History of Ukraine in the 20th century: people and events

DINAU Ukrainian Information Agency has announced the results of opinion polls conducted by Ukrainian media to determine the most important events in Ukraine's history of the 20th century and its most prominent and influential personalities. Events: 1. Proclamation of the Ukrainian People's Republic in 1918. 2. Referendum held in 1991, at which the people of Ukraine in their prevailing majority supported Ukraine's independence. 3. Adoption of the Constitution in 1996. People: Mykhaylo Hrushevsky, President of Ukrainian People's Republic in 1918; Leonid Kuchma, current President of Ukraine, re-elected to presidency in 1999; Metropolitan Mstyslav; ex-president Leonid Kravchuk; financier Vadym Hetman (the one who was responsible for introducing Hryvnya, new Ukrainian currency); Vyacheslav Chornovil, Head of the Rukh Movement (thanks to whose political efforts Ukraine began getting rid of communist ideology).

Ukrainian economy begins to grow

The general volume of industrial production, compared to 1998, grew by 4.3 percent in 1999, and average daily growth was 5.6 percent, which, according to the Derzhkomstat (State Committee for Statistics), are the first signs of industrial growth observed in Ukraine in the past ten years. According to preliminary reports, Ukrainian exports in 1999 were worth 15.6 billion US dollars, and imports 13.6 billion dollars.

Thus, the positive balance, the first ever in the history of independent Ukraine, was 2 billion. Foreign trade was conducted with 182 countries. Among Ukraine's exports, products of metallurgic, machine building and food industries are the most important.

Food Ukrainians like best

In an all-Ukrainian poll conducted by the Institute of Social and Political Psychology of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in December 1999, 3600 respondents gave the following replies to a question: "Which food on the list attached you regard as being a symbol of Ukrainian national cuisine?":
Borshch (beet soup with many ingredients)
Varenyky (sort of stuffed dumplings)
Samohon (home-made vodka)
Kutya (Christmas dish)
Kulish (kind of soup)
Red beets
This material has been originally published in the Day newspaper

New expedition to Ukrainian station in the Antarctic

The Fifth Ukrainian Antarctic expedition went to the Antarctic in January for a spell of scientific research work and observation at the Academician Vernadsky Ukrainian Antarctic Station. Almost 6 million hryvnyas were allocated for the purposes of the expedition which is made up of 12 polar explorers. They sailed on board the research ship Horyzont with a 14-strong crew. The ship will bring back to Ukraine the members of the previous polar expedition.
The polar "summer" is short and a lot has to be done before the severest of winters on the globe returns. The National Space Agency of Ukraine provides constant communication with the Vernadsky station via Ukrainian and US satellites. Data of meteorological and other observations obtained in the Antarctic are processed at scientific centres of Ukraine. Polar exploration and space exploration go hand in hand. Leonid Kadenyuk, the first Ukrainian spaceman to go up into space on board an American shuttle, headed the commission that selected polar explorers for the current expedition. The youngest member of the expedition is Oleksandr Kamenev, 28, a native of Kharkiv, an expert in radioelectronics and in seismology. He was chosen out of 20 applicants for the job (no women yet in Ukrainian polar expeditions). The members of the expedition were put through a series of tests to determine their psychological compatibility. These tests were designed for spacemen who go on long missions to space. The main lines of research to be done at the polar station were set up in accordance with the SCAR (international scientific body regulating research in the Antarctic) requirements. There were established 9 most important fields of activity, among them: hydrochemical and dynamic monitoring of nearby islands (in fact, the Ukrainian polar station is situated on one of such off shore islands, Galindez); study of solar corpuscular and radiation energy distribution on the surface of the earth; monitoring of the seismic situation in the southern hemisphere; ecological impact of the polar station on the adjacent environment; assessment of the potential availability of ores' deposits in the Antarctic under-ice geological formations; birds migrations; fluctuations in the krill population in the coastal waters. The head of the expedition is ecologist Yaroslav Kutsenko, PhD in physics and mathematics. It is his first expedition to the Antarctic but his beard gives him an appearance of an experienced polar explorer. When asked before departure what or who he would miss most in the icy fields of the Antarctic, he said it would the warmth of the presence of his granddaughters in his native town of Uzhgorod.

Valid and Omar Harfouch.
Elite Model Look Contest to be held in Geneva
Two brothers of the Lebanese descent, Omar and Valid Harfouch, well-known businessmen in Ukraine, owners of the popular Super Nova Radio Station in Kyiv, and organizers of Elite Model Look contests held in Ukraine and in four other countries, have signed a new five-year contract for organizing the finals of the world Elite Model Look beauty contest. The Elite company these days faces certain problems but Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and other supermodels are not in a hurry to change allegiance and terminate their contracts with the Elite Agency in search of better propositions.
The brothers Harfouch hope that soon the situation will change for the better. From now on, girls under 16 will not be allowed to take part in the Elite beauty contests (last year, Vika Sementsova, a 14-year old Ukrainian, won the contest). The 17th Elite Model Look contest will be held in Geneva. Says Omar Harfouch, president of the Super Nova Geneva Company: "Geneva is a city of bustling business. It is a circumstance that favours professionalism. I'm confident we'll be able to capture at least 350 million TV viewers all around the world, and we also hope that we'll have a very good press."

Fedir Savchenko and his model.


Second Prize in Smirnoff Fashion Awards Contest
Fedir Savchenko, 23, a fashion designer from Kyiv, won the second prize at the Smirnoff Fashion Awards contest held in Hong Kong at which 29 countries were represented. The first prize went to Ignacio Layola from the Philippines who presented a dress made of tropical plants. Savchenko showed a commercial jacket and skirt set and avant-garde evening dress made of light-reflecting fabric. The fabric and unusual cut corresponded to the contest's motto: Virtual Nature. Savchenko works for the Serhiy Byzov Fashion House. He plans to spend the 5,000 dollars of prize money on travels.

Maksym Fedorchuk.

Maths Champion from Leader school
Maksym Fedorchuk, an 11th grade student of the Leader lycee (secondary school of advanced studies), won a gold medal at the International Mathematics Olympiad held in Bucharest in 1999. 84 countries sent their best maths secondary school students to Bucharest. Maksym Fedorchuk proved he was the best in a tough contest, with representatives from Rumania and Hungary following close behind.

Maksym believes he'll make a successful career in science, he has a clear-cut goal that he wants to achieve but has no ambition to win the Nobel prize. His hobby is tennis. He was invited to continue studies at the most prestigious universities and schools of America and Europe but he decided to go back to his Leader school. Incidentally, there were 11 students from the Leader school in the 17-strong Ukrainian maths team. Upon Maksym's return to Ukraine, the mayor of Kyiv awarded the talented winner a special prize. At a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the Little Academy of Sciences (an institution for promotion of young talents in science and arts) whose lectures and seminars are regularly attended by about 6,000 high school students of Kyiv, it was mentioned that in the past three years not a single winner of International Maths and Physics Olympiads had left Ukraine to study abroad in spite of numerous invitations to do so. Young and talented Ukrainians prefer to make scientific careers in their native country.

Volodymyr Soroka.

Esperanto and international contacts
Esperanto is an artificial language which was invented by Lazarus Ludwig Zamenhof, a Polish oculist and philologist in 1887. An international youth organization, Gaudeamus, has worked out a special programme, International Contacts, which is designed to help people leaving their native countries to study, work or live abroad. The programme includes, as part of the training course, short, free of charge stays in foreign countries which have joined the programme. The programme includes a course of Esperanto, the knowledge of which makes it much easier to study other foreign languages.

The Esperanto course is combined with classes on ethics of human contacts, economical meals, hitchhiking, computer information, visa support. It is hoped that the Programme, supported by 82 countries, will be helpful in establishing better linguistic and people-to-people contacts. The manager of the Ukrainian part of the project Volodymyr Soroka, a music composer and singer, believes that Esperanto helps people bring about changes in their lives which otherwise they are incapable of achieving, and also awaken the lust for life.

Dry-cargo ship Arizona built in Kyiv
An 86-metre long dry-cargo ship of 1,500 tonnage was launched by the Zavod Leninska Kuznya ship-building factory. A German company commissioned the building of the ship which was christened Arizona. It is the fifth ship the Zavod Leninska Kuznya ship-building factory built last year and prospects for this year are good too. The ship builders will not go unemployed as they have orders for ships amounting to 500 million dollars. At present Zavod is building navy ships for the Ukrainian Navy and coast patrol. All the necessary materials come from Ukraine and it means that a steady number of working places is maintained in supplying industries.

Krystal makes diamonds
The Krystal factory in Vinnytsya has begun making unique, fully-cut microdiamonds. They are so small that a thousand of such stones weigh only 0.2 grams. Krystal is the biggest factory of its kind in Ukraine. Its share in the world sale of diamonds is 4 percent, and it is the only factory in Ukraine that produces certified diamonds and diamonds of the Princess kind, the most valued ones in the world.

Tsycklon rocket carrier
Alkanta Space Centre in Brazil will have a launch pad for Ukrainian-built Tsyklon (Cyclone)-4 rocket carriers. Important agreements have already been signed. The newly improved version of the rocket will have 30 percent more fuel and the payload will also be bigger. The new rocket will be jointly built by the Pivdenny State Designers' Bureau and the Italian Company Fiat-Avio. Tsyklon-4, thanks to its technical improvements, will be able to compete well at the rocketry market.

Halyna Starovoyt, president of Sofia Art Company which represents Gottinghen Company in Ukraine, at the opening ceremony of the Gottinghen store.

The first Gottinghen store in Kyiv

An excellent store of the celebrated Gottinghen Company has recently been opened in Hetman Sahaydachny Street in Podil, one of the oldest parts of town. Gottinghen is an Italian company run by the Brognioli family, that specializes in making cooking utensils and metal tableware of extremely high quality. In our pragmatic age we want things to be not only beautiful but also durable, ecologically friendly, convenient in use, efficient. Gottinghen's products possess all these qualities. This company makes both high-quality kitchen and cooking utensils and elegant tableware. The famed Gottinghen Company makes tableware for all those who care for beauty on the table combined with practicalness and superb Italian design.

"Wind of Travel" in Kyiv
February 2 through 5, the House of Cinema in Kyiv was the venue of the first International Tourist Film Festival, Viter Mandriv ("Wind of Travel"). The Festival was organized by the Derzhkomturyzm (State Committee for Tourism), Ministry of Culture and Arts, Derzhteleradio, Kyiv City State Administration, National Union of Film Makers of Ukraine, Derzhinfotur Company.
Valeriy Tzybukh, head of the organizing committee, said that out of 150 films on tourism, advertisement and culture that had been submitted by Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Egypt, South African Republic, Czech Republic and Argentina, 50 films were chosen for the final round in the contest in eight nominations: Tourist Advertisement; Leader; Ukraine as a Tourist State; Best Tourist Centres of Ukraine; Globetrotters; Children's Tourism; Sacred Places; Revival of Spiritual Culture. The jury was made up of tourist film experts, representatives of tourist bodies and cultural figures. Among them Volodymyr Bystryakov, composer; Anatoliy Borsyuk, TV broadcaster; Mykhaylo Illienko, film director. Doctor Hamdi A. Abdel Hamid, a member of the jury (advisor on tourism at the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt), said he hoped good tourist films about Ukraine would entice his countrymen to visit Ukraine as tourists. Yuriy Nekrasov, head of the jury, after three days of almost non-stop viewing of tourist films, evidently became somewhat disoriented as he was reported saying "Good night" to the audience at 12 o'clock noon. The films did show so many wonders of so many lands that it could make anybody's head spin. Many exciting tourist sites of Ukraine were shown in films, including gorgeous parks, the Carpathian Mountains, historical places and resort towns. The films (mostly videos), presented by the Sector A Tourist Company from Kyiv, were of very high quality but, unfortunately, the texts accompanying them were inferior, and it prevented them from being awarded any prizes. In general, most of the films shown were rather traditional, both as far as their visual effects and texts are concerned. Prizes were awarded to Lyudmyla Lysenko, TV broadcaster; Volodymyr Huba, composer; Larysa Rodnyanska, producer; film Karpatska Kazka ("Carpathian Fairy Tale"), and others. Among foreign films, a prize went to Meet South Africa, a film presented at the festival by D. Von Tonden, South African Ambassador in Ukraine. The Grand Prix (and a voucher for staying for two weeks at Oreanda Hotel in summer) was awarded to Volodymyr Harpenko's film about Chernihiv. Harpenko, a professor at a theatrical art college, said that the tourist industry could almost literally make money out of the air all you had to do was to provide adequate service and good entertainment. About one fifth of all the films were devoted to Kyiv. Mykhaylo Shparyk, a member of the jury (and head of the Hotel, Tourism and Excursions Department of Kyiv), had this comment to make: "This is the first festival of such kind to be held in any of the countries of the former Soviet Union. I hope it'll be helpful in promoting tourism. Last year the city of Kyiv received two million tourists, 125,000 of them were foreign tourists. In the past four years, 500 million Hryvnyas have been put into the development of tourism and tourist facilities. Kyiv has a number of excellent hotels, among them Prolisok, Dnipro, Lybid and others. A comprehensive guide- and reference book about Kyiv has been recently published but one must admit that the tourist industry is not provided with adequate information and advertisement materials. This film festival, and the next ones to be held in the future, will be helpful in improving information materials and in turning Kyiv into a tourist Mecca."

Katya Buzhynska.

Pop Singers Riding the Dragon

Katya Buzhynska, 20, a Ukrainian pop singer, has had her name included into the Big Ukrainian Encyclopaedia and into a reference book published by the Cambridge Geographic Society. She has released a new album, Music That You Love (Rostok-Records; producer Yuriy Kvelenkov) which is made up of 10 songs, all of them about love: love for a man, love of the native land, love of life, love of God. Buzhynska's video was shown on Ukrainian television in the New Year 2000 programme right after the chimes struck twelve midnight. Ani Lorak's song, Dzerkala ("Mirrors"; music by Igor Krutoy, a leading Russian composer), was made into a video by Alexander Igudin, a popular video maker from St Petersburg.

Ani Lorak.
The expressive video was made at the Akvatoriya bowling club (producer Yuriy Falyosa). Fans also enjoy watching a video about Lorak's life, Ani Lorak Forever, which reveals some facts, hitherto little known, of her biography. Gorgeous pictures of the 21-year-old singer taken by photographer Oleksandr Krytorchuk are published in a big calendar The Year 2000. They present quite a new image of Ani Lorak to her admirers. Our two pop singers have started the Year of the Dragon well. To which heights of success will the Dragon carry them yet?

These mushrooms have been brought from Japan and now they are cultivated here.

"Your Food Should Be Your Medicine, Your Medicine Should Be Your Food."

These are the words said twenty five hundred years ago by Hippocrates, the great ancient Greek physician. Ukrainian doctors and medical scientists have worked out new technologies of producing food additives, medicinal and cosmetic preparations made from mushrooms. These additives will help increase immunity, help prevent negative effects of environmental pollution, slow down ageing, stimulate the reproductive function. The researchers have studied the experience and discoveries of Ukrainian folk medicine as well as oriental folk medicine which has used certain species of mushrooms for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
Some of the technologies employed in the production of these additives have been used for the first time ever not only in Ukraine but in the world as well, and some of the preparations are quite unique, they are of the kind not made anywhere else in the world. Vesna Zhyttya ("Spring of Life") preparations, which increase the protective mechanisms of the human body, have already been patented. Pivdenny Viter ("Southern Wind") preparations, good for regenerating the skin, are to be patented soon. Biotek Research and Production Centre in Kyiv has begun making some of the new preparations. One can hope that their price will make them accessible to Ukrainians even with low wages.

Awards to the Righteous Men

At the very end of 1999, the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine Ganna Azari awarded The Righteous Men and Women of the World diplomas and medals to those Ukrainians who during the German occupation of Ukraine in the Second World War saved Jews from being executed by the Nazis. 17 Ukrainian names will be carved into the stones of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. These people risked their own lives to save the lives of other people. Among them were the Karpenko family. They took into their family a Jewish girl named Khaya whose parents had been machine-gunned in Babyn Yar in Kyiv. Later, Nadiyka, the blood daughter of the Karpenkos and Khaya were taken away to Germany for slave labour. Nadiyka insisted that Khaya was her Ukrainian cousin. Nina Subotenko saved the life of Yakiv Bogorad by hiding him, a prisoner of war who had run away from a concentration camp, in her house. Bogorad organized an underground resistance group in the village, with his rescuer as one of the members. In 1946, Bogorad and Subotenko were married. The Righteous Men and Women of the World awards have been instituted by the Yad Vashem ("Memory") Memorial Institute.

By H.-H. Pylypenko, Kem Listkov,
Viktor Chepurny and Marysya Horobets