Posts Tagged ‘ukraine’

Orlyk, Pylyp

June 13, 2019

Orlyk and a part of his General Officer Staff emigrated in 1714 to Sweden, in 1720 to Silesia, and in 1721 to Poland. From 1722 until his death he was interned in Turkish-controlled territories—in Salonika until 1734, then in the Budzhak, and finally in Moldavia. During that period Orlyk sought, in vain, the support of Sweden, Poland, Saxony, Great Britain, Hannover, Holstein, the Vatican, and, through his son, Hryhor Orlyk, France. He also continued trying to organize, without success, a personal army and to incite the Zaporozhian Host to rise against Russian rule.

Orlyk wrote verses in Latin, the panegyrics Alcides Rossyiski (The Russian Alcides [Heracles], 1695) to Mazepa and Hippomenes Sarmacki (The Sarmatian Hippomenes, 1698) to Col Ivan Obydovsky, the political treatise ‘Vyvid prav Ukraïny’ (Devolution of Ukraine’s Rights, 1712), a manifesto to European governments justifying his alliance with the Porte (1712), and numerous memorandums to European rulers and government leaders. His diary of 1720–32 (5 vols) is preserved at the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris. A book of Orlyk’s selected works, edited by Myroslav Trofymuk and Valerii Shevchuk, was published in Kyiv in 2006.

[Rawita-]Gawroński, F. ‘Filip Orlyk, nieuznany hetman kozacki,’ in Studya i szkice historyczne, ser 2 (Lviv 1900)
Holiichuk, F. ‘Fylyp Orlyk u Halychyni,’ in Naukovyi zbirnyk prysviachenyi M. Hrushevs’komu (Lviv 1906)
Iensen [Jensen], A. ‘Orlyk u Shvetsiï,’ ZNTSh, 92 (1909)
Kordt, V.A. (ed). ‘Dokumenty ob Andree Voinarovskom i Filippe Orlike,’ Sbornik statei i materialov po istorii Iugo-Zapadnoi Rossii, 2 (Kyiv 1916)
Borshchak, I. ‘Het’man Pylyp Orlyk i Frantsiia (storinky dyplomatychnoï istoriï),’ ZNTSh, 134–5 (1924); repr UIZh, 1991, nos 8–9, 11
Krupnyts’kyi, B. Het’man Pylyp Orlyk (1672–1742): Ohliad ioho politychnoï diial’nosty (Warsaw 1938)
Borschak, E. ‘Pylyp Orlyk’s Devolution of the Ukraine’s Rights,’ AUA, 6, nos 3–4 (1958)
Subtelny, O. The Mazepists: Ukrainian Separatism in the Early Eighteenth Century (New York 1981)
The Diariusz podrożny of Pylyp Orlyk (1727–1731), intro by Omeljan Pritsak (Cambridge, Mass 1988)
Iakovenko, Nataliia (ed.). Pylyp Orlyk: zhyttia, polityka, teksty (Kyiv 2011)
Häggman, Bertil. Hetman Filip Orlik – en ukrainsk frihetskaempe i Sverige 1715–1720 (Kristianstad 2014)

Theodore Mackiw
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August 29, 2015

Wall Street Journal on August 27, 2015, reported that Ukraine’s private creditors have accepted a 20% write-down on the face value of their Ukrainian bonds. Excerpts below:

Ukraine said August 27, 2015, that it had secured a debt-relief deal with its creditors, a vital step toward unlocking billions of dollars in emergency financing, after months of stalemate threatened to derail its international bailout.

The agreement, which requires approval by Ukraine’s parliament, is a major success for the pro-Western government as it seeks to push through a series of politically tough economic overhauls and nurse its fragile economy to health.

But the simmering conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country continues to exact a toll on government finances, and the debt relief by no means assures economic viability for a country that has long been struggling to stay afloat.

Averting a financial tailspin in the country of 45 million people has been a priority in Washington and European capitals, which have sought to buttress the government in Kiev against an increasingly confrontational Russia.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged creditors to move swiftly to complete the restructuring, calling it critical to Ukraine’s future prosperity. “A strong, stable Ukraine is in the interests of Ukraine’s citizens, Ukraine’s neighbors, its international partners, and investors,” Mr. Lew said.

According to the Ukrainian Finance Ministry, private creditors including U.S. mutual fund Franklin Templeton Investments agreed to a 20% write-down in the face value of their Ukrainian bonds, and to push back maturities on government debt by four years.

The hryvnia currency rose more than 3% against the dollar, and Ukraine’s central bank lowered its key interest rate to 27% from 30%, citing reduced inflation risks just minutes after the deal was announced.

Ukraine’s bonds jumped by about 18%. The price of two-year notes increased to more than 66 cents, from 56 cents, according to data from Tradeweb, the highest level since January.

Under the bailout terms, Ukraine needed to secure $15 billion-worth of debt relief, including interest payments, from its international creditors, as well as pass the economic measures, to release the rest of the promised $25 billion in rescue money from the International Monetary Fund, Europe and the U.S.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde welcomed the deal and said Ukraine should meet the debt targets outlined in the bailout program—but only if all the Eurobond holders participated.

The conflict [with Russia] has destroyed critical infrastructure, fueled a deep recession, pushed the currency into a nose-dive, depleted emergency cash reserves and forced acute budget belt-tightening.

Besides the IMF, Kiev has the backing of Washington, the European Union and other Western allies who see Ukraine as a decisive geopolitical battleground to fend off the advances of an increasingly aggressive Russia.

After months of impasse, negotiations appeared to accelerate in late July, with both sides offering to make concessions. Prospects of a resolution were given a boost last month when Ukraine met the deadline for a $120 million coupon payment on its two-year bonds.

The turning point, said Ms. Jaresko, came…at San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency hotel two weeks ago,…

After leaving San Francisco, the parties spent two more tense weeks thrashing out details.

The agreement is a welcome relief also for other holders of Ukraine debt, who have been following the negotiations from the sidelines. The measures will apply to all the country’s outstanding debt.

Also on August 27, 2015, Wall Street Journal reported that Ukraine’s US-born Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko is praised for her persistence. She was personally involved in securing the debt-relief deal. Excerpts below:

After announcing a deal to help stave off bankruptcy at a government meeting Thursday, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko received an unusual gift from her fellow ministers: a painted artillery shell casing.

Ms. Jaresko, a 50-year-old American who but only recently became a Ukrainian citizen, was being hailed as the hero of the battle to save the economy, one being waged at the same time as the country fights pro-Russian separatists in its east.

The finance minister led months of tense negotiations with private creditors, clocking thousands of miles flying from Eastern Europe to the U.S. to persuade them to accept a 20% write-down on the face value of their bonds and later repayment. The deal should help Ukraine secure further bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund.

Ms. Jaresko, born into a Ukrainian diaspora family in Illinois, arrived in Kiev two decades ago as one of a handful of diplomats charged with opening the U.S. Embassy. She later moved into the private sector, eventually co-founding the Horizon Capital private-equity fund in 2006, which focused on the region.

It was only after a revolution last year swept Ukraine’s pro-Russian president out of power that Ms. Jaresko contemplated another stint in government.

In December, President Petro Poroshenko tapped her to run the Finance Ministry, a post with notorious bureaucracy, corruption and near-empty coffers—all for a salary equal to $300 a month.

Ms. Jaresko, who speaks Ukrainian, is no stranger to the difficulties of making the case for the country: Colleagues at Horizon Capital say she spent the first year at the fund in hundreds of meetings, traveling thousands of miles to follow up on the slightest flicker of investor interest in Ukrainian assets.

Comments: This is welcome news. This blog has long argued that securing Ukraine as a state is more important than supporting Greece, although financial stability is important in both cases. Ms. Jaresko has proven to be an effective Minister of Finance and the present deal could be a turning point for Ukraine. A financially strong Ukraine is a must when taking on Russia.


July 31, 2015

Wall Street Journal on July 30, 2015, in a commentary reported on how Jews from eastern Ukraine seek refuge further west in Ukraine from the Russian invasion. Among the justifications Vladimir Putin has offered for his hostility to the democratic government of Ukraine is that it is led and supported by “anti-Semitic forces.” But sit down with some of the Jews who have fled Russian-instigated violence in the east to find refuge in the capital of this supposedly neo-fascist state, and another story emerges. Excerpts below:

Consider the Kvasha family, among several thousand Jews uprooted by Mr. Putin’s invasion. You enter the family’s building on the outskirts of Kiev through a dim reception, where the walls have long turned a dark gray and a dank stench hovers. The Kvashas—dad Sergey, mom Valeria and their two boys Nikita, 17, and Arseny, 8—are crammed into a one-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor.

Inside the neatly kept apartment, a menorah sits atop a piano that has seen better days. It’s all a far cry from the Kvashas’ happy former lives in eastern Ukraine.

When I visited on Tuesday, Mr. Kvasha was at work at a printing business, where he’s a manager. Back in Luhansk, the family had its own printing firm, while Mrs. Kvasha worked as a general engineer at the local college. In addition to their apartment, the Kvashas owned a dacha, or vacation home. They were prominent and successful members of a vibrant Jewish community existing within what they describe as a tolerant Donbass society.

Then Mr. Putin launched his invasion. “When the fighting started a missile hit our building,” Mrs. Kvasha recalls. Five of their friends and neighbors were killed in attacks. Having already sent the kids to Kiev in early June 2014, Mr. and Mrs. Kvasha caught the last train out of Luhansk a few weeks later. Two bags stuffed with summer clothes were all they managed to take with them, and by August they had depleted their savings.

Building new lives in Kiev hasn’t been easy. Finding a permanent apartment was the first challenge. Landlords are reluctant to rent to refugees, seen as itinerant and unreliable.

In dire straits, the Kvashas turned to the Joint Distribution Committee, an American-Jewish organization. While the parents were still unemployed, the JDC provided the family with some $142 in monthly food assistance as well as blankets and other winter relief—crucial assistance, since their flat, once they’d secured one, cost about $165 a month. The organization continues to help the family pay rent.

The JDC also helped the Kvashas find a sense of belonging. Like many of Ukraine’s 350,000 Jews, the family’s connection to Judaism is more cultural than religious. At a Jewish community center in Kiev called Beiteinu, or Our Home, they found new friends. The JDC supports 21 such centers across Ukraine, and Mrs. Kvasha now works at Beitanu, helping other refugees find their footing.

I sat down on Tuesday with Ms. Brook, Mr. Fireman and four other elderly displaced Jews at one of the 32 social-welfare centers, or Heseds, the JDC runs across Ukraine, normally serving some 65,000 elderly and impoverished Jews, to which 5,200 have been added since the war began. Most escaped with little more than the clothes on their backs,…

Such Jewish charities operate openly here, under a government that frequently describes all Ukrainians displaced by the fighting, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, as compatriots. Ukraine, far from being the anti-Semitic nation of Putinist fantasies, has given them refuge. As one of the Hesed clients told me: “Write in your paper, we people from Donetsk and Luhansk love our country. We are patriotic. We don’t want to leave Ukraine.”


April 27, 2015

Toinformistoinfluence website on April 26, 2015, reported that Russia continues to deny supplying weapons to the “separatists”. Ukraine authorities, however, presented proof that Russia is supplying weapons. Excerpts below:

Representatives of the Military Cooperation and Peacekeeping Operations Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine presented another proof of the use of Russian weapons in the territory of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts to Kyiv Association of Military Attaches.

Several days ago, a Ukrainian platoon defensive post near Zholobok village (located in Luhansk Oblast) was shelled by Russian aggressors, who used a 9M133 Kornet anti-tank guided missile system (NATO designation AT-14 Spriggan), specifically, the 9M133F-1 variant, armed with a thermobaric warhead.

According to the markings, the missile was manufactured in 2012 in Russia. These systems are used by the Russian Army. The Ukrainian Army does not possess them.

This report was published by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine at The original photos of ATGM 9M133F-1 Kornet were posted on April 21 by Igor Gurchik on his Facebook page .

Ukrainian checkpoint #29, located near Zholobok village, which is controlled by the Russian forces, was attacked on April 18, 2015. Ten photos that are of a much better quality than the photos posted by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine can be found on the website that provided the information. The photos were taken by a Ukrainian soldier immediately after the attack, when the missile warhead was found.


April 22, 2015

Washington Times on April 20, 2015, reported that about 300 U.S. service members began training soldiers in the Ukraine national guard…Excerpts below:

Members of the Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade are beginning a six-month training rotation, called Operation Fearless Guardian, to provide training to 900 Ukraine national guardsmen on medical help and casualty evacuations, counter unmanned aerial vehicle tactics, counter insurgency and counter improvised explosive device skills, said Col. Steve Warren, Pentagon spokesman.

“As we’ve said for months, this latest training, which is as valuable in peacetime as it is in times of conflict, is to establish a professional force that protects and defends Ukraine’s people as well as the country’s sovereignty,” he said.

“It’s Russia that’s destabilizing Ukraine. They are the ones who are continuing to supply lethal weapons, they are continuing to send Russian combat forces into Ukraine, so I think really it’s the Russians who are destabilizing the situation in Ukraine,” he said. “This is training national guardsmen in national guard tasks.”

The training will occur in a Yavoriv training complex in western Ukraine, near the border of Poland. Since hostilities with Russian backed separatists are in the eastern part of the country, Col. Warren said participating in the training poses no danger to American troops.


February 11, 2014

Radio Free Europe on February 10, 2014, reported that EU foreign ministers have reiterated that the European Union remains committed to signing an Association Agreement with Ukraine, but that the agreement “does not constitute the final goal in EU-Ukraine relations.” Excerpts below:

The statement came in conclusions issued after an EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on February 10.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, who before the meeting said it might be time to offer a “European perspective” to the bloc’s eastern neighbors, was more optimistic about the meaning.

“We said that [the] Association Agreement is not the final goal of our relations with Ukraine. That means there’s continuation, this is the extension,” Linkevicius said.

“So you can interpret whatever you like, I can say that this way is quite clear to me, this is the European way and this is the extension of that way.”

There have been worries that both Georgia and Moldova might walk away from signing Association Agreements with the EU later this year because of Russian economic pressure.

In their statement, the EU foreign ministers also called for a “new and inclusive government,” for constitutional reform “bringing back more balance of powers,” and a “free and fair” presidential election to resolve Ukraine’s political crisis.

They also said the EU was ready to help Kyiv address its economic problems, together with international partners, if a new Ukrainian government pursued economic and political reforms.

There were some discussions among ministers on sanctions, but the EU will at the moment not impose any travel restrictions or asset freezes on Ukrainian officials responsible for the crackdown on protesters in recent months.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said before the meeting that the EU must send a message to Kyiv in case there is further repression in Ukraine.

“I think it is important that we send a message, that we have sent before, that if there is a further repression or significant repression or violent clampdown, there will be consequences,” Bildt said.

“We sent that message before, and as a matter of fact what happened was, of course, that the package of extremely repressive laws was withdrawn. That was a good thing. We have seen the resignation of a government that was fairly discredited to be quite honest. That was a good thing. But the political talks have not been moving forward. We would hope that they will be resumed. That is the only way forward.”


February 2, 2014

Radio Free Europe on February 1, 2014, reported that Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko says that the Ukrainian people have shown their will for political change despite violence against them. Excerpts below:

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 1, the former world heavyweight boxing champion-cum-lawmaker called on friends of Ukraine in the West to help Ukraine’s democratic movement succeed.

Klitschko also said the opposition’s goals are to reduce tensions in the crisis and for the government to abandon what he called a path of terror and violence against protesters and free more than 300 people who have been detained.

Ukraine has dominated discussions at the Munich conference, which ends on February 2.

Earlier in the day, U .S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the Ukrainian people are engaged in a fight for democracy.

He told the annual gathering of global political leaders and defense officials that “nowhere is the fight for a democratic European future more important today than in Ukraine.”

Clashes between protesters and police intensified after strict antiprotest legislation was imposed last month, before being rescinded.

…Kerry told the Munich audience that, “the vast majority of Ukrainians want to live freely in a safe and a prosperous country and they are fighting for the right to associate with partners who will help them realize their aspirations and they have decided that that means their futures do not have to lie with one country alone and certainly not coerced.”

Kerry added that the United States and the EU stand with the people of Ukraine in their right to make their own decisions.

And, he said, “Russia and other countries should not view the European integration of their neighbors as a zero-sum game.”

Kerry met with Ukrainian opposition leaders on the sidelines of the conference, a development seen as a major boost to the protest movement. The opposition leaders included Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

The meetings in Munich took place a day after Ukraine’s army urged the president to take “urgent steps” to stabilize the country and end the unrest.

Meanwhile, NATO’s chief and Russia’s foreign minister sparred over Ukraine as they each addressed the conference.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the annual global gathering of hundreds of top leaders, diplomats and defense officials that “Ukraine must have the freedom to choose its own path without external pressure.”

Also on February 1, EU President Herman Van Rompuy reiterated that the association deal is still available to Ukraine. “We know time is on our side. The future of Ukraine belongs with the European Union,” Van Rompuy said.

The three-day Munich Security Conference is addressing international issues including crisis in Ukraine, the war in Syria, Iran’s nuclear program, and U.S. online surveillance.


January 25, 2014

Radio Free Europe on January 24, 2014, reported that friends and relatives of Dmytro Bulatov are increasingly worried.

The Ukrainian antigovernment activist disappeared without a trace on January 22 — the same day another opposition sympathizer, scientist Yuriy Verbytsky, was found dead with traces of torture in a forest near Kyiv.

Bulatov is the spokesman for Automaidan, a group of motorists founded in late November to support Ukraine’s European integration and counter police assaults against pro-EU demonstrators in their two-month standoff with authorities.

The popularity of its rallies-on-wheels and the rapid-response network it has set up to rescue demonstrators from police have propelled the group to the forefront of the protests.

Its activists routinely meet with opposition leaders, address protesters on Kyiv’s Independence Square, and have held talks with U.S. and European envoys.

And the authorities appear to have woken up to the threat posed by Automaidan and its 5,000 activists.

A controversial new law that effectively prohibits large rallies now bars motorists from traveling in convoys of more than five vehicles.

And in the night that followed Bulatov’s disappearance, riot police launched four separate raids on Automaidan, beating and detaining more than 20 of its activists as they patrolled the streets of Kyiv in their vehicles.

A video recorded by one of the activists’ dashboard cameras shows police officers smashing the car’s windows with their truncheons. The passengers are then heard screaming and calling on the officers to end the violence.

Olesya Mamchich, the wife of one of the detained activists, told RFE/RL that “they were dragged out of their cars. There were two women who were eventually released. But the men were beaten up. He said the officers kicked their heads and arms.”

Mamchich says her husband and his friends were ambushed by police after receiving a fake call for help.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, in turn, accuses the activists of chasing police officers before smashing their vehicles with baseball bats.

Although footage of the incident contradicts these claims, the activists were charged with hooliganism and resisting arrest. They face up to six years in prison if convicted.

Automaidan’s founder is Oleksiy Hrytsenko, a local IT company manager who is also the son of opposition politician Anatoliy Hrytsenko.

He told RFE/RL in written comments that authorities are cracking down on Automaidan because it “succeeded in making them nervous.”

Hrytsenko has stopped giving telephone interviews, saying his calls are monitored.

He says his group is popular because it represents the backbone of Ukrainian society — middle-class professionals with a car and a desire to live in what he calls “a normal country.”

About one-third of its activists are women, including journalist Tetyana Chornovol, who was pulled out of her car by unidentified men last month and viciously beaten up.

Automaidan members have reported numerous cases of intimidation, threats, and assaults.

Hrytsenko says he is being stalked and has received threatening text messages on his phone. On several occasions, his father received anonymous SMS messages informing him that his son was dead.

Another Automaidan leader, Sergiy Khadzhinov, was abducted while blocking a road to prevent riot police from reaching the Euromaidan protests on Kyiv’s Independence Square.

He was seized by a group of men who pulled a bag over his head and pushed him into a car.

His abductors turned out to be officers from Ukraine’s crime-busting police unit who took him to a police station and questioned him for several hours before releasing him unharmed.

His computer, mobile phone, documents, the key to his flat, and 2,000 hryvnia ($230) were however confiscated and never returned.

Bulatov, too, had received threats.

He told “Ukrainska Pravda” in an article published on the day he went missing that “Even if something happens to me, resentment will only grow. And if it helps get us closer to victory, then let it be.”


January 3, 2014

Radio Free Europe on December 31, 2013, reported that the leader of Ukraine’s opposition UDAR party, Vitali Klitschko, says opposition parties and their supporters will continue their peaceful demonstrations across Ukraine after the winter holidays. Excerpts below:

Klitschko, who is a former world heavyweight boxing champion, told RFE/RL that the opposition’s next step will be a nationwide strike.

“And our next step — just to remind you that we are peacefully protesting and everything we pursue will be done legally — is to call for a national strike, an all-Ukrainian strike,” Klitschko said.

Klitschko and other opposition leaders called for continued protests after the winter holidays at a weekly antigovernment rally that attracted tens of thousands of people on December 29 to Independence Square (the “Maidan”) in Kyiv, which has been the hub of pro-EU protests for a month.

The protests terupted after President Viktor Yanukovych’s government suspended talks on an Association Agreement with the EU last month.

In his interview with RFE/RL, Klitschko said he did not originally expect the number of pro-EU protesters to be as big as it was.

“Nobody expected huge numbers. Honestly, I myself didn’t expect it,” he said. “We thought maybe 50,000 or 100,000 will show up, but to imagine almost 1 million — that is a substantial indicator.”

Asked how long the pro-EU protests will last, Klitschko compared the demonstrations with a boxing match.

“It’s like in boxing, when you wish to knock out your rival with the first punch. But sometimes your rival is very strong and you need to stay fit during the first, second, third, or even for all 12 rounds. Nobody knows,” he said. “When you start fighting, you don’t know how long the fight will last.”

Klitschko also said that Ukraine’s current government had to be changed in order not to have political prisoners like former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is serving a seven-year term for abuse of office, a charge that she denies and claims is politically motivated.

Klitschko, who previously announced his intention to run for president in 2015, added that the opposition will have a single presidential candidate.


December 9, 2013

The Washington Times on December 8, 2013, reported that hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets to denounce the government’s move away from Europe and toward Russia, The Associated Press reported. Excerpts below:

“Glory to Ukraine!” some demonstrators shouted while others took turns beating the statue of the Russian communist revolutionary.

The 11-foot statue was erected in 1946 just after the end of World War II, NPR reported.

Opposition groups in the country are calling for a million people to rally against government plans to forge stronger ties with Russia.