Why must Ukrainians return from abroad?

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Aug. 30, 2012, 10:55 p.m. | Op-ed — by Zenon Zawada

Zenon Zavada, former chief editor of the Kyiv Post
© Zenon Zavada

About a decade ago, I asked a young Ukrainian woman, Olena, rather innocently, why she chose to remain in the U.S. rather than returning to “help Ukraine.” We were in the U.S. and judging by her visible irritation, I wasn’t the first person to pose this question.

Her emotions eventually turned to fury and our conversation concluded with her yelling, “If you care about Ukraine so much, then why don’t you go there yourself !?!”

Such questions address the dilemma of whether the individual has any obligation to his or her nation, citizenry, religious or ethnic group. Modern and post-modern thought asserts an emphatic “No!” and argues that such notions have long been considered archaic in the West (for at least a half century).

Yet these notions persist in societies dominated by hostile, fundamentalist ideologies, such as radical Islam, Communism and resurgent Russian nationalism (aptly referred to as “rashism” in Ukraine). 

Indeed many Russians still view those countrymen who emigrate to the West as traitors, a reflection of how far removed their values are. Such attitudes are largely absent in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, where those able to move to the West are viewed with respect and sometimes envy, rather than disdain.

Representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora in New York on May 3, 2010 protest President Viktor Yanukovych’s agreement to allow the Russian Black Sea Fleet to remain in Crimea until at least 2042.

Yet in the case of Ukraine, an attitude still persists among those in the third wave of the diaspora (those that emigrated during World War II) that the fourth wave (emigrants after the Soviet collapse) ought to be gaining their education or economic skills in the West with the ultimate goal of returning to Ukraine.

This attitude was exemplified by a column published in the Kyiv Post on Aug. 25, 2011, headlined “Those who go abroad should return home.” It was written by Bohdan Oryshkevich, co-founder of the USA/USA program that helps Ukrainian students achieve scholarships at elite American universities.

He expressed well-meaning emotions about Ukraine’s brain drain, yet lacked any argument to offer as to why any Ukrainian has a moral obligation (let alone financial incentive) to return to his native land, where his Ivy League education, valued at $100K-plus, would be rendered meaningless.

Yes, Ukraine should value these folks.

But it doesn’t, and the nation’s establishment shows no signs of doing so for at least the next decade, but probably longer. In the column, Oryshkevich couldn’t name a single Ukrainian citizen who found career success in Ukraine after returning from studying in the West. 

Guess what? I can’t either, except for a handful of priests in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, including its current leader, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who earned his doctorate degree at the Vatican. 

I do know of Nataliya Shulga, who came back from the U.S. after 13 years of research at Rochester University in 2005 only to find a $117 a month position as the director of the ecology faculty at the National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy.

She eventually left after her proposals for transparency and reform were rejected. Mind you, that happened at what’s considered to be among Ukraine’s most progressive universities. 

And, of course, we all know a few of the hundreds of businesspeople – from the Ukrainian diaspora and far beyond – who lost millions of dollars attempting to build some kind of enterprise here, only to get burned by trickery and corruption.

That hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of Ukrainians have been able to fulfill their dreams abroad after having no chance of doing so in Ukraine is a testament to the superiority of Western values and civilization and the bankruptcy of Communist society, which has now degenerated into post-Soviet society.

The government has done next-to-nothing in 21 years of independence to create financial and career incentives for Ukrainians to return from the West and introduce Western values and standards into Ukrainian institutions. It should be doing more, we can all agree.

Even more important than the fourth wave Ukrainians returning to Ukraine was for a movement to emerge of third wave diaspora Ukrainians (and their children and grandchildren) to return to settle in the homeland of their ancestors, which should have involved tens of thousands of people during the last two decades. 

At an Aug. 20 press conference, Kyiv-Mohyla’s former rector, Vyacheslav Bryukhovetskyj, mentioned Kateryna Maksym as an example of a Ukrainian student who returned to her native land, in her case to serve as a university vice president after earning an MBA in Italy. 

What deserves even more attention is Bryukhovetskyj’s mention of Mychailo Wynnyckyj, a Canadian citizen who serves as the director of doctoral studies at Kyiv Mohyla Academy and teaches courses in its business school. His family settled in Kyiv and he’s raising his children here. It’s people like Wynnyckyj who had the greater ability to have a positive effect on Ukraine. Such diaspora Ukrainians, born in wealthy Western nations to which their parents or grandparents immigrated, have the better ability to settle in Ukraine than the current immigrants themselves. 

“I am not independently wealthy,” Wynnyckyj said, but he’s able to support his family on what he earns in Ukraine. He compared living in Ukraine to the American Wild West of the 19th century, noting that there are abundant opportunities in both places to succeed and make a lasting difference. But neither were places for those “interested in a stable lifestyle,” Wynnyckyj said. “The price for those opportunities is increased risk in life.”

Some of the disaspora who returned undoubtedly have the education, the savings, the social security, 401Ks, and inheritances to help them. They have the valuable experience of having lived in a functional society with life-affirming values. They could have worked as doctors or teachers in Ukraine. 

Some have returned to work as lawyers – like Ivan Lozowy – but they are far and few between. Indeed, no more than a few hundred diaspora Ukrainians have settled in their ancestral lands after the collapse of the Soviet Union created the long-anticipated opportunity to do so.

Diaspora Ukrainians also offer that mutual understanding of Ukrainian and Western cultures that no one else has. They have intimate knowledge of Ukrainian culture and history that was erased by the Soviets, and could play an instrumental role in revitalizing a morally and spiritually devastated society.

On the other hand, Ukrainian university students are broke by the time they finish their studies or loaded with debt. They also need at least a half -decade of experience in the workforce not only to pay these debts, but to know how Western society and business operates. 

Moreover, it takes a lifetime of work to earn the money to live a middle-class lifestyle in Ukraine – to acquire an apartment or house and accumulate the savings to pay all the bribes to schoolteachers, doctors and bureaucrats.  Corruption is expensive, after all.

Yet the reason third wave diaspora Ukrainians (and their children and grandchildren) haven’t returned to their ancestral lands is the same reason why Ukrainian emigrants have been criticized for viewing Western education as an exit strategy.

Life is simply more pleasant in the West. Wages are higher. Prices for many consumer goods – gasoline, cars and even jeans – are lower. Bureaucrats are polite. Business licenses are easier to get. The courts are largely fair. The police are able to speak in complete sentences and often help people in trouble.

What’s being suggested to Ukraine’s talented youth is what only a few dozen “Don Quixotes” in the diaspora are willing to do: sacrifice a well-paying career in a stable country that offers a peaceful life – surrounded by polite people and superb customer service – in order to become a modern-day cowboy and undertake the rock of Sysyphus known as Ukraine. 

I propose that folks like Oryshkevich, a doctor, consider resettling in the land of his ancestors and working in a Ukrainian medical clinic or hospital.  That way, they could see for themselves – up close and personal – what millions of Ukrainians are desperately trying to get away from, which is a rotting wreckage of a post-Soviet system that is smothering those underneath it.

The best way for anyone in the diaspora to demonstrate patriotism for Ukraine is not to watch the Klitschkos on television or paint Easter eggs in church, but to pack your suitcases, hop a plane and live in Ukraine for at least five years.

Love is easy to claim from a distance, but much harder in the intimacy of its day-to-day trials.
Resettling isn’t that hard. Collect the documents proving your ancestry and you can get permanent residency. Open a savings account in a bank and you can live on 8 percent annual interest. It’s as much as 20 percent in the local currency. You won’t even need that $390 a month job (that’s the average salary, by the way, that fourth-wave Ukrainians would return to).

Numerous times, diaspora Ukrainians – who haven’t lived more than three months in Ukraine – have insisted: “It’s not as bad as you describe it.” Relocating here would give them the chance to find the evidence for such claims and prove me wrong. 

Instead I took the advice of Olena, the young immigrant whom I upset, and have lived here for seven years. Besides learning what Ukraine really is like – instead of what my grandparents remembered from the 1930s – I have gained a new appreciation for my homeland, the United States of America.

Indeed we Americans are very fortunate to have been blessed with such a country where there’s rule of law, independent courts and the opportunity to engage in commerce with relatively few restrictions.

Let’s stop pestering those Ukrainians wanting to live in America. Human progress will be far better served by them absorbing the remnants of Western civilization that are slowly being dismantled.

At this point, native Ukrainians who have succeeded in the West have little practical incentive to return to Ukraine. They’d have to be on a quixotic mission to do so. But perhaps their children or grandchildren will be able to return some day – several decades down the road – on rational, pragmatic foundations.

And maybe they will bring with them those critical institutions of Western civilization – rule of law, equality before the law and individual rights – that enabled us in the West to live such prosperous and fulfilling lives.

Zenon Zawada is a former chief editor of the Kyiv Post

The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Angelica Shamerina Aug. 31, 2012, 2:25 a.m.    

I think the premise of this debate is wrong. If we talk about professional people, they are usually locked in some kind of career, whether in the West or in Ukraine. It's not just their choice to come back to Ukraine. They need to continue building their niche to remain professionals. The higher their level, the more difficult is to find this nice and fewer places are there that need it. Plus they need to build connection in Ukraine anew and they would find that other people took their place already. Also idea that western educated specialists somehow "help" Ukraine and other so called "developing" countries, is not always correct. Economies have different niches and demands and certain skills may not be needed or suitable. In developing countries I saw highly educated people to return just to leave soon if they wanted professional development. Sometimes they would stay if they wanted a family or a different lifestyle to a detriment for their career.

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Bohdan Oryshkevich Aug. 31, 2012, 6:54 a.m.    

I invite Mr. Zawada to write to me via Facebook.

I am the founder of the USA/USA Program.

My profile is online.

Our Facebook page is at

Our program has many returnees to Ukraine. One is featured in this issue of the Kyiv Post. Others returned long ago and are already successful. Some have even returned and left.

Many will be surprised what we have done.

I will be responding to his comments.

But I would want to first correspond with him. I have tried for years to reach him even through the Ukrainian Weekly. Yet, I have failed to do so. Perhaps, I should have tried harder.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich
New York City

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Mykhayl Aug. 31, 2012, 7:52 a.m.    

Слава Ісу~

QUOTE: "...Russians still view those countrymen who emigrated to the West as traitors, a reflection of how far removed their values are..." QUIT QUOTE Is the word "new" absent; should it not read: "New Russians [AKA Ukrainian elite] still view those countrymen who emigrated to the West as traitors..."? Allow me to follow with an insightful quote from KYIV POST CEO Mr. M. Willard "...assumes while it is one of the main windows into Ukraine for the outside world, its [English Speaking] audience is small in relationship to the Ukrainian universe..."

QUOTE: "...the diaspora to demonstrate patriotism for Ukraine is not to watch the Klitschkos [boxers] on television or paint Easter eggs in church..." QUIT QUOTE Why not? To quote the famed Pull Quote PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING. The Soviet Alumni forgets KGB rashism and we forget when the North American Ukrainian Diaspora, all three waves were the unmercenary Ukrainian State Department for over 70 years. We could change not a line nor color of the iconic pysanky eggs so as not to compromise Ukrainian integrity. During the Holy Millennium the Ukrainian Orthodox, Catholics and Evangelicals acted like Christians and in one voice said "we're Ruc' Ukraine not Kiev Russia" putting a crack in the disinformation Evil Empire. In Ukraine the golden wheat and sky blue bicolor that flew on January 22, 1918, November 1, 1918, January 22, 1919, March 15, 1939 and August 24, 1991 does not yet fly, they revoked the azure blue for Tricolor Russian blue. Red schemata nest?

Presently as our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents did before, sent gifts home that contribute to the GNP, That's the quarter of the shadow economy the Ukrainian Mafia does not control. Maybe inalienable rights will arrive before Ukraine becomes Mexico. “Учітеся, брати мої, "Study brethren,. думайте, читайте, read, but think,. І чужому научайтесь, learn from all others,. Й свого не цурайтесь." but forget not who you are..." Ukrainian National Bard Taras Shevchenko

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wannabe Aug. 31, 2012, 5:07 p.m.    

As an American married to a Ukrainian woman, we both wonder why any Ukrainian would want to return to the zoo that is Ukraine today. Over the years I have suggested to her that maybe it would be nice to return to her country, settle down and open a small business similar to what we have here in the States. The first word out her mouth is WHY! Why would you want to give up everything you have worked so hard to achieve and have it stolen by the beauracracy in Ukraine?

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elmer-елмер Aug. 31, 2012, 5:40 p.m.    

well, maybe the way to fix that is to finally vote the mafiosi out of office.

seigh heil der fuhrer governor yanusvoloch

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

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elmer-елмер Aug. 31, 2012, 5:38 p.m.    

Why must Ukrainians return from abroad?

Why is that even a question? Kuchma called the people who left Ukraine to find jobs in Western Europe and elsewhere "prostitutes" - as if Ukrainians were supposed to sit still and stick around and smell his mafia stink.

Mike Wynnytsky -

He appeared on the Savik Shuster show and other political talk shows a while back, quite often.

A wonderful guy - educated, articulated, well-spoken, extremely intelligent, great personality, perfectly fluent in Ukrainian, very reasonable and well-reasoned points of view.

He was a stark contrast to the bombastic, ill-mannered, uncultured, lying, stupid loudmouths like Boogooslonskaya, Chechetov, Olena Bondarenko, Kolesnichenko and all the other mafiosos from the PoR who showed up.

Wynnytsky doesn't seem to have appeared on any of the political talk shows for quite some time.

seig heil der fuhrer governor yanusvoloch

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

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elmer-елмер Aug. 31, 2012, 5:52 p.m.    

Why must Ukrainians return from abroad?

I am reminded of sovok times - then and now. Except now it's sovok mafia times.

The sovoks did not let anyone leave. Dance groups and singing groups that toured around the world, for example, had "guardian angels" to make sure that noone made the "mistake" of leaving the workers' paradise.

After all, "one had to be insane to want to leave the workers' paradise."

And, on top of that, the attitude was that all those who escaped during World War II "rightfully" belonged back in the USSR.

Of course, all of the apparatchiks and muckety-mucks who had privileged positions in the Commie party and in the government - well, things were quite different for them. They had access to everything, and they could travel freely.

The sovok mafia today seems to still have that same attitude, and the same circumstances, only with hideous, garish, boorish displays of wealth.

Where is Akhmetov's son? Well, he's in Washington DC somewhere, and he's the son of a billionaire.

Where is zArazov" son? Well, he's got a mansion in Austria, which zArazov tried to deny.

Kolomoisky has a mansion in Switzerland - he tried to deny that.

Where did Stalin's daughter go? To the US.

Going back to Zookraine from abroad is like walking into an insane asylum and hoping to make everyone sane.

Except that the psycho deranged and decrepit inmates have taken over the asylum, and noone seems to mind or want to do anything about it.

Tabachnyk, piano voting, Chechetov the "conductor," Boyko the $200 million drillilng rig their, yanusvoloch the ignorant fat ass thug "president," yanusvoloch's "dentist" son worth $100 million, Pshonka the fat pasty-faced doughboy, zArazov, Yefremov, Medvedchuk, Kolomoisky, Pinchuk, Kuchma, and the rest ---

Everyone just sort of seems to tolerate it.

Why go back to something like that?

seig heil der fuhrer governor yanusvoloch

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow,

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Bohdan Oryshkevich Aug. 31, 2012, 7:19 p.m.

That piece that Mr. Zavada quotes me in, I wrote in response to some very amazingly lame personal essays. These essays showed how a variety of mediocre people used education to as an exit strategy. Only of the students profiled had actually achieved a sound education.

Everyone here should read that previous article by me.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Bohdan Oryshkevich Aug. 31, 2012, 7:47 p.m.

That piece that Mr. Zavada quotes me in, I wrote in response to some very amazingly lame personal essays. These essays showed how a variety of mediocre people used education to as an exit strategy. Only one of the students profiled had actually acquired a sound education.

Given the situation in Ukraine, it would be more constructive to profile students and alumni who have accomplished something whether or not they have decided to return.

Everyone here should read that previous article by me.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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kpxoxol Aug. 31, 2012, 10:26 p.m.    

Nice to read how the Ukraine traitors are looking for any excuse not to return to Ukraine, heh, heh, heh :D

And this morons call themselves "patriots" :D

The one born to crawl cant fly :D

What a bunch of "heroes" the diaspora pimps and sex traffickers are indeed.

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elmer-елмер Aug. 31, 2012, 11:28 p.m.    

Decrepit psycho failed abortions such as yourself are one of the reasons they don't return.

heh, heh, heh

seig heil der fuhrer governor yanusvoloch

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

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carl Aug. 31, 2012, 11:52 p.m.    

Migrants should feel no shame,you have duty to self and family to improve your lot in life.
elmer no american,canadian is being stopped from using money to lubricate the system in Ukraine. The rules for doing business is clear.

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Mykhayl Sept. 1, 2012, 4:36 a.m.    

Слава Ісу~

The arrogance of the Soviet Alumni. The only way they will understand democracy is to experiencing it. Watch the new immigrants in North America. Like deer hit by car lights they stare not understanding. Slowly they experience. Slowly do they understand?

Yes you can have it, but now how are you going to pay for it? No, you are scheduled to work on Saturday, if you just call off work who will have to do more work because of you? The guy who rides you to work or girl who watched your child when you were in a pinch, understand? You scheduled an appointment for 8 in the morning. You think showing up at 10 they will have to work you in? Your neighbor's apple tree is ripe, without asking you just help yourself while they are at work. It's all about you? You go to church as a social rather than mystical thing and say after the priest talks "He;s not serious"?. They ask you to help raise money for charity by selling home made foods and you are handling the money, they won't miss you pocketing a $20 or two for yourself? Going to a dance at a club, sneaking in your own booze. The club is a faceless business so use and abuse? You ordered it, they delivered it now let them find you for the pay?

After five years they start to see the light, to understand. In ten years they are studying for citizenship. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. [Matthew 7:12, Luke 7:31, 10:25-28, John 3:16, Leviticus 19:18, 34, 38, Tobiy 4:15, Talmud Shabbat 31,Shanti-Parva 167:9. Sutta, Chapter 32 Tirukkural 312,316, 318, Confucius Analects XV. 24, Anusasana Parva CXIII verse 8, Quran Surah 24 v 22, Surah 83 vv 1-4, 4 VV 8-9, Wiccan Rede-Codex Vias part 2..]. you get the idea; 'THE GOLDEN RULE". Understand?

Vloko Ivan [Uncle John] sends his Stalin cadet for a US school diploma. He sends the kid to stay with rich cousin Bill and Tamara in the USA. If the protege returns to Little Russia, they will expect to be honored as a real Ukrainian or country hick and hill billy? Will they send cousin Bill & Tamara a thank you card? How do you think they will be treating others?

NO, The Ukraine doesn't.

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elmer-елмер Sept. 1, 2012, 6:54 p.m.    

The rules for doing "beezniss" in Zookraine are indeed clear.

Which is why Ukrainians who leave Zookraine don't want to come back.

You missed the whole point of the article.

Unless one does "beezniss" underground, "beezniss" in Zookraine is very, very difficult.

That has been discussed many, many times, by Poroshenko, by Pinzenik, and by many others.

To paraphrase an American author from one of his books -

In Zoorkaine, you have to get your own sovok mafioso - otherwise they play racquetball with your liver."

Under such circumstances, an economy does not grow - except underground.

And you get --- Zookraine - where people leave and don't want to return.

Where in order to keep yanusvoloch and his sovok mafia going, they have to borrow money from China.

In 1240, the Mongols showed up at the gates of Kyiv and sacked it.

In 2012, yanusvoloch and his sovok mafia are simply going to give Zookraine away to China and to Roosha - for the sake of their own hideously psychotic decrepit fat asses.

Except that the "official language" is not going to be Rashan, like the sovok mafia wants.

It's going to be Chinese.

seig heil der fuhter governor yanusvoloch

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

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Mykhayl Sept. 1, 2012, 10:05 p.m.    

And the antidote?


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elmer-елмер Sept. 1, 2012, 10:15 p.m.    


Stop the sovok mafia PoR and the commies.

Last night on the Savik Shuster show, the political ads came on, one right after another.

The Commies, laughably enough, railed against -- oligarchs, and their commercial had overtones of the "glorious worker's paradise" and 5-year plans and "glorious grain reports", right out the past.

Symonenko, the chief commie, is an odious fat pig oligarch with an expensive watch.

The PoR blamed everything on - the "orange", who "did not keep their promises.' Hilarious, because it's the PoR mafia that has been in power, has not kept any promises, and has repressed free speech and stepped up theft in office and corruption..

The United Opposition - Батьківщина - simply says "they'ver got to be stopped."

It shows a grandma's house being torn down by bulldozers, and a man with a scythe saying "they've got to be stopped."

"They've got to be stopped" is a simple, clear, direct message.

It has the virtue of truth.

Nothing about how "she (Tymoshenko) is Ukraine", nothing about "she will win."

They do have to be stopped.

And the vote will stop them.

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

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Mykhayl Sept. 2, 2012, 2:45 a.m.    

Слава Ісу~

They can't afford to be stopped.
They believe "Others will do to you as
you did it to them".
The new political prisoner of Donet'sk.
They can't afford to be stopped.

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elmer-елмер Sept. 2, 2012, 4:52 p.m.    

That may be true.

But Ukrainians can't afford not to stop them.

Otherwise, it will get even worse - corporate raiding, repression of speech, piano voting, paying militia to beat neighbors, fraud, corruption, etc.

It's not just the "others" - meaning political opposition" - that is involved here.

The people are involved here too.

And the only way to stop the "political elite" from raping and pillaging the country, and even worse, is - vote them out of office.

The people simply can't afford not to stop them.

Otherwise, the people will continue to pay with their lives, and their livelihoods.

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

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carl Sept. 2, 2012, 6:57 p.m.    

elmer Rome was not built in a day. By 2nd half of 2013 state properties sales will be complete,electronic systems for one stop shopping for permits should be in place. Things are going to get better,have some faith good fellow. Looking forward to 2014 a boost in wages for militia and others will ease pressure to demand bribes. A golden dawn awaits Ukraine like when Vladimir became grand prince in 978 AD.

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Mykhayl Sept. 3, 2012, 12:13 a.m.    

Слава Ісу~

QUOTE: "... like when Vladimir became grand prince in 978 AD." QUOT QUOTE

Unethical Volodymyr with bloody hands from a fresh family kill of the legitimate heir to the Kyiv throne?

Tribute, loot and consumerism for... two more terms? Remember Ruric's Dynasty were foreign pagans. The aborigines were converted.

What's the gin if you profit from the whole world loosing your integrity? Matt 16:26, Mark 8:36. Who's mitre you going to put your money on next year?

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elmer-елмер Sept. 3, 2012, 1:49 a.m.    

carl, you and your sovok mafia buddies are nuclear reactors of BS.

What you spout is nonsense.

Noone in Zookraine is building Rome.

Least of all yanusvoloch, Chechetov, Yefremov, Pinchuk, Akhmetov, Kolomoisky, Taruta, Zviahisky, zArazov, Kluyev, Medvedchuk, and the rest of the dysfunctional vampires in and around the PoR.

The only thing they are interested in is building walled mansions for themselves - and in Medvechuk's case, water fountains with colored lights.

You sound like the sovoks did - "just wait another 5 years".

Except that anyone with eyes and ears can see exactly what the sovok mafia has done for the past 5 years in Zookraine, and especially since yanusvoloch, the fat ass, got elected "president."

And going back to 978 AD, or even to ancient Rome, is exactly the worst thing for Zookraine.

But it's exactly what the yanusvoloch and his Party of Dupas want.

And it is yet another one of the things that keeps people from coming back to Zookraine.

It is time for people in Ukraine to finally realize what their vote can do - get rid of the vampire sovok mafia Party of Dupas and Lytvyn and the Commies.

It is time for the people in Ukraine to stop the bloodsucking sovok mafia vampires.

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

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elmer-елмер Sept. 3, 2012, 5:08 p.m.    

Let us see why Ukrainians don't return to Zookraine.

Well, today's Kyiv Post, and other newspapers, has a video of "president" fat ass yanusvoloch's goons assaulting 2 female journalists - Katya Gorchinskaya and Olena Prytula - during a fat ass speech as fat ass was talking about "freedom of speech."

Here's another example - the Black Harvest.

But I am afraid that Ukrainian farmers suffer more from lawlessness than from the current drought. The main issue is the so-called black harvest. In a nutshell, small-scale farmers are forced to load trucks with their grain for free. It's the so-called black harvest. The black harvest trucks operated by thugs, allegedly from Donetsk region, show up when a farmer harvests his crops. Thugs take grains by force and load them in their trucks. Farmer is left with nothing. If farmer cannot recuperate his losses, he will go bankrupt.

If you wonder why farmer doesn't call police, the answer is quite simple. It does not change anything. If the local police receives this call, they have to check with their headquarters whether someone is behind the stickup operation. Their headquarters has to check with other law enforcement offices at district level, city level, and province level. By the time they are done with the so-called background check, thugs are gone. But you cannot blame cops for their inefficiency. Cops and farmers have to play by the same rules.If cops arrest well-connected thugs, they will loose their jobs and they will be also fined.

meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow

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carl Sept. 3, 2012, 5:54 p.m.    

elmer the black harvest and other corruption is indeed the greatest threat to a better tomorrow. The problem in fighting this rampant corruption is you are on your own. Even if you have money they can get you.

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bkrevel Sept. 3, 2012, 6:54 p.m.    

You are one gigantic hypocrite

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Mykhayl Sept. 4, 2012, 5:25 p.m.    

Слава Ісу~

It's the same old same old, but things are not as they seam. The problem with not going back is we will have to relearn. Let's see 988 + a thousand + a quarter = 1025 and Moscow will make Kyiv pay for the 1988 sharing of the Ruc' Millennium. Like their Chornobyl a little pregnant scare gone wrong wasn't enough?

The GCC has a young Patriarch, in fact youngest of any Catholic bishop. That doesn't mean he is not without enemies in their Western home bases, it seams their curse. Anyway while one preaches the Golden Rule Moscow will be spreading Machiavellian Christianity control. So yes we will be going back for another trip to the well, This time we will see if World Orthodoxy are piano players at the fingertips of Kirill and XXIc Catholic mean all for one and one for all or uniformity is the easiest to control?

Journalists get your historical facts right so you only have to worry about the new Machiavelli like the new Russians.

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Mykhayl Sept. 4, 2012, 6:08 p.m.    

PS if elmer can do it so can I... what's good for the goose is good for the gander...

No the Millennium converts were the Ruric migrants, the aborigine Ukrainians were already Christian starting with the Apostle Andy. Ss Cyril & Methodius remember found Scythian catholic orthodox bishops preaching Slavonic and the original St. Jerome Dalmatian Slavonic precursor to his Vulgate Latin Bible. You think arrogant Byzantine Greeks were going to learn Slavonic to evangelize Volodymyr’s Ukraine and the northern barbarians? It’s only to Russia’s advantage that everyone is a pagan barbarian like them.

The question is; in the first North American Ukrainian Wave of 1880 our Father among the Saints Andryj Sheptytsky than bishop of Stanislaw planted the Greco Catholic Church that was subsequently nourished by the 1920 & 1950 Waves. They cracked Soviet disinformation and helped President Regan and Pope John Paul bring down the Evil Empire, who released Revelation’s Wormwood Prophecy to scare tourists from Kyiv into Moscow’s arms. The question is will this 1990 Fourth Wave support the 1025 commemoration as Ukrainians or be apathetic as their Soviet Alumni relatives in Ukraine are about taking it up the…?

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carl Sept. 4, 2012, 7:46 p.m.    

UGCC is misguided at best. They need to submit to legitimate authority of UOC-MP. The role of the church is to bind the people together with a common set of moral values. You can not do that with a divided church fighting over property,congregants.

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Mykhayl Sept. 5, 2012, 6:13 a.m.    


Scramble pysanky eggs in a matushka doll. Who taught you catechism? Machiavelli? The church doesn’t overturn human inalienable right bestowed by God, that’s the state. Moscow Patriarch a legitimate authority over YKPAIHA [Ukraine]?

You do realize the Apostolic Succession of the UGCC predates the Russian, who severed ties with the Kyiv Church in 1202 in sacking the Christian capital, even before Venice Sacked Constantinople? Mysticism is one thing but carl, history too? After the Mongol destruction of Kyiv in 1240, while the faithful migrated towards Halych. Establishing a second Metropolia in 1303, by the efforts of King Leo I followed by George of Halych it existed during most of 14th century. In 1401 the Metropolitan was again on the Kyiv cathedral, but by foreign born bishops. They increasingly resided in the opulence of new Moscow while their faithful was reorganized in the ancient stronghold of Halych. This situation continued until 1448, when Kyiv, then under Polish-Lithuanian domination, established as a distinct metropolitanate under the jurisdiction of Constantinople. Soon thereafter, in 1461, the bishops of Moscow suppressed using the title of Kyiv and styled themselves as Metropolitan now of Moscow. Moscow later gathered strength and eventually gained control of Kyiv. The Orthodox Metropolitanate of Kyiv was consequently transferred from the jurisdiction of Constantinople to that of Moscow in 1686, an act that the Patriarchate of Constantinople has never recognized. But you do?

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IvanovPetrovSidorov Sept. 3, 2012, 6:49 p.m.    

Back from the Ukraine where I spent a week and a half with my beautiful Ukrainian wife and inlaws who live in Kiev. Wow! Despite the festivities re nezalezhnost, the country is a total sovok state! The people are rude and shifty. Witnessed a couple of elderly guys beating the shit out of each other for a place near a stinking puddle of a lake on the outskirts of Kiev they call a "beach". Hygene non-existent. Drunkenness is a BIG problem. Police are a law unto themselves. Corruption is SO rampant, it's no wonder most of the population lives in poverty. Employee protection non-existent. Unemployement is high. Crime is high. Beeznass is a gamble with one's life as, if successful, easy target for racket and gangster expropriation or closure on spurious grounds like tax evasion (which is wide-spread anyway). The most interesting thing is that people understand the problem, but don't want to change. Instead they blaim every Tom, Dick and Harry (aka Yvanko, Mykola and Petro) for their terrible state of affairs - naturally, the government gets most of the blaim, but where does it not? The sovok mentality is everywhere. Younger Ukrainians (like younger Russians) tend to be more westernised, but sooner or later they get processed into total bydlo. Life is hard and harsh in the Ukraine! Was chatting with a young guy - a resident of Sevastopol - on the return flight. He sees no end in sight to this sad state of affairs. Why would anyone in their right mind want to return to the Ukraine? Gee, that's a tough one! On the plus side, people still seem to have it in them to laugh about their misery. My most favourite TV show is 95th kvartal. We have Russian TV now, so can watch the show from the comfort of our western home.

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kpxoxol Sept. 6, 2012, 6:30 p.m.    

Actually the elmer-smelemer relatives did come to orange Ukraine to turn Ukraine into a sex tourism destination full of children alcoholics and prostitutes. Yuck :(

" Ukraine: Sex Tourism Now A Thriving Trade

First Posted: 07/10/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:25 PM ET

A Ukrainian national was sentenced Monday to life in prison for leading a human-trafficking ring based in Philadelphia that lured its victims into forced labor, cleaning large chain stores such as Wal-Mart and Target.

Omelyan Botsvynyuk, 52, was found guilty in October of conspiracy and extortion. Stepan Botsvynyuk, 38, his brother, was found guilty of conspiracy at the same trial and faces a possible 20 years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for Tuesday.

Two other brothers, Mykhaylo and Dmytro, also have been indicted in the case and are awaiting extradition from Canada. A fifth brother, Yaroslav, is a fugitive and believed to be hiding in Ukraine, which has no extradition treaty with the United States.

The Botsvynyuk brothers used beatings, sexual assaults, and threats against family members to keep the victims in peonage, forcing them to work to pay off enormous debts the brothers claimed they were owed for bringing the workers to America.

Two women testified that Omelyan Botsvynyuk had raped them several times. He once told the mother of a man who escaped that he would cut off the fingers and ears of the woman's other son in Philadelphia unless she signed over her Ukrainian house as payment.

"The evidence and testimony presented at trial painted a picture of the defendants' depravity and inhumane treatment of their victims," said U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.

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Mykhayl Sept. 7, 2012, 4:42 p.m.    

Слава Ісу~

So are you saying the only reason to return to Ukraine is as a haven for the immoral to escape prosecution?

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Vladislav Krotov Sept. 9, 2012, 9:41 p.m.    

While I like the article and the fact that it steered an important conversation, I disagree with the premise the article is based on: the West is good and Ukraine is bad. I know plenty of very successful and wealthy Ukrainians who chose to return back simply because they were not happy abroad. Everyone has his own path. Just like Westerners look at us with a pity for not having good roads, an adequate pension system or honest police, I truly look with a pity at some Western men who has never had a good friend, never been with a beautiful women, was never able speak his mind openly, and spent all of his life working hard to pay out a mortgage. Which again, doesn't mean that someone cannot have the best of the two worlds. But you can have it in Ukraine as well.

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Anastassia Rajeshwari Sept. 10, 2012, 2:01 p.m.    

sacrifice a well-paying career in a stable country that offers a peaceful life – surrounded by polite people and superb customer service – in order to become a modern-day cowboy and undertake the rock of Sysyphus known as Ukraine." It is not only that! My heart is lamented every time I go home and see so much injustice and poverty around me. Westerners are not only more polite but they have higher values like engaging into charitable activities and helping those in need! Ukraine WAKE UP!

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Олег Новосад Sept. 10, 2012, 5:44 p.m.    

I read posts below.
Almost every post is describing how bad Ukraine is and how it is not worth to return here.

Yes, you are right.
But I choose to stay here.
Why? Because I am UKRAINIAN. This is MY people. This is MY FAMILY. And big part of my family is still here. And none but ukrainians can change their motherland for better.
I am not stupider than mafia and I am not stupider than corrupters. I can play their game and once they will play mine.
I am the kind of human that builded foreign states you are fleeing to.

I can understand when you save your family because of occupants like during first waves of immigrants. I can understand if you want better education.

And who ARE you? You are bydlo, you are traitors, you will always be losers and doesn't matter how much money you have. Because you don't have heart. You don't respect ukrainians that died for this country, you don't respect your ancestors, you don't know history, you are just plain stupid selfish idiots.

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