Archive for the ‘Ukraine’ Category

A Public Vow of Love, Doubling as an Act of Defiance

Mykola Maslov, left, and Taras Karasiichuk on their wedding day in Manhattan. They dressed in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Credit Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times

Mykola Maslov, left, and Taras Karasiichuk on their wedding day in Manhattan. They dressed in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Credit Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times

Michael Schwirtz writes:

Dressed in flashy suits, custom made to match the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, Taras Karasiichuk and Mykola Maslov stood before a clerk at the Manhattan marriage bureau on July 1 and spoke their wedding vows.

It was the culmination of a kaleidoscopic month for the young men. They had flown to New York from their home in Kiev days before the United States Supreme Court made same-sex marriage a constitutional right. And then, carrying Ukrainian and American flags, they marched in the pride parade in Manhattan.

Three weeks earlier, in Kiev, Taras and Mykola (who is known by the nickname Kolya) were part of a smaller, less festive gay rights demonstration. Flanked by riot police officers and carrying rainbow flags, they marched only a short distance before the attack came: Men in camouflage and face masks shot pepper spray into the crowd and threw little bombs packed with nails.

“In New York pride is a holiday,” Kolya said. “For us, it’s a trial.”

A vacation in New York offered a chance to exhale, to enjoy a summer of simple pleasures — trips to the beach, concerts in the park or, in the case of the parade, dancing on Fifth Avenue — before returning to the war and revolution and uncertainty of Ukraine. Mostly they came to love each other openly and without fear, to walk the streets hand in hand, to steal a public kiss: little things that are nearly impossible at home.

Discussing the Ukraine crisis, Henry Kissinger states that he has “no personal relationship…whatsoever” with Putin

Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger

Discussing the Ukraine crisis, Henry Kissinger, the U.S. diplomat and political scientist who was born on this day in history, 27 May, 1923, states with regard to Putin:

“I have no personal relationship with him whatsoever.”

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

On this day in history: March 31, 1809, Nikolai Gogol was born

Daguerreotype of Gogol taken in 1845 by Sergey Lvovich Levitsky (1819–1898)

Daguerreotype of Gogol taken in 1845 by Sergey Lvovich Levitsky (1819–1898)

On this day in history: March 31, 1809, Nikolai Gogol, Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist, novelist and short story writer, was born:

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Russian: Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь, tr. Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol, IPA: [nʲɪkɐˈlaj vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ˈgogəl; Ukrainian: Мико́ла Васи́льович Го́голь, Mykola Vasyliovych Hohol; 31 March [O.S. 19 March] 1809 – 4 March [O.S. 21 February] 1852) was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist, novelist and short story writer.

Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol’s work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism and the grotesque (“The Nose“, “Viy“, “The Overcoat,” “Nevsky Prospekt“). His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls), leading to his eventual exile. The novel Taras Bulba (1835) and the play Marriage (1842), along with the short stories “Diary of a Madman“, “The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich“, “The Portrait” and “The Carriage“, round out the tally of his best-known works.

 

Geoffrey Robertson states that Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian prime minister, is “a remarkable and courageous figure”

The former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko addresses protesters in Kiev. Photograph: News Pictures/Rex

The former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko addresses protesters in Kiev. Photograph: News Pictures/Rex

Geoffrey Robertson QC, a leading human rights lawyer who is a Consulting Editor for Interlitq, writes that Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Ukrainian prime minister, is “a remarkable and courageous figure”.

Geoffrey Robertson QC

Geoffrey Robertson QC