Ukrainians in Spain

Text: Fernando Sánches Alonso – XL Semanal

They came to Spain because the social and economical situation in Ukraine became complicated, but they could not have imagined that their country would become the centre of the conflict threatening to destabilise the entirety of Europe.

Pro-European: Yana Palatkina, 16 years old (9 in Spain) 

“Before Maidan, I was ashamed of my country.” 

“I ran away from home because I wanted to be on Maidan,” says this Odesa-born student, who has lived in Madrid with her mother for 9 years. When the protests started, Yana was on vacation in her mother city and she ran to Kyiv, the capital. “I left with my cousin. My parents knew nothing.” She confesses that before the revolution in Maidan, she was ashamed of her country. “I told everyone I was Russian. Today I would give every last drop of my blood to Ukraine. Ukrainian patriots like myself are not fascists. They have to inform themselves before talking and stop insulting us!” Continue reading


Fakes of Russian propaganda – 2

Radio Svoboda continues to survey how Russian media and individual social media users manipulate the public opinion by pretending that photographs and footage from various places all over the globe come from the Ukrainian events. The compilation was prepared by Ihor Losyk.  Continue reading

Refugees from Donbas as seen by the volunteers

Recently, Facebook posts have become more frequent about the fact that those who have come from the eastern regions act somehow strangely, they are rude and dissatisfied with everything, even though they themselves have always been the least politically active citizens of Ukraine.  Continue reading

Ulitskaya: The Russian mass media beat the world record in lies

In her interview with Le Monde the writer Liudmila Ulitskaya said that the Russian mass media are manipulating the Russians’ mass consciousness and have already beaten the world record in lying. In particular, the writer claims, TV channels broadcast footage from Syria and Venezuela under the guise of the events in Donetsk. The Russian intelligentsia cannot do anything as, according to her, freedom of speech in Russia is being oppressed. 

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8 of the most popular Russian stereotypes about Ukraine

Regardless of today’s access to information, Russians continue thinking about Ukrainians in terms of templates, popularising old and forming new stereotypes. Journalists have gathered the most outstanding stereotypes about Ukraine that the average Russian frequently uses. 
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The “honest” rating: TOP-20 officials that do not live on what they make

Transparency International has calculated who out of the officials in 2013 spent more than they have earned. We have outlined the most generous ones. Three are still working. 

On June 6th on the website of the Ministry of Justice, a bill “Regarding corruption prevention” has been uploaded for social discussion. The document presumes the emergence of yet another anti-corruption institution – the National Committee for the Prevention of Corruption. One of the functions of the future committee is controlling the governors’ expenses. This might become an effective instrument to counter corruption.

On June 10th at the roundtable talks “How to organise effective control of welfare” the representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the international organisation Transparency International presented a rating of Ukrainian officials whose expenses are several times larger than their officially declared salaries. When calculating the expenses, they accounted for the movable and immovable assets belonging to the officials, expenses for the purchase of personal items, education and provision for members of their families, hobbies, travel and leisure, formal events and so forth. The revenue was taken from annual declarations. Overall, more than 400 high-standing officials were analysed, there are 69 finalists who have spent an indecently large sum. Continue reading

Immunity to censure 

Vitaliy Dudin, for the competition “Stop censure! Citizens for free states”

When shots are heard, the provision of human rights is always problematic. And the rights such as freedom of speech in our country are not considered rights at all. This is especially noticeable today, when perception only knows the difference between black and white.

Are Ukrainian mass media free? Their economical dependence on private owners seems critical. Oligarchs control up to 80% of the media market. Is there anything bad in this? I doubt that any national mass medium would even allow to begin a discussion on this topic. Continue reading

Ukraine suggests to Russia that Russia makes Ukrainian its second state language

Prime Minister Yatsenyuk stated that Ukraine suggests to Russia to recognize Ukrainian as a second official language on the territory of the Russian Federation.

He mentioned this on the 10th annual investment conference of Dragon Capital in Kyiv, as reported by Interfax.

“Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made ​​a statement on the matter. The Ukrainian-speaking community is the largest in Russia and is completely natural for Ukrainian to be recognized as a second state language, or at least to carry a special status,” said Yatsenyuk. Continue reading

Activist’s Appeal to European Charter: ‘Language Law’ imposes Russian, not protects minority languages


To: Committee of Experts (the – “Committee”)

Council of Europe

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

DG II – Directorate of Human Rights and Anti-discrimination

Agora Building, 1 quai Jacoutot

F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France

 Dear Committee Members,

Using this opportunity, please, let us avail ourselves.

We are writing to you based on Article 16(2) of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (the “Charter”). The following is to bring your attention to adoption by the Ukrainian Parliament of the Law of Ukraine “On the Basis of the State Policy on Languages” dated 3 July 2012 (the “Law on Languages”). According to the explanatory note to the Law on Languages, its purpose was to ensure implementation of this law in Ukraine. However, it appears that the real purpose behind the Law on Languages is to return to practice of imposing the Russian language usage throughout Ukraine. Continue reading

Russian Minority Language in Ukraine FAQ


Media stories about “Russian minorities who fear for their language rights and that they fear persecution under Ukraine” continue to circulate following the Kyiv Revolution. On 3/1/2014, Christiane Amanpour casually mentioned on CNN that the new Ukrainian government had “banned” the Russian language. Banned?… Nothing could be further from the truth.

Fact versus myth:

1. Ukraine is not ‘divided’ by language.

Russian is used and understood by almost all citizens in Ukraine. Most YouTube posts from Maidan were in Russian and many activists spoke in Russian to reporters. Most of the ‘Comments’ supporting Maidan posted to TV and newspaper websites were also in Russian. Continue reading