Ukraine ahead of the West

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Sept. 16, 2011, 6:57 p.m. | Letters — by Eva Kukko
Dear Editor,

My name is Eva, I am Ukrainian and currently live in USA where I study biomathematics at local university. Approaching graduation, I face a tough decision – stay in US and pursue career here or come back to Ukraine. Kyiv Post story “Ukrainians debate identity as nation marks 20th year” helped make up my mind – I will back to Ukraine. We in Ukraine are striving to reach the level of the West, and while striving, we don’t understand that we already surpassed them.

I make this conclusion based comparing young people in US and Ukraine. We, young Ukrainians, and Russians as well, were brought up during deep economic recession and because of this turned out more firm, with more patience and diligence.

Most of Americans, and probably Europeans as well, had comfortable childhoods that did not require any effort on their side. They had everything they need - toys, food, entertainment and no responsibilities. In American schools, if you do minimum effort – you get the highest mark, which is not the case in Ukraine. US school curriculum is behind ours by at least two years.

Yes, Americans start working early, when they are around 16. But from my personal experience I know they don’t take their jobs seriously – they are often late or on sick leaves, always grim and unhappy.

Of course my opinion is subjective, but many older Americans share it. In the University of Houston where I study, young students from the former USSR are top of the class, even though English is not their mother tongue. American students, on the other hand, are always below average. I am sure that new generation of Americans will not be able to compete with us when the time of our generation comes. Having spent five years here in US, I have made my choice to come back to Ukraine, not because of patriotic feelings, but because I am sure that our country has potential, while in US and Europe they will reap the fruits of their labor. They will roll down while we move forward.


Eva Kukko, League City, Texas, USA
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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 7:04 p.m.    

If Ukraine's curriculum is two years ahead of the United States, why did you come to such a backward country for your college education?

However, I am happy to hear you will return to Ukraine. Your country needs you.

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 9:40 p.m.    

I assume you have not comparative knowledge of the educational systems.

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 11:28 p.m.    

I am not the one making comparisons. Ms. Eva is. I have some knowledge of Ukrainian higher education system.

I was just asking why she choose to come to the United States if it is so bad over here.

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 11:54 p.m.    

Hi five, man. the BEST students from former USSR come to US. Sure they may be better than an average students in some &quot;local&quot; university (it is Tier 2 actually).

How do the USSR students compare to CalTech, Stanford, MIT and others?

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 11:04 p.m.    

Yours is the salient comment. I know the U of H and while there are SOME things to recomend it; it is certainly not the standard for comparison. If she was across town at Rice, I suspect many of her comments would be different.

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Mykhayl Oct. 10, 2011, 7:31 a.m.    


Guest Sep 16 @ 23:54 hit the bulls eve we overlooked.

Ms Kukko is not a Ukrainian she is a Soviet raised cog.

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 7:14 p.m.    

Ukraine leads the world in prostitutes. Quality culture can be found in Kiev for better prices than anywhere else in the world.

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 11:51 p.m.    

Oh please I think there are mor prostitutes in the USA then in Ukraine. Ukraine has many qualities that surpasses the &quot;west&quot; and certainly better than the USA? The main disappointment in Ukraine is the lack of opportunity. hopefully young people will have the opportunity to gain experience aboard and then return to Ukraine and make a valuable contribution to Ukraine's future. congratulations to the author of this letter

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 12:47 p.m.    

That's not limited to Ukraine, and it takes a man that does not only think with his brain to also play the game!

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 1:36 a.m.    

Oh, and what has the land of hope and glory presented to the world in recent years, war and economic instability. Besides isn't it fat ugly Americans that help promote such an undertone because you have to buy a pretty woman and host such websites!

Ukraine does have a lot to offer, it has a long way to go, but I agree with Eva, in general young Ukrainians appear more intelligent than their counterparts in the 'West', largely due to growing up in a country where they need to be more resourceful and not spoon fed. Yes this is a generalisation, and I am not comparing educational systems, just young people.

Ukraine does have it's problems, like all countries, but young intelligent people is not one of them, merely opportunity.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 8:11 a.m.    

&quot;need to be more resourceful&quot; often means stealing and contriving illegal means to gain wealth or goods. Definitely not good things.

Americans are not &quot;spoon-fed&quot;, as I had 5 jobs before I ever graduated college. My Ukrainian wife is 35 years old and has held only 2 jobs. It is unfortunate that Ukrainian teenagers do not learn to work. Because it leads to their ill-respective view of individuals who work in so-called menial jobs.

I also have found many talented and intelligent young Ukainians living there. However,&quot;young intelligent&quot; people are not a guarantee of Ukraine's future success as a country.

There does seem to be a lack of jobs and upward mobility in Ukraine. As in the US, I believe that anyone over the age of say 50 should be retired, thereby opening jobs for younger more energetic and modern people.

Unfortunately, goddamned baby-boomers are hanging on to their jobs until 70 years old and I encourage Ukraine to resist the rise in retirement age.

Yes, Ukrainians are intelligent as are their western counterparts, probably identically so, as humans are in general the same intellectually. The main problem is that in Ukraine there is a definite lack of opportunity, entrepreneurship, bank funding, equality, sexism, governance, etc.

This is why the poor lady is gonna soon hit a ceiling or wall upon her return to Ukraine.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 2:15 a.m.    

Make no mistake, a young, attractive and opportune girl can set herself up for life if she's willing to compromise. No education required, just a pack of condoms and the right attitude...

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Mykhayl Oct. 10, 2011, 7:19 a.m.    

identity thief

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 10:25 p.m.    

All countries have problems.

Ukraine has NOTHING BUT problems. It's an international joke, unfortunately. I say unfortunately, because I have ancestors from Ukraine. I'd like to be proud of where they came from, but Ukraine is becoming more and more of a sewer.

Ukraine is so bad off, in fact, that it's hard to imagine it will be a country in 50 years. It's inevitable that it will be part of Russia again.

Highest AIDS rate, highest corruption, Third World-level life spans, whole towns without electricity or running water or hospitals... I could go on and on.

All those intelligent young people are doing you no good. Smart young people: GET OUT.

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 9:32 p.m.    

This remark has no place nor is worthy of publication.

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 10:06 p.m.    

Well, can you let us know in which other ways Ukraine is ahead of the West?

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Mykhayl Oct. 10, 2011, 7:26 a.m.    

identity thief

not from a Ukrainian

from a mazhory brat

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Mykhayl Oct. 10, 2011, 7:23 a.m.    



Doesn't own up to

own perversion,

uses identity theft.

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Mykhayl Oct. 10, 2011, 7:13 a.m.    

identity thief

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 10:38 p.m.    

It's true! Just ask FEMEN.

Nowhere else can a man get a striptease in public for free.

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Anonymous Sept. 16, 2011, 11:52 p.m.    

come back to Ukraine

Shoudo it not read go back to Ukraine. if you are based in the USa then you are not coming your going.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 12:16 a.m.    

1. True or not - such harsh words about the country which hosted you for five years does not give a good impression of the writer's character .

2. It is unfair to compare non-average Ukrainians ( those studying abroad ) to average Americans .

3. Quote :&quot; in American schools , if you do minimum effort -you get the highest mark &quot; . In Ukrainian schools , if you do zero effort- but pay - you get the highest mark .

4. Quote : &quot;always grim and unhappy &quot;- absolut unknown in Ukraine ?

5. By what means Ukraine has surpassed the West ? More details , please . Yes , Ukrainians are unchallenged in long time silent suffering of repression , injustice , poverty ...what else ?

6. &quot;Ukraine has potential ... US and Europe will roll down &quot;. Of course - if you are on a low level , there is more upward potential .The West will find it hard to keep the current level , but I doubt Ukraine and the West will meet at the same level concerning economics and quality of life within one generation .

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 12:20 a.m.    

The comments of Eva Kukko are worth noticing.

America has been a land of opportunity for students for well over one hundred years. The reality is that immigrant students tend to aggregate at certain universities and not others.

So CCNY in NY City was the school for immigrants from its founding until the late twentieth century. Students entered CCNY as immigrants and the brightest graduates would go on to graduate school at Columbia, MIT, Harvard, etc.

The children of these immigrant professionals would then go on to Columbia University, Cornell, MIT, Harvard, and Yale. Not to CCNY.

So the aggregation of immigrants at a school does not imply that Americans are dumb but that immigrants are taking the empty spaces at a less desirable school.

First, Texas is one of our largest states. It has a very wealthy educational system. The U of Texas educational system has the second largest endowment after Harvard's. So, if one is a Texas resident and is capable one would go to the University of Texas in Austin, perhaps, Texas A &amp; M. But the brightest students would tend to go to other states and universities: Vanderbilt in Tennessee, Duke in North Carolina, Emory in Atlanta, or to the Ivy League and MIT, Caltech, and Stanford.

I do not know that much about the University of Houston. But it is clearly not the best university in the city of Houston. Rice University is. I would bet that Eva Kokko would find that university filled with a much higher percentage of Americans. I would also bet that she would find the Americans at Rice much smarter than those at the University of Houston.

You cannot judge Americans or America by one university. We have over three thousand institutions of higher learning in the USA.

The USA is not the highest ranked country in the world when it comes to average education. But Ukraine is not ranked higher.

The USA provides excellent working conditions overall. So a large percentage of the talent educated here stays here.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 2:16 a.m.    

There are many morons in Ukraine that have never set foot on American Soil and they don't realize how sick of a society America is.

1.) America has the largest prison population in the World.

2.) America leads the world in School shootings.

3.) America has largest population of illegal immigrants in the world

4.) Most filthy movies produced come from Hollywood USA.

5.) America has no culture. It is just a cesspool of corporate greed and igonorant people.

6.) Most Americans are interested in Sports and Video games rather than what's going on in the world.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 10:18 a.m.    

You view is one sided. Are you are a bit jealous? We have problems, called conservatives who worship stupidity. It's not as simple as you think.

I had a friend visit my from Ukraine. Seeing the Camellias in bloom in January as oranges ripen seemed to brighten her lookout. As did walking on the beach and see her first tree over 100 meters tall.

Buying fresh cherries in January and going from the green of the valley top three meters of snow around lake Tahoe amazed her.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 4:16 a.m.    

Do Ukrainian respect this behavior?

I'm an American. A Ukrainian writs a letter and I defend her right to her view, which are a bit negative about American. I ever went further and said she had valid points.

I met a Ukrainian friend in San Francisco. I spend two weeks showing her the coast, redwood forests, Lake Tahoe and the Sacramento River.

I never said I believed Ukraine wasn't beautiful.

I'm convince the people of Ukraine are great people. There is much in Ukraine a wish I could see. I would love to try chicken Kyiv in Kyiv. I would love to sit down and talk over a few beers.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 7:14 a.m.    

Eva how ungrateful, you came to USA because your country cannot give you an opportunity to study at University and get a renowed degree. A degree from University of Houston is worth 100 times more than from a Kiev University. So why the rant about USA. Clearly it must be something personal, please don't let your pesronal judgement cloud your objectivity, comparing Ukraine to USA is like comparing a diamond with a piece of rock. USA is the most advanced military industrial complex in the world. It makes robots, drones, genetics engineering, gene technology. If you need to have a life saving surgery you surely would not want to do it in Ukraine because your chance of survival is 100 times less than in USA.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 8:45 a.m.    

Typical example of the usual Ukrainian megalomania, based on ridiculous nationalism and of course racism.


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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 10:11 a.m.    

I'm am American.I think she as valid points. America is a nation of immigrants. People do get fat and lazy here.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 10:17 a.m.    

Your terrible language showss me that you must be one of those immigrants . From the Ukraine maybe ?

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 4:07 a.m.    

I was one of those lazy Americans I failed to proof read. I was born in the USA. My family cane to the US in 1690. My grandfather was born in Mexico. His father was a Mormon polygamous.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 5:09 p.m.    

Mike there was no USA in 1690 nor Mormons in 1690.Your not one of those people working at a call center in india are you.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 10:18 p.m.    


He means his ancestor came in 1690 to the land that became the USA. That's clear.

Also, he said his GREAT GRANDFATHER was a Mormon polygamist. His great grandfather could not have lived in 1690.

Learn to read, Tex.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 11:29 p.m.    

There was the colonies. My family have been in the US since it was a nation.

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 6:45 p.m.    

I know what you meant Mike i was just joking around.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 10:08 a.m.    

You're in Texas. Texas as always been behind. It's a backward state with ignorant people who have big egos. We joke and we say that Mexico won we they got the US to take Texas over.

I do agree that Ukrainians are well educated. Their weakness is creativity. This is my view. Ukrainians feel uncomfortable entering new areas of ideas that aren't formally structured.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 10:55 p.m.    

Speaking from Texas, I suggest you come on down. Here you can find a good job, reasonable costs and a pleasant life. Perhaps you should try it! Chauvinism of the type you portray is so provincial... we could help you achieve a more balanced view.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 4:04 a.m.    

Thank you for you sense of humor. You must live in Austin. What kind of balanced view do you get living in West Texas or the Panhandle?

Here's what I hear. A good job in Texas pays $10 an hour with no vacation, health care or benefits. Ten bucks is sen as good pay. Eight is good pay in Texas.

Judging by your writing, you are not the average Texan.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 7:28 a.m.    

Mike, try spending some time in Ukraine before posting such ignorant comments. You must be from those self-loving northern states of the US (or California).

There's a great big monument at Kennesaw Mt. in Georgia, dedicated to the Texans that died there fighting against the almighty federal gov't of the US.

My hat is off to all independent minded and proud Texans for their contributions to our freedom and liberty.

Mike Johnson, let me guess, where you live wages are $15-20 per hour. Well, that doesn't tell us anything about quality of life or anything else. So, it is totally irrelevant and the woman who wrote this piece isn't gonna be looking for such job.

I'm guessing that if you think Texas is &quot;backward&quot;, then you probably think that NY and CA are &quot;progressive&quot;. Most Americans wouldn't want to live there ever. Can you imagine raising kids with marijuana &quot;pharmacies&quot; on every street corner? No, thank you. You're probably a liberal pothead.


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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 10 a.m.    

Comparatively, Texas is nice after spending time in Ukraine? The connection escapes me.

I grew up in Utah. I live in Northern California.I've traveled all over the West. As, I wrote, I've heard nothing but good things about Austin and the Hill Country. Even Texans tell me West Texas isn't there idea of paradise. Houston is epically hot and humid. The Gulf has great seafood and sand beaches.

Texans are a proud people. I will give you that. When you say you will leave the Union, you are walking on the fighting side of me. Granted, Rick Perry and not all in the Longhorn State said this? This is way I hoped the best for you all in your great time of need this summer.

This is my view. I get damn sick of these people making threats against my government. I'm a vet. Fight the government so, we can smoke you butt with a hail of fire from an AC-130. I didn't take kindly to Rick's comments. He tall on hat and more than a few steers shy of a full herd.

I agree with you about quality of life. In the summer here it gets 105 degrees only to cool from to 69 degrees at night. We have four, nearly five months you don't heat or use Air Conditioning. Life isn't bad.

You can say the same for Austin.

From the way you wrote, I would be one hell of a fool to say that you are backward. I would lie to say many California aren't backward.

I'm not into pot. I believe in freedom. Willie Nilson seems cool to me. Why should I care what he does if it doesn't effect me?

Progressive. I love how propagandist distort words. It's more like; live and let live.

This is my take of you. I think you are an intelligent person. I think you are generally speaking, good folk. I can't be judging you.

It's more of an old army thing. We always joked about where people came from. &quot;You're from Alabama? You so back in to the woods, don't they have to pump light to you-all?&quot;

Lighten up.

Mike Johnson

PS. Sorry buddy if you-all took offense to my joking around with you.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 10:34 a.m.    

I agree that immigrants try harder. Mr. Tabachnyk recently announced good news: according to a survey of education development held at the request of the Davos World Economic Forum, Ukraine ranks 56th, Poland 64th, and Russia 72nd (he actually said “we are the 72nd,” but this slip of the tongue is for psychologists to judge). From The Day №43, 9/1/2011.

This ranking was achieved through efforts of the government prior to Yanukovych and his hated minion Tabachnyk. Now they are destroying what Ukraine has achieved in education and promote Russianiziation of Ukraine.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 1:05 p.m.    

ukrainians are maso . ahah . so come back , poor life is waiting for you... it is your choice

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 2:26 p.m.    

I hope we will get an update from you five years after you return to Ukraine to see if your optimism has panned out.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 3:37 p.m.    

Ukraina best country of country's.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 6:14 p.m.    

Well, well, well - another Khrushchov comes out of the woodwork to declare &quot;we will bury you.&quot;

And Ms. Kukko goes even further - &quot;the US will die.&quot;

Apparently, Ms. Kukko has not learned any statistics.

That is why she is able to make vapid generalizations, based on her own subjective, personal experience.

Her experience at a public university in Texas provides support for her firm opinion that the &quot;US will roll down&quot; and all Americans are grim, stupid, lazy, always on sick leave, and not interested in world events or anything.

Oh, yes - all American students have everything - there are no academic scholarship students, or students who have jobs and are working their way through college.

Di you have to bribe someone to get into the University of Houston to get in, Ms. Kukko? In Ukraine, you have to bribe someone.

Did you have to bribe someone to get top marks? In Ukraine, you do. As a matter of fact, during the Orange Revolution, if you were a student and you went to vote, you were given bad grades - it was one of the ways that the Kuchma/Yanukockroach sovok mafia tried to control the vote.

Do you understand the difference between private and public universities in the US, Ms. Kukko?

Have you actually learned something, despite being at such an &quot;inferior university&quot; with such &quot;inferior students,&quot; where you are apparently the Queen of Intellectuals on campus?

How many biomathematics programs are there in Ukraine?

And can you get a job in Ukraine with a biomathematics program?

I am so very glad that you know it all, Ms. Kukko.

That for Ukraine to move forward, the US must &quot;roll down.&quot;

You haven't learned a thing, Ms. Kukko.

Not a thing.

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Anonymous Sept. 17, 2011, 11:33 p.m.    

USA and Ukraine moving closer together soon we all swim in filth,lies,corruption,poverty.Yesterday mayor Bloomberg of new york city said there would be riots in the streets if things don't improve soon.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 10:14 p.m.    

This is hilarious. This woman's a student at what's got to be one of the worst schools in the country, in the United States' most backward state (or one of them), a state where the governor is a creationist and the governor before him was George W. Bush. And on the basis of that, she's making generalities .

Eva, my cat would be at the top of the class at the University of Houston. The school is a joke. It's hardly a school.

The USA is a big country. You should see more of it.

If you were saying this sort of thing and you were a student at, like, Princeton or Yale or Harvard or MIT or Columbia or CalTech or something, then you could be taken seriously. Obviously, there are no schools in the former Soviet Union that can compete with the best Western schools, like those schools.

Sure, come back to Ukraine. You'll be glad you did so. Yeah, what a greeeaaaaaaat idea.

By the way, this is one of the most ignorant things ever written in the Kyiv Post:

&quot;Most of Americans, and probably Europeans as well, had comfortable childhoods that did not require any effort on their side. They had everything they need - toys, food, entertainment and no responsibilities.&quot;

Yeah. Right.

Countries are complicated places, Eva. You've got to know something about them before you spout.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 10:30 p.m.    

You can tell Ukraine has a greater intellectual base then the USA because Ukraine has contributed so much to world culture recently. Ukraine gave the world the computer revolution, the information revolution, etc. Apple, Microsoft, google, twitter, yahoo, and on and on. It all started in Ukraine. Ukraine is the world's capital of technological innovation.

Those morons in the United States, on the other hand, in Silicon Valley and Seattle and New York City and the Boston tech corridor and so on, created nothing, ever, and...

...Oh, wait. Sorry. Something got mixed up.

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Anonymous Sept. 18, 2011, 10:50 p.m.    

Recent history is not the only history, however while on the subject, 'it' gave us people who prosecute food chains because they are fat. They have given us the nutritious Big Mac, war after war (in the name of democracy and world peace of course), and also has given the majority of the world an infectious economic disease...oh wait, now I am getting mixed up. Land of hope and glory, white picket fences...don't make me laugh!

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 12:20 a.m.    

True about those bad things coming from the USA, absolutely true...

And yet Ukraine is still a Third World basket case. And yet if the USA opened its doors to Ukrainian immigration, 70 percent of the country would emigrate to the USA. Only the old people would be left.

People vote with their feet. How many Americans want to emigrate to Ukraine? How many Ukrainians want to emigrate to the USA?

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 12:40 a.m.    

You know nothing of America. Steal is made stronger by adding carbon and cobalt. America has been made stronger by each group that came here.

Crops were improved by taking genes from many other plants. Hybrids are better than inbreeds.

How many million died in the Great Patriotic War to cut this racist cancer from earth?

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 7:10 a.m.    

Hey Mike,

Whatever is left of America in 2020 will belong to Mexico LOL!!!!

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 10:17 a.m.    

California is the leading agricultural state in the United States. Most winter vegetables come from here. Wine is an over 60 billion dustily all by it's self.60% of farm worker are undocumented workers. These people fed this nation.

California was once Mexico. Mexico had influenced California long before California was a state.General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo lamented seeing the Americans entering&quot; When we came we hes but first built churches. When the Americans came first they built Brothels and saloons.

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 2:37 a.m.    

I think this student returning to Ukraine is a clear indication Ukraine's future is in jeopardy. We want those who are broad-minded and focused on competing in an international environment to go out and study in the West and then come home. Anyone who fails to see through a very narrow viewpoint and experience at a local university in Texas, should either stay in the deep south of the US or simply never leave the friendly confines of the corrupt and useless Ukrainian university system and study in the great universities of Lugansk or Enakievo (great minds come from there).

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 2:42 a.m.    

This girl is obviously not practical. Where will she work in Ukraine with a biomathematics background that will allow her to grow as a professional?? Seriously??

I can see a finance or maybe even law degree, oligarchs need such skills.. But biomathematics, what will Fiertash and Akhmetov do with that??

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 2:01 p.m.    

Eva, before you make the mistake of coming back to Ukraine, get out of Texas and take a trip to the very many great NON-TEXAN parts of the USA. If all I knew of the United States was Texas, I might also think that Ukraine was a place to go back to.

Talk to young people from GOOD American universities, not seventh-rate ones.

Go to New York City, Los Angeles, Massachusetts, San Franciso. Go to Connecticut, Maine. Check out Miami, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, upstate New York. Check out great, but more out of the way places like Madison, Wisconsin, or Chapel Hill, NC. \

I could go on and on.

You're in the same position as a Westerner who knows nothing of Ukraine but some horrible university in some grim industrial city in Lugansk oblast, and then things all of Ukraine is horrible.

You don't have enough information to judge yet.

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 2:31 p.m.    

The letter is a hoax. The first thing a foreign student learns in the U.S. is that he/she studies at the University of Houston (not in the University of Houston) or at a local university in the first paragraph (an article &quot;a&quot; is needed).

Or &quot;I live in the U.S. where I study something at a local university&quot; &quot;Local&quot; relative to what? The U.S. is a huge country.

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 2:35 p.m.    

read &quot;the article &quot;a&quot; is needed.&quot; The rest is true

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Anonymous Sept. 19, 2011, 4:32 p.m.    

yeah Ms. Kukko

look at how much potential perffffeeesssooooorrrr yanuconvict has

first thing you should do is teach ukrainians to stop giving and taking bribes

then teach PM Azarov a few words in ukrainian

then teach all these young brilliant ukrainian students a few words in ukrainian -- these idiots go to school their whole life learning ukrainian and then can't say hello in ukrainian --- just look at the little russian princess Stepanko Ms. Universe runner up who is studying law and can't say one sentence in ukrainian

most ukrainian students are laughed at as the biggest losers because of their own apathy-- look at the government you chose in ukraine

you are so smart, while your governmant robs you of billions of dollars a month, and these brilliant ukrainian students sit on their butts and do nothing but make money ---

update for you --- the word in the US is that you are losers

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Anonymous Sept. 22, 2011, 12:39 p.m.    

thou art a condescending fool. who starts wars to feed the warmachine? Not them YOU and your mentally and economically challenged pseudo &quot;super power&quot;

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Anonymous Sept. 20, 2011, 2:25 a.m.    

Eva, plain and simple, if everything is so bad in the U.S. why are you still here? Did you forget the way to the airport? People like you are not wanted in the U.S.

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Anonymous Sept. 20, 2011, 6:21 p.m.    

Well everyone is I titled to their own opinion and here in the U.S. it is OK to voice it. But I would say that this opinion is based more so on emotional patriotism to Ukraine rather than fact. Ukraine is no where near the far more advanced United States. Most important and were it counts the most is quality of life and standards of living. The average Ukrainian lives in old Soviet styled apartments the size of my master bedroom. The streets are in bad need of repair. The average Ukrainian is well educated but makes less in a month than I make in a day and works far more hours than I do. The level of corruption in Ukraine is off the charts and there is little to no Labor laws to protect workers in Ukraine. The justice and Law Enforcement system is so currupt that the average Urainian has no fair chance of justice... unless you can payoff someone. I could go on and on because there are serious problems that must be addressed before Ukrainians can even think about reaching for the stars. Ukraine is indeed a wonderful place with unlimited potential but to think that they have already arrived and surpased the U.S. is quite absurd.

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Anonymous Sept. 20, 2011, 7:06 p.m.    

Well Eva, from the perspective of a foreigner who has lived and worked in Ukraine for 8 years, I can see where you are coming from, but concluded that you are absolutely wrong. Why? On the face of it US/Canadian/British students are quite lazy at university, yes. And years of liberalism has left the Western societies full of degradation , waste spending, and a continual moral decline. However, there is one thing that remains in the West that was destroyed in Russia by Bolshevism, that is an honest, and modest family culture. The lack of this in Ukraine and Russia is reflected in many ways. Most of all it shows in the way people interact with each other in the community in Ukraine. Ukrainians are generally jealous of each other, and do not wish to work with each other, and if they get money, they are immediately arrogant. Such civil behaviour is passed from generation to generation within family cultures. This was largely destroyed in Ukraine during comunism, as to be a communist first and foremost you must be so jealous of your neighbour that you will to to the point of killing people so that everyone will be equally poor (or equally free, as the Bolsheviks propagandaised). This is the true reason why there is no honour in the Judiciary and Government in Ukraine. After all governments, judicairies, local administrations, etc etc, are only a reflection of the inhabitants of society that elect them as representatives. Of course the same liberalism that brought in Bolshevism (which is simply absolute liberalism enforced. that is, &quot;freedom for all from the so-called rich and business owning classes&quot;), is becoming more apparent in the West. However, until those &quot;backbone&quot; families are destroyed in the West as happened in Russia Ukraine, the West will continue to be a better place to live.

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Anonymous Sept. 20, 2011, 7:22 p.m.    

...And PS. Just because a student does not take his/her studies that seriously, does not mean that they are not going to be good workers. Maybe they have a wide range of interests apart from the studies they are doing. In short though, I would rather employ a Westerner to a position than a Ukrainian anyday. At least then the computors will not be used for personal use, lunch time break times will be kept to, there will be no card games played on the computor, benzin, diesel, grain, and sale products, will not be stolen, and there will be generally a happy and professional work environment.

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Anonymous Sept. 25, 2011, 5:36 p.m.    

You hit on a very important point.

During sovok times, when it became very apparent that the &quot;workers' paradise&quot; could not be sustained economically, the sovoks began to make allowances to meet vast shortages:

- people were permitted to keep little plots of land, where they could grow vegetables, etc., for their own use - and to sell; it turned out that these were far more productive than the collective farms

- people were permitted to &quot;moonlight&quot; - what did that mean?

It meant that one could use factory state-owned tools and machinery to produce products for private sale

- at &quot;work,&quot; people stole - it was widely done, and it was a way to survive

So the sovoks did indeed create a culture where people stole from each other, spied on each other, and the only ones anyone could trust were immediate family, and possibly friends - and even then, that was subject to doubt.

Why work at your state job when - it didn't matter, and official reports would produce false statistics, which were then relied on to &quot;prove&quot; that everything was just fine?

So, with that hideous legacy, in post-soviet Ukraine, people do indeed think that it's perfectly acceptable:

- to show up late for work, for any number of personal reasons

- that they are entitled to guaranteed income, regardless of productivity

- that business assets are there for personal use - or personal theft

Marshrutkas have schedules - but it's anyone's guess as to when they will actually show up.

TV programs will come on when someone feels like it.

In political talk shows, the idiots who blubber and blather sovok style, have no concept of time, and will keep on foaming at the month even during commercial breaks.

Watch Savik Shuster as he tries to get the idiots to stop talking for commercial breaks, or tries to get them not to be so long-winded.

People won't follow instructions of their employer - they do what they want, but they still expect to get paid.

Restaurant service is, for the most part, slow and lousy.

Sovok mafia use and abuse government to steal and appropriate everything in sight for themselves.

Government is viewed solely as a personal business tool for clans of oligarchs.

Traffic police routinely hit people up for bribes.

And Ukraine has dwindled in population from 52 million to under 46 million people.

You did indeed hit on a very important and valid point.

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Anonymous Sept. 21, 2011, 6:34 p.m.    

Hmmmm Ahead well now my wife is from Ukraine your toilets in trains still go on tracks We ended that in 60`s

And you have corruption in all levels

And if you so ahead for what we need loan your country money when growth is minus 14 %

Your system need change and like my boss say you are 50 years behind so

ahead well not in our lifetime

Sincerely Bo Petersen


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Anonymous Sept. 22, 2011, 12:35 p.m.    

The Intelligent Young Lady is very accurate about the we$t.... I have had conversations about the subject for many years. Unfortunately the we$tern nations rest on their &quot;laurels&quot; and lag behind being over confident in the illusion of the former greatness...blah blah.

Once upon a time the ROMAN EMPIRE ruled and due to resting on their laurels , pointless wars and not least of all corruption of all levels of government... Those &quot;Laughty&quot; we$terner$ should not be so judgemental of the Eastern nations. Remember after centuri.... after centuries of wars conquests occupation ...Ottoman Empire USSSr those people are climbing out of their slump. The we$t is like the &quot;hare &quot;

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Anonymous Sept. 22, 2011, 12:36 p.m.    

that challenged the &quot;tortoise&quot; to a race....

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Anonymous Sept. 22, 2011, 1:22 p.m.    

My guess is that the letter writer is in the US studying as a guest of the US government, which pays her expenses as part of a foreign-exchange program.

Nice way to talk about your host and benefactor, sweetie!

Don't wait to finish your degree. Get out of the US today and return to Ukraine. McDonald's Ukraine is hiring biomath majors to work the drive-up window!

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Anonymous Oct. 2, 2011, 10:25 p.m.    

Which only proves her point MORE......

She can say anything she wants, and is not afraid of being deported or censured.

Isn't it nice in a democracy to say whatever you want,,,,wwithout fear of reprisal....

Obviously, Guest 13:22, you are still afraid to speak out.....while Yanuk and his band of theives steal Ukraine blind, and sh-t all over you and 'your' Constitution......

.I am sorry that Eva is returning only for personal , selfish would have been nice to hear her say.....she is returning to help Ukraine become a working democracy.

But,,,,at least, she is returning.....that is good.

I would like to hear from her again, after returning to Ukraine for a year or two......

If her only motivation is personal economic reasons......then it would be safe to say....she WILL NOT remain in Ukraine.

Eva, send us another letter after living in Ukraine for a year.

Prove me wrong.

Bless Ukraine!!


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Anonymous Sept. 26, 2011, 5:11 p.m.    

Ms. Kukko, as you crow over your vastly suprerior intellectual prowess in biomathematics, and leap to the conclusion that &quot;Ukraine is ahead,&quot; consider one more thing:

In Ukraine, a former prime minister is being persecuted under a 1927 Stalin statute which would never have been enacted in any Western country due to unconstitutional vagueness:

Article 365, &quot;exceeding the government, or powers of office, with heavy consequences&quot;

On top of that, a jury which is guaranteed by Ukraine's constitution is ---- non-existent, because in 20 years of robbing and pillaging by oligarchs, nothing was ever done to implement a jury system.

On top of that, at every step of the way, there is denial of due process to all of the 12 former officials who are being persecuted by Yanukonvikt's sovok mafia.

On top of that, the paramilitary police, Berkut, brutally confiscate t-shirts in the street, because the t-shirts criticize Yanukonvikt - &quot;Thank you residents of Donbassss, for the presidential ananassss (pineapple)&quot;

Parliament is now monkeying with election laws, yet again, to insure that only the Party of Regions is elected.

&quot;The president&quot; buys jets and helicopters and $350,000 toilets, and lives in a mansion he stole, where individual doors cost over $80,000, while at the same time, the government cuts benefit for Afghan vets, and others.

And it doesn't stop there.

Do you really still think that &quot;Ukraine is ahead of the West&quot;?

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Anonymous Sept. 27, 2011, 3:08 a.m.    

Noahs flood was regional not world wide. planet earth is tens of thousands of years old and has had houndreds of floods in different parts of the world this is why there are different stories legends of a flood it has nothing to do with noahs regional flood. Only white men and women came from adam and eve of Genesis. When the son of God Jesus the christ returns he is only coming to save white man kind becouse only white men and women came from adam and eve of Genesis.

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Mykhayl Oct. 10, 2011, 6:41 a.m.    

Thor is not Christ.

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Anonymous Sept. 27, 2011, 3:26 a.m.    

Its a fact of life that when the USA was mostly white european people the USA was the greatest strongest country in the world. Then the evil new world order people forced white americans to live and work among black people opened up imigration to nonwhite imigrants the USA has been going down hill ever since OVER THE YEARS. This next scripture describes the USA today. The iron is the white european americans the clay/mud is all the nonwhite races. Read DANIEL 2:43.

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2011, 4:11 p.m.    

I AGREE! Thee USA needs to be saved from idiots who write such racist drivel. Take away &quot;non-whites&quot; like Jews and Asians and the USA would become scientifically, culturally, and ultimately economically, bankrupt.

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Anonymous Sept. 27, 2011, 3:29 a.m.    

Keep ukraine and russia beautiful keep it slavic.

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2011, 4 a.m.    

I am a US citizen who lived in Ukraine for several years and worked as a teacher. Whenever I hear Ukrainians comment on the &quot;superiority&quot; of Ukrainian education because it is &quot;harder,&quot; I feel they are completely missing the point. Ukrainians are not educated in a way that encourages problem solving or creative thinking. Perhaps in the short run it is more difficult to memorize exactly what your teachers tell you, but the ultimate result is definitely not superior. But the most important point is the obvious (to anyone who has lived in Ukraine) problem of CORRUPTION in education, as paying for grades is widespread at all levels of education. I have encountered too many cases of this than I could possibly list, and a Ukrainian education will never be respected outside of Ukrainian or CIS borders until this changes.

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Anonymous Oct. 3, 2011, 4:05 p.m.    

I taught in Ukrainian Universities for some five years and I am pleased to hear a Ukrainian student express a positive attitude towards Ukraine. That said, i wish that Ms. Kukko did not find it necessary to pull herself up by pulling others down. Some of her comments/claims are silly -especially for a mathematician. For example, since more than 50% of her classmates are American, it is mathematically impossible for them to be &quot;always below average.&quot; Second, Ms. Kukko represents the BRIGHTEST students of Ukraine while the university she attends is hardly attended by the brightest of American students. Thirdly, the university's records do not support Ms. Kukkko's claims. Lastly, with some notable exceptions, Ukrainian universities are widely known to be riddled with corruption and incompetence -which is why a Ukrainian diploma has little international value and, presumably, why Ms. Kukko is studying abroad. Nevertheless, I am pleased by Ms. Kukko's decision to leave the U.S. and return to Ukraine will likely benefit both countries.

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2011, 4:58 a.m.    

Someone who is insecure about their country goes to great lengths to defend it, like a child of an alcoholic degenerate parent. It is interesting to read this article from a psychological point of view. Clearly the author is trying to make some sort of positive spin on Ukraine by attacking the USA. I don't think anyone would trade living in the USA for Ukraine anywhere. But she tries to make the point. And to think Ukraine is going to surpass any country in anything... except corruption and low salary employment with no upward mobility for females in the work force... well that requires complete blind eye to reality here... you can stay in the USA and get a good job and live well or you can return to kiev and sit with the rest of the low paid cattle mooing your way to work in the metro each morning for your 700 dollar per month &quot;job&quot;

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2011, 5:08 a.m.    

You are not at a top USA institution, you are at a below average one in the USA and studying with subpar students which closely approximates what your Ukrainin education prepared you for based on international standardized testing. A Ukrainain degree is worthless both in Ukraine and outside Ukraine, which is why you are in the USA. When you return to Ukraine you have no future to get to the top in a low paying male dominated workforce. In fact if you ran the math like a mathematician you would see that you're better off working in a Starbucks in the USA now than returning to Ukraine. Your pay is better at Starbucks, and if you are smart you can manage a Starbucks as a woman and move up the corporate ladder - something impossible for you in Ukraine due to severe gender bias. But good luck with everything.

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Anonymous Oct. 5, 2011, 7:55 p.m.    

On one hand, I am starting to believe that there is some truth to what Eva says. I've seen it, time and time again, where young teenagers, from Ukraine, go the school and not only excel in their studies, but are well ahead of their fellow US counterparts---especially in the fields of math and science. The US does seem to be lagging behind many countries---on the average---meaning the average publice schools (grade school and college level). However, with that said, it needs to be understood that the US has many, many institutions that do not fit into this 'average' mold; and there are hundreds of these universities (of which U of Houston is not).

Just like Japan then China, maybe someday Ukraine will come into its' own, economically. Maybe then will kids like Eva have the future they deserve in Ukraine.

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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 7:21 p.m.    

Not very likely really. More like Ukraine becomes the image of Kazakhstan portrayed in Borat films. Delusions of grandeur with foolish ideas of global norms.

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Mykhayl Oct. 10, 2011, 6:24 a.m.    

Wow, # 76.

As Baba taught me; &quot;Бог дав мені розум&quot;.

Bottom line, the difference must begin in YOU.

Blaming side left or side right does not center yourself for self improvement. It is merely a self defense action to protect oneself from self evaluation to their own responsibilities.

What troubles me is that Ms Kukko does not embrace Ukrainian traditional values but rather a defunct society which erased millions through mass murders, genocide, while imposing lifetime fear with no hope but through greed. Even a positive fairy tale is better in the long run than a boogyman you are taught to coexist with by deception.

Presentation is everything, Ukrainians are mystical. Ukraine is benevolent. Ukrainian is our connection.

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Anonymous Oct. 11, 2011, 8:09 p.m.    

Interesting perspective. I'm Ukrainian with a Ukrainian wife living in the USA. My Ukrainian born and educated son is blown away in science and math by my USA born and educated son. The younger son just thinks differently. He can solve problems in the abstract while my Ukraine educated son can do rote problems well but gets stuck if he has to be creative. Ukrainian diplomas? Good luck. I received a M.S. from a (good) American University, unlike the author's marginal institution) and have no issues finding work. My wife's diploma from Ivan Franko (L'viv) isn't taken seriously and she is only offered menial jobs. Good luck Eva, you'll need it!

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 1:39 a.m.    

She is right, kids here are lazy and constantly take the easy route. If Ukraine can get out of the doldrums it definitely will be an intellectual powerhouse. Unfortunately as long as the current leadership in Moscow continues to bully and interfere in the affairs of its smaller neighbours including Ukraine, it will be very difficult for it ever to thrive. So long as Putin and his cronies are running the show in Moscow they will do everything possible to destabilize and prevent Russia's neighbours from attaining any sort of economic success and political stability.

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 10:03 p.m.    

Ukraine's educational system is rusted to the core. There are plenty of smart people in Ukraine but very few educated ones. Which is why ukrainain skilled labor leaves when given the chance and why the ukrainain diploma is worthless, and why there is no job market in ukraine to speak of. Ukraine has the same chance of becoming and intellectual powerhouse as any other undeveloped country, with same likelihood not more or less. When you are near the bottom you can only go up

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Anonymous Oct. 14, 2011, 8:35 p.m.    

I am a son of Ukrainian immigrants and a professional engineer. Growing up with all things Ukrainian, including Saturday school and belonging to various Ukrainian-American organizations, I was thrilled when the USSR fell. I was an early proponent of bringing in Ukrainian educated engineers into the company with which I am employed. What a disaster. After the three attempts in bringing in an engineer from Ukraine plus several non-certified technicians, our company president has implemented a &quot;No more Ukrainians&quot; policy. The engineers and technicians we hired were all smart people and I'm sure very bright but could not perform work outside of a very defined box. If anything, and I mean anything, was asked of them in regards to performing work or projects that did not fit 100% of their education, they were &quot;deer in the headlights&quot;. Two of the engineers became belligerent at their supervisors because of deadlines and were fired. One engineer quit because he was asked to help on a project that involved improving the design of a treatment plant rather than reproducing a standard design concept. Incredible. We had the same problems with the technicians. A major problem we had with both groups was their inability to work with women and the union-like mentality they possessed which was basically &quot;not my job&quot; when asked to do something they were not familiar with or when asked to put in extra hours. We have had good luck finding excellent USA trained engineers that I would in no way consider &quot;below average&quot; as stated by the author. As in any country, I'm sure there are good and bad students but to generalize an entire country's student population as &quot;below average&quot; is an unfair generalization. As an American born Ukrainian, it saddens me that the situation is what it is but the author is wrong in her assertion that Ukraine is ahead of the US or Europe. If our recent hires are any indication, Ukraine has a very long way to go before it catches up, much less surpasses the US/Western Europe.

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Anonymous Oct. 15, 2011, 3 p.m.    

It's the case of nature verus nurture. Standard Urkainian education does not provide space or incentive to think outside of specific defined tasks, manage time creatively or question the big picture of why things are being done in a specific way. So you get the product you get. Anyway, the author's article is a clear defensive article written because of some hard times she felt assimilating into the USA for some reason. She did not get the job offer due to the economic crisis, or maybe her boyfriend just dumped her. The article is a venting article without much logical sense. KP posted it to spark a debate over its controversial emotional remarks.

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Anonymous Oct. 16, 2011, 10 p.m.    

Dear Eva

Obviously you are the spoiled one and have been in the USA to long. You may be smarter then many of your American classmates but if you think you have a future here in Ukrainian your not as smart as you think. In the last 3 years in this country the currency has devalued, the cost of living has gone up 10 fold and there is no work. Real Estate prices are double that of Europe or the USA and the construction is 50 years in the hole. You will return to Ukraine with no future of having a good living, no opportunity's to escape and be stuck in a third world country till a real Government gets put in place. But with the new elections laws being put in place that is not likely to happen anytime soon. With newest currency laws you will have every dollar you spend monitored and will have no privacy in your life.

I sure will not say America or anywhere is perfect, but anywhere away from here is a better place to be.

Signed... getting out as fast as we can.

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Mykhayl Feb. 18, 2012, 2:12 p.m.    

October 16 to February 16...

Be careful for what one puts in writing, is may not be easily forgotten.

Bighting the hand that fed you? Soviet raised Russian wannabe mazhory [brat].

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