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August 22, 2014

Four arrested after building spire in Moscow painted in Ukrainian colors

Four arrested after building spire in Moscow painted in Ukrainian colors

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Friday, August 22, 2014

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Russian authorities have detained four people on Wednesday on suspicion of vandalism, following an incident where the spire of the iconic Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in Moscow was painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The suspects, reportedly consisting of two men and two women, allegedly ascended the building by stairs to reach its top floor, before using climbing equipment to complete the ascent, according to Moscow police.

File photo of the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in 2009.
Image: SphinxTheGeek.

Over the course of the previous night, the suspects proceeded to paint the top half of the building’s star-shaped spire blue and erected a Ukrainian flag atop at about 7:15 am local time, reports the Interfax news agency, with information corroborated by Moscow’s municipal emergency services. The alterations to the building made by the suspects remained for several hours, before workers removed the flag and repainted the spire to its normal color. Containing 32 floors and standing at a height of 176 m (577 ft), the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building is one of the Seven Sisters, skyscrapers constructed between 1947 and 1953 in Moscow under the direction of Joseph Stalin.

Following the act, at least one of the suspects then reportedly descended from the building by parachute, reported state news channel Rossiya 24, and captured on a video published by Lifenews, reportedly filmed by a local resident. Additional video broadcast by Rossiya 24, taken from a window, captured a parachuting suspect landing in a nearby playground. Among the suspects was Alexander Pogrebov, who has denied the charges brought forth by authorities. “I was detained for parachuting off the skyscraper. I chose that place because it’s beautiful. […] It just so happened that at the time of the jump, someone else committed an act of vandalism — they destroyed the spire with paint, and raised the Ukrainian flag.” said Pogrebov in an interview to LifeNews.

Pogrebov’s comments were supported by a police official, who stated to the Itar-Tass agency: “The two young men and two girls say they jumped from a high building with parachutes. They say they didn’t hoist any flag and didn’t paint the flag.” If convicted of vandalism, Pogrebov and the other suspects may be sentenced to a maximum of three years imprisonment. Over the phone to Bloomberg, an unidentified duty press official stated the suspects were previously arrested over other charges. According to reports from Russian state television, all four suspects were Russian citizens.

Other acts by Russian protestors to show support and solidarity with Ukraine, contrasting the approval which came following the Russian annexation of Crimea, included the singing of the Ukrainian national anthem by protestors while being arrested. Russian musician Andrey Makarevich, who fronts the band Mashina Vremeni, which translates to “Time Machine”, was labelled as a “traitor” by Russian lawmakers and musicians who supported Russian interests, after he traveled to eastern Ukraine last week to perform for displaced children in regions held by the Ukrainian army.

On a post on Twitter, Russian opposition leader Gennady Gudkov stated “I don’t justify youngsters who painted a star on the skyscraper, but this is an administrative offense, not criminal”. In 2011 and 2012, following accusations of electoral fraud during the parliamentary elections at the time, Gudkov supported protestors who took to the streets of Moscow in opposition to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The act comes just days prior to Ukraine’s Day of the National Flag on August 23 and Independence Day on August 24. The country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, expressed his approval from Kiev of the act and praise for the suspects in a written post on Facebook. “On the eve of Independence Day we are starting an initiative called ‘Our Colours,’ which is devoted to the Ukrainian flag”((uk)), wrote Poroshenko. “And it is symbolic that, on this day, our colours have been painted on what is perhaps the greatest skyscraper in Moscow. I urge Ukrainians throughout the world, wherever they are, on the eve of the anniversary of our independence, to decorate their homes, offices, and cars in our national colours.”((uk))

“I like very much the fact that, on the eve of celebrating the Ukrainian flag, one of Moscow’s highest buildings was painted in our colors,” Poroshenko said in a video posted on Facebook. “I congratulate these Ukrainians.” Following the deaths of more than 2,000 people and the displacement of 300,000 from their homes amid fighting in eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian armed forced and pro-Russian separatists, Poroshenko is scheduled to discuss the crisis with Putin next week, the first such meeting in two months.



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March 31, 2014

Eleventh Docudays UA concludes

Eleventh Docudays UA concludes – Wikinews, the free news source

Eleventh Docudays UA concludes

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Docudays UA 2014 Awards Ceremony.
Image: Antanana.

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The Eleventh International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays UA, in Kyiv, Ukraine, ended on Friday.

The Awards Ceremony was held in the Red Hall of the Kyiv Cinema House. There were 36 documentary films competing for prizes in three festival programs: DOCU/Short, DOCU/Right, DOCU/Life. There were also special prizes from Students’ Jury, Audience Award, and the Andriy Matrosov Award from Docudays UA Organizing Committee.

The special guest of the Awards Ceremony was a symbol of the festival — Nikita Mikhalko. He is featured on the official posters of the festival. Nikita was on Maidan Nezalezhnosti on February 19, in the morning. The picture of him was chosen by the organizers as the “image that would deliver the spirit of our [Docudays UA] festival to the best of its possible might”. The piece of movie where he is taking tangerines from a woman that morning has become the official trailer of the festival. The episode is featured in the opening film of the festival Euromaidan: Rough Cut. Thus Nikita and his burning glasses have become the symbols of the festival. The organizers decided to find out who the symbol of the festival was, and if he was alive. They have started looking for him and luckily, they were able to ask him to come as a special guest of the Awards Ceremony. Nikita had the opportunity to say on the microphone, “Slava Ukraini” (Glory to Ukraine), and have the whole hall hollering back at him, “Heroiam Slava” (Glory to the Heroes).

The Eleventh Docudays UA Winners are (in the order of awarding):

Audience Award

The Audience Award went to Joanna, directed by Aneta Kopacz, Poland, 2013.

Student’s Jury Award

The Students’ Jury Award went to Tucker and the Fox, directed by Arash Lahooti, Iran, 2013, awarded for “an optimistic story about a life-long passion”.

DOCU/Short

Joanna, directed by Aneta Kopacz, Poland, 2013, received special mention. The jury chose it for “filmmaker’s ability to be both intimate and discreet”

Mom, directed by Lidia Sheinina, Russia, 2013, received special mention for “ability of the filmmaker to find in the closed world of one apartment ‘things that quicken the heart'”.

The main prize went to Liza, Go Home!, directed by Oksana Buraja, Lithuania, Estonia, 2012. The film was awarded for “filmmaker’s poetic sensibility and respect for other humans’ secrets”.

Andrei Zagdansky, a Ukrainian-American, was awarding. The other two members of the jury were Victoria Belopolskaya of Russia, and Stéphanie Lamorré of France.

DOCU/Right

No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, directed by Callum Macrae, UK, 2013, received special mention. The film was awarded for “the powerful use of video advocacy in global awareness-raising and opinion-shaping regarding the mass murders of civilians belonging to a Tamil minority in Sri Lanka”.

Captain and His Pirate, directed by Andy Wolff, Belgium, Germany, 2012, received special mention for “exceptional courage of the film crew and an outstanding presentation of international piracy phenomenon as presented by a victim and his prison guard”.

The main prize went to Mother’s Dream, directed by Valerie Gudenus, Switzerland, 2013. The jury awarded the film for “a highly sensitive, empathic, and artistic presentation of a controversial and socially resonant human rights problem, affecting the fates of women and children globally”.

Natalka Zubar of Ukraine announced the winners. The other two members of the jury were Andrzej Poczobut of Belarus, and Oksana Sarkisova of Hungary.

DOCU/Life

Crepuscule, directed by Valentyn Vasyanovych, Ukraine, 2014, received special mention. The film was awarded for “a visually and emotionally superior depiction of human resilience, sensibility, and interdependence”.

Night Labor, directed by David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, USA, Canada, 2013, received special mention for “a provocative, atypical, allegorical description of industrial work and personal freedom”.

The main prize went to The Last Limousine, directed by Daria Khlestkina, Russia, 2014, awarded for “a dignified, compassionate portrayal of state-factory workers lost in transition, but not in humanity”. The jury mentioned the film was perfectly casted.

The whole jury was present: Boris Mitić of Serbia, Chris McDonald of Canada, and Simone Baumann of Germany.

Andriy Matrosov Award from the Docudays UA Organizing Committee

The Andrey Matrosove Award went to A Diary of a Journey, directed by Piotr Stasik, Poland, 2013.

Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 01.JPG People are gathering.
Image: Antanana.

Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 02.JPG A queue is forming.
Image: Antanana.

Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 08.JPG The Red Hall of the Kyiv Cinema House.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 12.JPG The hosts of the event are the journalists Andrii Saichuk and Nataliia Humeniuk.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 17.JPG Nataliia Humeniuk, translator and photographer.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 19.JPGNikita Mikhalko is featured on the festival poster and trailer.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 21.JPG The festival gift shop team is giving the Audience Award.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 22.JPG The film Joanna (director Aneta Kopacz, Poland, 2013) is awarded.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 23.JPG The representative of Aneta Kopacz is taking the prize.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 26.JPG The Students’ Jury: Viktor Kylymar, Oleksandr Shkrabak, Halia Vasylenko, Petro Vyalkov, Tetyana Chesalova.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 29.JPG Tucker and the Fox (director Arash Lahooti, Iran, 2013) is awarded.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 32.JPG The googles would help him to film even more.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 33.JPG The Festival diploma.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 34.JPG The cobblestone from Maidan Nezalezhnosti is the main festival trophy.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 36.JPG The trophy goes to Iran.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 40.JPG Andrei Zagdansky (Ukraine) announces the winners for DOCU/Short.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 41.JPG The first special mention: Joanna (Aneta Kopacz, Poland, 2013).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 42.JPG The representative of the director.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 43.JPG The 2nd special mention: Mom (director Lidia Sheinina, Russia, 2013).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 44.JPG Main prize: Liza, Go Home! (director Oksana Buraja, Lithuania, Estonia, 2012).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 46.JPG The journalist, director Natalka Zubar.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 48.JPG Special mention: No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka (director Callum Macrae, UK, 2013) Anthem of Ukraine.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 49.JPG Special mention: Captain and His Pirate (director Andy Wolff, Belgium, Germany, 2012).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 50.JPG Main prize: Mother’s Dream (director Valerie Gudenus, Switzerland, 2013).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 53.JPG Ambassador of Switzerland to Ukraine Christian Schoenenberger is taking the prize.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 54.JPG Chris McDonald (Canada), Simone Baumann (Germany).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 55.JPG Special mention: Crepuscule (director Valentyn Vasyanovych, Ukraine, 2014).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 58.JPG Boris Mitić (Serbia), Simone Baumann.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 59.JPG Special mention: Night Labor (directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, USA, Canada, 2013).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 62.JPG Main prize: The Last Limousine (director Daria Khlestkina, Russia, 2014).
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 57.JPG The Last Limousine.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 63.JPG Daria Khlestkina.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 64.JPG The cobblestone from Maidan Nezalezhnosti is taken to Moscow.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 66.JPG Andriy Matrosov Award from the Organizing Committee.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 Awards Ceremony 68.JPG A Diary of a Journey (director Piotr Stasik, Poland, 2013) is awarded.
Image: Antanana.

After the ceremony The Last Limousine, the winning film of DOCU/Life program, was screened.

The festival was first held in 2003, called at that time Docudays on Human Rights. In 2006 the festival was accepted as part of the international Human Rights Film Network at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. It is usually held during the last week of March.



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March 23, 2014

Docudays UA eleventh edition opens

Docudays UA eleventh edition opens – Wikinews, the free news source

Docudays UA eleventh edition opens

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kyiv Docudays 2014.
Image: Antanana.

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The Eleventh International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival opened Friday in the Red Hall of the Kyiv Cinema House, in Kyiv, Ukraine. The festival spans eight days, ending on March 28.

Competition programs are divided into DOCU/Right, DOCU/Life, and DOCU/Short. Each program has its own jury that consists of famous human rights activists, film producers, directors, critics, writers etc. Among them are Andrzej Poczobut (Belorus), Natalka Zubar (Ukraine), Oksana Sarkisova (Hungary), Boris Mitić (Serbia), Chris McDonald (Canada), Simone Baumann (Germany), Andrei Zagdansky (Ukraine), Victoria Belopolskaya (Russia), and Stephanie Lamorre (France). Students’ Jury and Audience Awards are also to be given. The Organizing Committee is to award an Andriy Matrosov Award.

Non-competition programs are divided into areas titles Ideorruption, DOCU/Ukraine, DOCU/Riot, DOCU/Art, DOCU/Best, HOT DOCS presents, Artdocfest presents, and Andrei Zagdansky Retrospective.

The best films are also to be shown during Docudays UA Travelling Festival.

The opening film was called Euromaidan: Rough Cut. It was a combination of shots of different film directors that have been filming the protests in Ukraine during these past four months. Organizers and creators explained, “This is what it is. It is actually a ‘rough cut’. It is a collection of different episodes”.

Kyiv Docudays 2014 51.JPG The Red Hall of the Kyiv Cinema House. It’s waiting time still.
Image: Antanana.

Kyiv Docudays 2014 40.JPG
Image: Antanana.

Kyiv Docudays 2014 42.JPG
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 27.JPG A special guest is an actress and singer Mariana Sadovska.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 I 01.JPG
Image: Ilya.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 I 20.JPG
Image: Ilya.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 55.JPG Andrii Saichuk and Nataliia Humeniuk.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 I 11.jpg
Image: Ilya.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 I 09.JPG Andrii Saichuk.
Image: Ilya.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 57.JPG Ambassador of Sweden to Ukraine Andreas von Beckerath.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 I 07.JPG
Image: Ilya.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 59.JPG
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 61.JPG Docudays UA PR-director Dariia Averchenko.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 I 14.JPG
Image: Ilya.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 65.JPG The creators of the opening film ‘Euromaidan, Rough Cut’.
Image: Antanana.
Kyiv Docudays 2014 I 19.JPG The people are singing the Anthem of Ukraine.
Image: Ilya.

The festival was first held in 2003, called at that time Docudays on Human Rights. In 2006 the festival was accepted as part of the international Human Rights Film Network at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. It is usually held during the last week of March.

In 2013, the festival opened with a performance, showing Berkut — Ukrainian special police — oppressing the journalists:

KyivDocudays2013 IMGP9639-1.jpg A bailiff is reading out the court desicion.
Image: Ilya.

KyivDocudays2013 IMGP9640-1.jpg The surname of the judge is Pomidorov (Tomato’s – Wikinews).
Image: Ilya.

KyivDocudays2013 IMGP9641-1.jpg «The festival and meeting are prohibited…».
Image: Ilya.
KyivDocudays2013 IMGP9642-1.jpg «…as there are too many people gathered here and it is not safe for the population».
Image: Ilya.
KyivDocudays2013 IMGP9643-1.jpg The announcers ask lawyers to help them.
Image: Ilya.
KyivDocudays2013 IMGP9644-1.jpg The bailiff has lost this case.
Image: Ilya.



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  • “Почався фестиваль Docudays UA” — Ukrainian Wikinews, March 22, 2013

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February 20, 2014

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: February 20, 2014

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A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, February 20, 2014.

Help Wikinews! Contribute to Wikinews by expanding these briefs or add a new one.

Ukrainian truce established

Kiev’s Independence Square before violence erupted.
Image: Noobuster007.

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych declared a truce after a violent evening in Kiev’s Independence Square. There was brief peace just five days ago when protesters agreed to unblock downtown streets. That was soon broken as violence occurred when interior ministry troops, special “Berkut” security forces, and police officers confronted protesters.

So far 26 people, including protesters and ten police officers, have been killed in Independence Square clashes. This is the most violence the country has seen since it gained independence 20 years ago.

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Facebook plans to purchase messaging service for US$16 billion

WhatsApp logo
Image: WhatsApp Inc..

Facebook yesterday announced a plan to purchase WhatsApp for US$16 billion. Facebook’s plan says it will pay US$12 billion in stocks and US$4 billion in cash. All parties are still waiting regulatory approval. The deal could potentially be worth US$19 billion with US$3 billion more being offered to employees. Employees who remained at Facebook for four years would be offered restricted stock.

WhatsApp is a messaging service where users can send text, picture, and video messages using their data plans, instead of their messaging plan. The company has over 450 million world-wide active users, with about 70 percent of those users being active daily. WhatsApp adds about one million new users per day. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said the app will not change for users.

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Australia releases confidential information of thousands of refugees

The records of around 10,000 asylum-seekers in Australia were made available by the Australian government until The Guardian made authorities aware yesterday the data was freely accessible. Confidential refugee files were accessed, featuring the names, nationalities, locations, and arrival information. Paul Power, chief executive of the advocacy group Refugee Council of Australia, said the situation risked those in refugee centers in Australia, as well as their families.

In a speech delivered last November, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the Australian government was responsible for protecting the identities of refugees. Now the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is being called to account for its role under Australia’s privacy laws, including negligence.

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April 24, 2008

Ukranian manufacturer preparing to sell Adolf Hitler dolls

Ukranian manufacturer preparing to sell Adolf Hitler dolls

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

 
Correction — May 3, 2008
 
This article has been retracted. This article has been deemed a hoax. Please see the follow up article, Hitler doll story found to be hoaxed, for more information.
 

Adolf Hitler

News reports are claiming that dolls depicting former Nazi leader Adolf Hitler will go on sale in Ukraine. These reports cite Ukraine’s Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper which reported that a toy manufacturer would release the line of Hitler dolls in the summer.

The 40cm doll will reportedly first be available in Kiev with a £100 (GBP) price tag and comes with a large range of accessories in a presentation box with the dates of Hitler’s birth and death.

Nazis images are illegal in Ukraine, with positive portrayal specifically banned. However, there are allegations that right-wing nationalist politics are gaining strength in the country and that xenophobia and racism are on the rise, including some said to be comparable to that present in Germany under Nazi rule. Fascism and propaganda are also banned.

When the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine, was invaded by Germany under Hitler’s rule 2–3 million Ukrainians were among the casualties, of which 1.5 million were Jews.

Adolf can be dressed in various guises, including “early days Adolf”, which consists of a brown shirt and jodhpurs, and “Wartime Adolf”, which features a grey tunic, black trousers and the Iron Cross medal. The doll also comes with boots and shoes, caps, gloves, full uniforms, cane and belt which can be placed on Hitler, whose arms move, allowing the doll to replicate the famed salute of its real life counterpart.

Cquote1.svg Kids can undress fuhrer, pin on medals and there’s a spare head in the kit to give him a kinder expression on his face Cquote2.svg

—Saleswoman

Also included is a model of Blondi, Hitler’s female German Shepherd, who was exceedingly loyal to Hitler. Hitler poisoned Blondi with cyanide in 1945 at the same time as taking his own life in his bunker at Berlin.

“It is like Barbie. Kids can undress fuhrer, pin on medals and there’s a spare head in the kit to give him a kinder expression on his face. He has glasses that are round, in the manner of pacifist John Lennon,” said one saleswoman. The company, which will release the dolls in Summer, says that if demand is high a range of toys themed on the Third Reich may be released, to include barracks, working models of crematoriums and gas chambers, concentration camps and interior models of the chancellery.

The doll is not set to be released until the summer, but BBC News Online has footage suggesting that some stores are selling the doll already.



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November 2, 2007

Russian choreographer Igor Moiseyev dies at age 101

Russian choreographer Igor Moiseyev dies at age 101

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Igor Moiseyev in 1932

Igor Moiseyev, who has been widely acclaimed as the greatest 20th-century choreographer of folk dance, has died today after a long illness. He was 101 years old.

Born Igor Alexandrovich Moiseyev on January 21, 1906 in Kiev, Moiseyev graduated from the Bolshoi Theatre ballet school in 1924 and danced in the theatre until 1939. His first choreography in the Bolshoi was Footballer in 1930 and the last was Spartacus in 1954.

Since the early 1930s, he staged acrobatic parades on Red Square and finally came up with the idea of establishing the Theatre of Folk Art. In 1936, Vyacheslav Molotov put him in charge of the new dance company, which has since been known as the Moiseyev Ballet. Among about 200 dances he created for his company, some humorously represented the game of football and guerrilla warfare. After visiting Belarus he choreographed a Belarusian “folk” dance Bulba (“Potato”), which over the years indeed became a Belarusian folk dance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, Moiseyev’s work has been especially admired “for the balance that it maintained between authentic folk dance and theatrical effectiveness”.

Moiseyev was named People’s Artist of the USSR in 1953, Hero of Socialist Labor in 1976, received the Lenin Prize (1967, for the dance show A Road to the Dance), four USSR State Prizes (1942, 1947, 1952, 1985), Russian Federation State Prize (1996), was awarded numerous orders and medals of the Soviet Union, Spain, and many other countries. On the day of his centenary, Moiseyev became the first Russian to receive Order for the Merits before the Fatherland, 1st class — the highest civilian decoration of the Russian Federation.

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May 22, 2005

Greece wins 2005 Eurovision song contest

Greece wins 2005 Eurovision song contest

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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Eurovision Song Contest 2005.jpg
Flag of Greece.png

The Eurovision Song Contest 2005 was won yesterday by the entry from Greece, Helena Paparizou, singing My Number One, second place going to the entry from Malta and third place going to Romania.

The competition was held in Palace of Sports in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, after its entry, Ruslana, had won the 2004 contest singing Wild Dances. Semi-finals had been held on May 19, 2005. 10 out of 25 countries with the highest scores in the semi-finals then joined 14 already pre-qualified countries in the final. Both events were televised across Europe.

More than 6000 spectators attended the event. Organisers hope that it will boost Ukraine’s image abroad and increase tourism, while the country’s new government hopes that it will also give a modest boost to the long-term goal of acquiring European Union membership.

Bulgaria and Moldova took part for the first time while Hungary returned after a hiatus since 1998. Lebanon had been expected to make its debut appearance but decided to withdraw. For the first time in the history of the contest, Ireland failed to qualify.

The hosts for the event were Maria “Masha” Efrosinina and DJ Pasha, a TV Presenter and Radio DJ.

Finally, it’s important to note most countries now choose to sing in English rather than their native language, since rule changes permit the singer to perform in any language they want. It is interesting to note that Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, who all automatically qualify for the final by right of paying the bulk of the budget of the European Broadcasting Union (Eurovision’s parent organisation) all finished in the bottom four positions.

Final Scores

Final Scores
Rank Country Total Points Rank Country Total Points
1 Greece 230 13 Turkey 92
2 Malta 192 14 Bosnia & Herzegovina 79
3 Romania 158 15 Russia 57
4 Israel 154 16 Albania 53
5 Latvia 153 17 FYR Macedonia 52
6 Moldova 148 18 Cyprus 46
7 Serbia & Montenegro 137 19 Sweden 30
8 Switzerland 128 20 Ukraine 30
9 Norway 125 21 Spain 28
10 Denmark 125 22 United Kingdom 18
11 Croatia 115 23 France 11
12 Hungary 97 24 Germany 4

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April 25, 2005

German Minister for Foreign Affairs gives evidence about visa practice

German Minister for Foreign Affairs gives evidence about visa practice

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Monday, April 25, 2005

Berlin (Germany) – Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Joschka Fischer, a leading figure in the German Green Party, gave evidence in front of an investigation committee. Fischer is blamed for the award of visa practice. The German embassy in Kiev gave thousands of visas which were abused by criminals.

Fischer opened with a two hour speech explaining the visa practice from his point of view, and accepting responsibility for mistakes. He accused the conservative opposition of exaggerating the problem and campaigning against him and the government.

The investigation committee questioned Fischer about the visa program under the new liberalised rules, passed under the previous government. Fischer noted that his visa practice was mainly a succession from the Kohl government, and that a liberal handling of the visa practice was a political decision. He argued for more freedom of travel, especially for citizens under authoritarian governments such as the former Ukraine government and the current in Belarus.

For the first time, sessions of an investigation committee are being broadcasted live on television.

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January 23, 2005

Yushchenko sworn in

Yushchenko sworn in – Wikinews, the free news source

Yushchenko sworn in

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Sunday, January 23, 2005

File:Wiktor Juschtschenko.jpg

Viktor Yushchenko at election rally
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The new Ukranian president Viktor Yushchenko was today sworn into office in Kiev‘s Independence Square, drawing a line under a bitter dispute between him and opposition candidate Viktor Yanukovych. Taking the oath of office, Yushchenko added “This is a victory of freedom over tyranny. The victory of law over lawlessness.”

Opposition candidate and Russian backed Viktor Yanukovych has challenged the validity of the election rerun on December 26 2004, which saw his victory overruled. As recently as a few days ago, the Supreme Court overruled a final request to delay the ceremony. Mr Yanukovych has stated that he will take his battle to the European Court of Human Rights.

In a ceremony watched by eight heads of state, Viktor Yushchenko urged unity between sides and promised deeper integration into the European Union.

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