Wondering what’s new in Ukraine? Here are four of the nation's recent headlines. We’ve got religious celebrations, Yulia Tymoshenko in grain, a new luxury district in Kiev, and Ukrainian officials vow to fight piracy.
Ukraine, Russia, Belarus to Celebrate Anniversary of Baptism of Rus
This July, the capitals of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine will all celebrate the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus.
Falling on July 28, the Baptism of Rus honors Prince Volodymyr of Kyiv, the ruler who converted to Christianity and helped establish the religion in what is now Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
According to reports, the celebrations will start in Moscow on July 24 and then move to Kiev where residents will honor the religious icon with a gala concert. The celebrations will then head to Minsk where an open-air service and procession will follow.
Yulia Tymoshenko Supporters Create Portrait Made of Grain
Supporters of jailed leader Yulia Tymoshenko honored the former prime minister with a portrait made of grain, the Kyiv Post reports. Artists created the portrait as an Orthodox Easter gift.
Chanting "Yulia, we are with you” and "Free Yulia,” the over 100 supporters waved banners and flags in front of the hospital where Tymoshenko is receiving treatment. Yuliya greeted her supporters by waving from a window.
The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that Tymoshenko’s imprisonment is illegal and politically motivated. However, the ruling has no power in Ukraine.
Construction of Luxury District in Kiev Draws to a Close
In 2003, construction officials broke ground on the Vozdvyzhenka district, a luxury neighborhood in the heart of Kiev. The project took a major hit after the global financial crisis of 2008, but developers rallied and now report that 75% of the district's residences have been purchased. Homes in Vozdvyzhenka range from 60 to 300 square meters and go for about $3,500 to $4,000 per meter.
“Many state and government officials bought our apartments, as well as artists such as Ukrainian pop idol Gallina,” said Taras Zyabkin, sales director of the group which developed the project.
Ukraine Vows to Fight Piracy
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) recently placed Ukranie on a piracy watch list after pirated media in the nation dramatically increased. Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Konstantyn Gryshchenko is disappointed by the USTR’s decision, but promises Ukraine will continue to fight piracy.
“Just this past month we have closed two internet portals used to distribute unlicensed content and we are introducing into the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) two separate bills that will, among other things, increase penalties for copyright infringement," he said.
Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych says he will personally oversee the effort.
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