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Thread: Ukraine Elections 2010 + various political off-topics

  1. #1
    Hanna
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    Ukraine Elections 2010 + various political off-topics

    Apparently the Ukraine is Europe's second biggest country, after Russia.. (!)
    -- what about Germany? I thought that was bigger... Maybe not.

    But with this in mind, the Ukranian elections are important for everyone in Europe! I follow a Finnish/Swedish blog about the Russian-speaking world (kniivila.net). Here is what it says (sorry, it is a bit blunt/rude, but it is a blog, not a paper...)

    Gas queen Julia Tymosjenko or ex youth criminal Viktor Janukovytj? Does it matter in light of the fact that the country is close to national bankrupcy? On Sunday disappointed Ukrainians will be voting in the first election after the "orange revolution".
    Youth criminal? And what in particular are people disappointed about?
    Both candidates' mother tongue is Russian, but they speak only Ukrainian in official functions (...)
    Huh? Why does this matter if everyone speaks both languages?

    Viktor Janukovytj has promised to organise a referendum about giving Russian official status. He has also hinted that Ukraine might acknowledge the Georgian breakaway republics Abchazia och South Ossetia.
    Good.

    ...neither of the candidates have been bringing up any crucial questions, or matters of principles, therefore it does not matter much who wins, says political journalist Vitalij Portnikov: (...) Whichever candidate wins it is likely that the other does whatever he/she can to plot against the president. We will have the same chaos as before, just without Jusjtjenko.

    The other option is that Tymosjenko and Janukovytj make peace after the election and lead together with one as prime minister and the other as president. But that too would mean no change.

    In contrast with Russia and Belarus, Ukraina has real elections where the outcome is not known beforehand.[!?!] None of the eighteen candidates are expected to get a majority on Sunday. There will be a second vote on 21 February to determine which one of the two leaders from Sunday's election is the winner.

    Ex treasury manager, bank owner and manager of "Swedbank", Serhij Tihipko's support has been below ten percent, however last week the offical Russian opinion poll institute VTsIOM published a survey that surprisingly put Tihipko ahead of Julia Tymosjenko.

    However most Ukrainian observers are sceptical about his possibilties of knocking Julia Tymosjenko out of her seat and getting to the second round of voting. It has been suggested that the Russian figures were a veiled attempt to affect the outcome of the election.

    Participation is expected to be over 70%
    Respect at the high level of participation! In the UK it's more like 60% I think! Just as a comparison.
    If you are Ukrainian, are you going to vote?

    Do you agree with this representation of politics in Ukraine or is it exaggerating the negative sides?

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Apparently the Ukraine is Europe's second biggest country, after Russia.. (!)
    Nope. It is the third biggest in territory European country. Guess three times which country is the second?

    Spoiler: Denmark.

    And why?

    Spoiler: It owns Greenland.



    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    If you are Ukrainian, are you going to vote?
    I am not going to vote. Ukrainian politics is crazy and I do not see the effective way it can be improved.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  3. #3
    Hanna
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    I totally understand Iti-ogo... It looks a bit dark...

    But you know, you should vote... Either that, or start plotting a revolution....!


    Another important thing about Ukraine is where it's going to direct itself in the future: East towards Russia in some kind of union... or West, to join the EU..... Or is both possible?
    Right now Ukraine seems a bit "lonely" while facing some serious problem. Not a great situation....

    It's such a big country that this stalemate can't last for long..

    I am sure Ukraine would be an asset to the EU in the long run.... Personally I would absolutely support its inclusion if Ukrainians were interested. But on the other hand there are so many historical and cultural ties to Russia. Not to mention the language. So perhaps some kind of co-operation with Russia makes more sense.
    I wonder what regular people in Ukraine prefer?

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by it-ogo
    And why?

    Spoiler: It owns Greenland.
    For now, probably, but I've heard they have plans for secession.
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    I totally understand Iti-ogo... It looks a bit dark...

    But you know, you should vote... Either that, or start plotting a revolution....!
    We tried both of these but the result is as usual.
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    First of all, why are the names spelled so strangely in this blog? It should be Timoshenko and Yanukovich -- at least that's how they're written in Russian -- Тимошенко, Янукович.

    I too was surprised recently after looking at the map and finding Ukraine bigger than Germany.
    It is the largest whole-Europe country and the second largest country in Europe (after the European part of Russia, before metropolitan France).[3]
    (wiki)

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    I am sure Ukraine would be an asset to the EU in the long run.... Personally I would absolutely support its inclusion if Ukrainians were interested. But on the other hand there are so many historical and cultural ties to Russia. Not to mention the language. So perhaps some kind of co-operation with Russia makes more sense.
    I wonder what regular people in Ukraine prefer?
    I wish Russia could join the EU and NATO so that all the idiocy and confrontation over Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO and so on would stop...
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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    Завсегдатай sperk's Avatar
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky
    I wish Russia could join the EU
    I was wondering the other day why isn't Russia in the EU? Is it like Turkey, they're not invited because some EU countries are for and some against? Or do they not want to join?
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  8. #8
    Hanna
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky
    I wish Russia could join the EU
    I was wondering the other day why isn't Russia in the EU?
    1) Any country which is fully or partially located on the European continent can apply for membership. Ukraine, Russia, Caucasus and even Kazakhstan meet this criteria.

    2) EU puts requirements on membership states. It requires a stable economy, reasonably solid democracy and full respect for human rights in member states. Member states must not be in conflict with any of its neighbours regarding the countrys' borders. All this must be fixed BEFORE the country can join.

    3) Countries are represented based on the size of their population and a few other factors. But the representation of the smallest countries is inflated a bit to ensure that their interests are represented despite their small size.

    Turkey does not fully meet the human rights criteria. Albania and several others do not meed the economical requirements. The countries on the Balkan have not fully resolved all of their border conflicts and war legacy issues.

    The thing about Russia is that it is a country that is a continent... It is almost like the EU within its own borders. It would shift the power balance in the EU. Moscow would be the biggest city in the EU. Right now it's London or Paris. Germany, France, UK etc would be facing a member that is as big as all of them put together. Plus a few EU member states have a suspicious view of Russia right now. They might try to sabotage EU negotiations with Russia. Greece is doing that right now, for Macedonia.

    I am pretty sure that the EU would have some reservations about democracy and human rights in Russia.

    Another point is whether it would interest the population of Russia and the leadership to be in the EU? I don't know... Perhaps they'd rather remain fully independent. A country gives up some of its sovereignity when it joins.

    If Russia was to join the EU in the future the EU would become a superpower unlike anything the world has ever seen. stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic from the Arctic down to the Meditteranean.

    IF EU expands further Eastwards, I think the Ukraine or Moldova are the first possible candidates. It's unlikely to happen in the near future though, but perhaps within ten years.

    I think the EU and Russia ought to drop visa requirements and enter a customs union as a start.

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Russia disputes borders with Japan, Georgia, Ukraine (though I might be wrong about this one), Lithuania and probably China. Technically we're still at war with Japan (since 1945)

    There are many 'human rights' issues in Russia, but many of them are invented by human-rights activists to get grants for their continued doing nothing.

    And finally, I don't think Russia will benefit from joining the EU. I see more drawbacks than benefits in this. I would be perfectly content with merely a treaty regarding simplified transit of people and merchandise across borders.
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Or do they not want to join?
    71% россиян не считает себя европейцами. Только 20% считают, что Россия относится к европейской культуре.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/russian/rus...00/6340165.stm

  11. #11
    Hanna
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by BappaBa
    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Or do they not want to join?
    71% россиян не считает себя европейцами. Только 20% считают, что Россия относится к европейской культуре.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/russian/rus...00/6340165.stm
    I think this survey is suspect, and I see that they have no commenting enabled. I bet, if they had, lots of people would comment and say that they felt European!

    Remember, remember with surveys: Who paid for it and what are their interests/agenda, what are they trying to prove? You can prove "anything" with statistics, you just have to ask questions in a certain way, select the right statistics and present it in a certain way.

    Perhaps they asked these people "What do you feel more like: Russian or European? People would then probably say "Russian" and you could say "A majority of those questioned "do not feel European!"

    Who here is a Russian person that does NOT feel European? If so, what do you feel like? Asian? People who live on the European continent, are white and/or Christian are considered to be European by most other Europeans! I'd be a lot more sceptical towards Turkey as a European country than about Russia.

    But the problem remains that Russia is "too big" in every sense of the word to fit very well in the EU
    . I think it only would work if the EU became a federation (which is quite possible). Then the Russian federation could join republic-by-republic.

    Plus, Russia might think: We do not need the EU and are not interested in adapting to EU rules.. Switzerland and Norway have opted out - they do not want the EUs influence on their internal affairs, and they are rich enough to manage without.


    Quote Originally Posted by BBC Survey
    Approximately 65% of respondents were unable to explain what the phrase "liberal democracy" means.
    They would get the same answer if they asked that anywhere in the EU! People know what a democracy is, but what is liberal democracy?

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Александр Блок
    СКИФЫ

    Панмонголизм! Хоть имя дико,
    Но нам ласкает слух оно...
    Владимир Соловьев

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    The majority of Russian territory is in Asia
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  13. #13
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    The majority of Russian territory is in Asia
    Yes, but this areas were appended during 1000 years of existence. The tribes that formed Russia (Rus) lived in Europe, and its center & capitals were in a European part of the continent too.
    Just a stray fact: total area of British empire clononies was about 37 000 000 km², Britain's was only 245 000 km² (about 150 times less). Funny, but I don't remember anyone thinking that Britain was an Asian country because of that. I think it's weird, that in modern atlases they list Russia as an Asian country. I remember that I could not find it once because of that. There's less connections with Asia (different language system, for example), than with Europe, don't you think?

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by gRomoZeka
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil
    The majority of Russian territory is in Asia
    Yes, but this areas were appended during 1000 years of existence. The tribes that formed Russia (Rus) lived in Europe, and its center & capitals were in a European part of the continent too.
    Just a stray fact: total area of British empire clononies was about 37 000 000 km², Britain's was only 245 000 km² (about 150 times less). Funny, but I don't remember anyone thinking that Britain was an Asian country because of that. I think it's weird, that in modern atlases they list Russia as an Asian country. I remember that I could not find it once because of that. There's less connections with Asia (different language system, for example), than with Europe, don't you think?
    Language is not everything. They speak English in Australia, remember? Besides, there are many words in Russian that came from the Turkic languages. We're partly Scythians (who were Asians and here Alexander Blok is right). Russia spent 300 years under the Mongol occupation so Russians are not pure Europeans by all means.
    Well, personally, I've never considered Russia a strictly European or Asian country. Russia is unique because its geography and it has always been a bridge between the East and the West. Russia is just Russia and I don't think it requires any further classification.
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  15. #15
    Hanna
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    So Ramil, how would you answer this question?

    Please select one option:

    a) I am European
    b) I am Asian
    c) I consider myself to be both Asian and European (Eurasian)
    d) I do not consider myself to be either of the above.
    e) Decline to respond.


    Anyone else please answer too if you want!

    Obviously my answer is "a"

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    So Ramil, how would you answer this question?

    c) I consider myself to be both Asian and European (Eurasian)
    d) I do not consider myself to be either of the above.
    I am torn between c) and d).
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Please select one option:

    a) I am European
    b) I am Asian
    c) I consider myself to be both Asian and European (Eurasian)
    d) I do not consider myself to be either of the above.
    e) Decline to respond.
    I'd choose either a) or c). I do love Asian cultures -- was re-watching my favourite Indian film just yesterday *nuts about Shahrukh Khan* But if I were to choose where to live -- in Iran or, say, France, I'd definitely choose France. I'm sorry but I think this stuff about Russians being "Asian" is bunk, for the most part. We are Europeoids in terms of race. We don't have slanted eyes. Russian character, or soul, if you will, is different from the European one due to the severity of climate and centuries of suffering. Suffering elevates your soul, as Buddha taught, that's why Russians and Western people make an ado about "mysterious Russian Soul" and that's why Russians may be hard to understand.

    I used to think I was half English, half Russian, actually, because I love English lit and when you immerse into the language and culture of another country, you unwittingly assume some of its traits. Russia always aspired to be more European -- from Peter I to the Russian aristocrats who spoke French among themselves and knew it better than their native language. I don't presume to say that the European culture is *better* than the Asian ones. I think we are special, just like any other culture and we would do better to adopt and absorb all the good traits of different cultures. I def wouldn't want Russia to become completely like the US, say. I'm sorry but the extreme competitiveness and chase after money and wealth aren't very appealing as a national identity but some ideas are worth borrowing, that's for sure.
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    Please select one option:

    a) I am European
    b) I am Asian
    c) I consider myself to be both Asian and European (Eurasian)
    d) I do not consider myself to be either of the above.
    e) Decline to respond.


    Anyone else please answer too if you want!
    It's an interesting pool. My first intention was to choose the answer "a"; but it would be not actually true, I think. Well, of course, the closest culture for us Russians is the European one. Also, I don't think we are as close to Asia culturally as it's usually considered. I'd rather agree with Ramil's statement that "Russia is just Russia and I don't think it requires any further classification." I think that we and Europeans, although we have close cultures, have many differences in our everyday life, way of life, psychology. I think a European is more predictable in his psychology than a Russian. He's also more... erm... "calm"; and I think things are more clearly "black-and-white" to him. But a Russian can strogly love and at once hate the same thing. As someone said, "only a Russian can be arguing to a foreigner that Russia is a bad country, and give him a box on the mug when he agrees".
    In Russian, all nationalities and their corresponding languages start with a lower-case letter.

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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    For me, it's a) and d). I definitely don't have any ties to Asia, so b) is out of the question. I feel more like I don't belong anywhere, and it's partially because of this 'nationality confusion' you discussed in another topic (you can call it identity crisis, if you want).

    I'm usually vague about my country of residence (often I say something like "I'm from Eastern Europe", if I feel that I can go away with it). If not, then I tell people that I'm from Ukraine. Though I prefer to avoid it, because it often cause people to jump to the wrong assumptions, for example that I'm Ukrainian (which I'm not), or that I don't like Russia (which is not true), etc. It's getting ridiculous sometimes. I told one person that I'm from Ukraine, and he started badmouthing Russians right away. I'm sure he didn't feel strongly on the subject, it looked more like he tried to be pleasant. Then I said "I'm Russian, actually". And he was like "Oh". Yeah.. Awkward.

    I can say that I'm from Europe only if I talk to a person who lives outside of Europe and CIS (like Latin America or Africa), because I suppose that for many of them Europe is a distant clump of similar countries, and it saves time.

    And sometimes I respond (quite illogically, but truthfully nonetheless) to "Where are you from?" with "I'm Russian", and let them fill the blanks.

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    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Re: Ukraine Elections 2010

    I think that the difference between East and West is the difference between collectivism and individualism. This is what concerns mentality. Considering this, Russian curture is not European since we're not such individualists as the Europeans, but certainly it's not of the Asian type also. As I said, our culture and mentality is a fusion of the Asian collectivism and Western individualism.
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