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    Alexandr Hrustevich is an accordion master

    Aleksandr Hrustevich is a musician from Ukraine whose speciality is the bayan (a chromatic button accordion), an instrument largely unknown in the United States, but gaining momentum in Europe, not least because of Mr. Hrustevich.

    In October 2008, the bayanist uploaded a video of himself playing two minutes of “Summer” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, as well as a few other videos. A year later, the Vivaldi went viral, especially after he was featured in Digg and NPR. Concert organizers reached out to Aleksandr to showcase his incredible ability to interpret complex pieces meant for the violin and piano, to the bayan. We recently interviewed Aleksander to discuss being a performer in the age of the internet, and the challenge of arranging music for such an unusual instrument.

    Read full article on Aleksandr at Notes On The Road

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    Europe’s first electronic computer was created in Ukraine

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    Not everyone knows that the first fully operational electronic computer in continental Europe was created in Ukraine over 60 years ago, in 1951. The first electronic computing machine was called the Small Electronic Calculating Machine (Russian: MESM). Despite the humble name, the machine was hardly “small”; it contained 6,000 vacuum tubes, and just barely fit into the left wing of the dormitory in the former monastic settlement Feofania 10 kilometers outside Kyiv. The machine was created at the laboratory of computing technologies of the Institute of Electric Engineering of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, under the supervision of Academician Sergey Alekseevich Lebedev.

    It began in the 1930’s. The then-young scientist Lebedev was doing research on power grid stability at the All-Union Electric Engineering Institute in Moscow. His work required difficult calculations, and eventually Lebedev began looking for ways to automate and accelerate the calculation process. Thus, the idea was born to create a machine capable of performing complex calculations.

    Read the full history at Euromaidan Press

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    Chernobyl 30 Years Later, In 360

    Thirty years ago, on April 26, 1986 the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The surrounding area, like the town of Pripyat, were evacuated. This is how the area looks — 30 years later. Be sure to view this video on your mobile device and move it around so you can experience the full 360 degree perspective.

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    Russia ‘to release’ Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko after deal

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    Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko is set to be released from Russian prison after a late-night conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, according to the Ukrainian leader.

    Mr Poroshenko announced the deal on Tuesday, a day after a Ukrainian court sentenced two Russian citizens accused of terrorism to 14 years behind bars. Although he did not specify whether Miss Savchenko would be exchanged for the two Russians, Alexander Alexandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, he conceded that their sentencing allowed for  “certain opportunities for using the exchange mechanism.”

    Read the rest of the article at The Telegraph

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    Experience Ukraine

    Ukraine is the largest country in Europe. We have a unique mixture of attractions – the seaside, mountains, kilometers of rivers and lakes, marvelous cities and authentic countryside. Ukraine is beautiful and safe to visit. Every year we host thousands of festivals, sporting events, and music performances. Visit us and find magnificent culture, delicious cuisine and our famous hospitality. Ukraine is the most accessible country in Europe to engage in ecotourism, sports tourism, cultural tourism, winter tourism, food tourism, festival tourism, sea tourism. Experience Ukraine and find what it means for U.

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    The best places to shop in Kyiv, Ukraine

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    Skip the Marais district in Paris. Forget Bond Street in London. When it comes to shopping in Europe, head east to Kiev, where you’ll find covetable vintage and luxury outposts. Yes, that Kiev, the borscht capital of the world. Really! Take it from model Nadiia Shapoval, who scores her eye-catching duds everywhere from a secondhand bazaar—a secret trove for old-school Armani—to concept stores stocking Comme des Garçons and born-and-bred Ukrainian designers alike. Here, Shapoval’s guide to the secretly fashionable city.

    See all 8 Kyiv boutiques on Vogue.com

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    Freedom or Death! documentary film

    American-Ukrainian filmmaker Damian Kolodiy has followed up his 2007 award winning documentary The Orange Chronicles with the documentary film “Freedom or Death”.

    A powerful and compelling account of the violent Maidan Square battles. Kolody travels to his homeland to document the brutal 2014 insurrection from the streets, as the people of Ukraine spontaneously rise up against their corrupt and oppressive government, going to war in the pursuit of a better future. The film chronicles events in Ukraine in 2013-2014 and shows how peaceful pro European protests in Kyiv escalated into a subversive war with Russia.

    You can stream/rent/buy the film on Amazon now.

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    Ukraine tears down giant Lenin statue, live on YouTube

    Exhaustive efforts to tear down Ukraine’s largest remaining monument to Vladimir Lenin bore fruit on Thursday when workers prised the late Soviet leader’s statue from its plinth in the southeastern city of Zaporizhzhya.

    Since a pro-Western uprising ousted a Russia-backed president in 2014, Ukraine has passed laws aimed at severing the former Soviet republic from its communist past – a move some have criticized as an attempt to erase history.

    Nearly 1,000 statues of Lenin have been removed since anti-government protesters tore down his Kiev monument in late 2013, but the 20-metre (66 ft) size of the Zaporizhzhya monument frustrated multiple attempts to pull it down this week.

    Read the rest of this article at Reuters.

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    What Ukraine needs now

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    Two years ago, the people of Ukraine toppled the criminal and tyrannical regime of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych after police opened fire on protestors in Kyiv’s Independence Square. Over 100 people were murdered for making one simple demand of their government — that Ukraine’s citizens be treated with dignity.

    Those who perished defending the Ukrainian people’s unalienable right to liberty and justice are known as the Nebesna Sotnya — the Heavenly Hundred — and their sacrifice was marked in Ukraine and throughout the world on February 20, the Day of Commemoration of the Heavenly Hundred.

    Read more from Paul Grod at iPolitics.ca

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