Lviv Opinion

Ukraine Turns 25! To mark the occasion, Lviv Today chooses 25 Ukrainian “moments to remember”

Issue 92, July 2016.
It’s been 25 years since Ukraine finally achieved independence and there are no shortages of ways to celebrate the occasion. Festivals, exhibitions, parties, music and dance events – it seems like everyone has found their own way to mark this momentous achievement. So we here at Lviv Today figured there was no better way for us to celebrate than to mark the greatest achievements that the country has put on display in Ukraine’s first quarter-century. It’s not so easy to break down 25 years of a nation into just 25 moments, so we’ve broken them into 5 broad categories: Culture, Technology, Sports, Politics, and Honourable Mentions. Make a list yourself and see how many you can guess? Or go to our Facebook page to let us know which ones we’ve missed. Happy reading and Happy Independence Day!

Hosts No More – Can Ukraine Roar? Ukraine’s EURO 2016 Preview

Issue 90, May 2016.
Every four years a spectacle rolls through Europe – and it’s not of the EuroVision kind. UEFA’s EURO tournament is back and better than ever as it now features 24 of best teams the continent has to offer. Ukrainian football fans know just what’s in store for France, as they remember the excitement of having fans from across Europe visit the country four years ago for EURO 2012. Unlike four years ago, when the team gained automatic qualification for the tournament as host, this time the Blue-Yellows qualified the hard way, and in the process exorcised demons of qualification past.

FOREIGN POLITICIANS UNDERLINE UKRAINE'S CREDENTIALS AS 'THE REAL RUS'

Issue 89, April 2016.
Ukraine’s policy of appointing foreigners to senior government positions has been one of the boldest and most controversial steps taken by the country’s post-Euromaidan authorities. Critics have slammed the trend as an insult to the Ukrainian nation, claiming that it implies a complete lack of suitably qualified local candidates. Supporters have tended to counter this argument by pointing to the strong performance of most foreign appointees, and the absence of corruption allegations surrounding them.

CRIMEAN TATAR ICON JAMALA SET TO REPRESENT UKRAINE AT EUROVISION

Issue 88, March 2016.
The Russian occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula looks set to become one of the talking points of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest after Ukrainian TV viewers selected Crimean Tatar singer Jamala’s haunting ballad ‘1944’ to represent the country at this year’s event. Although ostensibly a tribute to the victims of the 1944 Soviet mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars, the song will inevitably draw international attention to the ongoing plight of the Crimean Tatars, who have suffered a range of human rights abuses since the Russian seizure of Crimea in early 2014.

DUTCH UKRAINE REFERENDUM COULD KILL DREAM OF PAX EUROPA

Issue 88, March 2016.
Anti-EU forces seek to strike a blow against Brussels but the ultimate beneficiary of a 'no' vote would be Vladimir Putin The upcoming April referendum in the Netherlands over the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is about much more than free trade ties between Brussels and Kyiv. Ukraine is guilty of nothing more than particularly bad geopolitical timing. The country finds itself an innocent bystander caught up in what is a far larger battle for the soul of Europe that sees advocates of greater continental union pitted against national forces intent on stopping what they regard as the undemocratic Brussels bulldozer. The future of Europe is in the balance, and Ukraine's own integration ambitions are in danger of being relegated to the status of mere footnote.

Patrol Police as the face of the new Ukraine

Issue 86, January 2016.
Ever since Ukraine gained independence in 1991, the country’s law enforcement agencies have consistently ranked bottom in surveys of public confidence. For many if not most Ukrainians, the nation’s police officers were nothing less than symbols of corruption. These overwhelmingly negative perceptions make the success of Ukraine’s new Patrol Police all the more remarkable.

“Making the most of EU free trade”

Issue 81, July 2015.
EU expert Olivier Vedrine explores coming EU-Ukraine Association Agreement opportunities and shares his views with Lviv Today readers

“The economic situation in Ukraine is not as bad as everyone says it is.”

Issue 80, June 2015.
Lviv’s HD Partners legal company organized a “Break West” business breakfast on May 30th and invited noted Polish professor and economist Leszek Balcerowicz to speak. Balcerowicz, of course, is famous for implementing the Polish economic transformation program in the 1990s; a shock therapy economic programme more commonly referred to as the Balcerowicz Plan. A former Professor of Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics, former Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and Finance Minister, former President of the National Bank of Poland, and Founder and Council Chairman of the Civil Development Forum Foundation (FOR), Balcerowicz is a well-known and highly respected voice and transition economics. He has been travelling to Ukraine since 1991 and in his opinion, the current government of Ukraine is the best since this country’s independence.

Currency crash offers tourism sector silver lining

Issue 77, March 2015.
Hyrvnia woes serve to make Ukraine one of Europe’s cheapest holiday destinations It is difficult to identify any positives from the fall of Ukraine’s hryvnia national currency. The dramatic drop in the exchange rate has left whole sections of Ukrainian society impoverished and forced the government to adopt a range of emergency economic measures which could serve to impede the development of the broader Ukrainian economy for years to come.

Lviv 2022: 5 Lessons from Minsk 2014

Issue 69, June 2014.
Considering the political upheaval that has rocked the country – and this city’s Olympic bid – since early November, it is nothing short of remarkable that Lviv’s chances to host the 2022 Winter Olympics have actually increased. Currently there are only 4 bids remaining: Lviv and Oslo in Europe, and Almaty and Beijing in Asia. Oslo’s bid is on life-support as one of the governing parties has refused to give the financial guarantees that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) requires. In addition, with the 2018 Olympics already headed to Asia (PyeongChang, South Korea), the IOC will be hesitant to have back-to-back games on that continent. Especially if they have any illusion of retaining the participation of the NHL hockey professionals in what has become the Winter Games’ marquee event. Lviv’s bid too has suffered, as the bid has sat idle for months as the country gets its political house in order. But with so few candidates remaining (especially if Oslo is forced to withdraw), it is reasonable to think that the IOC will keep all remaining cities as ‘Candidate Cities’ following the committee meeting in July. If this is the case, Lviv 2022 will have one year to convince the IOC that it is indeed capable of hosting the event and that the IOC should host the games in Europe.