Autarchy of the Private Cave

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    Ukraine: from the Past to the Future (presentation)

    1st March 2015

    Presentation about Ukraine

    • Goal: general introduction of Ukraine.
    • Target audience: German and international students, including PhD students.
    • Duration: approximately 25-30 minutes.
    • Presented: January, 16, 2015, in Canossa, Universität des Saarlandes, Campus, 66123 Saarbrücken, Deutschland, during the Ukrainian Evening (Landerabend Ukraine).
    • Presentation planning group: Dima Panfilenko (Landerabend organizer), Bogdan Tokovenko, Varvara Obolonchykova, Zarema Ibragimova, Ivan Pryvalov.
    • Slides: Dima Panfilenko (initial version of tourism slides and text), Bogdan Tokovenko (all the other slides/text and final tourism slides/text).
    • Useful feedback and criticism: Varvara Obolonchykova.

    Презентація про Україну

    1st slide
    Ukraine: from the Past to the Future (v5 slides, PDF)
    1st slide with notes
    Ukraine: from the Past to the Future (v5 slides with notes and extra information, PDF)

    You can also download slide notes as a text file.
    Original PowerPoint presentation file is available on request.
    Read the rest of this entry »


    Posted in Kyiv, Life, Society, Ukraine | No Comments »

    Russia shelled Ukrainians from within its own territory

    20th February 2015

    A recent publication in The Guardian references a high-quality conclusive report of Bellingcat proving that in the summer of 2014 Russia used artillery and multiple rocket launch systems (MRLS) from its own territory to strike Ukrainian Army positions, effectively stopping the successful anti-terrorist campaign, and then overtaking long stretches of Ukrainian border (to enable easy supplies of more weapons, tanks, MRLS, and anti-aircraft systems). Shelling was followed by the full-scale Russian ground forces invasion around the 24th of August, which is Independence Day in Ukraine.

    The Bellingcat shelling report is available in several languages and file formats:


    Posted in Life, Ukraine | No Comments »

    Olaf Sundermeyer’s myth: right-extremists rule in Ukraine

    20th October 2014

    Note: this post was written on the 18th-23rd of May 2014, but was not published at that time. I am publishing it now, after minor edits of tenses used. I think that after Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of August 2014 it is absolutely clear that any prior publications regarding “right extremists” in Ukraine were either paid-for Russian propaganda, or simply insufficient analysis of the situation. It is still worth publishing this short text; consider this a cure for minds with only minor propaganda poisoning.

    On Sunday, the 18th of May, the sad 70th anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation by the Soviet regime, in Saarbrucken journalist Olaf Sundermeyer was giving a lecture titled “Ukraine: Die rechte Freiheit – Nationalismus und Rechtsextremismus” ( , or as a PDF).

    I was unable to attend it, but looking at the abstract I felt the need to analyze and criticize the viewpoint Olaf presented. To do so, I went sentence by sentence through the abstract from the link above, picking items I cannot agree with, and providing my arguments.
    Read the rest of this entry »


    Posted in Life, Society, Ukraine | No Comments » journalists fight against pro-war, anti-Ukrainian propaganda in Russian state mass-media

    27th March 2014

    Since December 2013 Russian state mass-media were supporting the former president of Ukraine V. Yanukovych and his criminal, authoritarian kleptocracy.

    Manipulating and distorting facts, and even making up fictitious “events”, Russian state mass-media (and personally Dmitri Kiselyov) tried very hard to depict protesters in the least favorable light possible – as violent gangsters, thugs, fascists, attackers of innocent policemen. (Dmitri Kiselyov, apparently for his fervent propaganda services, was promoted by Putin to become the head of the newly-created Russian state news agency.)

    Russian state mass-media never reported about kidnapped and tortured and murdered protesters, protesters who lost eyes after being shot to the head with rubber bullets, heavily beaten protesters with broken ribs and internal organs rupture.

    They also somehow failed to notice that after the night of November, 30, 2013, the protests were no longer about the EU association treaty, but about the responsibility of those guilty of badly exceeding authority during the night beatings of protesters in Kyiv.

    Further escalation of the crisis and street protests was always the (delayed) consequence of authorities using illegally excessive force against the protesters. After the “Party of regions” tried to basically forbid the entire protest movement with a set of laws in mid-January (while the president-controlled police and prosecutors office were opening hundreds of criminal prosecution cases against the protesters), Euromaidan, out of well-understandable desperation, escalated into open fighting with the now-disbanded “Berkut” special police forces. The Russian propaganda machine was omitting causal events, while depicting the protesters’ response to (unrevealed) oppression, and this was probably the least disgusting technique used.

    Further Yanukovych actions made crystal-clear the primary reason for strong Russian media support: Yanukovych response to the protests was fully coordinated with (and, highly likely, suggested or even ordered by) Moscow. Multiple pieces of evidence support this claim, I’ll only mention two:

    • according to, if I remember correctly, Inna Bohoslovska (member of parliament, the former president’s “Party of regions” faction), every time after tension-decreasing agreements were negotiated and nearly finalized between the former president and opposition leaders (who were representing protesters), the phone call to Moscow followed, after which negotiations were aborted without finalizing any agreements;
    • when the EU officials had a night-long negotiation with Yanukovych, discussing ways out of the crisis, Yanukovych interrupted negotiations to call Putin.

    Clearly, Yanukovych was good for Putin because he was, in fact, a nearly-puppet “president”. Had Yanukovych survived the crisis, the 2015 presidential elections in Ukraine would be as clear and honest as the Crimean referendum, most likely extending Yanukovych presidency for the 2nd term. He could have then followed in the steps of the presidents of Belarus or Kazakhstan (who keep being presidents for many years and even decades). A controllable president of Ukraine was a clear win for Putin, and he didn’t care (and still doesn’t care, of course) about the citizens of Ukraine.

    But I digress, as there is indeed a lot to write on the subject. When the Russian military invasion into Ukraine started at the end of February, Russian mass-media kept generating propaganda; now it had the goal to help Putin gain support inside Russia, to brainwash the citizens of Russian Federation (and, to a certain extent, the Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens who haven’t yet realized that Russian mass-media are poisonous) into believing in (totally ungrounded) scary tales about the hardships and life-threatening conditions of Russian-speaking people in Ukraine.

    To counter Russian propaganda, a group of journalists and volunteers created an anti-propaganda, anti-lies website, which collects lies from Russian mass-media and finds materials proving those are indeed lies.

    Rule of thumb: don’t trust Russian media.
    Especially when they are talking about Ukraine.


    Posted in Society, Ukraine | No Comments »

    Fake news imposter website

    1st December 2013

    One of the primary independent news websites in Ukraine is Українська Правда (The Ukrainian Truth).

    There exists, however, an imposter website, which blatantly edits news reports to discredit Ukrainian people disagreement with the recent actions of the president and the government.
    I call this website “imposter”, because they have the same name (but in Russian) as the above-mentioned original website, a similar domain name, and they also use exactly the same short-name (“УП”). Not a single serious news website would do so.
    They, however, only post news in Russian, while the original website is published in both Ukrainian and Russian (with blogs available in the language of the blog’s author). It is clear that the idea behind the fake news website is to influence and manipulate the opinions of the Russian-speaking people unaware of the true nature of that imposter website.

    It should be of no surprise that domain name of the imposter is currently hosted by a Russian web-development company “”:
    Read the rest of this entry »


    Posted in Society, Ukraine | No Comments »

    Carol of the Bells is a thousand years old Ukrainian song

    24th December 2011

    Arranged by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych between 1901 and 1919, and performed in 1921 at Carnegie Hall, Shchedryk (with a completely different text and now titled Carol of the bells) rapidly became popular in the US.

    The original Ukrainian text tells the tale of a swallow flying into a household to proclaim the plentiful and bountiful year that the family will have. The title shchedryk is derived from the Ukrainian word for “bountiful”. This follows a tradition of praising the hosts of festivities in the songs during those festivities, or when coming to get sweets, small money bills or presents in exchange for nice singing by a group of children.

    English text was written separately, and is copyrighted.

    All the derived music uses the original’s four-note pattern by Mykola Leontovych. Folk song/chant was the basis for Leontovych’s work on this piece. I believe the original song had a similar musical (vocal) pattern, and that “ostinato” figure of music was already present in the song, so Leontovych’s work was probably to smooth out any uneven moments, and formalize the music in notes. Citing wikipedia article, “ostinato motif, a repeated four-note pattern within the range of a minor third is thought to be of prehistoric origins”.


    Posted in Misc, Ukraine | No Comments »

    Вірний переклад українською терміну microarray (post in Ukrainian)

    26th May 2010

    Викладену нижче власну позицію вважаю найправильнішою (і використовую з 2007 року).

    Префікс мікро в українській мові є, і позначає певну кратність (10-6) числової величини (а також просто щось маленьке) – тому його можна зберегти при перекладі першої половини складного слова microarray. Цей префікс також входить до системи одиниць СІ.

    А от слова арей (як вживають деякі автори) в українській мові немає. Також немає сенсу його запозичувати, оскільки існують переклади (слова-еквіваленти). Один зі словників пропонує такі варіанти перекладу слова array українською (у різних контекстах):

    • множина, набір, комплект
    • розташування, решітка, сітка
    • масив, список, поле, ряд
    • решітка даних
    • масив даних
    • матриця

    Я пропоную використовувати термін мікромасив (та похідний від нього мікромасив-експеримент). Цей термін має перевагу над вживаним у Російській Федерації “микрочип-экспериментом”, оскільки “мікрочіп” або просто “чіп” – це усталений термін електроніки, де він позначає кремнієвий електронний елемент з високим ступенем упаковки напівпровідників; натомість “масив” – це Ñ– набір/список [даних], и [двомірна] матриця [даних/ознак/зондів/будь-чого]. Відповідно, мікромасив – це маленька матриця або маленький набір [олігонуклеотидних/кДНК зондів]. Додатковим аргументом проти використання слова чіп вважаю його запозиченість.

    Використання інших варіантів перекладу слова array або не відповідає суті об’єкту, або має неоднозначне трактування. Наприклад, мікроматриця: в молекулярній біології матриця – це ланцюг ДНК, з якого іде синтез, а в ширшому значенні – взагалі будь-яка модель, з якої виготовляють зразки. (Звичайно, слово матриця також Ñ” синонімом слова масив у значенні двомірний масив / двомірна матриця, але слово масив не має – наскільки мені відомо – альтернативних трактувань у молекулярній біології). Розглядати інші варіанти перекладу слова array не вважаю за потрібне, оскільки вони ще менш вдалі за матрицю.

    Таким чином, вірним перекладом терміну microarray є слово мікромасив.


    Posted in Misc, Science, Ukraine | No Comments »