cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


we are slowly awakening after centuries-long enslavement

Viktor Zoloty, our reader from Mykolaiv oblast, first wrote to The Day last February and immediately had his letter published. Editor in chief Larysa Ivshyna then wrote in the foreword to his letter that Zoloty reminded her of “an almost lost but all the more interesting culture of epistolary genre.”

Our regular readers remember that when Zoloty read in The Day about the publication of Oxana Pachlovska’s book Ave, Europa, he was eager to get hold of one, but, naturally, it is impossible to do this “in a faraway Mykolaiv region village.” Then he “dared” to turn to The Day’s editorial board. We sent him the book he dreamed of and, simultaneously, a gift from The Day – a collection of articles James Mace: Your Dead Chose Me. Since such a well-mannered person as Zoloty was too embarrassed to accept valuable gifts, the editor in chief offered “barter.” “As a sign of gratitude, please send us a photo of your special cows,” Ivshyna wrote. (Zoloty also wrote in his letter about his pets that they are sometimes “wiser than some people.”)

We have received photographs only now. Zoloty, naturally, had no time to resume correspondence because of the heavy workload in the summer and fall. As the farming work went on, his letter, which we consider extraordinary, not in the least because of the level of the problems addressed, was included into Extract 150, a collection of Den’s key articles, so now the letter can be read nationwide. Zoloty is certain to receive this two-volume book as a gift from us, as well as our Christmas and New Year greetings.

“Good afternoon, dear Ms. Ivshyna,

I sincerely apologize for being silent for so long. You may not remember that you mailed me earlier this year as a gift three books, which I think are invaluable, especially for the Ukrainian reader. It is Ave, Europa! by Oxana Pachlovska, Your Dead Chose Me by James Mace, and The Apocrypha of Klara Gudzyk. But even if you remember, you must have thought that I am no longer living. For it is at least uncivil to get a gift like this and then keep silent for months on end. But you magnanimously offered me a ‘barter’ of sorts to alleviate my torments, i.e., to send to the newspaper a photo of me and my, as you put it, ‘special’ cows, which I have failed to do so far.

My son photographed me with the cows, but the photos were dark and of low quality. But the main factor that delayed the photos was a perennial shortage of time.

For, to survive in very difficult conditions (and we have always had such conditions in our village), one has to work very hard. This takes up all your strength and, what is more, time.

I have just received some classical music discs from a Kharkiv family leisure club: Bach, Liszt, Beethoven, Wagner, Vivaldi, Schumann, Paganini, Mozart, Chopin, Tchaikovsky … but I don’t have time to listen to them.

When I retired in March 2000, I hoped I would have lots of free time. For a human exists not only to work – he also works to create conditions for a full-fledged intellectual life, as well as to travel, know the surrounding world, read, listen to music, and mingle with interesting people.

Unfortunately, this did not happen.

I have no opportunities to use the Internet. The only little window for cultural self-improvement is the three or four months of winter. And the newspaper Den’ occupies ranks topmost for me in this connection.

I only wish I had not lost as many as eleven years, when I could not read this newspaper before 2008, when I accidentally heard and saw on TV the editor in chief, i.e., you, charming Ms. Ivshyna, and began to subscribe to it.

It is hard to imagine how many extremely interesting things were published in Den’ at the time thanks to an editor in chief like you – and all this went past me.

Now I would like to raise some sore issues of nationwide importance. Maybe, my reflections are not worth being spotlighted in a newspaper. But I do not insist on this. I just have a desire to share them with you, respected Ms. Ivshyna.

The newspaper Den’ addresses all kinds of very acute problems in our life. It is perhaps impossible to add something new to this. And I am not actually going to do so.

Please forgive me for my possibly too categorical judgments. I do not think my opinion is the ultimate truth. You should not think that everything in our life is clear to me.

Our greatest woe, the woe of Ukraine, is that most of our people are bereft of historical awareness and national self-identity, i.e., patriotism. We are very slowly awakening after the centuries-long slavery.

For the first time in the years of independence, we only recently formed, by a narrow margin, a seemingly national-oriented majority in the Verkhovna Rada. Where has it gone? What criteria are the majority MPs guided by? And the rest of MPs and different-level officials are taking an openly hostile attitude to the state.

Take, for example, our energy dependence on Russia. It is a noose on Ukraine’s neck. Why aren’t we exploiting our own fuel deposits?

Our press reports that we have a unique phenomenon – Black Sea gas outbursts discovered by an expedition of the Institute of the Biology of Southern Seas in 1989–1991. The total output of these seafloor rock discharges is about one billion cubic meters in 24 hours. The phenomenon is so obvious that outbursts in the vicinity of Serpent Island reach the water surface, and the sea is ‘bubbling’ there. The explorations carried out by our and foreign specialists show that the Black Sea shelf contains more oil and gas than there is in the Caspian Sea or the North Sea.

It is also known that huge deposits of natural gas (about 120 trillion cubic meters) were discovered in the late 1970s in the so-called estuary triangle: Sloviansk—Starobilsk—Luhansk. This would suffice to meet the needs of entire Ukraine for several centuries.

It is not accidental, of course, that anti-Ukrainian separatists and their supporters among Moscow’s top officials chose, of all places, Severodonets to proclaim the so-called PISUAR autonomous republic on the territory of sovereign Ukraine. For this city is next to the object of interest for those who hate independent Ukraine.

It is also known that the US oil industrialist Richard Hart visited Ukraine in 1993. He studied all the NASA exploration data as well as the results of Soviet geological surveys, which had leaked, for unfathomable reasons, from the USSR Ministry for Geology to the West. After making a fact-finding tour, Hart said: ‘You have a sea of oil here, as well as a two-kilometer layer of methane hydrate and a meter-thick layer of anthracite. I offered you favorable conditions: I take 10 percent of the extracted oil and you take 90. But the offer was turned down. I all probability, you have quite a lot of those who are interested in keeping Ukraine dependent on imported energy resources.’

Academician Heorhii Lapin, chief of the Odesa regional branch of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, once said: ‘Today, when the invaluable results of geological surveys are resting in special repositories of Russia’s Ministry of Geology, Kyiv pretends to know nothing about our underground treasures, and those who know too much and are very stubborn are told that there are no funds available. Does it mean that there are funds to buy somebody else’s and there are no funds to produce your own?!’

Let us make a conclusion from all this. There are no problems with energy resources in Ukraine. We have big problems with anti-Ukrainian sabotage and the antinational ‘fifth column.’

If we are afraid of Americans but still unable to develop our deposits, why not invite someone else, for example, Norwegians who have great experience in extracting oil and gas in the North Sea. You can be sure the Norwegians will not colonize us.

Our energy dependence on Russia is the most powerful and by no means the only economic instrument of pressure on Ukraine. Electronic and print media of mass information (disinformation?) hold sway here. Books, cinema, and television are almost all Russian or pro-Russian. Very powerful forces are acting against us, and their arsenal is rich. But we are so defenseless with our disunity. To hold out in such conditions and keep up Ukraine’s and Ukrainians’ movement for genuine independence and a better life, we (or the vast majority of us) must rally together, instead of lying low, and at least elect patriots, not ‘janissaries’ and aliens, as our pastors.

Actually, unity is the hardest and almost impossible task for us. For, over centuries, especially in the past few decades before we gained independence, our enslavers have squeezed love for freedom and the feeling of national pride out of us, Ukrainians. It is now in our genes. We are even born with an inferiority complex: ‘please come and sit down on our neck.’ This is why we are being treated so brutally.

But I still hope that not evething is lost. I was not on Kyiv’s Independence Square in 2004. My son and I were on a smaller Maidan in Mykolaiv at the time. We were chanting ‘Yushchenko!’ so avidly and sincerely that our voices became coarse and we could not speak for two weeks after that.

But this is just by the way.

We were glued to the television, watching the Main Maidan – as long as it was shown. I could not fight back tears because I felt happy and saw Ukraine rising from its knees.

The hopes were optimistic…

Now, five years later, how can we assess Viktor Yushchenko’s presidency?

It is impossible to give an unambiguous answer.

On the one hand, instead of bringing election riggers and lawbreakers to justice, he has been conferring state awards on them. I cannot fathom this from the viewpoint of common sense.

And his ‘memorandums’ and ‘universals’ helped Yanukovych stage a comeback from political oblivion.

All this greatly encouraged anti-Ukrainian forces and triggered a mayhem of lawlessness and corruption, which, naturally, pushed Ukraine away from Europe.

On the other hand, Yushchenko has revealed, on the official level, the truth about the Ukrainian Holodomor. He has also rightly assessed and extolled the UPA and Ukraine’s liberation movement. He has instituted the freedom of speech and promoted the Ukrainian language as an indicator of our identity and independence.

He has been making strenuous efforts to have Ukraine admitted to the Euro-Atlantic system, for membership in them, especially in NATO, would guarantee Ukraine’s sovereignty. But his practical actions inside the country did not harmonize with these intentions. Anti-Ukrainian forces in the Verkhovna Rada and in society, which he encouraged with difficult-to-understand actions, have thwarted this by far the most important step.

Yes, Yushchenko have made mistakes. But he is an honest, frank, and faithful person who boundlessly loves Ukraine. He is not afraid, if it is to the state’s benefit, to take unpopular steps that can adversely affect his rating. Now, too, on the eve of the presidential elections, he is not among the race’s leaders. This is very sad.

We, those who are concerned about the destiny of Ukraine, are sure to ‘bite our nails’ (and very much so!) and repent that we did not vote for Yushchenko and elect him for the second presidential term.

Should Yanukovych win the elections, Ukraine will be neither democratic nor independent.

There will be no Ukraine at all.

If Tymoshenko wins, it is not clear whether Ukraine will go East or West.

Kostenko and Hrytsenko have, unfortunately, no chances – just like Tiahnybok.

So in the runoff we will have not to elect but to choose between the well-known non-existence (Yanukovych) and the unknown (Tymoshenko). I’d rather have the unknown than well-known and guaranteed non-existence.

We have a lot of problems.

Take, for example, the attitude of our people to the environment. There is a garbage dump all around. Trees in the forests are being cut down and even uprooted because somebody cashes in on selling the sand on which these trees, once planted to solidify the sand, grow.

What is a still bigger eyesore are our rivers into which garbage is dumped. There is almost no fish left in them. Fishnets were set up 50–100 meters from each other. Meanwhile, the fishing authorities are busy collecting ‘tribute’ from the owners of these fishing cobwebs, thus legalizing poaching.

But what worries me the most is whether Ukraine will manage to hold out and preserve its statehood, taking into account the indifference, or even hostility, that we can see everywhere, and a formidable foreign danger that keeps hanging over us. And the most terrible thing is that our society does not see and is not aware of this.

The newspaper Den’ is pursuing a great cause by rousing the Ukrainians. But, unfortunately, it is only read by people who share its position.

And how can one reach those who do not read Den’ or read nothing at all? They just watch the ‘boob tube’ which mainly pours out dirt, obscenities, and anti-Ukrainism.

I am sending a photo with one cow, Kvitochka, only. Incredibly hard as it is, we had to do away with her mother, Chaiechka, who lost her reproductive power. It was impossible to keep a cow (a big animal, not a cat or a dog) until it died a natural death, like in a zoo, spending expensive fodder, efforts, and precious time.

Some strangers led her away from my homestead. I ran away from home not to see this. But this could not ease my mind.

I am sorry for being sentimental and robbing you of your time.

Yours very truly, Viktor ZOLOTY, Vasylivka, Snihurivsky raion, Mykolaiv oblast


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