Saturday, October 27, 2012

Barbies Spreading in Ukraine.

Ukrainian girls from the city of Odessa keep making the news for altering their appearance in dramatic fashion. The story of a girl who turned herself into a real life Barbie doll has spread across the globe and the saga continues. Two more girls, Anime and Dominika, have become living dolls and received publicity for their disturbing looks.
Anime, 19-year-old Anastasiya Shpagina, transformed herself into an anime character and never leaves the house without makeup. Applying the makeup takes Anime a few hours to accomplish so she wakes up at 5 a.m. to make it to work on time. When she walks down the street in a fairy-like outfit, with long purplish hair, looking at the world with her raccoon-like eyes, it doesn’t go unnoticed. “I don’t pay attention to reactions, the most important thing for me is my comfort,” Anime said during a talk show on a Ukrainian TV channel.

In interviews with Anime, which appeared on mainstream television in Ukraine and Russia over the past months, she gave the impression of being a pleasant, slightly naïve, girl, who is living in a dream and plays a fairy in a fairytale. She subsists almost entirely on honey-dew—no bread, meat or fish; mostly fruit and veggies. However, she is probably not as naïve as a fairy—her extreme makeup and unconventional style serve as a great promotional tool.
Anime is a hairdresser and makeup artist so all that publicity will, hopefully, work well for her career. She said that right now she’s interested in focusing on her work, but in the future would like to move out of the city and have a family. She says she doesn’t have a boyfriend and states that she would like to have plastic surgery to enlarge her eyes, to make them the size of the ones she paints on her face with makeup. She claims she hasn’t had any plastic surgery and her look is only the visual effect of styling and make up.
Unlike her, Barbie – also known as Valeriya Lukyanova – and her friend, Olga Oleynik, aka Dominika, had breast surgeries and accentuate their “Barbiness” with long hair, giant eyes, contact lenses, small mouths, tiny waists, curvy hips, full busts, and slightly manipulative unemotional manners. In a talk show, Barbie said her measurements were 86/47/86, in centimeters, which in inches equals 33.85/18.5/33.85. Olga Oleynik said that she has had breast surgery to balance the proportion with her hips because she is all about harmony and perfection.
What is it that makes these girls turn themselves into living dolls? A struggle for perfection or escape from reality?
It seems to have a connection to “Barbie doll syndrome” – when young girls try to attain impossible standards of beauty – but with Odessa girls it varies from case to case.

Barbie - Valeria Lukyanova
Anime seems to be a young girl who’s not completely comfortable in her skin and experiments with styles. Anime’s body image doesn’t radiate Barbie’s sexiness. She says the world is cruel and is full of unhappy people and it’s easier to live the way she does, creating a fairy tale for herself.
Barbie, whose spiritual name is Amatue, openly says she exploits her looks as internet PR to attract people to her lectures on esoteric subjects where – for $80 per person – she teaches astral projection.
Dominika seems to be similar to Barbie and calls herself her spiritual sister. They appear together in interviews and talk about esoteric matters. She positions herself as an artist and a fashion designer.
Whatever this ‘Barbie-Flu’ in Odessa is, it seems to be creating a phenomena that the world is watching with  great interest, clicking through the weird pictures and videos, looking into their doll-like eyes. Barbie, Anime, Dominika—what’s next?

Boxer-Turned-Politician Shakes Up Ukrainian Elections

 Vitali Klitschko, the world heavyweight boxing champion, stood on an outdoor stage — gloves off, sport coat on — pounding away, oratorically, in his bid to win a large number of seats for his party in Ukraine’s parliamentary elections on Sunday.

Mr. Klitschko, the leader of an opposition party, the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform, has injected an element of unpredictability into an election that from the outset has seemed heavily tilted in favor of the Party of Regions of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.
Critics here and in the West say the race is distorted by the continued imprisonment of prominent opposition leaders, government manipulation of media outlets and other malfeasance.
But where others see a fixed fight, Mr. Klitschko sees opportunity. With one giant hand wrapped around a microphone, the other occasionally chopping the air, he landed blow after blow against the status quo, lamenting that Ukraine has lagged behind its Eastern European neighbors.
He denounced corruption among the authorities, and insisted that pensions and salaries should be bigger and living standards better. “Six million Ukrainians do not see a future for themselves in this country and are looking for jobs abroad, 70 percent of young people want to leave the country and live abroad,” he told a crowd of about 250 gathered at an athletic field here.
“What future we can talk about?” Wages, he said, should be such “ that for a month’s salary a television set and a washing machine could be bought, a car in five years and an apartment in 10 years.” To applause and chants of “Klitschko! Klitschko!” he declared, “We can do this.”
In a country where politics in recent years has focused almost entirely on the bitter rivalry between President Yanukovich and the jailed former prime minister, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, Mr. Klitschko, 41, is emerging as a serious force.
The acronym for Mr. Klitschko’s party, Udar, spells the word “punch” in Ukrainian, and polls show it surging into second place, ahead of the opposition coalition that includes Ms. Tymoshenko’s party, Fatherland, but still trailing the governing Party of Regions and its allies.
The precise makeup of Parliament, called the Verkhovna Rada, will not be known until weeks after Sunday’s voting because half of the 450 seats will be filled by individual candidates not required to declare a party affiliation. The other half are filled proportionally through voting for party lists.
The election is being watched closely as a gauge of democracy in Ukraine, a former Soviet republic of 45 million, once viewed as on a steady track toward integration with Europe after the Orange Revolution of 2004.
But the country has become increasingly isolated since Mr. Yanukovich’s election in a runoff with Ms. Tymoshenko in 2010.
Control of Parliament will also be a major factor in the higher-stakes presidential contest in 2015.
Mr. Yanukovich’s government has taken aggressive steps to show the elections as fair, even installing Web cameras in more than 30,000 polling stations.
Officials say that Ukraine is being unfairly maligned in the West, largely based on the case of Ms. Tymoshenko, who they insist was legitimately convicted on charges related to the alleged rigging of natural gas contracts with Russia.
Sergey Tigipko, a vice prime minister, said in an interview that Mr. Yanukovich’s administration had steered Ukraine out of the financial crisis, with solid growth since 2010, improvements in social services, and increases in pensions.
Mr. Tigipko said that record would help the Party of Regions win support not just from its base, in the Russian-speaking predominantly east and south of the country, but also in the center and the Ukrainian-speaking west.
“The economic growth and the improvement in social standards should convince people,” Mr. Tigipko said.
But financial analysts say that the country’s economy is in trouble again as a result of flagging demand in Europe, particularly for steel, Ukraine’s main export.
Critics, including senior Western leaders, say Mr. Yanukovich’s government has a long way to go to prove its commitment to democracy.
In an opinion column inThe New York Times this week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs, described “worrying trends” in Ukraine, including “reports of the use of administrative resources to favor the ruling party candidates.”
But no critic has been as harsh as Ms. Tymoshenko, who looms large in Ukraine’s political life, even from prison.
In an open letter to Mr. Yanukovich this week, she complained about her treatment in prison, saying she was secretly recorded even in the bathroom. “Maybe you get more self-confidence in your political capability by watching a female political opponent naked,” she wrote.
Supporters of Ms. Tymoshenko say they are counting on the European Court of Human Rights to order her release, and on her running again for president.
One of her lawyers, Sergey Vlasenko, said the elections could never be considered fair because Ms. Tymoshenko was barred from the ballot.
“These elections are already fraud,” Mr. Vlasenko said in an interview. “If Ms. Tymoshenko would be free, the campaign would be totally, totally different.”
But analysts say many voters are disenchanted with the familiar choices.
“There is a demand for a new political figure, after disillusionment with the old ones,” said Mikhail Pogrebinsky, the director of the Kiev Center of Political and Conflict Studies, a research group.
Mr. Pogrebinsky said that Mr. Klitschko is famous, though not a traditional politician, and plain-spoken, both advantages. He is also mostly untested, having served in the Kiev City Council and run unsuccessfully for mayor.
His newness — and independent wealth — seemed to appeal to voters in Boryspil, a city of 53,000 about 22 miles from the capital, Kiev, and the location of the country’s main international airport.
On Thursday, supporters stood atop a decommissioned Soviet armored personnel carrier that was repainted bright red with the name of Mr. Klitschko’s party emblazoned in white on its side, and waved flags directing people to his rally.
The after-work crowd was largely receptive, applauding enthusiastically at several points, especially when he criticized what he called the greed of current officials.
Ukrainian news accounts have recently focused on a huge residential compound, with a golf course and other trappings where Mr. Yanukovich lives outside of Kiev
Ilona Musayeva, 40, who sells cosmetics from a stall in a local market, said that she would vote for Mr. Klitschko and that the public did not have to worry about him stealing from taxpayers. “I respect him,” she said. “I think he has enough money.”
Mrs. Musayeva and other Boryspil residents said it was hard for young people to find work, hard for old people to live on their pensions, hard to do much more than struggle to get by.
On stage, Mr. Klitschko said he had ruled out any partnership with the Party of Regions but after the elections might consider an alliance with Ms. Tymoshenko’s party, now led by Arseniy Yatseniuk, 38, a former foreign minister.
Mr. Klitschko insisted that Ukraine should — and could — keep up with its neighbors.
“We promise good salaries, good pensions, good medical care, good living conditions,” he said, to applause and cheers. “Poles could do it. Georgians could do it. And we also can do it. That is why we have engaged in this battle for Ukraine, and I am sure that we shall win it.”

Unique outside Fitness in Kiev.

In Kiev, some sports nuts prefer to use salvaged tank chains and tires instead of barbells to beef up. At a unique open-air fitness park in the heart of the Ukrainian capital, body builders are still getting pumped up Soviet-style. A new photography book documents their efforts.


For many people, getting in shape entails heading to a members-only gym, complete with digital exercise machines and a luxurious sauna. But at a popular sports park in Kiev, things a far more hardcore.
In his latest photography book, Ukrainian photographer Kirill Golovchenko documents how people pump iron at a special place in his home country. "Kachalka: Muscle Beach" explores a Soviet-era open-air fitness area covering ten square kilometers (6.2 square miles) on the island of Tuhev in the heart of Ukraine's capital. There, entry has been free to anyone who wants to stay fit for the last 40 years.
The Ukrainian word Kachat means "to pump," and looking at the sunny images captured around the park's more than 200 weight-lifting stations, one can almost hear the sound of clinking weights, rep by rep. The unpadded benches, made simply of wood and painted blue, look more like medieval torture devices than benchpress stations.
It was here in the early 1970s that Polish gymnast Kasimir Jagelsky and mathematics professor Yuri Kuk realized their dream of creating a place for collective outdoor strength training. The fitness equipment is made from material that comes from a time when there was a surplus of scrap metal. Large vehicle parts serve as both weights and footbeds for rowing benches, and much of the equipment looks like it was salvaged from landfills and defunct factories.
One of the photos shows three men exerting themselves on a contraption made of various bars and and tractor tires, while another portrays a man wearing shorts and flip flops straining mightily to lift a piece of a tank chain into the air. It is a drama of biceps and triceps centered on the principles of tension and release.
Political Instruments
Golovchenko, whose book has been published is in both German and English, gives these bodybuilders the attention they most likely crave, though one doesn't learn much more about them than their love of outdoor fitness. Fittingly, Golovchenko's hero from childhood, which the 38-year-old spent in Ukraine, was Arnold Schwarzenegger. But with his cliché-filled photos of these athletes, he captures a place that lies well beyond the world of sports media that worshipped the Austrian body builder.
In the prologue, which Golovchenko affectionately refers to as "the smallest workout," there is a picture of a blue and white towel embroidered with the words "Moscow Olympics 1980." Indeed, the sporting spirit of the former Soviet Union inevitably infuses many of the portraits. In one photo, a scrawny, elegantly dressed 85-year-old man trains his pecs using a pulley. The sailor, the mechanic, the armored unit -- much of that era's imagery doesn't seem far off.
In addition to highlighting the constructivist design of the fitness equipment, the book's layout recalls Russian revolutionary art, complete with agitprop typography. Finally, the book, published by Kehrer, brings back the long-forgotten 17 x 23 centimeter format that was popular in the 1980's.
Golovchenko's sweat-filled pictures could be interpreted as an ambitious portrait of Ukraine. The will of this nation, where the political order hovers somewhere between oligarchy and democracy, is clearly strong. After all, bodies can be political instruments too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dynamo Kyiv, Thinking about Darren Fletcher

After a long break, the mifielder of Manchester United Darren Fletcher (28), according to the rumors of, is observed by Dynamo Kyiv. He has a deal with Man. Unit. until June 2015.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ukrainian Kozak (Cossack)

The correct pronunciation of the word Cossack in Ukrainian. In plural - Kozaky

- Kozaks are the famous Ukrainian rebel fighters
- Kozak soldier is a romantic and a violent medieval hero of Ukraine
- To be called a Kozak in Ukraine is a grand compliment

At the start of the 16th century Ukrainian peasants runaway from their masters to the uninhabited southern steppes of Ukraine and set up their infamous gangs and the Kozak State.

Those guys were crazy fighters and big time party animals. Quickly the glory about the wild and fearless rebels had spread around the Europe.

In the 1648-54 war against Poland, now the kozak army supported by the Ukrainian peasants had defeated the Polish King and took control of Ukraine and the capital Kyiv (Kiev).

Unfortunately Hetman Khmelnycky decided to ally with the Mowscow Kingdom, and as a result the Kozak statehood was finished off by the Russian Queen in 1775 and the whole country suffered from the Russian rule for three centuries.

Well known Hollywood film 'Taras Bulba' tells the story of kozak officer by the name of Taras, who kills his own son for betraying him and Ukraine after falling in love with a pretty polish chick.
Ukraine has not died yet! The Kozak blood is still running in our veins!

Pavlo, you are the REAL kozak, man!

International Jazz Festival in Kyiv

Jazz in Kiev will star on Oct.26 in Kiev’s October Palace.
The fest will bring together modern jazz musicians from the Japan, USA,  Sweden, Poland, Norway, Mexico and of course Ukraine.
For more details please visit web site:

Ukraine: heading into recession

In the runup to Ukraine’s October 28 parliamentary election, polls show that the majority of Ukrainians want change, a break from the autocratic rule of President Viktor Yanukovich. They aren’t alone.
Ukraine is heading into its second recession in four years. Businesses and investors on the ground see the investment climate getting much worse for everyone – except Yanukovich’s billionaire oligarch backers.
Next week’s election is for parliament only – the presidency won’t be contended until 2015. But by voting in large numbers for the opposition, Ukrainians are expected to voice a deepening dissatisfaction with the Yanukovich regime.
“In 3Q Ukraine went into a recession. We downgrade our real GDP forecast for 2012 to 0%. GDP dynamics in 3Q and 4Q will be negative,” Austria’s Erste Bank said in a note to investors this week.
Source: IMF, Bloomberg, Erste Group Research
“[Economic] activity is sluggish as foreign demand remains weak and maintaining the UAH:USD [currency] peg is coming at an increasing cost to the economy,” added Olena Bilan, chief economist at Kiev-based investment bank Dragon Capital.
The downturn is expected to be much milder than the whopping 15 per cent plunge in GDP that hit Ukraine during the 2009 global recession. But the current economic pain is not winning over any friends for Yanukovich, his government or the ruling Party of Regions.
“Investors have been spooked by looming fiscal pressure, corruption, and general uncertainty in the run up to October’s parliamentary elections,” the Kiev-based European Business Association said when it published its investment attractiveness index this month.
Source: European Business Association
What’s causing the economic downturn?
Global demand for steel, Ukraine’s top export, is drying up. Added to that, “Persistently tight banking system liquidity is pushing bank lending rates to prohibitively high levels, depressing economic growth,” said Bilan at Dragon Capital. With the Euro 2012 football championship in the past, multi-billion-dollar state spending on infrastructure has dried up. The government is redirecting precious resources to a populist, pre-election spending splurge.
This from London-based Capital Economics:
Ukraine’s large external financing requirement and its heavy dependency on industrial exports to Western Europe make it among the most vulnerable countries in Emerging Europe to a re-escalation of the euro-crisis. This, coupled with the potential for political instability following this month’s parliamentary elections, means that growth is likely to disappoint and the [domestic currency] is likely to come under renewed pressure.
With such dark clouds on the horizon, will Ukraine’s leadership re-engage with the International Monetary Fund to unlock billions of dollars of low-interest loans that have been frozen since last year amid lacklusture reform efforts?
Andriy Klyuyev, national security chief and head of the Party of Regions’ election campaign, downplayed the recession threat. “There will be no recession,” he told beyondbrics, while blaming the downturn on deeper troubles in the eurozone. “There will be small growth.”
Ukraine is keen to renew cooperation with the IMF, Klyuyev said, but would not implement one major IMF condition: raising gas prices on households to market levels by cutting costly subsidies that have strained state finances. He called for a compromise.
Deep in election mode, Klyuyev was confident his party would win on October 28, adding that the nation’s cash-stripped citizens simply could not afford to pay higher prices.
In fact, an IMF working paper calls on Ukraine to increase gas prices mostly on the rich, protecting the poor with targeted support. That would go some way to allaying suspicions that subsidised gas is being diverted from households to private business.
Bilan at Dragon Capital predicted that Ukrainian policymakers would – when the election is over and reality sets in – become more “flexible in addressing macroeconomic problems by bringing the IMF program back on track, allowing the currency to adjust and tightening fiscal policy.”
We shall see.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


7inch screen
1280x800 resolution
10 hour battery life
500,000 Android app (non optimised for tablets)

From £159 ($199)
HD front cameras

7inch screen
12800x800 display 
11 hour battery life
50,000 apps in Amazon appstore
From £129 ($199)
HD front facing camera

The iPad Mini suggest a device measuring 7.85inches, with an aluminium back-cover similar to the most recent iPad.
It is likely to sport a rear-facing camera and come with Apple's newest 'lightning' connector, a controversial re-design which made previous accessories and chargers obsolete without an adapter.
If Apple follows its usual design styles, it is likely to come in white and black versions, with a choice of WiFi only, or a 3G option.