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Putin, Pardons, and Protestors: What’s New in Russia, Ukraine

8. April 2013 by Dasha 0 Comments

Wondering what’s new in Eastern Europe? Here are five recent stories from Russia and Ukraine. We’ve gotten topless protestors, death-defying jumps, and a new partnership between Russia and the Netherlands. 

 

Topless Protestors Confront Putin in Germany

Three members of Femen, a women’s rights group founded in Ukraine, protested Vladimir Putin’s visit to Hanover, Germany with topless chants and shouted jeers. Putin seemed amused by the incident, though he suggested the protestors would get better results if they put some clothes on.

 

“Regarding this performance, I liked it," the Russian president said. “I don't see anything terrible in (the protest), though I think ... it is better to be dressed if one wants to discuss political matters."

 

May to Start the “Year of Russia” in Netherlands

The Year of Russia kick offs in the Netherlands in May, and officials are confident the cultural exchange program will strengthen ties between the two nations. 

 

“This year of exchange is of very great importance, not only for cultural relations but also to strengthen the economic and political ties between the two countries,” said Sjeng Scheijen, the Dutch coordinator of the cultural exchange.

 

France, Italy, Spain, and Germany are the last few countries to participate in the program which highlights Russian art, music, theatre, and economic opportunities. 

 

Russian Thrill Seekers Leap Off Buildings 

A recent round of videos on YouTube show Russian thrill seekers leaping off multi-story buildings and into tall drifts of snow piled below. Judging from the first video featured on RT.com, if the fall doesn’t kill them, getting stuck under all that snow just might. No wonder there’s a shortage of men in Russia. 

 

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych Pardons Tymoshenko Ally

Yuriy Lutsenko, a close ally of imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is now a free man. President Viktor Yanukovych pardoned the Former Interior Minister, along with five others prisoners tied to Tymoshenko. Appeals by Ukrainian and European Union officials led to the president’s decision, though he made no mention of Yulia. 

 

Wooden Buildings a Trend in Ukraine

Forget brick or concrete! Wood is now Ukraine’s hot new construction material, and it isn’t limited to just houses. 

 

“The latest technologies allow building wooden skyscrapers up to 30 floors, which will be much safer than existing buildings,” Canadian architect Michael Green from Michael Green Architecture told the Kyiv Post. 

 

Guess they haven’t heard the one about the wolf and the three little pigs.  

 

Stay with the HRB blog for more interesting headlines from Russia and Ukraine.

 

Photo: NBC News