· June, 2007

Stories about Ukraine from June, 2007

Ukraine: A Spanish Embassy Ordeal

  29 June 2007

In an ideal world, there'd be no need for travelers to waste their time and money obtaining visas: buying a plane ticket and booking a hotel room would suffice. Tanya Kremen, a Ukrainian journalist, studies Spanish but feels that a plane ticket to Latin America costs too much. So she decided to go to Spain. She had a valid visa - unlike the two of her friends who wanted to go along. What follows is the story of their frustrating visit to the Spanish Embassy in Kyiv, posted by Tanya on her blog at Korrespondent.net.

Ukraine: Kyiv Traffic Jam

  28 June 2007

Olechko gets stuck in traffic in Kyiv and discusses possible reasons for the jam with her cab driver: “[…] end of year graduation, Rada’s last meeting for the year, end of business quarter, beginning of four-day weekend!”

Romania: Economic Relations With Neighbors

  22 June 2007

Romerican writes about the prospects of Romania's economic relations with its neighbors: “Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Ukraine all represent logical markets for exporting Romanian-made products and Romanian-performed services sold under Romanian brands of Romanian-owned companies. There’s a ready audience right across the border just ripe for the taking. Do it.”

Eastern & Central Europe: U.S. States’ GDPs

  21 June 2007

U.S. states have been renamed for countries with similar GDPs and the new map has been posted at Strange Maps: Russia is New Jersey, Ukraine is Idaho, Belarus is Alaska, Poland is Missouri, Czech Republic is Nebraska, Hungary is New Mexico, Romania is Delaware, Croatia is South Dakota.

Ukraine: Kurkov's Novel

  20 June 2007

Music and Life – Everywhere! writes about “The President's Last Love” by Andrey Kurkov: “unfortunately, of course, surreal in Ukraine is probably real.”

Ukraine: Elton John and Kids With AIDS

  18 June 2007

Michelle Knisley of Greetings from Kiev attended Elton John's AIDS awareness concert, along with approximately 200,000 other people. Before the concert, she happened to watch a TV clip about the orphanage she used to work at and recognized two girls with AIDS she once played with.

Ukraine: Want an “A”? Pay $30!

  17 June 2007

When Ukrainian news site Korrespondent.net reported last week that Kyiv street cleaners would be receiving $400 a month beginning this June, a number of readers confessed that they were earning less working as college lecturers or medical doctors. How some skilled Ukrainians manage to survive on their meager salaries was highlighted five days later, when Korrespondent.net ran a piece about a college lecturer who had told her students they were to pay her to pass their exams. To the readers who have commented on the story, corruption at Ukrainian colleges appears to be a familiar subject: hardly anyone was shocked by the lecturer's crime, but many found it surprising that the woman was charging very little.

Former Soviet Union: Victims of Communism Memorial

  13 June 2007

As the Victims of Communism Memorial opens Washington, D.C., J. Otto Pohl lists “the nationalities deported in their virtual entirety by the Soviet government from their homelands to distant areas of the USSR”: “In total they numbered nearly 2,000,000 people. Over 500,000 of them or more than one in four...

Ukraine: Kyiv Street Cleaners Get a Raise

  11 June 2007

Kyiv street cleaners - all 6,000 of them - will be getting $400 a month from now on. This raise, city administration officials hope, will help hire 3,500 more people needed to keep the Ukrainian capital tidy. Judging by a discussion that erupted after the Ukrainian news website Korrespondent.net ran an item on this salary increase initiative, Kyiv's laborer corps might soon become overstaffed - and many of the new recruits are likely to be overqualified for the humble yet arduous work of a street cleaner.

Ukraine: Economy

  11 June 2007

Orange Ukraine writes about the problems and successes of Ukraine's economy: “Furthermore, as much progress as has been made, some sectors of the economy are still sadly backwards. The prime example is the grain market, still subject to grossly inefficient government quotas and bureaucratic meddling.”

Ukraine: Berestechko

  11 June 2007

Olechko re-visits Berestechko, the site of the 1651 historical battle, for the first time since a school trip many years ago.