Monday, August 31, 2009

Ukraine at the MAKS 2009 International Air Show

KYIV, UKRINFORM. Antonov Design Bureau, Aviant Plant, 410 Civil Aviation Plant, Kharkiv State Aircraft Manufacturing Company, Motor Sich, Ivchenko-Progress, Artem, FED, Radar, Arsenal and other enterprises have represented Ukraine at the MAKS 2009 International Air Show in Zhukovsky outside Moscow. The joint projects of Antonov Design Bureau and Russia's Voronezh Aircraft Plant - An-70 and An-148 aircraft - was presented at the show. Antonov An-225 "Mriya" (Dream), the world’s largest aircraft was also shown at the MAKS 2009 (see photo below). When it was built, it surpassed any airliner built before by 50%. It was designed for the transportation of the Russian Space Shuttle "Buran" by the Antonov Design Bureau (HQ in Kiev, Ukraine), which already had built good and large cargo aircraft such as the Antonov An-124 "Ruslan". Industry Minister Volodymyr Novytsky headed the Ukrainian delegation. A total of 711 participants from 34 countries participated in the air show. Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko vows to allocate UAH 3.5 billion (USD 1 - UAH 7.99) for modernization of aircraft industry capacities, she said this in Kharkiv on Thursday, August 27. Tymoshenko underlined that there were problems with funding for the aircraft industry and called on representatives of companies producing engines and other parts of aircrafts to ask the government for state guarantees. According to her, there are funds for that.

The Day of the Knowledge in Poltava

September 1st, The Day of Knowledge is the first day of the new school year in Ukraine. Pupils go to schools; students go to universities and institutions, where on this day different celebrations are held. The most spectacular events are at elementary school. Well-dressed first-year children, bringing flowers for their first teacher, gather in the schoolyard or in the school to listen to the first bell ringing. A first-year child, usually a girl, is carried by a graduating student, usually a boy, and she rings a bell, thus, opening a new school year. 2009/2010 school year should become a year of continuation of upgrading the educational sector of Ukraine said President Victor Yushchenko, speaking at meeting on preparation for the 2009-2010 school year, president's press service reported. Among the key tasks upon which all parties should focus the President named further improvement of educational process quality and bringing it in accordance with single European educational space requirements. "We must understand that it is dishonor that the Ukrainian government does not provide training of children in schools in such discipline as Ukrainian language", he said. The President also pointed to importance of school's mission in educating children in the spirit of patriotism and national consciousness. Among other tasks for the new school year, the President named completion of the computerization of schools and implementation of ‘school bus' program, as well as further improvement of independent testing system for graduates. As about parents whose children just started their firs school year, they were to say frankly not happy with the present day prices for school uniform which is obligatory for the pupils of elementary school and hardly could last longer than one school year. Following picture depicts these prices, but to understand what it means for the parents take into account that an average monthly salary in Poltava is about 800-900 hryvnias. Currently 100 Ukrainian Hryvnias (UAH) = 83 Swedish Kronas (SEK).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monument to Hetman Ivan Mazepa in Poltava…. Be or not to be?

Kyiv, August, 26th 2009. President of Ukraine Viktor Uschenko has sent a letter to Poltava City Major Andriy Matkovsky in connection with nonfulfillment of presidential decree about erection of the monument to Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa. On October 28, 1708 as the army of Charles XII turned to Ukraine Hetman Mazepa allied himself with him. As a result an anathema was read against Mazepa by the order of Peter I. Hetman Mazepa as a political figure put himself on record in culture development of his land. In particular, he opened about 200 religious and scientific establishments in Ukraine and supported the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy financially. On October 9, 2007 President Yushchenko signed a decree on celebration of the 300th anniversary of events related to the military-political actions of hetman Ivan Mazepa and making a Ukrainian-Swedish alliance. This decree among many things presumed an erection of the monument to Charles XII in Ukraine and another monument to Hetman Mazepa in Sweden (after being submitted to Swedish side for approval). This decree has produced an ambiguous reaction in Russian and Swedish mass media. Initially it was planned to inaugurate this monument for the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava on the Cathedral Square (photo 1, 2). Afterward the target date for inauguration was put off till Independence Day (August 24th). Now it is rumored that it will be unveiled up to the end of December 2009.President Uschenko holds that Poltava Major Andriy Matkovsky as a member of Yulia Timoshenko Bloc simply takes antistate and treasonable position caused by oncoming new presidential election. Not long ago supporters of Hetman Mazepa organized a rally in Kiev. Some protesters held placards calling for support for Hetman Ivan Mazepa as a National Hero and deportation of Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko from Ukraine to Ural Mountains in Russia (photo 4). As about the monument created by architect Mykola Bilyk and sculptor Viktor Shevchenko (photo 3), it is already completed and waiting for the final decision.

But how long will it take to come to an agreement?

Learn more about Hetman Ivan Mazepa at:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

300th Anniversary of the Battle of Poltava 1oz Silver Bullion Coin was released for the Government of the fourth smallest country in the world

A jubilee silver coin of 1 dollar was released this summer in Australia for the Government of the small island state Tuvalu (located in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia) by the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava.

“The far-away continent with a huge Ukrainian Diaspora thus honored the 300th anniversary of the battle”, Poltava city Major Andriy Matkovskyi said in his interview to Ukrainian media agency UKRINFORM on July 20th 2009.

An official web site of the Perth Mint, Australia didn't confirm this statement but it is well known that a few silver coins dedicated to the outstanding battle of the world's history were issued by this mint. Among them are coins commemorating great military encounters fought at the Battle of Thermopylae, the Battle of Cannae, the Battle of Hastings, the Battle of Poltava, the Battle of Balaklava, and the Battle of Gettysburg. Besides the Perth Mint issued two sets of silver coins dedicated to the Fighting Ships of World War II
and Fighter Planes of WWII.
The coin’s reverse depicts the monument to Peter I in St. Petersburg and color fragment of the painting dedicated to the battle. The coin’s obverse depicts the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the 2009 year-date. An official site of the Perth Mint has announced newly issued coin in the following way:
“Occurring on the 27 June 1709, the most famous battle of the Great Northern War resulted in a decisive victory by Peter the Great of Russia over Charles XII of Sweden. The outcome saw Russia emerge as one of the leading nations in Europe and marked the decline of Sweden as a Great Power.”
The coin is struck from 1 oz of 99.9% pure silver. Each coin is housed in a brown presentation display case and illustrated shipper. It accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The Perth Mint will release no more than 10,000 of these coins worldwide.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Postage stamps that were issued in 1909 for the coming 200th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava.

  • In 1864 each province of Russian Empire was divided into few small districts (counties). Each of newly formed counties has gotten a right to offer postal services and print postage stamps. These county postal services lasted until the Russian Revolution of 1917 and succeeded in issuing 2427 stamps. Means made from selling of these stamps were used for replenishment of local budgets. Part of this money went to newly opened Museum of the Battle of Poltava. All in all 7 postage stamps dedicated to the Battle of Poltava were published in 1909 in Poltava.

Face-value 1 kopecks – Minnesmärke över de stupade svenska krigarna rest av deras landsmän nära byn Pobyvanka

Face-value 2 kopecks - Minnesmärke som rests av ryssarna till de stupade svenskarnas minne

Face-value 3 kopecks - Segermonumentet i Poltava

Face-value 5 kopecks - Minnesmärke över Poltavas fästningkommendant överste Kelin

Face-value 6 kopecks - Minnemärke på den plats där Peter I vilade efter slaget vid Poltava

Face-value 10 kopecks - Graven för fallna ryssar och S:t Sampsoniykyrkan på slagfältet

Face-value 15 kopecks - Peter I av ätten Romanov

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Visit to former military base in Crimea.

When I was going to spend a few days in Crimea I had no idea that even close to the ordinary small village of Chernomorskoye, located on northwest of the peninsula, I will meet something very interesting for the fond of military history. One guy I’ve met by chance on the local beach asked me if I’ve seen the former USSR missile base. In a few minutes I got a full information regarding how to get there. Next day early morning I have entered an area that was a strictly guarded object in the time of Cold war. By 1966, anti-aircraft system S-200 was officially accepted into service instead of outdated missile РZ-25/5В11 “DAL”. The first S-200 operational regiments were deployed in 1966. Each missile is launched by 4 solid-fueled strap-on rocket boosters. After they burn out and drop away (between 3 to 5.1 seconds from launch) it fires a 5D67 liquid fueled sustainer rocket engine. Maximum range is between 150 and 300 km. The missile uses radio illumination mid-course correction. Maximum target speed is around Mach 4. Effective altitude is up to 35,000 m for later models. The warhead is 217 kg high explosive fragmentation triggered by radar proximity fuse or command signal. Some models were equipped with 25 kT nuclear warhead triggered by command signal. Each missile weighs around 7018 kg at takeoff. In the time of the Soviet Union the village of Chernomorskoe was a restricted area. It was a home for the 256th division of missile boats of Black Sea Fleet. After disintegration of the USSR this division was inherited by independent Ukraine and in 2000 it was disbanded. A few boats were shifted to Sevastopol. Another military unit deployed in Chernomorskoe until 1990s was anti-aircraft defense regiment equipped with S-200 anti-aircraft system. Now the site of the former military base is unattended. local authorities do not care any recreation of this area full of pads made of few meter thick reinforced concrete and well protected shelters for the launchers and missiles. Some inhabitants hold that this area could be seriously polluted with rocket propellant or radioactive dust. Any way, nowadays the former military base looks rather sinister. A few cases of mistaken lock-in cased by failure in board electronic equipment of S-200 have been recorded since it has been accepted into service. On October 4th 2001 a Ukrainian missile S-200 fired during military exercises destroyed the Russian civil aircraft Tu-154 flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk. Sixty-six passengers and 12 crew members were killed in the crash.