytsia Erde is a Ukrainian designer and illustrator, a contemporary universal artist. Amongst other things, she creates original and rather recognizable collages, some of which adorn the print media and covers of music bands. The series of works “Dead Flowers” is the result of reflection and events of 2014 experienced by the author, thoughts about death, statehood, police, war, people, the experience of fear and incomprehensibility, and at the same time a great rise and a sense of victory.

Who killed Katia Handziuk?

The surname of Katia Handziuk has long been a symbol. “Handziuk’s list ” –  is not just about people who have suffered from attacks. This is a list of people who put everything to overcome a system that instead tried to destroy them. Katia’s death is something that is still hard to believe in. In the end, it’s enough to look at the scenes of farewell to the activist: there were more than a thousand people at the ceremony; many of them came from all over the country.

Retelling the biography of Kateryna is wrong and inappropriate. There, at the farewell, it seemed to everyone that there are only close people around: for everyone knew each other through Katia. Therefore, the best words about an activist are the words of her friends, not the standardized life chronicle.

“I read her in LJ, from 2000. Maybe we chatted, but on travel topics or something like that. I didn’t particularly watch her; knew that in Kherson she became a certain official or deputy after the Maidan. Once the military acquaintances from the 73 marine center drove from Ochakiv to ATO or vice versa, I don’t remember. And their car with a bunch of weapons was broken in Kherson. I asked for help. Katia ‘made it’ in 20 minutes,” says Roman Sinitsyn, a friend of Katia, a well-known volunteer, and blogger. Read more about Katia and how her relatives and friends recall her, in the material from Opinion.

Still the Prosecutor General

The saga of Yuriy Lutsenko deserves the status of a separate case: how to raise his own rating during the day and highjack attention from more important issues and questions. We’ll explain it to you. This week, the Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, during a speech in the Verkhovna Rada, stressed that he was going to resign in order to demonstrate that nobody is clinging to power. However, at that time, no statement, as required by the procedure, was written by the Prosecutor General. After all, this did not prevent Parubiy from putting Lutsenko’s appeal for a vote. The results are comforting and convenient for the Prosecutor General, there are only 38 deputies, who are ready to support his resign, thus there is still trust for him.

It is clear that such an appealing game could not but provoke outrage in the network. Political experts, bloggers, and armchair critics began to discuss how effective this PR was, whether Lutsenko was really going to retire and why it could be real. However, the controversy did not last for a long time: either acting on his own plan or having read the comments on Facebook, Lutsenko still filed the necessary application to the Ukrainian president.

Colleagues-journalists already had time to tell that the Prosecutor General had a fairly tough conversation with Petro Poroshenko, who had a negative attitude to such a decision. However, he promised to consider the application as soon as he returns from an overseas working trip. So far, Yuriy Lutsenko is still the Prosecutor General. And it does not matter whether he clings to the power or not.

Secondhand embarrassment for the actions of people’s deputy

Do you know what is a secondhand embarrassment? This is when you go out with a friend, and when he decides to sing some of his favorite songs in karaoke, somehow you become embarrassed. Even if you are already sitting under the table. Or, for example, when people’s deputies of your country on the day of the burial of the murdered activist decide to arrange a masquerade just in the Verkhovna Rada. This is the biggest secondhand embarrassment.

So, a part of the people’s deputies, headed by Oleksiy Honcharenko and organized on the principle of their presence in the sanction list, wrote a letter to the Russian president. Maybe it’d be okay if it had not been done in the style of a famous letter from the Cossacks to the Turkish sultan. And even this would be okay if the people’s deputies did not try and find the appropriate costumes. And so – the perfect picture for Russian TV-channels and a great occasion to regret that there is still time before the elections.

In a speech read from the tribune of the Verkhovna Rada by Honcharenko, everything was almost entirely consistent with the original, if not the only change – the adaptation of the letter under the new addressee. Here, of course, there might be a question whether the people’s deputies were aware of their incomplete resemblance with the Cossacks and that all this happened exactly that day, but our role is simple – we watch and blush.

Tinder, Varchenko, a student

You probably have seen at least something about this “scandal” on the network? Let’s try to tell in short and avoid unnecessary stuff. One evening in the network suddenly appears a post by a student, Natalia Bureiko, who asks for help. According to her, the man with whom she met through the “Tinder” app began threatening her, calling relatives and close people, requesting intimacy, and even sending a box with flowers and chopped chicken legs. The man allegedly appeared to be the deputy head of the Department of economic protection of the National Police of Ukraine, Oleksandr Varchenko. And this gave the situation a great piquancy.

At first tabloid press was quickly filled with headlines about “Sex scandal with the official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine”, however, some of the network users had quite real suspicions: why cannot this be a fake? This question was slowed down until the owner of the page took a picture of herself and the Facebook profile address plus added a screenshot that shows how someone “advises” the girl to delete the viral post.

After that, the girl disappears and ceases to communicate with anyone. The situation is already discussed in more respectful media, they say, the student has disappeared. But everything turned out to be fine: Bureiko has published new photos, where she applies to law enforcement agencies. And what about Varchenko? The official on his page writes, that he has nothing to do with the situation, he says, it is an information attack, and he is ready at any moment to give evidence to find the guilty ones.

Does it look like a happy ending? Well, almost. After all, the girl… deletes all the posts and writes the text, in which she apologizes for the slander to Mr. Varchenko, says that she was wrong and asks to leave her alone: no further comments. All in all, this reminds the record of a certain neighborhood police inspector.

Quotas and radio

Since November 8, the last, third, stage of the introduction of quotas on Ukrainian-language songs and radio broadcasts has come into force. From now on, at least 35% (and this is already more than a third) of the songs should be Ukrainian. But this is not the end: the share of programs in the state language should be at least 60%.

And no matter how much they shouted about treason in the first year of quotas, no matter how much they predicted the closure of radio stations and the abolition of licenses, no matter how hard they tried to kill the belief in the existence of Ukrainian music, nothing had happened. Quotas don’t just work, but even have long met the implementation of the recently introduced percentage. According to the people’s deputies and singers, Ukrainian music is developing so actively, that there is no need to look for an alternative on the radio or to accurately calculate the percentage established by law. Therefore, there are no reasons to worry…

One of the strongest in Europe

According to the results of the recent Business Insider rating, the Ukrainian army was identified as one of the strongest in Europe. During the assessment, factors such as geography, logistics, resources, armaments and equipment, the amount of manpower, the development of the country, etc. were taken into account.

Thus, according to the results of the evaluation, the military budget of our country is $ 4.88 billion, we have 1.1 million of “manpower”, more than two thousand tanks, 240 military planes, and 25 naval vessels. All of it “sent” the Ukrainian Armed Forces to the 10th place in the ranking. The country, that slightly overcame us was Greece, which has a significantly lower number of tanks and servicemen but has a larger budget and more fighter jets. But the top 3 of the most powerful armies are Russia, France, and Great Britain.

Ranking does not always correspond to reality, because the staff may differ from each other, the number of tanks does not always mean quality, and practice shows that the army at the 10th place of the ranking is quite capable of deterring the offensive of the aggressor-state that is among the leaders. And it’s able not only to deter, but it also gives an adequate response. After all, they are people who fight, not the machines. So let’s remember that the first one is not always the main one.

By Dmytro Zhuravel

Leave A Reply