29 March 2006

Total Solar Eclipse Visible from Kyiv

Looking from Kyiv at 13:06 (according to this table) the Sun will be totally eclipsed by the moon today. Read about the Solar Eclipse here.

Update: I guess I read the table incorrectly, because nothing really happened. I was reading under "Maximum Eclipse". Next I will try 14:14 the table entry under "Fourth Contact" adjusted for Ukraine (GMT +2 hrs).

28 March 2006

Yujlka oh Yujlka

Ran across this animation (in Russian) of an ode to Yulia by some boys you might recognize from Donetsk. Check it out.

Ukraine Votes V

So it looks like I was a day off in my prediction. The votes are now 87% counted. Yanukovych is a player again albeit with no real political force to form a coalition with. (Did he really congratulate Lukashenka? -- why am I surprised). What will his job be?

Personally not happy with Pora-PRP's performance. I thought they would fare much better. I know several people that weighed Viche vs. Pora-PRP and, in the end voted for Viche.

I watched an entertaining interview with Vitrenko last night on Ukrainian T.V. She has an exit poll showing that she received 30% of the vote and claims that the Yushchenko admin-machine has applied all its evil forces to deprive her of her rightful place in government.

Our Ukraine has to be pissed with this result, but hey, the Ukrainian people have spoken. It's pretty clear they don't want the wishy-washy, concilliatory Yushchenko methods. They DO want to see direct action against being stifled and held back in their pursuit of whatever it is they feel they want to pursue. Please, remember the one year anniversary of the OR on Maidan? Yushchenko with the stack of papers, plowing through page by page vs. Yulia with her seemingly off the cuff fiery speech. Maybe Our Ukraine should have hired some high-power Washington PR firm like regions did. There's an orange arrogance within their ranks. I think the whole maydan/orange campaign was a mistake. Let me get this straight. No falsification/Gongadze perpetrators behind bars, crooks in your ranks, a deal with Yanukovych, a shady gas deal and you're going to promote "Ne Zrad Maydan". How about, "Ok we've made some mistakes...but we've got the vision and we'll get the job done".

Question to those who voted for BYut: Did you vote for Yulia because she is the so-called "lesser of the evils", or do you really believe that Yulia is the right answer to move the country forward?

All in all, Ukraine did achieve free and fair elections acknowledgement from the west. The exchange rate hasn't budged. People are still going about their business working and spending money. The economy remains stable through an election campaign in Ukraine which should be good for attracting foreign investment. Let's hope for this suggested coalition to be established in short order so the political forces can stop the posturing and form a government that starts doing some work. There is much to be done.

27 March 2006

Ukraine Votes IV - CEC Progress Trend

If you trend the regular CEC result updates on Ukrainska Pravda the counting progress is accelerating. Assuming it will continue accelerating at the same pace my predicted completion time is around 1 am. My completion estimate is based on Microsoft's math. Reliable? Here is the actual data, the trendline is not shown.

Ukraine Votes III - 20% Counted (12:41 Kyiv Time)

Regions 25,54%
BYuT 23,61%
Our Ukraine 17,28%
Socialists 7,7%
Communists 3,41%
Lytvyn 2,72%
Pora-PRP 1,36%
Vitrenko 2,01%
Viche 1,31%
Kostenko Plushch 2,5%
Green 0,74%
Ne Tak 0,69%

In the Kyiv Mayoral race with 4% of the votes counted, Chernovetsky is ahead with 33% of the votes followed by Omelchenko and Klitshcko neck in neck at around 21%. What would it mean if Chernovetksy becomes mayor?

26 March 2006

Ukraine Votes II - First Exit Polls 22:00

Well the first results are in 33% Regions, 23% Byut, 14% Our Ukraine. These are based on exit polls as of 18:00, 18,000 voters polled.

Ukraine Votes

On the way into the city for the girls' ballet, this election day morning, the only unusual sight was the abundance of grey billboards where once the political ads had been. Ukrainian law demanded that political advertising be completely removed -- and it appears to have been implemented. On Khreschatyk however, instead of the orange Our Ukraine banners on the light poles, plain orange ones are hanging. What is that? Looks bogus.

Flipping through the TV coverage now. Most of the coverage is about long lines, and voters giving up and going home. Also, there were some complaints of there not being enough ballot boxes leading to overstuffing and an inability to insert ones ballot.

Just saw video footage of the orange banners on Khreshchatyk.

As of 21:00, 24,000 Ukrainian voters outside of Ukraine have voted.

25 March 2006


have a look for yourself more on neeka's backlog

Tennis Lessons at a Polling Station

As it turns out, the place Romchyk and Maya have tennis lessons on Saturday nights, in Nyvky, is a polling station. The corridor on the way to the courts is lined with posters for what seems like 100 meters. At the end of the hall two police officers are guarding the door to where the voting booths have been set up and the ‘vybortcha komisia’ is scurrying around getting ready for tomorrow’s elections.  The posters of right side of the corridor are all identical in format.
The name of the party, mug shots of the top five deputy candidates on the list followed by a text description of the party’s platform.  On the left, the posters have the name of the party at the top and a list of the all deputies on that party’s ticket.  It is pretty sickening to see the former head of the CEC, Kivalov, among others, high up on the Regions list. To add to the fun, underneath the posters are A4 black and white sheets for each Kyiv mayoral candidate. There’s a lot of text up there on the walls. It would take hours to read it all.  

Cousin D is in town from New York and now in Dnipropetrovsk observing the election. Cousin M, affectionately known as “Uncle Buck” due to his random appearances, is in from Chicago observing in Odesa.

Romchyk has quite a forehand, Maya just drank a bottle of Bonaqua water (no-gas). I’m off-line (no wireless at the polling station/tennis center) and wondering what is happening in Minsk where things were heating up when we left.   CNN showed footage of large quantities of militia forming…it was an ugly sight.

24 March 2006

Minsk Authorities Move In

a quote from another email:

460 people got arrested this morning at 4:30am

Tomorrow is a huge rally at 12pm at October Square. We will see if the opposition can turn their people out.

23 March 2006

Belarus - Waiting for Saturday

My main feed live journal user "lipski" with updates straight from the square, decided to put his reporting on hold until Saturday when the big rally is supposed to happen. Also, I received a copy of this email to a friend of mine from his friend:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ***************
Date: Mar 22, 2006 9:25 AM
Subject: Re: Sunday


Still alife...

Yesterday there were around 5,000 people on the Square around 7 pm. There were 11 embasadors. I was standing in 2 steps from one of them. Today I saw myself on TV in EuroNews. At night there were no light on the street where the demonstrators were standing... On the opposite side of the street the light was on...

Police was among the people and they were laughing at us...

It was snowing and was very cold... I got totally cold... And spent an hour and a half to get home... Today it was minus 9 in the morning. And it will be cold further...

There is not enough people... That is very bad! People are not ready. They are satisfied with what they have now. They just do not know a better life...

My best friend (*****) got to prison yesterday for 10 days for giving a 5 minutes speech yesterday on the Square...

People are afraid...

I was at the Square till 11:30 pm yesterday. Then I went home where continue watching EyroNews - the only channel here that shows something...

My morning begun from watching TV again...

Police is ready, lots of police. They are hiding not far from the Square...

March 25th we expect some sort of demonstration - it is a Day of Freedom that we celebrate annualy nonofficial obviously.

Lviv Teacher Fined for Using Admin-Resource

On the way to work this morning Radio-ERA had a story about a Lviv teacher that was reprimanded and fined for using a party platform newspaper as the text for a dictation exam. The quote used, referred the parties that currently call themselves the opposition, as russian colonialists that want to hand over Ukraine to Russia.

21 March 2006

The White Madonna (please)

Back to Ukraine for a moment...can't resist. A giant face of Yulia Timoshenko on a billboard in Chernivtsi is "crying". Miracle? Coincidental or intentional rip in the billboard in just the right place? Hmmm....

Whitehouse Supports Call for New Election

They did it! They came out again and even managed to put up some tents and spend the night. The U.S. has now come out and declared it's support of the call for a repeat election. The call is out to stay on the square all day and to rally again at night. Number estimates from last night vary depending on source.

20 March 2006

October Square Part 2 (Belarus)

I am addicted to the lipski blog. Apparently he's on the square. The updates are minute by minute. People are gathering. He's estimating 2,000 already. Let's hope for that logarithmic activization of the population.

Reuters Confirms Greater Numbers

Encouraging to see REUTERS report 10,000 protesters last night. OCSE press conference scheduled at 12:00 GMT to report their conclusions. There's a Minsk webcam link on Neeka's Backlog, here's the link to it: Click for Webcam

Belarus 3,000 or 30,000?

This morning on the way to work, Ukrainian radio-ERA had nothing on the election in Belarus except a generic statement about Lukashenko winning and Milinkevich getting only 6% of the vote. Nothing about whether or not Ukraine is recognizing the result. No statement from the ministry of foreign affairs. Maybe later. Neeka's Backlog has great coverage at: http://vkhokhl.blogspot.com/.

Look at the photos at the bottom of this page. It's from a key Belarus information site Charter 97 (English version available). Look at it while you can because they've been battling Lukashenko hackers to keep it on line. If it's offline, try a little while later.

I’d say there’s a few more than the 3,000 that Belarus police (and NYT, sadly) mis-reported. Also note that the snow was apparently machine-made snow blown on the crowd by the authorities. Last night, public transit did not go to the center and the subway was not stopping at the Oktyabirska stop under their "Maydan". Mobile phone service was disrupted as well (perhaps due to call volume).

Well, hat's off to the people who went out and partook in the unprecedented gathering last night. The call is out for a protest at 18:30 tonight.

02 March 2006

More Startup Fun

This morning, early, before being beaten down by the barrel of laughs called "startup", I did a showroom walkthrough to welcome customers and thank them for their car purchases. I met one gentlemen who was in the process of buying a car. I asked about his impressions of our customer service and handed him my business card in case he had any future questions or concerns. Later that same day, he calls me about his new car handover experience. To show the customer the engine compartment, where to add windshield washing fluid, etc. our sales consultant opened the hood and propped it up with the support. Said sales consultant, apparently a little flustered, forgot to remove the rod holding up the hood of the car and tried to close the hood by forcing it down so hard that he drove the supporting rod down into the body and ripped a hole through the quarter panel from the inside out. Not a good customer experience. Or was it? Maybe it was actually the customer that did the damage and was now in cohoots with the sales consultant so that the car gets repaired at company expense? Not a bad deal for either of them -- screw the company. I will speak with the sales consultant in person tomorrow. No doubt there will be some elaborate all-encompassing explanation. Truly interesting where the creativity in my employees lies. If only to channel it the right way.