Monthly Archives: July 2015

Putin’s ratings and Ukraine


Article by: Oleksandr Kurylenko

According to Russian journalist Alexander Sotnik, Putin is a professional liar who himself does not really believe that Ukrainians and Russians are “one people.” Sotnik shared these and other views on Putin and Russia with during a recent interview.

You spend a lot of time speaking with ordinary Russian citizens. How do you explain what appear to be Putin’s sky-high ratings by European standards?

In authoritarian countries opinion polls are the first to disappear. Then the opposition media goes away. The opinion polls are conducted according to orders, to support those in power. This does not mean that Putin does not have support. But it is different. Putin is supported by those who are fortunate. These are very different kinds of people — starting with officials and oligarchs and ending with law enforcement and FSB people. They represent about 34%. Those who simply don’t care are at 45%. These people are silent. And then there are up to 20% of those who under certain circumstances would be ready to protest in Continue reading

Do not install MacKeeper


Many users will see references to an application called MacKeeper on various web sites and via pop-ups on their browser. Not only is it expensive for what it purports to do (freeware applications that do the same or more are readily available), it can sometimes install itself without the user realising it, and it can be very tricky to get rid of.

MacKeeper has been described by various sources as highly invasive malware* that can de-stablize your operating system, adding that it is Continue reading

Analyst: The Methods Moscow has Chosen to Fight Economic Crisis Will Only Deepen It

2015/7/29 11:39:44

The Russian government’s decision to try to balance the budget on the backs of the population by cutting pensions and reducing social spending has had the effect of cutting consumer demand at precisely the time when such demand could play a positive role in getting the Russian economy out of its slump.

By Paul Goble* for “Windows on Eurasia”:

July 28 – Because Moscow cannot cut spending on oil and gas as that sector is too closely tied to Putin, cannot cut spending on defense because of the military buildup, and cannot attract outside investment because of sanctions, the Kremlin is putting all the burden on the population, reducing effective demand, and making the situation even worse. Continue reading

Analyzing Using Discrepancy Charts

By Jim Onyschuk

Dealing with discrepancies and inconsistencies are a matter of course when doing genealogical research. Discrepancy Charts are logs which record the existence of contradictory information about the same individual. They are a useful way of keeping track of particular problems that need to be solved. A Discrepancy Chart helps you organize conflicting dates or places for a specific event in a person’s life.

Genealogical data will fall into the following categories:

  • Totally consistent, where every document provides the same date and place for each event, and there is no conflict between sources
  • There is some conflict, but the data is consistent enough that different researchers can reach the same conclusion
  • Completely inconsistent and inconclusive

A very common discrepancy may occur with age. For instance, a tombstone may indicate one age, a census another and immigration records yet another.

Example #1
When researching my grandfather Peter DUTKA, I found conflicting birth dates. In various records, there was differing birth years indicated for Peter. His daughters maintained that he was born on July 10, 1895. However, I found records to indicate that he was born in 1897. Which was the true year 1895 or 1897?


Why was there a two year discrepancy in his birth year dates? Would there have been a reason to say he was older? My first thought was to wonder “By upping his age, would this allow him to get out of school to work full-time on the farm and elsewhere and not have to attend school?” Was there a mandatory age for children remaining in school, when Peter went? I also speculated that, when he was older, he would have been eligible to receive Old Age Security at an earlier age.


I asked my aunt, why were there two different years listed? I offered my speculations at which she chuckled. She revealed that when he was immigrating, there was a special lower rate for children below a certain age, i.e. aged 10. Peter’s mother had the village priest prepare a document indicating that he was born in 1897, which qualified him for the special children’s rate. I imagine that this was probably a very common practice, which would have had the ship’s bursars scratching their heads, wondering about these very tall Ukrainian children roaming the decks.

Example #2
Searching for my grandmother’s (Mary DUTKA, nee BOJACZUK) date and place of birth, I found two different birth localities and two different birth dates.


The mystery is was Mary born in Storo Siolo or in Canada as was related by the daughters? If she was born on January 14, 1898, then she would have been born in Galicia (now Ukraine). If she was born January 14, 1899, this would place her in Canada. There is no record of Mary immigrating to Canada, which means that she was born here. Since the Census records and her marriage records indicate a Canadian birth then she would have been born January 14, 1899, 6 months after her parents arrived in Canada.

Often you will be unable to explain the difference and may never be able to say with a degree of certainty which date or location for an event is correct. There are cases where almost every document or record gives a different age or place of birth and determining which one is correct can be nearly impossible. The purpose of discrepancy charts is to summarize the conflicts between different record sources and to indicate the source for each conflicting piece of data. Using discrepancy charts will more easily allow you to weigh the evidence.

Primary and Secondary Sources

While analyzing conflicting pieces of information; researchers need to be aware of the

differences between primary and secondary sources. A source is considered to be primary if it was an original record recorded close to the time when the event actually took place, such as a Birth/Baptism Record and the informant had a logical reason to know the information and was likely present at the event. A source that is not primary is considered secondary.

Classifying a source as primary or secondary does not comment about its accuracy. Secondary sources can be correct and primary sources can be wrong. However, more credence is placed in primary sources for an event, especially when there are two or more primary sources that corroborate each other.

In some cases, you may not be able to determine who provided the information and therefore not know for certain if it is a primary or secondary record. Some records have a place for informant, but many do not.

In the examples listed above, the sources all listed are secondary sources for birth dates and birthplace. This does not mean that they are wrong; however, in this case since they all provide different birthdates, some of them are obviously incorrect.

Sources do not always agree, and the sources can easily be wrong. For these reasons, you need to access more than one record or source where possible and focus on primary sources if available. However, there are times when primary sources are not available and we are left to rely on a number of secondary sources. In my examples, I have no primary sources to call on, namely the birth certificates for Peter or Mary that lists their date and place of birth.

One Last Important Note

You should never change a source to correct it. If you are not fortunate enough to

determine the cause of the discrepancy, or at least be able to explain it, indicate that in

your notes. If not, leave it to others to solve this mystery.

Understanding the Ukrainians in WWII Part 3. Of German plans and German collaborators.


Article by: James Oliver

On May 22 Volodymyr Katriuk, a Ukrainian World War II veteran and a suspected participant in the massacre of the 186 inhabitants of the Belarusian village of Khatyn [1] passed away in Canada. For years his name had been at the center of a diplomatic row between Russia and Canada over Russian plans to extradite him to Moscow in order to stand trial for his role in the massacre. In 1999 a Canadian court had cleared Katriuk of war crimes, finding him guilty only of falsifying his name in 1951 to obtain Canadian citizenship. Later in 2008 NKVD documents surfaced further indicting Katriuk of having been complicit in the massacre. At the time of his death he remained no.2 on the Simon Wiesenthal Center‘s “List of Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals.”

It sometimes happens that Westerners know little about Ukrainians and Lithuanians except their reputation as anti-Semites and willing collaborators in the Holocaust Continue reading

Moscow military analyst: Preparing for a war in 2025, Putin wants new Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to divide up Ukraine

PEACE A LA RUSSE: The red and blue arrows form a Russian word "МИР" meaning "peace" in this cartoon from a Russian newspaper. (Image: A LA RUSSE: The red and blue arrows form a Russian word “МИР” meaning “peace” in this cartoon from a Russian newspaper. (Image: 

Vladimir Putin changed his public assessment of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pactwhich opened the way to World War II because he wants a new Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with the West to divide up Ukraine and give him time to prepare for a new world “resource war” at the end of the 2020s, according to Pavel Felgengauer.

Felgengauer, perhaps Russia’s leading independent military analyst, says that in Moscow today, there is still circulating the view that the West would be prepared to give up Ukraine in exchange for something else and that such a swap could serve Russia’s purposes because Moscow does not want Ukraine or even part of Ukraine to be part of the West. Continue reading

Hey, Putin, have you seen how much China is investing in Ukraine?

By Samuel Ramani July 24


Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) greets Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony in Ufa on July 10, 2015 at the start of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images

On July 6, the Financial Times reported that Ukraine has become the largest corn exporter to China, surpassing the United States. This was surprising, as America has historically possessed a near-monopoly on corn exports to China. Ukraine’s increased role in providing food for China also extends beyond corn. Since the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea, Ukraine has increased its agricultural trade with China by 56 percent. Continue reading

Moscow’s Ukrainian war again filling Russian streets with invalids

A one-armed Russian veteran of the Kremlin's invasion into Ukraine panhandling in a Moscow metro station. His sign says: "Help please on a prosthetic." (Image: Erich Hartmann on YouTube)A one-armed Russian veteran of the Kremlin’s invasion into Ukraine panhandling in a Moscow metro station. His sign says: Help please on a prosthetic.” (Image: Erich Hartmann on YouTube) Moscow may be able to disown two of its soldiers who fought in its war in Ukraine, and it may even be able to convince many Russians and the gullible in the West that doing so is somehow appropriate. But as in Soviet times, it won’t be able to hide one of the most serious costs that aggression: the increasing number of war invalids on Russian streets.

Almost 30 years ago and in response to the outrageous claims of Russian officials Continue reading

New video promotes Ukraine’s strengths

640,000 graduates

July 10, 2015, 6:08 p.m. | Ukraine — by Yuliana Romanyshyn

A screenshot from the new video from Ukraine’s Economy Ministry.
© Courtesy

Yuliana Romanyshyn

A new two-minute video “Ukraine Reborn” emphasizes the positive side of the nation.

It was released on July 9 by the Economy Ministry on its YouTube channel. It was shot especially for the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum, organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The forum takes place on July 13 in Washington, D.C.

The video starts with the message “Ukraine Reborn. Driven by the New Generation. Unlimited Opportunities” and draws attention to promising areas Continue reading

Little Ukraine: A story about Ukrainians living in New York


An embroidered picture of a Ukrainian couple at Yaroslav “Jerry” Skrypets’ apartment in East Village, New York, NY.
© Anastasia Vlasova

Editor’s Note: This story was made as a part of Magnum Foundation Human Rights and Photography Fellowship at New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

“Little Ukraine” is a story about exploring different kinds of patriotic feelings and connections to the homeland which Ukrainian immigrants built and experience. Continue reading