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vol. 16, issue 16

April 22, 2011

Prypyat Memories

B Y A L I N A R U DYA

PRYPYAT, Ukraine – On April 26, 1986, I was a baby living in the city of Prypyat, Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union. The next day, my mother and I were forced to evacuate the city following the explosion at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. At the time, the city had nearly 50,000 residents. Now it is a ghost town. Now, 25 years later, I am 26 years old and I decided to revisit the town of my early childhood. Although it is a place I don’t remember, the experience changed my life forever. Æ11

Former Kyiv Post staff writer Alina Rudya in the Prypyat, Ukraine apartment that her family abandoned following the April 26, 1986, explosion at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. Alina was a baby then. Her father, Constantine Rudya, worked at the plant and died of cancer in 2006 at the age of 47. (Alina Rudya)

Kyiv Post owner, staff end conflict over editor’s sacking KYIV POST

Kyiv Post owner Mohammad Zahoor and the newspaper's editorial team have reached a tentative agreement that amicably resolves the situation surrounding the April 15 dismissal of Brian Bonner as chief editor. On April 19, Zahoor agreed to a proposal to return Bonner to the

Inside:

Kyiv Post as the senior member of a four-person editorial board, along with Katya Gorchinskaya, Roman Olearchyk and James Marson. This temporary solution allows us to continue working as normal while we clarify the details of a long-term solution and contracts. Zahoor also agreed on a written pledge to the newsroom uphold- Æ10

News Æ 2, 9 – 12 Opinion Æ 4, 5, 9

Advertising: +380 44 234-65-03 advertising@kyivpost.com

INSIDE: • Business Sense: Time to remove unfair barriers that stifle agricultural sector. Page 7. • UN chief: More Chornobyllike accidents are bound to occur. Page 10. • Rybachuk on the state of journalism in Ukraine. Page 2.

Ivaniushchenko finds praise for controversial grain trader BY V LA D LAV R OV LAVROV@KYIVPOST.COM

Party of Regions lawmaker Yuriy Ivaniushchenko praised Khlib Investbud, a controversial grain trader with an unclear ownership structure, but denied having interests in the company that many insiders and diplomats connect him with. A longtime acquaintance of President Viktor Yanukovych, the publicity-shy

Business Æ 6 – 8

Employment/Real Estate/ Lifestyle Æ 13 – 21, 24 Classifieds Æ 22, 23

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Ivaniushchenko has broken his silence surrounding his alleged involvement with Khlib Investbud, a quasi-state company that is majority owned by mysterious private investors. Many agriculture market participants said the government heavily favored the trader last fall as it restricted grain exports and introduced quotas, a large share of which went to this company. In addition, Ukraine's government selected Khlib Investbud as the Æ7


2 News

APRIL 22, 2011

April 22, 2011

www.kyivpost.com

Vol. 16, Issue 16 Copyright © 2011 by Kyiv Post The material published in the Kyiv Post may not be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. All material in the Kyiv Post is protected by Ukrainian and international laws. The views expressed in the Kyiv Post are not necessarily the views of the publisher nor does the publisher carry any responsibility for those views. Газета “Kyiv Post” видається ТОВ “ПаблікМедіа”.

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прим. Ціна за домовленістю. Матерiали, надрукованi в газетi “Kyiv Post” є власнiстю видавництва, захищенi мiжнародним та укра-

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Биометрический паспорт

Украина: Введение биометрических паспортов затягивается Ирина Сандул Несмотря на частые заявления официального Киева о скорой замене загранпаспортов на биометрические, украинцам пока не стоит сушить себе мозги тем, куда им бежать и где становиться в очередь за новым загранпаспортом. Пока что правительство не знает даже, какое оборудование необхо-

димо для изготовления таких паспортов. Биометрический паспорт отличается от обычного тем, что в него встроен чип, содержащий двухмерную фотографию владельца, его фамилию, имя, отчество, дату рождения, номер паспорта, дату его выдачи и окончание срока действия...

Надруковано ТОВ «Новий друк», 02660, Київ, вулиця Магнітогорська, 1, тел.: 559-9147 Замовлення № 11-4226 Аудиторське обслуговування ТОВ АФ “ОЛГА Аудит” З приводу розміщення реклами звертайтесь: +380 44 234-65-03. Відповідальність за зміст реклами несе замовник. Mailing address: Kyiv Post, Prorizna Street 22B, Kyiv, Ukraine, 01034 Advertising tel. +380 44 234-65-03 fax +380 44 234-63-30 advertising@kyivpost.com Editorial staff tel. +380 44 234-65-00 fax +380 44 234-30-62 news@kyivpost.com Subscriptions Nataliia Protasova tel. +380 44 234-64-09 fax +380 44 234-63-30 subscribe@kyivpost.com Distribution Serhiy Kuprin tel. +380 44 234-64-09 fax +380 44 234-63-30 distribution@kyivpost.com

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Мнение: Вместо нового дома в Лондоне, Ахметов мог отстроить Чернобыль Алина Шумова Бедная Украина и украинцы снова получают помощь от Брюсселя для поддержки Чернобыля, в то время как отечественные миллиардеры бьют рекорды на рынке недвижимости Великобритании, покупая дома стоимостью 59 000 фунтов за квадратный метр. К 25-й годовщине взрыва на четвертом атомном реакторе некогда работающей электростанции в Чернобыле европейские страны решили снова помочь Украине. Только Евросоюз выделил на постройку нового саркофага более полумиллиарда евро, пишет немецкая газета Handelsblatt. Зато Ринат Ахметов сделал другое хорошее вложение: он отдал за свою новую квартирку в Лондоне ни много ни мало 136 миллионов фунтов (155 миллионов евро). Апартамент люкс имеет площать 2,300 квадратных метров, пуленепробиваемые окна, газонепроницаемую конструкцию и круглосуточный сервис как в лучших гостиницах мира... Киев. Оппозиция: Секретарь горсовета избрана незаконно Светлана Тучинская Столичная оппозиция заявляет, что процедура выбора нового секретаря Киеврады Галины Гереги была нелегитимной. Голосование за ее кандидатуру должно было быть тайным, однако многие депутаты говорят, что во время голосования могли видеть, как Галина Герега голосуют их коллеги. Это стало возможным из-за того, что голосовали по электронной системе «Рада», а не бюллетенями со счетной комиссией, как принято в таких случаях. В результате голосования, которое состоялось 19 апреля, секретарем городского совета Киева была выбрана Галина Герега, совладелица сети строительных супермаркетов «Эпицентр». Вместе с мужем она занимает 33 место в рейтинге самых богатых украинцев по версии журнала «Фокус» (состояние в $400 млн.). За нее проголосовали 89 из 120 депутатов горсовета... Полный текст статей и блогов можно прочитать на www.kyivpost.uа

Oleh Rybachuk, a former Ukrainian government official turned civic activist.

Former top official: ‘There is no demand for experienced reporters in Ukraine’ B Y Y U R I Y O N YSH K I V ONYSHKIV@KYIVPOST.COM

The recently resolved conflict between the Kyiv Post owner and the newspaper’s editorial staff put the spotlight on the state of independent and objective media in Ukraine. The dispute was resolved on April 20 in a mutually beneficial way for the publisher and staff members who went on strike to protest owner Mohammad Zahoor’s dismissal of chief editor Brian Bonner. Zahoor fired Bonner because of the editor’s refusal to stop publication the April 15 publication of an interview with Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk, who talked about the government’s controversial curbs on grain exports and the controversial rule of a quasi-state company in Ukraine’s multibillion-dollar agribusiness sector. Zahoor did not

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reinstate Bonner as chief editor, but allowed him to rejoin the staff as part of a four-member editorial board that directs news coverage. Oleh Rybachuk, a former government official turned civic activist, spoke with the Kyiv Post about the implications for media freedom. Kyiv Post: What do you think the resolution of the conflict in the Kyiv Post means for the media and democracy in Ukraine? Oleh Rybachuk: This is a success story that proves if Ukrainians truly unite around solving a problem, the chances for this to succeed are very high. It is important that the journalists were not trying to sort this out behind closed doors. In this kind of conflict, attempts to solve the problem behind closed doors normally fail. Æ9


www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

3


4 Opinion

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

Editorial

Public airing No news organization, from owner to the most junior cub reporter, relishes the kind of public attention that struck the Kyiv Post in the last week. Without rehashing all the details of the incident, Kyiv Post owner Mohammad Zahoor and the editorial leadership of the paper have agreed to disagree about what happened. Yet we have amicably resolved the situation. The issue that won’t go away is simply this: Should a publisher be able to ask an editor to kill a story, for whatever reason? Many publishers in Ukraine would answer yes. It is their paper, so why not? In fact, in discussions with some of our Ukrainian colleagues at other news organizations, we understand that it is still fairly common for owners to dictate what an editor should or should not publish. No publisher, of course, has the time or interest to monitor all the news coverage, so instructions usually come in the form of guidelines about who and what can be covered or not covered and how. But when outside interference happens, news coverage ceases to be the result of the best collective judgment of the team of journalists. Not only does this subservience put trust with readers at risk, it is bad for business. Certainly, a publisher has every right to set the broad editorial policy – whether to finance an entertainment or a sports publication, or a general interest one such as the Kyiv Post. Some owners even properly insert their views in editorials – the published opinions, like this article, that are meant to represent the institution’s point of view. Zahoor has not wanted even to go that far because he views editorials as the sole province of journalists and he is, by and large, an apolitical businessman. His hands-off approach is also a brave step for him, since we have opinions at times with which he strongly disagrees. He tends to be an optimist who, despite Ukraine’s problems, sees golden opportunities all around. He thinks some of us journalists see only the problems around us. The sad irony of the conflict involving the Kyiv Post is that, with the exception of this single request to pull a controversial interview with Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk from the April 15 edition, Zahoor has been an exemplary owner and steward of the Kyiv Post’s tradition of independence, community and trust. History will likely treat Zahoor as a champion of the free press, and his reputation should only be enhanced by the way in which he courageously came to a quick resolution to end a five-day strike with a public pledge never to interfere in editorial content again. He also allowed former chief editor Brian Bonner to return to the staff. Before this, Zahoor saved the Kyiv Post by purchasing the newspaper in 2009 from its founder, American Jed Sunden, for $1.1 million. By his estimate, he has since invested another $1.4 million for improvements. He also defended us against threats and lawsuits. The next chapter has yet to be written. Clearly, the Kyiv Post needs to return to profitability quickly and Zahoor has given us until the end of September to make strides in this direction. He also may sell this sacred (to us) institution, and we trust him to keep it in good hands if he does. The dispute sprang from a conversation between a British owner and an American editor. Both nations are known for having a vibrant free press, but it was the Kyiv Post’s largely Ukrainian staff that played the pivotal role in defending independent journalism. As Zahoor admits, they were courageous and inspired everyone with their resolve and solidarity. We are forever grateful to those who helped us in this struggle. Unfortunately, the situation is different in most Ukrainian media outlets. Conversations between publishers and editors almost never become public or even known to the staff of journalists. The media landscape remains troubled for many reasons. There is no real journalistic independence without financial independence. The Kyiv Post is vulnerable because advertising revenue is not keeping pace with expenses at the moment. We remain in a start-up phase of our kyivpost.ua website, and have invested in the hopes of a future advertising payoff. In Ukraine, media ownership is concentrated among a handful of billionaires, some of whom operate their outlets as levers of political influence rather than businesses. Moreover, journalists are vulnerable because of low salaries, weak or non-existent labor unions and the lack of enforceable contracts with such provisions as reasonable severance pay based on position or seniority. We remain proud of the Kyiv Post and its owner. We had a dispute, aired it publicly and resolved it so quickly that we didn’t skip a single print edition. We now are working harder than ever to keep the trust of our readers and advertisers. We believe in the Kyiv Post as one of the few remaining bastions of independent journalism. We also continue to believe that Zahoor is a man of good intentions who got caught up in a bad situation. From the support that he and the staff have received in the last week, particularly since our tentative settlement on April 20, we believe the community does as well.

Published by Public Media LLC Jim Phillipoff, Chief Executive Officer Brian Bonner, Senior Editor Managing Editors: Katya Gorchinskaya, Roman Olearchyk, James Marson Editors: Alexey Bondarev, Valeriya Kolisnyk, Yuliya Popova Staff Writers: Tetyana Boychenko, Peter Byrne, Oksana Faryna, Natalia A. Feduschak, Oksana Grytsenko, Kateryna Grushenko, Nataliya Horban, Vlad Lavrov, Olesia Oleshko, Yura Onyshkiv, Kateryna Panova, Mark Rachkevych, Yuliya Raskevich Nataliya Solovonyuk, Maria Shamota, Irina Sandul, Svitlana Tuchynska Photographer: Joseph Sywenkyj. Photo Editors: Yaroslav Debelyi, Alex Furman Chief Designer: Vladyslav Zakharenko. Designer: Angela Palchevskaya Marketing: Iuliia Panchuk Web Project: Nikolay Polovinkin, Yuri Voronkov, Maksym Semenchuk Sales department: Yuriy Timonin, Maria Kozachenko, Elena Symonenko, Sergiy Volobayev Subscription Manager: Nataliia Protasova Newsroom Manager: Svitlana Kolesnykova, Office Manager: Anastasia Forina

IT: Oleksiy Bondarchuk Color Corrector: Dima Burdiga Transport Manager: Igor Mitko Chief Accountant: Maryna Samoilenko Accountant: Tanya Berezhnaya

To inquire about distribution of the Kyiv Post, please contact Serhiy Kuprin at kuprin@kyivpost.com or by phone at 234-6409

“See that man over there? Go and ask him for gas. Give him some pickles, but tell him to bring back the jar.”

NEWS ITEM: President Viktor Yanukovych’s helicopter had an emergency landing in the village of Kostovka in Poltava Oblast on April 5. He was approached by a local man on a bicycle, who told the president about the village’s problems, including the absence of natural gas. The president later instructed Energy Minister Yuriy Boyko to make sure the village gets access to central gas supply.

“A flying man! This is a miracle!”

“Not quite. It’s Oles Dovhiy being kicked out of his city council speaker seat!”

NEWS ITEM: Oles Dovhiy, ex-speaker of the Kyiv City Council and a close ally of controversial Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky, resigned on April 19. In a speech, Dovhiy said he does not want to cause “any conflict with the city administration” and asked members of the council to support his resignation. Dovhiy ran into conflicts with City Administrator Oleksandr Popov, a Party of Regions appointee. The vacated seat was taken by Popov appointee Halyna Herega on April 20, when the majority of members supported her candidacy. Herega is a co-owner of the Epicenter chain of construction supermarkets. Together with her husband, she ranks No. 33 on the list of richest Ukrainians by Focus magazine with a $400 million fortune.

Feel strongly about an issue? Agree or disagree with editorial positions in this newspaper? The Kyiv Post welcomes letters to the editors and opinion pieces, usually 800 to 1,000 words in length. Please e-mail all correspondence to Brian Bonner, chief editor, at bonner@kyivpost.com or letters@kyivpost.com. All correspondence must include an e-mail address and contact phone number for verification.


www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

How censorship works in Ukraine

Two years after I left Ukraine and retired from a 32-year United Nations career, I returned again recently, invited to talk on Ukrainian-European Union economic relations. It has been an opportunity to see how much this great country has changed since then, and indeed since the Orange Revolution, on the eve of which in late 2004 I first arrived to head the UN system’s development cooperation efforts there. Sadly, little has changed since 2009, and only a little more since 2004. Ukraine is still failing to adequately “walk the talk” on its European integration aspirations. Recent measures at “modest political liberalisation” are seen by some as cynical manipulations that obscure an underlying abuse of power. Censorship and restrictions on civil society have returned, though not without protest. Trade with the EU has plummeted. Trader and investor confidence have sunk, and agricultural exports have been blocked, to the detriment of substantial American and European investors. Notwithstanding Ukraine’s World Trade Organization entry, arbitrary

WITH NATALIYA SOLOVONYUK

What do you think of newspaper publishers and owners demanding to have stories removed from publication? Is it censorship?

Tetyana Zubko, retired “I think that it is censorship. In Ukraine, many politicians and tycoons own media and use them to their advantage. It is not correct.”

Journalists hold a poster which says “Stop Censorship!” in front of the Presidential Administration’s main entrance during a protest in central Kyiv held on June 6. The journalists gathered to mark their professional holiday, Day of Journalists. (Yaroslav Debelyi)

political team, or are in need of economic preferences, or are even trying to arrange for their own safety. These individuals are known to all. They include State Security Service head Valeriy Khoroshkovsky (owner of Inter channel), and his fellow billionaires Ihor Kolomoisky (channel 1 +1), Victor Pinchuk (channels STB, ICTV and Novy Kanal TV; and daily newspaper Fakty i Kommentarii), Rinat Akhmetov (TRK Ukraine TV, the daily Segodnya newspaper), and Petro Poroshenko (Channel 5, Korrespondent magazine and news portal). While information resources owned by journalists themselves are few, they provide the main islands of liberty. Examples are the weekly Dzerkalo Tyzhnya and the Internet news portal Ukrainska Pravda. Loyalty pledging is not uncommon when bartering with government officials for the return of valueadded tax refunds. The powers that be are still very sensitive to criticism, and therefore are very sensitive

to all sorts of independent publications. Itis always helpful to bring a handful of newspaper clippings to help out public officials, but sometimes they can disrupt natural gas and oil negotiations involving the owner of the publication. In this case, the owner who attaches a low value to his or her media resource fires employees and condemns the publication to a short murky future. The goal is clear – to create a positive information environment for the government. The authorities have yet to come to the realization that social energy drives criticism, and public debate is necessary for development and growth. But media owners don’t have the time or desire to come to this realization. Therefore, the authorities continue to refine their media control tactics. Viktoria Siumar is head of the Institute for Mass Information in Ukraine, a non-profit organization. You can read more about its activities on http://imi.org.ua.

An opportunity for greatness FR A N C I S M . O’ D ON N E L L

VOX populili

Yaroslav Petukhov, unemployed “It is censorship. But I think that, for our country, it is a normal thing. The owner of the newspaper, chief editor and others depend on the owner. They are forced to do as the owner says. In general, there is always some kind of censorship in media.”

VI K TOR I A SI U MA R

It is amazing how a favorite child of Josef Goebbels has taken root in Ukraine’s fertile soil. Having lived through the period of strict censorship from 1999-2004, the country could not get rid of this disease affecting primarily people’s minds and consciousness. Censorship always ends the same way – the collapse of regimes. The consequences, such as what happened in Ukraine in late 2004, have not led to the recognition about the futility of such actions. Desire to control everything and everyone takes precedence over this simple realization: In today’s global world, controlling information is completely pointless. Censorship in Ukraine has its own set of features. Since the beginning of the 2000s, it was improved and became more subtle. The goals, however, remain the same: to control the information space and to limit the spread of criticism of government. The way of censorship is practiced has also changed. The Presidential Administration used to write and issue “temniki,” or instructions, to media about how and what stories to cover, whom to interview or not interview. Nowadays, the practice is more refined. This task is accomplished working in consultation in closed meetings between top media managers and public officials. Media owners are the main target. They, in turn, exert direct pressure on their respective editorial boards. The absence of a normal and competitive media market remains a problem. Foreign investors in Ukrainian media are rare in Ukraine. Most who tried have sold their assets to domestic oligarchs. The new owners view the media they own as a business. For them, it has always been a tool of influence. It is easier for the owner of a television channel to get along with the prime minister than any ordinary millionaire. As a result, we have a situation where major media owners in the country are people who are constantly interacting with the government, or belong to one

Opinion 5

Æ Nation's best days are ahead if leaders take right steps now rent-seeking administrative controls continue. Despite improvements in fiscal, deregulation and tax policies, budgetary support from the European Commission has lately been put at risk. The very real possibility of a default on Ukraine’s growing mountain of debt, now more than 80 percent of gross domestic product, is now recognized. By the end of 2010, about 39 percent of the total debt was shortterm, with $42.1 billion due in the coming weeks by mid-2011. Pressure for change seems postponed by continuing below-market pricing of energy, subsidized by Russian gas supplies discounted in exchange for the 30-year prolongation of its lease of Black Sea Fleet facilities in Sevastopol. Some have considered this $40 billion gas-for-fleet accord to be a mortgaging of Ukraine’s independence. President Viktor Yanukovych is pressed to have

Ukraine join a Russian-dominated customs union, and if he does, Ukraine can say goodbye to any aspirations for a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, the next lever of reform. This would be unfortunate, because the progressive adoption of European norms and standards is the best way to anchor reforms and to achieve broad-based prosperity in Ukraine. But also, because if Ukraine wants to fully play its role as politically-central player in the construction of a better Europeanwide peace and security architecture, then it has to do a better job of balancing its legitimate interests for good relations with Russia alongside its justified aspiration to join the EU. Since the Orange Revolution, and indeed before, successive governments, regardless of political color, have paid lip service to European integration, and the acquis communaitaire, the body of EU law. Yet, multiple reports and batteries of recommendations by international mixed commissions of experts, and local think tanks, along with intensive advisory services, have had little impact. Any sense of authoritative national ownership over the outputs has been absent, preventing any prospect of meaningful outcomes. This is unlikely to change in the short and medium term, and it may be better if the international community would concentrate on securing government and parliamentary action on basic constitutional change, along the lines the Æ9

Olga Myroshnykova, teacher “It is censorship, but in our country, like in other countries, almost everything about politics, business and influence is a struggle of interests.” Vitaly Kondratyuk, sales manager “I think it is censorship and it is not right. Journalists should write the truth. People want to know and should know what is happening in reality. To write paid-for articles about politicians and the billionaires is annoying to people. And, in general in Ukraine, we have very tough censorship. It is frustrating.” Julia Voloshchuk, student “Yes, I think it is censorship. We have it always and it will be in the future, for sure. Especially now, with this government, everything has become much worse. Those who try to fight eventually will accept it. And it is not just us. In the former Soviet countries, censorship thrives.” Vox Populi is not only in print, but also online at kyivpost.com with different questions. If you have a question that you want answered, e-mail the idea to kyivpost@kyivpost.com.


6 Business

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

Ukrtelecom’s new owner mulls market in 3-5 years

Finland’s Ruukki launches new production line in Ukraine Ruukki, the Finnish metal-based products manufacturer, announced on April 20 that it has launched a new 5 million euro sandwich panel production line (above) in Kopylov, Kyiv Oblast. A sandwich panel is a prefabricated element with two steel sheet layers bonded to an inner insulation core between them. Ready-to-install panels are especially used for industrial and commercial building construction. Optimistic about growth in Ukraine and the region, officials at Ruukki said the new facility will help capture a larger share of the Ukrainian and Russian sandwich panel market. “We are actively pursuing growth and want to further improve our customer service,� said Yuriy Obuch, director of Ruukki’s operations in Ukraine. “After the general recession in the construction industry, there are signs that demand for sandwich panels is picking up,� he added. Metal siding and roofing products from two of Ruukki’s Ukraine-based production sites are used in construction of prominent buildings across the country, including wholesale-retail stores Metro Cash & Carry, Furshet and Auchan. The new airport terminal being built just outside Kyiv in Boryspil will also heavily display Ruukki materials. (Ukrainian photo)

ÆOn the move TATYANA SHULGA was

Peter Goldscheider, EPIC’S managing partner

than three years... An initial public offering ... is a much more logical step (than a sale to a strategic investor).� Ukrtelecom has about 10 million subscribers, commanding an 80 percent market share in fixed line communications. It also has a small mobile business. The company cut its net loss to $32.5 million in 2010 from $58 million a year before.

Send On the Move news to otm@kyivpost.com or contact Kateryna Panova at 234-6500. It should include a photograph of the individual who has recently been appointed to a new position, a description of their duties and responsibilities, prior experience as well as education. Note: The Kyiv Post does not charge for publishing these notices or any news material.

IGOR BILOUS

appointed senior consultant at Pedersen & Partners, an international executive search firm. In her new role, Shulga will be responsible for client relationship management and senior level recruitment assignments. Shulga has been working in the recruitment industry in Ukraine since 2004. Before joining Pedersen & Partners, she headed the recruitment department in Ukraine for Swedbank. Her previous experience includes partner and senior manager roles at Brain Source International. Shulga studied mathematics and computer science education at Nizhin State Pedagogical University. She also obtained a master’s degree in economics from KyivMohyla Academy.

Reuters – Austrian investment firm EPIC, which last month took over Ukraine’s largest fixed line operator Ukrtelecom, may place some of its shares on the market in 3-5 years, EPIC said on April 19. EPIC bought a 93 percent stake in Ukrtelecom from the government for $1.3 billion after becoming the only bidder in an auction for the asset. The sale, which was the biggest privatization deal under the government of President Viktor Yanukovych, has raised questions as its rules prevented several potential contenders such as Deutsche Telekom from taking part. Some analysts have said the deal appeared to be designed to benefit some of Yanukovich’s industrialist backers such as steel magnate Rinat Akhmetov or chemicals-to-media tycoon Dmytro Firtash. But EPIC managing partner Peter Goldscheider denied involvement in “any political game� and said his firm was a long-term investor that would not quickly resell the asset to another entity. “I would be very surprised if we started to think about selling sooner than in three years,� he told reporters. “Our timetable is closer to five years

joined Renaissance Capital, an emerging markets investment bank, as head of investment banking and finance in Ukraine and Central and Eastern Europe. He was also appointed the firm’s co-CEO in the region. Bilous will be responsible for managing Renaissance Capital’s investment banking and finance franchise in the region. Bilous will also oversee the bank’s operations in the region, along with the firm’s other co-CEO. Prior to the appointment, he was in charge of Ukrainian business at UBS Investment Bank. He has worked on many landmark Ukrainian transactions, including Mittal Steel’s acquisition of Kryvorizhstal. Bilous graduated from the Kyiv National University of Economics with a master's in international economics. He also holds a bachelor's in international finance and accounting from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, United Kingdom.

HENNING DRAGER was appointed chief sustainability officer at the Ukrainian office of BDO, an international network of accounting firms. He will be responsible for building sustainability services and conducting BDO’s corporate social responsibility campaigns. Henning has gained substantial experience in sustainability and CSR while working as environmental risk analyst at Goldman Sachs, head of corporate campaigns with WWF, sustainability advisor with Friends of the Earth International and head of sustainability and CSR with ACCA Global. Henning holds three postgraduate degrees, including an MBA in sustainability and natural resources management from University of Washington, Seattle.

NATALIA MATUSEVICH was appointed director general at Foyil Asset Management Ukraine, an international investment bank. Matusevich comes to Foyil with 11 years of experience in banking and investment management. She has held senior positions at Bank Aval, Privatbank and Index Bank. Before joining Foyil Asset Management Ukraine, she was director of asset management at Concorde Capital and head of retail at Sokrat, a Ukrainian investment company. Matusevich holds valid state certificates on asset management and finance.

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Business 7

April 22, 2011

Business Sense

Editor’s Note: Business Sense is a feature in which experts explain Ukraine’s place in the world economy and provide insight into doing business in the country. To contribute, contact chief editor Brian Bonner at bonner@kyivpost.com

WITH JORGE ZUKOSKI

Time to remove unfair barriers that stifle agricultural sector In a letter sent to President Viktor Yanukovych on April 14, the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine expressed its concern with the deteriorating situation on the Ukrainian grain market and requested that the president veto law #8324 that was passed by parliament on April 7. The law envisages distribution of grain export quotas through selling them at auctions. This contravenes free market principles, current legislation and obligations Ukraine has with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The Chamber believes that failure of the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food to issue stock confirmations that resulted in unfair and nontransparent distribution of export quotas in November 2010 and January 2011 is discriminatory towards major foreign grain exporters. Such actions demonstrate unequal treatment of market participants, in particular in the view of the newly adopted Law #8324 “On Amendments

to the Certain Laws of Ukraine regarding Provision of the State Support for Development of Agriculture.” As a result, a group of companies received quotas for free while others would have to pay for them at auctions. The Chamber stresses that it is also a bad signal to the market that those companies that failed to perform on their commitments before (received quotas in January and were unable to ship by March 31) are getting an extension for free while those who did not receive quotas would have to pay for them at auctions. The main beneficiary of this nontransparent process was a quasi-state company, Khlib Investbud, a previously little known player on the market which received a large share of the quotas. Such developments destroy trust in the development of a predictable and equitable policy geared toward free markets in the agriculture industry in Ukraine that will attract and retain much-needed investment and technologies. In the official letter disseminated

Æ “The main beneficiary of this nontransparent process was a quasistate company, Khlib Investbud.”

– Jorge Zukoski

on April 14, the Chamber requests President Viktor Yanukovych to veto law #8324 as it is against Ukraine’s international commitments and violates Article VIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 and Article 3 of the World Trade Organization Agreement, of which Ukraine is a signatory and member. The Chamber requests the president’s support in ensuring the development of a competitive agricultural market that will promote free market

principles and equal treatment of all operators. The Chamber is also advocating for the immediate cancellation of the Cabinet of Ministers resolution that extended grain export quotas until June 30 and for the right for companies with stocks to freely export or to amend the resolution and allocation procedure of quotas allowing companies that were discriminated against before to receive the right to export their property without further delay.

Representing the biggest investors in Ukraine’s agriculture sector, food processing, logistics and trade – which have invested several billion U.S. dollars into the economy – the Chamber is highly concerned about further developments in the grain market as currently there is a lack of clarity about the government’s agricultural policy. This lack of clarity will influence the decisions of companies in relation to investing in the new crop campaign due to the lack of predictability and transparency in policy and process. The Chamber remains committed to working with key policymakers to assist in developing legislation that will introduce the predictability, stability and transparency that is necessary to ensure the agricultural industry is competitive and is able to attract the much needed investment to expand production and play a significant role in feeding the growing global population. Jorge Zukoski is president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine which unites leading companies from over 50 nations across the globe.

In case you missed them, read the last five Business Sense columns by experts online at kyivpost.com April 15 with Morgan Williams, director of government affairs at the Washington D.C. office of SigmaBleyzer: “Agribusiness losses mount amid damaging ‘Great Grain Robbery’”

April 15 with Jorge Zukoski, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine: “Agricultural investments in peril”

April 8 with Dmytro Biryuk, attorney and senior associate at the Kyiv offices of law firm Schoenherr: “New law may help construction industry get back on its feet”

April 1 with Danylo Spolsky, sales associate at Kyiv-based investment bank BG Capital: “In every way, Poland ahead of Ukraine in capital markets”

March 25 with Richard Ferguson, global head of agriculture for Renaissance Capital: “Nation has lessons to learn from faraway Argentina”

Ivaniushchenko, Yanukovych’s friend, denies ownership in Khlib Investbud Æ1 single agent supplying grain to the national grain reserve. Responding to emailed questions from the Kyiv Post, the native of the Donetsk region town of Yenakiyeve – also Yanukovych’s hometown – expressed his support for Khlib Investbud, commending it for the role it plays in the Ukrainian grain market. “Despite numerous speculations, Khlib Investbud is, first and foremost, a state company with a mission that’s perfectly clear to me – trying to establish clear rules of play on the market,” he said. Ivaniushchenko said: “This is not my company.” But the lawmaker does confirm having business interests in Ukraine’s multibillion-dollar agriculture sector, emphasizing his desire for transparency and a level playing field. In his view, there was none of that on the market before this grain trading company, the ownership and role of which remains unclear, stepped in. “There used to be a very specific collusion of several large [grain] traders, which deprived our producers of income. Khlib Investbud proposed different rules, which led to the PR attack [against the it],” he explained. Ivaniushchenko also comment-

Æ Critics say conflicts of interest, unfair rules at play in grain trade; big fortunes at stake ed on the nature of his relationship with Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk, saying they have “quite comfortable and friendly relationships.” The lawmaker categorically denied, however, that he in any way influences Prysyazhnyuk. “What naivete! Don’t you know that the decision-making process in the Cabinet of Ministers is a process with many necessary stages of approval?

Member of Parliament Yuriy Ivaniushchenko (R) is an influential lawmaker who claims to have long been acquainted with President Viktor Yanukovych. He also gives advice to Ukrainian Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk. (Joseph Sywenkyj, Natalia Kravchuk/Korrespondent)

Please, don’t ascribe some mythical abilities to me,” Ivaniushchenko said. “As a market player, I naturally tell the minister and his subordinates my view on the market’s development, but all the market players are doing this. It’s always been like that.” During an interview last week with the Kyiv Post, Prysyazhnyuk promised to provide information revealing Khlib

Investbud's beneficiary ownership, as well as the breakdown of this season’s actual grain exports by different grain trading companies. Ten days later, as this issue of the Kyiv Post went to print, the information still hadn’t been received. Ivaniushchenko’s side of the story is radically different from what many domestic and foreign business associa-

tions and market insiders claim. Where the lawmaker sees clear rules of play, others see lack of transparency and possible corruption. Morgan Williams, president of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council, called imposing the grain export restrictions in Ukraine the “Great Grain Robbery,” while the subsequent quota allocations, according to him, lack “any sort of transparency or accountability.” This and the fact that most international traders have been excluded from the export market “leads the major players in the market sector to logically assume that corruption and control is the driving force,” said Williams. Jorge Zukoski, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, also claims that foreign grain traders are getting unfair treatment by the government. “A group of companies received [grain export] quotas for free, while others would have to pay for them at auctions,” said Zukoski, referring to the legislation amendments passed by the parliament in early April. “The main beneficiary of this was a quasi-state company Khlib Investbud.” Kyiv Post staff writer Vlad Lavrov can be reached at lavrov@kyivpost.com.


8 Business

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

Ukraine says IMF could decide in July to grant next billion-dollar loan Reuters – The International Monetary Fund could decide in July on disbursement of two, $1.6 billion loan tranches to Ukraine under a credit program, Deputy Prime Minister Sergiy Tigipko said in an interview, adding he is confident Kyiv can meet the requirements by then. “If we fulfill all the obligations that Ukraine has promised... then, in principle, nothing should interfere to receive already in July the decision of the (IMF’s) board of directors to grant us even two tranches,� Tigipko told Reuters at the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank spring meetings in Washington. The former Soviet republic has missed the IMF-set deadline to implement pension reforms that would raise the retirement age for women to 60 from 55 and decided to soften a

planned increase in energy prices for consumers. This has prompted the IMF to delay the disbursement of the next $1.6 billion tranche under Ukraine’s $15 billion facility agreed last July. “In the current conditions of such high global instability, both in politics and in prices, it would be very risky for Ukraine to stay without the support of the IMF,� Tigipko said. “That’s why I believe that we will succeed in introducing pension reform and in taking other decisions.� Tigipko said that Kyiv needs the $3.2 billion this year from the IMF this year to transfer the money to the central bank’s reserves, which were depleted over the past two years to cover a budget deficit that came to 15 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 7.5 percent in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Sergiy Tigipko, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister (UNIAN)

Earlier this month, the government said it expects the IMF mission to arrive in Kyiv in mid-May for a review.

Europe’s most expensive gas Tigipko also said that Russia charges Ukraine too much for its natural gas shipments, weighing heavily on the population and the economy. “For us, it creates the problem of fighting poverty,� Tigipko said. “I don’t think this is the right approach. I don’t think that we should have such high gas prices, considering that we are closer than other consumers of Russian gas – we’re basically at the border.� Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov is scheduled to arrive in Kyiv this week for possible renegotiations of the 2009 pricing agreement that set prices for Russian deliveries on the basis of the prices of oil products, which have since rocketed. It also set a base price of $450 per 1,000 cubic meters, the highest in Europe. “We should pay less than other consumers, which have to transfer the gas through Ukraine and through Europe.�

Risks remain Ukraine has succeeded in enforcing a stringent fiscal policy that allowed it to halve the budget deficit last year, compared to 2009. Although it envisages bringing that down further to 3.5 percent of the GDP this year, there is “enough of risks� for the $113 billion economy, Tigipko said. The recent increase in global commodity prices makes Ukraine’s grain exports more attractive, but it also increases domestic prices for food. Tigipko said the government should meet its 8.9 percent inflation target this year, but pressures remain. Europe’s weak economic growth in the years following the 2008 crisis provide a challenge for Kyiv to find additional markets for its goods. “We’re very worried about what’s going on in the European economy,� Tigipko said. “This is our market.�

Armored vehicles ready to be delivered to Iraq Ukraine’s Malyshev tank factory has completed production and is preparing shipment of 26 armored personnel carriers to Iraq as part of a $550 million contract signed in 2009. The BTR-4 armored vehicles currently being shipped (top) are the first batch of more than 400 that the Kharkiv factory is to produce for Iraq’s military and security forces in coming years. In accordance with a package of contracts worth $2.4 billion, Ukraine – one of the world’s top arms exporters – is also to provide Iraq with other military technology, including An-32 aircraft (bottom) designed by the Kyiv-based Antonov bureau, as well as upgrading services. (UNIAN)

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Opinion/News 9

April 22, 2011

O’Donnell: Will nation improve? Æ5 Venice Commission recommends, and as urged again recently by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. This is essential for a clear and effective separation of powers, as well as adequate checks and balances between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, a prerequisite for political stability. The rest is detail, and in the right climate, with the right leadership, it would come about. For now, that climate, and the enabling environment, are missing. The opportunity to address growing popular frustration is there – if Ukraine’s leaders achieve historic greatness by bringing about rapid reforms that dramatically transform its standing in Europe, and capitalize on a particularly friendly forthcoming Polish presidency of the European Union, as both prepare for Euro 2012. As Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said recently during a visit to China,

on whether Ukraine could join the BRICs group [Brazil, Russia, India, China], Ukraine needs to solve its problems quickly, and emerge from crisis to become a great nation. Ukraine should seize this opportunity of renewed international interest and forthcoming Polish-European Union presidency support, to embrace reforms robustly. Getting its constitution in line with European values and standards will lay the governance foundation for further reforms, essential to fulfill Ukraine’s European destiny. Ukraine would score very big if it did pursue such constitutional change, given the Venice Commission and Germany’s protest that EU values have been breached by the new constitution adopted by Hungary – current holder of the EU presidency. Francis M. O’Donnell is a former United Nations resident coordinator and United Nations Developmment Project resident representative in Ukraine from 2004-2009.

Ex-member of parliament sentenced for murder Former parliament deputy Viktor Lozinsky (L) during a sentencing hearing in Kyiv’s Dniprovsky district court on April 20. Lozinsky was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the June 16, 2009 murder of 55-year old Valeriy Oliyinyk from Holovanivsk district in Kirovograd Oblast, as well as for the illegal possession and use of firearms and ammunition. Lozinsky’s lawyer, Viktor Hrytsiuk, said his client would lodge an appeal. Parliament in July 2009 stripped Lozinsky of his deputy's immunity from prosecution. He has been in jail since surrendering to police in Kyiv on March 1, 2009. (UNIAN)

Rybachuk: ‘Authorities have pretty much filtered’ and monopolized television news Æ2

It is interesting to note that part of this conflict was a media owner who is a foreigner with no public political preferences in Ukraine. Last fall I had a conversation with your editors who said they were proud that the Kyiv Post's publisher does not interfere with editorial policy. But everything good comes to an end. It is clear to me that at some point the publisher was approached by someone with some convincing arguments and pressure was applied. Why would a publisher get interested in an average interview otherwise? You do not need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this out. If you watch news on TV, you can conclude that there is a direct link between an owner’s business or their political affiliation and the content of the news programs that run on their TV channels. Just like in the Kyiv Post, that same

line of argumentation was around the conflict in the Gazeta Po-Kievski daily [whose chief editor was recently fired]. They said it has nothing to do with politics, just business. KP: Is the resolution of the conflict in the Kyiv Post an exception rather than the rule? OR: The authorities have pretty much filtered television media. There is only one guarantee to that – adopt a law letting journalists work independently. The law about access to public information adopted last year is just about to start working. However, recently I learned from a source that there was a closed meeting in parliament initiated by its speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn and dedicated to putting up a strategy of how to neutralize this law. KP: Much of print media in

Æ Law on access to information might be reversed Ukraine is not profitable. How do you think it is possible to make non-profitable media independent and objective? OR: This is a serious and key question. The Kyiv Post’s owner was keeping a newspaper just like some other oligarchs keep soccer clubs, even though soccer clubs can be profitable when managed properly. In Ukraine, most media own-

ers do not view it as a business. It is rather a political protection or a bargaining chip. Also to protect media, there normally is a board of trustees made up of trusted people from the community. The board normally also seeks longterm investments for that media. KP: The Kyiv Post staff believes the conflict was triggered by the publisher’s request to pull an interview. A number of my colleagues from other media organizations that I recently talked to said they would have done that without hesitation. For the Kyiv Post editorial team, such a practice has not been accepted and breaks the rules of independent journalism. Why can’t most Ukrainian journalists understand this and why don’t they stand up against it?

OR: It is interesting to know that in the West, the average age of a journalist is significantly higher than in Ukraine. In the West, there are authoritative journalists who really influence politics and government. Here journalists are very young and there is no demand for old and experienced reporters. KP: What can be done to support independent journalism in Ukraine? OR: I am surprised that Ukrainian journalists have never created some association of journalists that would help them professionally and legally defend their rights. We have a number of media unions, but there is no association that would unite them. Kyiv Post staff writer Yuriy Onyshkiv can be reached at onyshkiv@kyivpost. com


10 News Zahoor reaches deal with Kyiv Post staff to end five-day strike Æ1 ing non-interference in editorial policy by himself and his company. Zahoor said that, despite differences in opinion over this particular incident, he was impressed that the Kyiv Post staff had stood up so actively for something they believe in – freedom of the press. Zahoor has been a consistent supporter of editorial independence since he acquired the Kyiv Post two years ago in what is a very testing environment for a media owner. He has also proven his commitment to the development of a freer media environment by investing in the newspaper and a new Russian/Ukrainianlanguage website that aims to carry our long-standing high ethical and journalistic standards into the local languages. The newsroom and its owner remain committed to providing the hard-hitting, balanced and objective reporting that has been its most important quality over the past 16 years. All parties are committed to improving the Kyiv Post and working toward making it profitable. In this way, we will continue to serve the community by asking the same tough questions and searching for answers in the same way we always have, without fear of interference from outside the newsroom. As before, we will be free from censorship, present a balanced view of events and always seek out the other side of the story. We are sure that this will help us to maintain what we have always valued above all – the trust of you, our reader. See story on page 12.

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

U.N. chief: More Chornobyl-like accidents are bound to occur (AP) — The world must prepare for more nuclear accidents on the scale of Chornobyl and Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, the U.N. chief warns, saying that grim reality will demand sharp improvements in international cooperation. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others portrayed the growth of nuclear power plants as inevitable in an energy-hungry world as they spoke at a Kyiv conference April 20 commemorating the explosion of a reactor at Ukraine’s Chornobyl nuclear reactor 25 years ago. “To many, nuclear energy looks to be a relatively clean and logical choice in an era of increasing resource scarcity. Yet the record requires us to ask painful questions: have we correctly calculated its risks and costs? Are we doing all we can to keep the world’s people safe?” Ban said. “The unfortunate truth is that we are likely to see more such disasters.” During a brief visit to the explosion site 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of the Ukrainian capital earlier in the day, Ban proposed a strategy for improving nuclear energy security worldwide, including strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency and devoting more attention to “the new nexus between natural disasters and nuclear safety.” The ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power

plant was triggered by last month’s huge earthquake and the ensuing tsunami that flooded the plant. “Climate change means more incidents of freak weather,” Ban said in Kyiv. “Our vulnerability will only grow.” IAEA head Yukiya Amano, who accompanied Ban on the trip to Chornobyl, echoed those sentiments. “Many countries will continue to find nuclear power an important option in the future, and that is why we have to do our utmost to ensure safety,” he said, speaking a few hundred yards (meters) from the exploded reactor, which is now covered by a hastily erected sarcophagus. The sarcophagus has gone past its expected service life and work has begun to build an enormous shelter that will be rolled over the reactor building. The new shelter, designed to last 100 years, is expected to be in place by 2015, but a substantial amount of money for the project is still lacking. An international donors conference April 19 in Kiev sought to raise €740 million ($1.1 billion) for the shelter and a storage facility for the spent fuel at the plant’s other decommissioned reactors. But in the face of global economic problems, some countries held back from making funding promises and the pledges only came to €550 million ($798 million). The Chornobyl explosion on April

The Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon (L) poses in front of sarcophaguscovered fourth power block covered during a visit to Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 20. (AFP)

26, 1986, spewed a cloud of radioactive fallout over much of Europe and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes in the most heavily hit areas. A 30-kilometer (19-mile) area radiating from the plant remains uninhabited except for some plant workers who rotate in and several hundred local people who returned to their homes despite official warnings. Zsuzsanna Jacab of the U.N.’s World Health Organization told the Kiev conference that some 6,000 cases of thyroid cancer had been diagnosed among people who were children and teens when exposed to the fallout. She said more cases are expected although “the magnitude is difficult to quantify.” Among the 600,000 people most heavily exposed to radiation — which apparently include the estimated 240,000 who worked on the first and most dangerous phase of the plant repair and clean-up — Jacab expects 4,000 more cancer deaths than average to be eventually found.

The U.N. figures have been criticized by the environmental group Greenpeace and others as severely understating Chornobyl’s consequences. Even the lower figures represent “an unacceptable price paid by the affected communities,” Jacab said. Ban and others said the Chornobyl and Japan accidents highlighted the need for improved communication between countries about their nuclear programs. And Thorbjorn Jagland, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, drew a political lesson from the crises. “The more complex technologies become, the more complex societies become, the more important it is to involve civil societies, to have democratic institutions, a free press,” he said. Soviet authorities kept the Chornobyl disaster unreported for several days, and Japanese authorities have been criticized for initially providing insufficient information.


www.kyivpost.com

News 11

April 22, 2011

A journey back to Prypyat Æ1

I returned not for pictures of broken dolls or abandoned schools. I didn’t take photos of Soviet relics, which are so popular with photographers and tourists from all over the world. Nevertheless, when we drove into the jungle that once was the main street – named after Vladimir Lenin, of course – I was hit by a mysterious wave of nostalgia. It was, I decided, nostalgia for the things that never happened to me here. Lenin Street 17, apartment 24 would haunt me throughout life. All apartments in Prypyat were burglarized and it is hard to imagine life in these empty walls. My flat was not an exception. I found only pieces of broken furniture, old wallpaper (horrible flower design, by the way) and two kopecks on the windowsill left for me by my father in 2003, when he visited this place last. Then I came across an old family picture on the floor. The photograph is of me and my mom in this very room 25 years ago. It was one of my father’s favorites. He even noted this fact on the roll of negatives, which I found in Kyiv. This is why he left it 10 years ago, hanging on the wall of what was once our living room – as a memory of happy times which these abandoned walls once saw. This symbolic gesture is very meaningful, since my father, Constantine Rudya, dedicated his life to Chornobyl, working as a scientific director at the International Chornobyl Center. He spent a lot of time in Chornobyl, collaborating with scientists from Germany, France, the United States and Japan. He was exposed to the

Alina Rudya’s father, Constantine

A photograph of baby Alina Rudya, who is now 26, with her mother Marina. (Alina Rudya)

radiation frequently, revisiting the sarcophagus of the fourth block on a regular basis. He died of cancer in February 2006. Before then, I never thought about the Chornobyl accident as a pivotal moment for my family. When I was little, being evacuated didn’t mean much to me. All it meant was free food in school and trips to Germany as a part of the Children of Chornobyl program, created to help families who suffered from the nuclear catastrophe. I liked travelling. I liked free food. I didn’t understand what it was all about. But now, unfortunately, I do. My father had a lot of Japanese friends, and I can only imagine how supportive he would be of them due to the current events at the Fukushima,

the plant that suffered major damage from a March earthquake and subsequent tsunami. In 1986, my father was barely 28 years old and worked as an operator on the second block of the Chornobyl power plant. He worked there also on the night of the accident and 1.5 years after the catastrophe. I found old films from Prypyat, dated 1983-1986, in my father’s archive. He and his co-workers and friends were playing tennis, having fun on the beach of the Prypyat River, celebrating someone’s birthday in the dormitory. Some of these people are also not alive anymore. All that is left are memories and old photographs. The 30-kilometer exclusion zone is each year visited by many tourists and

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journalists. It has become an attraction, a destination for thrill seekers. I try to imagine how life would be if the accident had never happened, although – as we know now – the plant’s design was so defective that the accident was destined to happen sooner or later, according to my father’s good friend, Alexey Breus, who was an operator on the fourth block of the plant and my father’s good friend. So I try to imagine supermarkets, nightclubs and casinos on the streets of Prypyat. I try to visualize posters of political candidates, the ATMs, the Internet cafes. The city of Prypyat existed no more than 16 years before the accident (it was built specifically for the workers of what supposed to be the biggest

nuclear power plant in Europe). Now, being stuck in the 1980s, it remains a Soviet museum. We are used to seeing nightmarish pictures of Chornobyl and Prypyat, with the post-apocalyptic hollows of broken windows and frightening remnants of the human presence in the form of toys, old books and broken beds. But fright is not the impression of the exclusion zone that I received. The silent and mysterious beauty of the surrounding landscape is overwhelming. There are wild forests full of animals, a beautiful sky and a calm river which flows silently through the territory. This scene will not change for centuries. The broken windows and abandoned buildings did not scare me. Rather, I got the shivers thinking about what the lives of the 50,000 people who once lived here would be like. What would happen if, in 1986, nothing had gone wrong? Would I have gone to a kindergarten and then local school? Would I have kayaked with my dad on the rivers Uzh and Prypyat? Would I have my graduation ball in the Energetic restaurant? Would I have grown up a small-town girl, met my first love in Prypyat, got married and had two kids by the age of 26? Would their grandfather still be alive? I will never know. Dedicated to my father, Constantine Rudya (March 25, 1958 – Feb. 8, 2006). Alina Rudya is a former Kyiv Post staff writer.


12 News

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

Strike ends over firing of top Kyiv Post editor BY O K S A N A G RY T SEN KO GRYTSENKO@KYIVPOST.COM

The Kyiv Post editorial staff reached an agreement with the newspaper’s owner on April 20 after a five-day strike over the chief editor’s dismissal, which journalists said was the result of him resisting attempted censorship. The tentative settlement was made by creating an editorial board consisting of four persons, including exchief editor Brian Bonner with Roman Olearchyk, James Marson and Katya Gorchinskaya, to jointly run the newspaper and its two websites. “This temporary solution allows us to continue working as normal while we continue clarifying the details of a long-term solution,” Kyiv Post journalists and the publisher Mohammad Zahoor said in joint statement. Zahoor, the British owner of ISTIL Group, also reaffirmed his promise of “non-interference in editorial policy by himself and his company” in the same statement. Nataliya Ligachova, head of Telekritika media watchdog, said she couldn’t recall another public conflict between the owner and the editorial team of a newspaper in Ukraine that led to mutual concessions and praised both Zahoor and the Kyiv Post journalists for the outcome. “It’s a very important precedent,” Ligachova said. Viktoria Siumar, head of the Institute of Mass Information media watchdog, said the incident and its resolution provides other Ukrainian media with a good example of how to solve similar problems in their newsrooms. “A professional editorial staff, a public position and a joint position” helped the Kyiv Post journalists to stand by their beliefs, Siumar said. “This is an example that quality journalism is able to defend itself.” Zahoor, who bought the Kyiv Post for $1.1 million in 2009, told the newspaper’s team on April 20 that he would be ready to sell them the newspaper for only $1 if the journalists could raise $2.4 million to pay off its debts. Bonner said it is possible Zahoor will decide not to sell the Kyiv Post if it regains its traditional profitability, while the option of running the news-

Kyiv Post editor Katya Gorchinskaya (center) briefs colleagues April 19 on talks to end the workers’ strike triggered by the April 15 firing of former chief editor Brian Bonner (to Gorchinskaya’s left). Newspaper owner Mohammad Zahoor agreed to rehire Bonner as senior editor. (Joseph Sywenkyj)

paper by the journalists themselves should also be considered. “We have a lot of interesting challenges ahead of us,” Bonner said. He added that both the publisher and the editorial team now need to leave the conflict behind and rebuild mutual trust. “We give credit to Mr. Zahoor for reaching the settlement,” Bonner said. Bonner was sacked on April 15, he said, after refusing Zahoor’s request to withdraw an interview with Mykola Prysyazhnyuk, the agriculture minister. The minister had commented on controversial issues of state control over grain exports as well as the ownership of Khlib Investbud, a partly stateowned company with unknown private

Kyiv Post owner Mohammad Zahoor (in sunglasses) on April 20 explains the agreement that ended his dispute with journalists over attempted censorship. (Joseph Sywenkyj)

investors that was granted substantial grain quotas in January. Bonner said Zahoor requested late on April 14 to see the story if the paper had already been sent to the printer. Early on April 15, “Zahoor called me at home, expressing dissatisfaction with the story and asked me to not publish it,” Bonner told the Kyiv Post. “And I refused,” he added, noting that it was the first time Zahoor ever interfered in the newspaper’s editorial work during the publisher’s nearly two years of ownership. Later that morning, Bonner was fired. Kyiv Post journalists went on strike, demanding Bonner’s return. Zahoor, on the other hand, told daily newspaper Kommersant that

his request to kill the interview with Prysyazhnyuk came because he thought it was “raw, unprepared and flabby” and his decision to sack Bonner was also due to differences on editorial policy. “I considered we needed more social themes and advertisement. The newspaper and website have to bring profit. But Bonner liked the hot political news more,” Zahoor said. Meanwhile, Bonner said he believes his dismissal was sparked by the controversial topic of the interview. He said he received calls from officials from Zahoor’s ISTIL Group, which owns the Kyiv Post, with concerns about the “hard interview” on April 11. Vlad Lavrov, one of the Kyiv Post journalists who interviewed Prysyazhnyuk, said the minister told the journalists to “think” before writing the story. Depending upon how it was written, the story could either attract investors, or do the opposite, he said. Prysyazhnyuk later praised the published interview, in a statement posted on his ministry’s website, and denied pressuring Zahoor or the Kyiv Post newsroom over the story. The dispute was widely covered by Ukrainian and world media. A group of U.S. senators and the Reporters Without Borders media watchdog were among those who expressed concern. Meanwhile, both sides were busily negotiating a solution, reached on April 19, after Zahoor met with three Kyiv Post editors and agreed to let Bonner return as a member of the editorial board. On April 20, Kyiv Post staff resumed work, ending a five-day strike. Zahoor met the editorial staff, answered their questions and called the conflict a misunderstanding. Zahoor also said he hadn’t received any pressure from the Agriculture Ministry or the minister himself over the story. While the publisher and journalists still have different views of what hap-

Æ Staff went on strike to protest censorship attempt by owner pened, the incident sparked questions as to whether a publisher has the right to call for an article to be removed, and whether that amounts to censorship. A number of Ukrainian journalists, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear for their jobs, told the Kyiv Post that their editors would occasionally pull stories when asked by their owner or by the company management. “No one would make much of a fuss about it,” one journalist said. Media activist Siumar said that strong influence by the authorities on journalists through media owners is common. “Censorship is mainly carried out through the owners of the media,” she said. Siumar said that censorship, according to current legislation, only takes place if government authorities put direct pressure on a media outlet. But she added that newly adopted laws that come into force on May 10 consider any kind of ban on publicly important information, regardless who applies the pressure, as possible censorship carrying criminal liability. Kyiv Post staff writer Oksana Grytsenko can be reached at grytsenko@ kyivpost.com


Lifestyle

World in Ukraine Spain’s ties with Ukraine are the focus of this week’s feature. See page 16 in Lifestyle.

April 22, 2011

Play | Food | Entertainment | Sports | Culture | Music | Movies | Art | Community Events

Colorful Easter eggs link to nation’s ancient past

People color a two-meter tall Easter egg during the Easter fair in Ukrainian House on April 15. (Maks Levin / LB.ua)

BY N ATA L I A A . F E D US C HAK FEDUSCHAK@KYIVPOST.COM

One is elaborately decorated with patterns filled with symbolism, while a simple color is the canvas for the other. As they have been for time immemorial, the centerpieces of Ukrainian Easter baskets this year will be the pysanka and krashanka. While both are important components of Ukrainian culture and heritage, there is an important symbolic difference between these two types of decorated eggs. “The krashanka is used as food. These are boiled eggs to be eaten after they are blessed,” said Myroslava Boykiv, a deputy director from Kolomiya’s famed Pysanka Museum. “The pysanka…represents fortune, happiness and love,

and involves a raw [decorated] egg.” While no one is certain when the first krashanka appeared, experts generally agree the pysanka dates back to ancient times. It is closely tied to the pagan Trypillian civilization that inhabited Ukraine some 7,000 years ago. What is evident from surviving artifacts is that the Trypillian people were in a constant state of waiting. “Particularly for those who lived with four seasons, when the first birds arrived, people believed in

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renewal,” Boykiv said. The coming of spring was subsequently celebrated with decorated eggs as they were considered magical and a source of life. Although blowing out its yoke and white has become popular in modern times, B o y k o said a true pysanka involves the ornamentation of a raw egg with a batik, or a wax-resistant dyeing technique. In a country filled with diversity, the symbols impressed onto pysankas have remained identical throughout all of Ukraine and have

Editorial staff: +380 44 234-65-00 news@kyivpost.com

not changed much over the centuries. The krashanka is dyed in a single color, usually with vegetable dyes. While no example of the pysanka has survived from Trypillian culture – eggshells are delicate – experts believe the Trypillians would have decorated eggs with the same symbols seen on surviving pottery and other artifacts. The Trypillian people’s system of beliefs was reflected in their symbolism, Boykiv said. The triangle, for instance, represented sun, fire and water, while a woman’s rounded figure was the symbol for fertility. As Christianity edged out pagan beliefs and spread throughout the region, symbolism changed. The triangle became the symbol for the Holy Trinity, while the female figure became the sign of the Oranta – the Virgin Mary. These are Æ18

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World d vele er Traveler WITH YULIYA RASKEVICH RASKEVICH@KYIVPOST.COM

Walking and talking around Tallinn streets Eastern Europeans often quip about Estonians as extremely slow people: there are countless jokes about this northern nation taking all the time in the world to do something or even say something. When you land in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, you’ll see that it’s not true. In fact, when you hear an Estonian speak, you’ll see that they are fast talkers. Estonian words are often short and have double vowels. Struggling with long words and many consonants in the Russian language, they do come through as being slow but as soon as they switch to English or German they babble away. In order not to get lost in this medieval city, it’s best to purchase a Tallinn pass which gives you access to all museums, churches, excursions and an opportunity to use public transport at certain hours. Old Tallinn is often called a “limping city” because of the two picturesque streets – Long Leg and Short Leg. Local legends say that a devil used to live on one of these Legs because an old icon, made of plaster and molded into a wall at the crossing of these streets, has at one point acquired tiny horns on baby-Jesus’ head. If you are not afraid of heights, you can have a coffee right on top of the medieval wall that in the Town Hall and see a magnificent panorama of the city. To do that, you’d have to climb 34 meters up the circular stairs, which means that next morning you may be limping just like those old streets. The view from the walls will prove that Old Tallinn is all about churches and cathedrals. But if you want to bring home a tale or two, make sure to visit the Dome Cathedral. One of the greatest legends I’ve heard involves a promiscuous merchant who at the end of his life gave all his money to the clerics on the condition to be buried inside the Dome Cathedral. And indeed, there is his tombstone in the church. Locals say that a woman stepping on the third marble stone from the entrance should make a wish. The sleazy merchant will be responsible for fulfilling it after he peeks under the skirt. To celebrate the wish, head to Olde Hansa restaurant, where medieval recipes come to life in the kitchen without electricity or any other modern facilities. Waiters speak in an old fashioned way, wear period dresses and light the halls with large candles. A menu includes fried bear meat, deer, beans in a dough sack and all kinds of other dishes popular in the old days. Make sure to visit a Æ18


This year the world marks the 25th anniversary of the worst nuclear disaster in history in Chornobyl. To once again put a spotlight on its long-lasting legacy and help victims, NGOs, businesses and other activists have started a project called “Remember.” A weeklong string of classical and jazz concerts, art exhibits and theater plays will help organizers draw attention to the cause and collect money for children affected by the Chornobyl disaster. All the proceeds will be used to buy equipment to store blood donated to treat children suffering from cancer. For a full schedule and other details, visit www.pomni.260486.org/en. Some of the highlights: Friday, April 22 – New Era Orchestra will play pieces by Bach, Schnittke, Purcell and others at 8 p.m., Cultural center Master-Klass, 34 Mazepy St., metro Arsenalna, www.masterklass. org/eng, 594-1063. Free admission. Thursday, April 29 – concert of Haidamaki folk band at 7 p.m., Cultural center Master-Klass, 34 Mazepy St., metro Arsenalna, www.masterklass.org/eng, 594-1063. Free admission. Till Wednesday, April 28 – multimedia project “86” with portraits and interviews of 25 liquidators and 25 youngsters born in 1986 at Lavra gallery, 1 Lavrska St., 280-0290. Free admission.

Monday, April 25

Sunday, April 24

Giant Easter Bread On Easter Day, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra will present a huge paska, or Easter bread, aiming to break an existing record, which belongs to a 200-kilogram giant baked two years ago in Dnipropetrovsk. Perhaps an idea to bake a massive loaf has been inspired by a Biblical story when Jesus fed a thousand people with bread and fish; we are not sure. The record-breaking paska is expected to be higher than two meters. The Lavra priests said that the water used for the dough will come from the blessed springs of saints Antony and Feodosy. Bread tasting is open for everyone on Sunday, April 24, starting at 3 a.m., Kyiv Pecehrsk Lavra, metro Arsenalna. Free admission.

Thursday, April 28

Trumpeter Chris Botti Chris Botti is an American trumpeter and composer, playing smooth jazz. Botti performed with some of the most prominent musicians, from Frank Sinatra to Steve Taylor and Sting. He proved that a brass instrument can really “sing” – just listen to him accompanying Sting in “Shape of My Heart.” Music and performances are truly his life as he is on tour around 250 days a year. The Grammy nominated artist is not only talented but handsome – in 2004 The People magazine included him in their list of the 50 Most Beautiful People. Monday, April 25, 7 p.m., Zhovtnevy Palats, 1 Instytutska St., 279-1582. Tickets: Hr 300-1400.

Compiled by Nataliya Horban

(torange.ru)

Remembering Chornobyl with music

(txeventphotographer.com)

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

(Courtesy)

(fm-tv.ru)

14 Entertainment Guide

Taming the fire Although for our ancestors, fire and drums signaled a war, nowadays this combination signifies a fantastic show. French band Commandos Percu, which name roughly stands for “percussion paratroopers” in English, synchronizes the drum beats with giant bursts of flames. With a variety of flaring twists coloring a pitch-dark night sky, paratroopers have been traveling the world for 15 years performing during music events. In Kyiv, their glowing shows will mark the end of the French Spring festival. Thursday, April 28, 9 p.m., Spivoche Pole park, metro Arsenalna, 482-0672. Free admission.


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April 22, 2011

Movies

Entertainment Guide 15 Live Music

Funk band ‘E Moi Drug Gruzovik’ (www.starlife.com.ua)

The scene from ‘Alila,’ the film by celebrated Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai. (www.ci.i.uol.com.br)

AMOS GITAI FILM FESTIVAL A Jewish architect-turned-cinematographer, Amos Gitai filmed more than 80 pictures to date. Based in France, the U.S. and Israel, he directed numerous fiction movies and historical documentaries. In Ukraine, where his ancestors come from, he’ll present his six works, starting with his first feature film “Esther” and ending with his most recent one “News from Home/ News from House.” Jewish girl Esther marries a king and has to save her people learning about the conspiracy against her nation in the screen version of the Bible story “Esther.” A man tries to collect memories about his grandparents, who died in the Holocaust in “One Day You’ll Understand.” Two boys are looking for their unit to participate in the Israeli war against Egypt and Syria in 1973 in “Kippur.” Twelve people live and work at the same apartment complex in Tel-Aviv creating the metaphor of the whole Jewish nation in “Alila.” Several generations come and go through a house in Western Jerusalem in “News from Home.” The films are displayed in French with English and Ukrainian subtitles. THE CRUEL SEA Language: English with English subtitles Drama/War. UK (1953) Directed by Charles Frend

Starring Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden and John Stratton During the World War II Commander Ericson leads a team of corvette Compass Roseescort, whose staff have just recently been called out of training. The winter sea is tough enough, but they must also resist attacks from the Germans and rescue survivors. Terrible events bring the skipper and his first officer closer. THE NATIONAL SHOTGUN Language: Spanish with Russian or Ukrainian subtitles Comedy. Spain (1978) Directed by Luis GarcíaBerlanga Starring Rafael Alonso, Luis Escobar and Antonio Ferrandis A businessman from Catalonia goes to Madrid with his girlfriend. Hunting for potential investors – aristocrats and high officials – he meets many strange characters and gets sucked into all sorts of absurd situations. A cartoon on the Spanish society in 1970s, the film gently mocks and laughs at the Spanish way of life. SHORTS ATTACK FESTIVAL If you think that love is pain, welcome to the club. Festival “Love is a Catastrophe” presents a selection of short films from all over the world. In surreal and sometimes odd onscreen stories an alien comes to

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Earth and finds love, while a scuba diver falls for a fish. A grandmother fights for her beloved car. Two people in love survive the end of the world. An Italian aristocrat loses her dear cat in the airport. A woman struggles with jealousy. And someone gets lost in the fields. All shorts are shown in original languages with Ukrainian subtitles.

MASTERCLASS CINEMA CLUB 34 Mazepy St., 594-1063. The National Shotgun: April 26 at 7 p.m. The Cruel Sea: April 28 at 7 p.m. ZHOVTEN 26, Kostyantynivska St., 205-5951. Shorts Attack! April 22-27 at 1:05 p.m., 4:25 p.m. and 6:25 p.m. KYIV CINEMA 19, Chervonoarmiyska (VelykaVasylkivska) St., 234-7381. Amos Gitai Film Festival: Kippur: April 22 at 7 p.m. Esther: April 23 at 7 p.m. One Day You’ll Understand: April 24 at 7 p.m. Alila: April 25 at 7 p.m. News from Home: April 26 at 7 p.m.

ART CLUB 44 44B Khreshchatyk St., 279-4137, www.club44.com.ua Concerts traditionally start at 8 – 10 p.m. April 22 E Moi Drug Gruzovik, Hr 80 April 23 Alai Oli, Hr 100; MJ Project, Hr 50 April 24 Soiuz 44 Jam Session, free admission April 25 Brazil.A, free admission April 26 Spring Jazz Night: New Generation, Yevhen Uvarov Band April 27 Radio Head, Coldplay, Hr April 28 Diversanty, Hr 40 DOCKER’S ABC 15 Khreshchatyk St., 278-1717, www.docker.com.ua Concerts traditionally start at 9:30-10 p.m. April 22 Mad Heads XL, Chill Out, Hr 70 April 23 Vostochny Express, free admission April 24 Foxtrot Music Band, free admission April 25 Gera, Second Breath, free admission April 26 Chill Out, Hr 20 April 27 The Magma, Hr 30 April 28 Tex-Mex Company, Hr 30 DOCKER PUB 25 Bohatyrska St., metro Heroyiv Dnipra, www.docker.com.ua Concerts traditionally start at 9:30-10 p.m. April 22 Ot Vinta, Red Rocks, Hr 70 April 23 Chill Out, fee admission April 24 Vostochny Express, free admission April 25 Lemmons, free admission April 26 Tres Deseos Latino Party, free admission April 27 Rockin’ Wolves, free admission April 28 Ruki v Briuki Rockabilly Party, free admission

BOCHKA PYVNA ON KHMELNYTSKOHO 4B-1 Khmelnytskoho St, metro Teatralna, 390-6106, www.bochka.com.ua Concerts traditionally start at 9-10 p.m. April 22 Hot Guys, Tres Deseos PORTER PUB 3 Sichnevogo Povstannya St., 280-1996, www.porter.com.ua Concerts traditionally start at 7:30 p.m. April 22 Dikie Liudi April 23 Portmen April 24 Maks Tavricheski April 27 Ivan Bliuz April 28 Dikie Liudi JAZZ DO IT 76A Velyka Vasylkivska St., 289-56-06, http://jazz-doit.com.ua Concerts traditionally start at 8:30 p.m. April 22 Jazz Duo April 27 Dmitriy Garkavenko Other live music clubs: GOLDEN GATE IRISH PUB, 15, Zolotovoritska St., 235-5188, http:// goldengatepubkiev.com/ TO DUBLIN IRISH PUB, 4 Raisy Okipnoi St., 569-5531, http://www.to-dublin.com. ua/ PIVNA NO.1 ON BASEYNA, 15 Baseyna St., 287-44-34, www.pivna1.com.ua DRAFT 1/2 Khoryva St., metro Kontraktova Ploshcha, 463-7330 KHLIB CLUB 12 Frunze St., www.myspace. com/xlibclub CHESHIRE CAT 9 Sklyarenko St., 428-2717 O’BRIEN’S 17A Mykhaylivska St., 279-1584 DAKOTA 14G Heroyiv Stalinhrada St., 468-7410 U KRUZHKI 12/37 Dekabrystiv St., 5626262.

Compiled by Alexandra Romanovskaya and Svitlana Kolesnykova


16 Lifestyle

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April 22, 2011

World in Ukraine

Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Post continues its “World in Ukraine” series with a look at Spain on the occasion of April 22 Book Day. The newspaper will highlight Ukraine’s ties with the Netherlands on May 6 Queen’s Day, with Italy on June 3 Independence Day, with Sweden on June 10 National Daya and with the Czech Repubic on July 8, Kiril and Mephodiy Day.

Spain singing star from near Lviv BY K AT YA G R U S H E N KO GRUSHENKO@KYIVPOST.COM

When a 14-year-old Ukrainian teenager went on stage with “Simply the Best” originally sung by Tina Turner, little did she know that her performance will cause such a stir in Spain. The daughter of an immigrant family from western Ukraine, Yulia Smaga became one of the top five performers in the Spanish version of the X-factor show for children. Quero Cantar competition, or I Want to Sing, finished last spring but Smaga’s memorable performance encouraged her family to invest in their daughter’s music career, whatever the cost. The Smagas left Ukraine in 2000 after the financial meltdown had sent the hryvnia tumbling two years earlier. Both of Yulia’s parents lost their jobs, and having run into debts, they headed out from Sokal, a town in Lviv Oblast, leaving Yulia with her grandmother. In Madrid, father Volodymyr started refurbishing apartments to make a living. His job had little to do with his education – a master’s degree in chemistry – but he didn’t mind since most immigrants from Ukraine have to downgrade. The Ukrainian Embassy in Spain states that many of them work picking fruit and vegetables, in construction, or as house servants or waiters. There are

Singer Yulia Smaga (Coutesy)

some 100,000 Ukrainians registered with the embassy, mostly from western Ukraine. The first settlers arrived in this

Mediterranean country after the World War II. The second massive migration wave came at the end of 1990s when Ukrainians looked to escape the

economic doldrums, especially in the rural areas. Yulia reunited with her parents in Madrid when she was five. She had already developed a passion for singing after taking part in a couple of competitions in Ukraine. Now, she devotes at least two hours per day to piano classes, vocal classes, dancing and acting. “She doesn’t have time for boyfriends,” said Angelika Smaga, her mother. After Quero Cantar, which was also broadcast in Latin America, the 14-year old became popular. Her fans started following her on social networks and leaving love confessions online, Angelika said. “I don’t want to be rude to those boys so I let my mother help me write the answers,” Yulia said sheepishly. Fan clubs, however, don’t bring money yet. While in Ukraine many parents send their children to relatively inexpensive music schools, in Spain, Smaga said, musical education is reserved for children from well-off families. A minimal music program starts from 2,000 euros per year. “Some people don’t understand us. Why would poor people [like us] spend so much money on music classes? But we want to give our daughter everything she was supposed to get in Ukraine,” said Angelika, whose mother

and grandmother were also artists. As Spain goes through the economic crisis, Angelika is unemployed and her husband is receiving fewer orders for flat refurbishments. And yet the family said they “can’t stop supporting Yuliya now as she is making so much progress.” Cherishing a residency permit in Spain, they have no plans to come back to Ukraine in the foreseeable future and think that their child would not have achieved same singing victories had they stayed in Sokal. “When Yulia was 11 we participated [in a contest] and it felt like the jury wanted us to give them money for her to win and receive media coverage,” her mother said. Alisa Kotik, a public relations specialist who works with many Ukrainian singers said that Ukraine’s contests have changed since then. “We now have X-factor, Chance, Ukraine Has Talent shows that came from the West. It’s next to impossible to bribe [anyone], because the jury consists of well-off, famous people and all the castings are televised,” she said. As for Yulia, “a girl from a family of Ukrainian immigrants in Spain who tries to break through in a foreign country – this sounds like a great legend for a star in Ukraine.” Kyiv Post staff writer Katya Grushenko can be reached at grushenko@kyivpost. com


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Lifestyle 17

April 22, 2011

Vladimir Klitschko agrees to July fight with Haye BERLIN (Reuters) – Britain’s WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and Ukraine’s WBO, IBO and IBF champion Vladimir Klitschko have set their title fight for July 2 in Hamburg’s football arena, Klitschko said on April 20. “I am happy that Haye is finally coming into the ring. He has twice avoided a Klitschko fight in the past,” Vladimir, whose brother Vitaly holds the WBC crown, said in a statement. A Haye-Vladimir Klitschko clash has been on the cards for two years but twice the two sides failed to finalize a deal after disagreeing on how to split revenues. Since the Klitschko brothers won’t fight each other, the Haye bout has long been considered the one that could establish them as undisputed champions with the pair having dominated the sport in recent years. “We are all delighted that this mega-fight will go ahead. We estimate some 150 countries will show the fight live or taped. This duel is an absolute global sports highlight,” said Klitschko management group CEO Bernd Boente. Haye pulled out of a scheduled fight with Vladimir in 2009, citing an injury, although it was more likely a case of the two sides and their promoters failing to reach a deal. A Haye-Vitaly Klitschko match also failed to materialize some months later. Vladimir Klitschko celebrates his 2008 victory over Hasim Rahman. He will face David Haye in July. (AFP) Oleh Blokhin looks on as Ukraine national squad players warm up during his first stint as coach in this Oct. 4, 2006 file photograph. Blokhin will return as coach to guide the team in the run-up to the Euro 2012 soccer championship, which Ukraine is hosting with neighboring Poland. (UNIAN)

Blokhin returns to head national soccer team BY M A R K R AC H K E VYC H RACHKEVYCH@KYIVPOST.COM

Ukraine’s most successful soccer coach will return to take charge of the national team with the finals of the Euro 2012 soccer championship fast approaching. Oleh Blokhin, 59, will take over from temporary coach Yury Kalytvyntsev after being voted into the post by the Ukrainian Football Federation. A little over one year remains before Ukraine co-hosts the European soccer tournament with Poland. The appointment of Blokhin ends several months of uncertainty and wrangling inside the soccer federation, which saw a variety of figures, includ-

ing Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona and Italy’s Marcello Lippi, touted as possible candidates. Kalytvyntsev will remain on the national squad as chief assistant to Blokhin. Blokhin coached Ukraine to the quarterfinals of the 2006 World Cup but left after the team failed to qualify for the 2008 European Championship. He was one of the world’s most prolific strikers in the 1970s, scoring 211 goals for Dynamo Kyiv and 42 for the Soviet Union. Blokhin has also coached Greek clubs Olympiakos, AEK Athens and PAOK among other clubs. Nineteen of 27 soccer federation

executive committee members voted for the former European player of the year and 1975 Ballon d’Or holder in the vote on April 21. “Blokhin’s candidacy pleased both [warring] camps within the federation,” said Artem Frankov, Futbol Magazine’s chief editor. “This was both a professional and political decision – he was the optimal not the universal candidate,” he said, referring to an attempt by several soccer federation members in December to dismiss federation president Hryhoriy Surkis. Kyiv Post staff writer Mark Rachkevych can be reached at rachkevych@kyivpost. com


18 Lifestyle

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

Pysankas invented before Easter in Trypillya Æ13 the two most prominent symbols impressed on the pysanka. Plenty of superstitions exist with the pysanka, Boykiv said. In the Carpathian Mountains, farmers still believe if a cow is sick, it can be cured by being fed a pysanka. It is also believed to have curative powers if rubbed around a wound or a sore spot. A damaged pysanka must never be thrown out. It can only be buried, or given a new lease on life if used as part of a new decoration. The oldest example of a pysanka dates back to the 10th century and is displayed at a local museum in Opole, Poland. Because of its age, it is extremely rare. Although the pysanka is largely indigenous to the Slavic people, it became most deeply rooted in Ukraine. Experts are not sure why this is the case. “Trypillian culture was here on our land. Maybe it is the genetic code, a historical memory that allows itself to be remembered,” Boykiv said. “Today the pysanka is accepted as the symbol of Ukraine. It is the greatest national memorial.” Kyiv Post staff writer Natalia A. Feduschak can be reached at feduschak@ kyivpost.com Kolomiya’s Pysanka Museum, Ivano-Frankivsk region, 43/B Chornovola Prospect. Boasting a collection of more than 12,000 decorated eggs, the museum is open daily, except for Mondays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entrance is Hr 10. The museum offers a variety of classes about the pysanka. Details: http:// pysanka.museum/, 03433-278-91

UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Town in Tallinn has been declared the European Capital of Culture this year by the European Union. (Courtesy)

Tallinn’s cobbled streets nurture many surprises Æ13 bathroom here with its medieval closet and a wash basin with a kettle instead of a tap. Another off-beaten attraction is Scotland Yard Pub where lounges look like cells and chairs are wired up like electricity chairs. Enjoy strawberry ale in this place but make sure to behave because waiters in police uniform may handcuff you. Wondering around cobbled-stone streets, buy some almonds fried in various spices – they are a great snack. Modern museum Kumu Kunst is in every guidebook so don’t

miss it, especially the room with artist Villu Jaanisoo’s metal busts of famous and ordinary Estonians. With a recording system inside each one of them, they “talk” non-stop. Apparently, original voices of people commemorated in this installation have been recorded for this exhibit. Figures seem to talk louder the closer you approach. There are a lot more places in Tallinn missing from tourist guides but definitely worth a visit. A small Mexican cafe Carramba with skeletons peaking through its windows,

Waitresses in national Estonian costumes pose outside Olde Hansa restaurant, one of the most unusual eateries in Tallinn. (Courtesy)

special deer sausage sold in supermarkets, Kalev chocolates and small old books stores with Soviet books, rare vinyl records and pins. So if you leave your stereotypes at home and greet Estonians by say-

ing tere, they will be quick enough to help you find their country’s attractions. Kyiv Post staff writer Yuliya Raskevich can be reached at raskevich@kyivpost. com


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Paparazzi 19

April 22, 2011

Patrons of the ‘Pride of the Country’ awards Elena Pinchuk (L) and Victor Pinchuk Pakistan Ambassador Ahmad Nawaz Saleem Mela (L)

The Klitschko brothers congratulate Andriy Zhovtonoh (R), who rescued his younger brother from a well.

Solomiya Lukyanets, who won the New Wave song contest holds up her award for ‘Rare Talent.’

Former President Leonid Kuchma (C) with his wife Lyudmyla (L)

Honoring ordinary heroes

Ice skaters Yulia Kryzhanovska (L) and Povilas Vanagas

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation held 'The Pride of the Country’ awards on April 14, which honors ordinary people for their extraordinary actions or talents. In its eighth year, the ceremony brings together Ukraine’s political and business elite and nominees in 11 categories, from Best Doctor to Best Neighbor. Andriy Zhovtonoh, 12, won two awards in Children’s Bravery and Nation’s Pride, for saving his 5-year-old brother who fell into a well. Andriy held his brother on his shoulders standing in the cold water up to his for neck seven hours until police and relatives found them. (Andriy Kravchenko, courtesy)


20 Lifestyle

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

Then and now: Josef Stalin preserved in Kyiv

The only surviving ‘Josef Stalin’ locomotive stands in Kyiv near the railway station. (Joseph Sywenkyj)

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115 kilometers per hour, as noted in the technical railway directory in 1941. Before World War II, more than 600 iron “Stalins” joined Moscow with St. Petersburg, Minsk, Kyiv, and many other towns, including those in Siberia and the Caucasus. When the war broke out, trains were used in transporting military cargo to and from arms factories in Siberia to the front. Yet, despite their seemingly invincible name, trains couldn’t handle war conditions: Due to their sophisticated design, they required coal of the highest quality and delicate maintenance unavailable during the war. In the late 1940s, they were turned back into regular passenger trains, but a decade later all but one were decommissioned and dismantled for scrap metal, according to Kyiv historian Vitaliy Kovalynsky. “This train, however, had to undergo some political makeover,” added Kovalynsky. “Joseph Stalin” was renamed as “The U.S.S.R.” when Nikita Khrushchev, the next communist leader, came to power and helped to debunk Stalin’s personality cult.

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Glorifying Josef Stalin always causes controversy. While many Soviet-built statues to one of history’s greatest mass murderers have been struck down in Ukraine, one remains standing in Kyiv. The “Josef Stalin” locamotive, which

once connected Kyiv with Russia, is perched on the rails near the southern entrance to the central railway station, behind the Butterfly Ultramarine cinema. Designed by Soviet engineers in the early 1930s, this train used to be the most powerful locamotive on the tracks. It was able to accelerate up to

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BY O L E S YA O L E S H KO

While history books no longer glorify the man who sent millions of people to die in the gulags or starved them to death during the 1930s famine, some people, mainly the elderly, still praise the leader. They show up with Stalin’s portraits during Victory Day demonstrations and protect a handful of his statues left in Ukraine. One of these monuments, built in Zaporizhzhya in

2010, lasted only nine months before it was blown up by unidentified people in late December. Some communists are pushing for the Kyiv train to get its original name back. “When the current capitalist government is gone, we’ll honor comrade Stalin in the way he deserves,” said communist and former lawmaker Yuriy Solomatin. His political opponent, Stepan Kurpil from ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s bloc, said that any promotion of Stalin’s “glorified legacy” should be forbidden by the law. Some historians, however, say that the train should get its original name back, regardless the political debate. “We can discuss a lot about the positive and negative aspects of Stalin’s rule,” said Olha Fedotova, the researcher in the Museum of Ukraine’s History. “But it is a part of our history that shouldn’t be forgotten.” Kovalynsky also backed the idea, saying the train was not a member of the Communist Party and should not be treated as an enemy of the state. Kyiv Post staff writer Olesya Oleshko can be reached at oleshko@kyivpost.com

Locomotives named after Joseph Stalin used to be the most powerful trains before World War II. (Courtesy)


www.kyivpost.com

Paparazzi 21

April 22, 2011

Six different types of Hungarian wine were offered to guests.

Wine-tasting, Hungarian style

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Hungarian Ambassador Mihรกly Bayer (C)

In commemoration of its first-ever presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Hungarian Embassy held a wine tasting reception on April 14, which featured six different types of its homegrown wine. Attended by scores of diplomats and members of parliament, the event was part of Hungaryโ€™s campaign to present its major values on an international level, including viniculture, and to introduce the best Hungarian wines to the EU and other countries. The social event was hosted by Hungarian Ambassador Mihaly Bayer. The wines selected were not only chosen for their superior quality, but also for the extent to which they match the dishes served. Catering at the event reflected the characteristics of Hungarian cuisine. The eveningโ€™s menu was composed with the assistance of master chef Lรกszlรณ Ruprecht. (Joseph Sywenkyj)

Parliamentary deputy Taras Chornovil (C)

Alexander Bayerl (C), director of the Austrian Cultural Forum

Networking gets better when the dinner is served.

If you want Kyiv Post Paparazzi to cover your event, please send details or invitations to news@kyivpost.com or contact photo editor Yaroslav Debelyi at 234-6500

%MPLOYMENT

PECHERSK SCHOOL INTERNATIONAL KYIV The IB World School in Kyiv, Ukraine

QUALIFIED SECONDARY SCHOOL SPANISH TEACHER (Part time) To teach the International Baccalaureate Diploma programme to students in grade 11 and 12. Requirements: Fluent English speaker Degree in Spanish Teaching qualification Minimum 2 years teaching experience

LAB ASSISTANT FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL (Full time) To assist the Science teachers in secondary school Requirements: Knowledge of English with Science background preferred Please forward CV direct to communication@psi.kiev.ua indicating the position you are applying for. The closing date for all vacancies is May 6th , 2011

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22 %MPLOYMENT

WWWKYIVPOSTCOM

April 22, 2011

The EBRD TAM Programme in Ukraine funded by the EU, is looking for a:

LOCAL MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES:

ECM Analyst

• Valuations of companies and start-up ventures (including those publicly listed and closely held), including DCF valuations, traded and acquisition comparable Due diligence • Preparation of presentations and investment memoranda • Preparation of proposals • Industry research • Financial modeling

REQUIREMENTS

• Minimum 1 years corporate finance experience in an investment bank, management consulting firm or Big 4 company • Excellent written and oral communication skills (bilingual) • Highly competent in financial mathematics, finance and investments • Strong understanding of accounting standards – including the differences between RAS and US GAAP/IAS • Excellent English language skills • Self-motivated • Ability to work long hours • High level of accuracy and expertise , attentive to details • Resourcefulness, innovativeness and competitiveness • Ability to work under pressure and to keep deadlines • High sense of ethics and propriety • Excellent computer skills

RESPONSIBILITIES:

ECM Associates

• Valuations of companies and start-up ventures (including those publicly listed and closely held), including DCF valuations, traded and acquisition comparable Due diligence • Preparation of presentations and investment memoranda • Preparation of proposals • Identification of potential projects, target companies, and products • Industry research • Financial modeling • Marketing process-identification of potential counterparties (buyers, investors) and pro-active contact with investor groups • "Project management" work with clients • Development of a good in-depth knowledge & understanding of at least one major industry (telecoms, oil &gas, steel, etc.) • Supervision of 1-3 analysts

REQUIREMENTS:

• Minimum 2-3 years corporate finance experience in an investment bank, management consulting firm or Big 4 company, or a top-school MBA • Excellent written and oral communication skills (bilingual) • Highly competent in financial mathematics, finance and investments • Thorough knowledge of all aspects of business-management, strategy, operations, accounting, marketing, human resources, etc. • Strong understanding of accounting standards – including the differences between RAS and US GAAP/IAS • Excellent English language skills • Self-motivated • Ability to work long hours • High level of accuracy and expertise • Resourcefulness, innovativeness and competitiveness • Ability to work under pressure and to keep deadlines • High sense of ethics and propriety • Excellent computer skills

RESPONSIBILITIES:

DCM Associates

• Valuations of companies and start-up ventures (including those publicly listed and closely held), including DCF valuations, traded and acquisition comparable Due diligence • Preparation of presentations and investment memoranda • Preparation of proposals • Identification of potential projects, target companies, and products • Financial modeling • Marketing process-identification of potential counterparties (buyers, investors) and pro-active contact with investor groups • "Project management" work with clients • Supervision of 1-3 analysts

REQUIREMENTS:

• Minimum 2-3 years corporate finance experience in an investment bank, management consulting firm or Big 4 company, or a top-school MBA • Excellent written and oral communication skills (bilingual) • Highly competent in financial mathematics, finance and investments • Thorough knowledge of all aspects of business-management, strategy, operations, accounting, marketing, human resources, etc. • Good knowledge of debt instruments • Strong understanding of accounting standards – including the differences between RAS and US GAAP/IAS • Excellent English language skills • Self-motivated • Ability to work long hours • High level of accuracy and expertise • Resourcefulness, innovativeness and competitiveness • Ability to work under pressure and to keep deadlines • High sense of ethics and propriety • Excellent computer skills

If interested, please send your cover letter and CV to recruitment@troika.ru For more information please call (44) 207-37-80

Contracting basis: Consultancy contract, located in Kiev, but travelling frequently in Ukraine, for a 1-year term (with a 3 month probationary period), with the potential to extend.

The Turnaround Management (TAM) Programme is a donor funded capacity building programme run by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), focusing on local private enterprises and their management. (www.ebrd.com/tambas). TAM helps small and medium to large sized enterprises transform themselves. TAM advisors enable enterprises to make structural changes and develop new business skills at senior management level, helping them to thrive and compete in market economies. TAM’s advisory services are provided by experienced directors and industry experts. Advisors transfer management and technical know-how to enterprises, conveying principles of responsible corporate governance and sharing commercial experience directly with senior managers. A TAM Programme has recently received funding by the European Union Eastern Partnership Programme in Ukraine and activities are about to commence. Key Responsibilities and Deliverables The EU funded TAM Programme is looking for a Local Manager to perform the following functions: ‹      /( ƒ ‹  /(    + 2 + /( ƒ ‹     /(    /( ƒ ‹(          /( ƒ ‹'   /(¢  ƒ     0  - ƒ ‹'     /(   ƒ ‹*   /((     §       ƒ ‹     0.  ( ƒ    0ƒ ‹      - $   ƒ ‹'       ¢   ‚ Essential Skills, Experience and Qualifications ‹.                 ƒ     ƒ  ÂĄÂƒ ‹(  z ¢     ƒ  ƒ  ƒ ‹!      ƒ ‹!       ƒ ‹+ƒ   

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RTI International is an independent non-profit research organization dedicated to conducting research and development that improves the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. We offer innovative solutions across a range of areas including economic development, governance, education, health, and technology. RTI is seeking candidates for the following positions to support anticipated USAID-funded Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS projects in Ukraine. All applicants should have excellent English language skills; Ukrainian/Russian language skills will be preferred. • Chief of Party. Applicants must have a minimum of 12 years’ experience implementing health programs, preferably in the area of RH/FP or HIV/AIDS; Experience in Ukraine or E&E region; Experience working in a Chief of Party / Senior Management position for a USAID or PEPFAR funded project; Demonstrated capacity to effectively manage client relationships, staff, and project deliverables; MD or equivalent of MPH, MA/MS in related field. • Senior FP/RH Advisor. Applicants must have at least 5-7 years experience working on FP/RH programs in Ukraine; MD or equivalent of MPH, MA/MS in related field; Experience with USAID/PEPFAR preferred. • HIV/AIDS Advisor. Applicants must have at least 5-7 years’ experience working on HIV/AIDS programs in Ukraine or E&E region in prevention, care, treatment, support and/or HIV networking/advocacy; MD or equivalent of MPH, MA/MS in related field; Experience with USAID/PEFPAR preferred. • M&E Specialist. Applicant must have 6-8 years’ experience developing M&E plans for USAID health projects; providing support to COP and technical teams in the development and tracking of project indicators; Experience with FP/RH and HIV/AIDS performance indicators a plus; Experience with USAID/PEPFAR preferred; Bachelors degree required. • Finance and Administration Manager. Applicants must have at least 8-10 years’ experience working in finance and administration for USAID-funded projects; Prior experience overseeing HR, finance, grants, and administration activities; Masters in Business Administration, Finance, or related; Experience with RH or PEPFAR projects preferred. How to Apply: Submit a detailed CV with contact information to cihstaffing@rti.org. Indicate “Ukraineâ€? in the subject line. Deadline for submission of applications is May 15, 2011. Only short listed applicants will be contacted. RTI is proud to be an EEO/ AA employer.

     -

Earn $2000 or more per month!

A prime fashion boutique in the center of Kyiv is looking for a

BOUTIQUE’S DIRECTOR

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Motivated, ambitious, positive, client oriented, with perfect English and understanding of fashion business. Among the other duties, she/he will have to: • Train and lead the sales staff to outstanding results • Participate in the buying process • Achieve the targeted financial results • Create a fresh, innovative, modern environment Salary: 16.000 Hrn

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Please send your CV to lisunova@ubg.ua. For more information: 067 328-96-40

The

OFFICE MANAGER/ TRANSLATOR

The ideal candidate is someone: who possesses great English-language skills who enjoys working in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment at Ukraine’s leading English-language newspaper who has journalism and website experience The position requires someone who has a positive attitude, who can quickly and accurately translate letters and e-mails on occasion and excels at solving problems in support of the advertising and editorial staff. Please e-mail CV and cover letter to Brian Bonner, senior editor, at:

who is eager for career advancement

bonner@kyivpost.com

IS LOOKING FOR A

The

IS LOOKING FOR A

DESIGNER for the print media

Conditions: Location: 22B Prorizna street, courtyard Time: full-time job We offer: stable and on-time competitive wage; medical insurance Responsibilities: Create, review and assemble advertising and marketing layouts, graphics for special projects and price lists Create Employment/Classifieds section layouts according to the approved design concept of the publication

Requirements: Expert experience in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, In Design Strong understanding of publication design standards and specifications (Style Book) Knowledge and Experience with publishing work and printing technology Adobe Flash, ability to create a flash banner is an advantage English is an advantage Personal qualities: Responsibility Creativity Ability to work as a part of a team

Get more information about Kyiv Post at www.kyivpost.com/newspaper/ Please submit your resume with the desirable salary to hr@kyivpost.com indicating the name of the vacancy "Designer" in the subject line.


WWWKYIVPOSTCOM

%MPLOYMENT#LASSIFIEDS23

April 22, 2011

Chemonics International is recruiting for the following long term positions for a potential Ukraine Tuberculosis project: &VSPQFBO#VTJOFTT"TTPDJBUJPO XXXFCBDPNVB

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Chief of Party – lead project technical direction; design and oversee an annual project cycle; support the overall program planning and budgeting processes; oversee the financial and administrative matters of the project and supervise project staff. Based in the Ukraine office. Minimum masters degree in public health or equivalent field; minimum 10 years of experience in health in developing countries and at least 5 years senior level experience managing a large health project with a number of partners; Ukraine experience preferred. Excellent communication skills, including writing skills in English.

Deputy Chief of Party – Based in the Ukraine Office, the Deputy Chief of Party will oversee implementation of TB technical and operational activities in accordance with the TB program work plan, including the supervision of a TB technical team. This position will report directly to the Chief of Party. MPH or equivalent degree and 5 years of experience in a TB/HIV program. Knowledge of National health structures and policies, including Most at Risk Populations, TB and TB/HIV. Strong

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management and strategic planning skills. Excellent communication skills, including writing skills in English.

Tuberculosis

social science or a related degree; professional training in project monitoring and evaluation and at least 5 years work experience directing monitoring and evaluation component of a large USAID project.

Specialists

– lead project tuberculosis activities in a number of potential project areas including but not limited to laboratory strengthening, policy, treatment and DOTS implementation, human resources development, procurement and logistics, community mobilization, work with marginalized populations including prison populations and advocacy.

HIV/AIDS Specialist

– lead project strategy development for integrated HIV/AIDS and TB components design and implementation. Adapt existing tools to meet demands of partnering organizations. Provide technical input to relevant stakeholders.

5 – 10 years experience working in the relevant program area, Advanced degree in relevant field. Experience in Ukraine or former Soviet countries preferred.

Advanced degree in public health or equivalent experience. Professional training in HIV prevention strategies and behavior change communications. At least 5 years work experience with TB/HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment or care organizations in Ukraine

Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist – lead project monitoring and

BCC/ACSM specialist – lead project strategy development for comprehensive behavior change communications strategy at the national, and sub national levels.

evaluation programmatic efforts including review of project objectives, work plans, indicators, and measurement tools. Establish requirements and guidelines for a performance monitoring system in compliance with project reporting.

Advanced communications related degree. Professional training or experience with behavior

Minimum advanced degree in public health or

change communications for health, with a particular focus on Tuberculosis. At least 5 years work experience in this area desired, experience in Ukraine preferred.

Capacity Building Specialist – coordinates all capacity building and organizational development efforts, with a potential focus on laboratory strengthening. Advanced degree in public health or equivalent experience. Professional training in organizational capacity building and development, and 7-10 years experience providing technical assistance.

Grants Specialist:

assist with the structuring and implementation of project grants fund. Analyze, assess and assist with budgetary and financial aspects of grant and contracts proposal; ensure effective liaison between project staff and grant recipients. Minimum 5 years of experience managing grants and/or contracts for USAID funded projects; proven excellent management and administrative skills with respect to managing grant programs and subcontracts.

Candidates with English, Russian and Ukrainian skills preferred. Please submit CV and cover letter via email to UTBRecruit@chemonics.com. Finalists will be contacted.

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24 Photo Story

www.kyivpost.com

April 22, 2011

Sunset at Engure Lake in Latvia

Spying on wildlife in Ukraine and Latvia European Herring Gull rushes to her nest.

A newborn long-eared owl spotted in Kyiv.

Photographing wild birds could perhaps be seen as a more difficult form of being a paparazzo. This kind of photography takes skills far beyond the mastery of shooting. Apart from good cameras, the photographer needs to have a good knowledge of ornithology, a branch of zoology specializing in birds, to predict and understand the behavior and peculiarities of various species. This helps the photographer produce astonishing shots. Taking a picture may last from a few hours to a day. To shoot wildlife, one must build a special shelter with an opening for the camera lenses and let the birds get used to it. Then the photographer’s task is to stay alert, without making noise as any movement can scare the bird away, adding more and more hours of waiting. Unlike other types of photography, shooting wildlife is a tedious process that yields only a few pictures. But if everything goes right, the efforts pay off in a sense of joy for both the photographer and the viewer. Story by Nataliya Horban Photos by Yaroslav Debelyi

A swan takes off from a lake.

Coots, one of the most hunted bird species in Ukraine, hatch in a nest.


#16|APR22|2011