Sports and Politics »

[27 Aug 2009]

Kiev Mayor Leonid Chernovetsky has said he is confident that the final match of the Euro 2012 European Football Championship will be held in the Ukrainian capital.   "The Euro 2012 final will take place in Kiev, and Kiev City State Administration will do all it can for this to be so," he said at a council on preparing the infrastructure of Euro 2012 host cities on Tuesday.   Chernovetsky said that the city administration would ensure the Euro 2012 final is held in Kiev despite all of the economic hardships. The Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) recently overrode a Presidential veto to block additional spending for the Euro 2012 cup which Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland.   "It's a matter of honor for me. Despite the difficult economic situation in the country and following the adoption of the 2009 budget that is discriminatory in respect to Kiev as half of the 2008 budget was stolen from us, I want to say that we'll find a chance for everything to be as I said - the final match of Euro 2012 will take place in Kiev," he said.  

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[26 Aug 2009]

WBC Boxing Champion Vitali Klitschko, occasionally nicknamed “Dr. Iron Fist,” was born in the city of Belovodsk, Ukraine in 1971 and grew up in Kiev. He and his brother, Wladimir have gone on to incredible success in boxing, holding three of the four major World Heavyweight Championships between them.   Holding a Ph. D. in Philosophy of Sports Science, Klitschko began his boxing career around 1995 winning many military and amateur contests. He later made his way into the professional boxing world in 1996 and secured his first World Heavyweight title with the WBO in 1999. One of Vitali’s career-making fights was one that he lost; his bout against British fighter Lennox Lewis in 2003 brought him incredible respect from the international community due to his performance. Vitali only lost the fight due to a technical knockout, as Lewis had opened an enormous gash over Klitschko’s eye.   Vitali retired from boxing in 2005, but remained involved in public life due to an interest in Politics. He campaigned against Leonid “Cosmos” Chernovetsky during the 2006 Kiev mayoral elections, pulling a close second place to the eccentric current mayor. He then returned to boxing despite his previous injuries shortly afterwards, defeating “The Nigerian Nightmare” Samuel Peter for the WBC Championship in 2008.   Vitali Klitschko, despite his reputation as a brutal fighter, has a fair amount of interests outside of the ring that seem uncharacteristic for a boxer. He is an avid chess player, seeing the strategy behind chess and boxing to be remarkable similar, and a good friend of former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik. Vitali and his brother have both also dedicated themselves to helping schools and churches in Kiev and have worked with UNESCO to provide aid in many different countries.  

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[26 Aug 2009]

Ukraine's prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, has donated a tiger she received as a present earlier this week to the Yalta Zoo. The white Bengal tigress cub named TigrYulya, a reference to the premier's first name, has already arrived at its new home on Ukraine's Black Sea resort city.   "This is a fantastic present," said zoo director Oleh Zubkov. "This is the only white tiger in Ukraine."   Zubkov said Tymoshenko had pledged to fund the cub's stay at the private zoo. When given the cub at a music festival on Monday, Tymoshenko joked she would take it to accompany her at crucial talks.   "I am dreaming of taking it to talks, especially when it grows up. It could be more convincing," Tymoshenko said.   Tymoshenko's Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, also received a tiger cub as a present last fall and donated it to a zoo. As premier and during his two terms in office as president Putin has been presented with enough wild animals to open a zoo. The premiers of Ukraine and Russia, whose relations have been strained recently over a host of issues, including natural gas supplies, will meet in Poland on September 1 on the sidelines of events to mark the start of World War II.   Source: RIA Novosti

Sports and Politics »

[24 Aug 2009]

Dozens of young activists stripped down to their bikinis and got splashed with red paint protesting the start of the hunting season on Aug. 15. [More]

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[24 Aug 2009]

In 1991, after a coup attempt in the Soviet Union by hard-line communists tried to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev, Ukraine formally seceded from the Union by signing their Declaration of Independence. Drafted by Soviet Dissident Politician Levko Lukyanenko, the Ukrainian Act of independence declared the formation of an independent Ukrainian State in accordance with the United Nations charter promising Nations the right to self-determination.   That same day, a public referendum was proposed by both the Parliamentary majority and opposition leaders and it was conducted in December of that same year. The Ukrainian people voted 90% in favor of the Act of Declaration of Independence and Ukraine’s status as an independent country was soon recognized by the entire world.  Days after Ukraine signed its act Moldova, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan followed suit and Gorbachev resigned from office.   Ukraine celebrates its 18th year of independence this year, like every year since 1991 the date of celebration is on August 24th.  

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[21 Aug 2009]

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been ranked at No. 47 in the rating of the world's 100 most powerful women according to the Forbes magazine. [More]

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[21 Aug 2009]

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has congratulated his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko on the 18th anniversary of Ukraine's Independence Day to be marked on August 24, information of the Russian Embassy in Kiev. [More]

Sports and Politics »

[20 Aug 2009]

Venus Williams’s tuneup for the United States Open hit a surprising roadblock with a 1-6, 7-5, 6-4 loss to 64th-ranked Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine in the second round of the Rogers Cup in Toronto. Williams, seeded third, was playing at the tournament for the first time since 1997, when she was 17. She has lost all three of her matches at the Rogers Cup. [More]

Sports and Politics »

[6 Aug 2009]

Leonid Chernovetsky, Kiev's Mayor, has been rather legendary for his odd behavior. Nicknamed "Cosmos" by the media due to his odd behavior and strange, other-worldly gaze, the Mayor has cemented his strange reputation recently by announcing his financial plans for the city. His budget-raising plans include charging anyone, from politicians wanting to discuss city planning, to media outlets looking for a photo opportunity up to $100,000 for a meeting and over $11,000 to meet with his ministers. The Mayor has also announced his intention to auction historical buildings and monuments and the city’s fleet of official vehicles. Building off his strange behavior in the past, including feats of athleticism to prove his mental and physical health to the local media, fist-fighting with a rival during his period as a member of Parliament and firing the director of the Kiev Zoo after he decided that the director had failed to find a female for the male elephant in the attraction. Mr. Chernovetsky has recently released an album of covers of popular Russian songs from the 1980’s (album art pictured) and ran for President of Ukraine in 2004.  

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[5 Aug 2009]

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has vetoed budget amendments requiring the National Bank to provide $1 billion for Ukraine's preparations to host the next European football championships. Ukraine's readiness for the Euro 2012 tournament, which it is to share with Poland, has been a constant source of concern for UEFA, which has only confirmed that games will be played in the capital, Kiev. Poland's preparations have been approved by European football's governing body.   The Ukrainian president's press service said the country's parlous financial state did not allow for such spending, as funds had to be held back in order to support the banking sector.   "In view of the increase in the amount of reserves given for bank refinancing, it is not excluded that the National Bank could even record losses. For this reason, current legislation stipulates that in such a situation the state budget should on the contrary cover these losses by the National Bank," the press service said.   The Ukrainian parliament passed the amendments allocating an additional $1 billion for Euro 2012 preparations on July 1, just a week after Yushchenko said Ukraine faced serious difficulties in completing preparations for the tournament. Although Kiev has been guaranteed games, it may lose the final due to the poor preparations. A decision on the final and the suitability of the three other cities - Donetsk, Lvov and Kharkov - will be made on November 30.   Ukraine and Poland were named as joint hosts for the tournament in April 2007. All four Polish cities put forward for the tournament - Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw and Gdansk - have been confirmed by UEFA as venues.   The latest problems over Euro 2012 funding come as Ukraine celebrated beating England in the final of the European under-19 championships, which were staged in the Ukraine cities of Donetsk and Mariupol. UEFA praised the tournament, which it said on Monday had set a record for attendance at the age level.   Source: RIA Novosti

Sports and Politics »

[4 Aug 2009]

The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (that’s Soccer to Americans!) is going to be co-hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. The championship tournament, which happens every four years, as a tradition that stretches back to 1960 and is held on even-numbered years in between World Cup tournaments. [More]