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5.04.16 - 30.04.16
07.07.2016, 09:46

2.05.16 For nearly half a century I begin my day by listening to the BBC latest news. Deplorably, they changed the melody that used to follow the introductory phrase "This is London". But the BBC remains the nost reliable source of information, though in their terms I remain "on the wrong side of history". I expect from the BBC to tell world that on the orders from Kiev the army is sent to crack down on the Untermenschen of Donbass. What would the West have said if Yanukovitch had sent the army to appease Lvov or Ivano-Frankovsk?

30.04.16 When I think about the democratic rhetoric of the Ukrainian English speaking President I cannot help thinking about a simile used in a famous story by O. Henry “The Roads We Take”. The most frequently quoted phrase from the story is: “Bolivar cannot carry double”.

The phrase has already a long story of metaphorical use in its Russian translation: «Боливар не вынесет двоих».

The implication of the expression is that sometimes circumstances are to blame for the inhumanity of one’s decisions. The best contextualization of the phrase that turned into an aphorism long ago can be found in the same story. The transition of the main personage’s face from a deeply sorrowful look to the expression of cold ferocity mingled with inexorable cupidity is shown by O. Henry through a simile:

The soul of the man showed itself for a moment like an evil face in the window of a reputable house.

Something like this happens to Poroshenko’s “European” image tarnished by false promises, nepotism, cronyism, aggressive crack-down on dissent and ruthless pursuit of profit.

29.04.16 I couldn't help laughing when on April 16th 2016 I saw such a headline in The Economist: "Clean-up crew" decoded in the sub-title as "Ukraine is broken, but its civic activists are trying to build a new country".


There is a much more accurate term for the Ukrainian brand of "civic activists": the Spanish borrowing into American English vigilantes.

vigilante - человек, берущий закон в свои руки vigilante [ˌvɪʤɪ'læntɪ] , член "комитета бдительности"

Vigilantes are much more dangerous to the future of the country than corrupt oligarchs and different brands of nationalists who preach good old Nazi beliefs because they are trying to put on a 'European' façade on the ruthless campaign against people who do not share their xenophobic policies.

25.04.16 Do a Barrel Roll - Сделай бочку —  фраза-универсальный совет. Может использоваться для ответа на любой вопрос класса «что мне делать». Сродни классическому совету «снять штаны и бегать».

This is what you say when someone asks you for important advice in their life.

Your friend: "Last night I lost everything. My girlfriend dumped me, I lost my job and I'm starting to lose my grip on reality. What should I do, man?"

You: "Do a barrel roll!"

It may be used in its direct meaning. (A barrel roll is a term for an aerial maneuver) An example from the headline of the news item:

by Keael January 15, 2006

Russia denies wrongdoing after jet barrel-rolls over U.S. aircraft

By Sophie Tatum and Barbara Starr, CNN

Updated 1307 GMT (2007 HKT) April 17, 2016 http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/16/politics/russian-jet-barrel-rolled-us-aircraft/index.html

21.04.16 The expression политика кнута и пряника - stick and carrot policy - is common to both Russian and English language. However, it is not so common as a piece of devastating criticism of the government of the Ukraine:

Enough Carrots for Ukraine. Time to Break Out the Sticks.

What Kiev needs now is a dose of tough love.

By Josh Cohen <:time datetime="2016-04-20T15:33:12-04:00">April 20, 2016


17.04.16 Regard a new telescopic word that appeared in the English language news media - USkraine (USA + Ukraine). This neologism casts a shade of doubt on the so called "independence" of Ukraine against the backdrop of its slavish attitude to Uncle Sam.

11.04.16   Canada comes 6th on the list of the world's happiest countries, but the indigenous people seem to know little about it. They would certainly feel it better if they came on a sightseeing tour to the Ukraine that unashemedly proceeds to mumble something about its European roots while most Ukranians live in poverty under the yoke of millionairs. A sad story from the BBC:

An indigenous community in northern Canada has declared a state of emergency after 11 people attempted to take their own lives in one day. The Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario saw 28 suicide attempts in March and more than 100 since last September, Canadian media said, with one person reported to have died. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the news "heartbreaking".

Canada's 1.4 million indigenous people have high levels of poverty.

Their life expectancy is also below the Canadian average.


5.04.16  One of the most incompetent articles I've read about Russian-American relations was written by a woman with a Russian name. The article has style and clever references as well as a lot of snake bites. One of them was not reproduced in the translation, but carries a significant message in it. Can you decode which?

The Exit Solution? Lilia Shevtsova Published on: March 30, 2016  How the West Misjudged Russia Part 10

One might ask whether I oppose dialogue and compromise. My answer is that some kinds of compromise help to resolve conflicts, and other kinds only exacerbate them. The compromises offered by the pragmatists often undermine vital principles and values for the sake of illusory or temporary gains. The time has come to discuss the consequences of the “let’s accommodate” approach.


Может возникнуть вопрос, не выступаю ли я против диалога и компромиссов. Отвечу: некоторые компромиссы помогают урегулировать конфликты, другие же только усугубляют их. Предлагаемые прагматиками компромиссы зачастую подрывают важные принципы и ценности — и все ради иллюзорных или временных достижений. Пришло время обсудить последствия такого «компромиссного» подхода.


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