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Ukrainian for beginners

Note of High Commissioner on National Minorities OSCE on the Joint Monitoring Missions in Ukraine and Romania

75758_2The Hague, 16 November 2006


In October and November of the current year two monitoring missions in the framework of the Joint Commission on National Minorities took place in Ukraine and Romania respectively. The following is a preliminary assessment of the two monitoring missions, including comments and suggestions on procedural and substantive matters.

Conducting joint monitoring missions with the participation of international observers has proven to be a timely and constructive initiative which can contribute to the advancement of the minority protection mechanisms in the two countries as well as to the general improvement of bilateral relations at both central and local levels. According to the High Commissioner on National Minorities, the protection of minorities is first and foremost a responsibility of the state where the minorities reside. However, other states may have a legitimate interest in the well-being of their kin minorities abroad as long as this interest is expressed with respect to the principles of sovereignty, good neighbourly relations and non-discrimination. The Romanian-Ukrainian monitoring commission is an example of a constructive, bilateral approach to the sensitive issue of kin-minority support and could set a good precedent for other states. Читати далі: Note of High Commissioner on National Minorities OSCE on the Joint Monitoring Missions in Ukraine and Romania

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Ensuring effective participation of persons belonging to national minorities via an efficient cooperation model

БезымянныйAs part of the EPP seminars in Belarus, Aliona Grossu gave a presentation in Mahiliou today on the need for states to ensure the effective participation of persons belonging to national minorities in public, social, cultural and economic life.
Her presentation began by highlighting the fact that the ability for minorities to effectively participate in these areas of life depends considerably on the existing means of a state to effectively support and maintain active participation.
Through references to a number of specific provisions for transposition in national legislation, Ms Grossu considered which international standards and mechanisms are relevant for effective participation. She argued that when monitoring a mechanisms’ effectiveness, particular attention should be given to the promotion of equality and non discrimination.
After highlighting these key areas for observation, Ms Grossu’s presentation studied the efficiency of various consultative mechanisms for aiding in the active participation of minority groups in society, giving particular reference to the differing types and roles of these bodies in society.
Finally, her presentation provided an in depth analysis of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia of the Republic of Moldova as a case study for how changes to autonomy affect the participation of persons belonging to national minorities. Читати далі: Ensuring effective participation of persons belonging to national minorities via an efficient cooperation model

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High Commissioner on National Minorities addresses OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Autumn Meeting on Ukraine crisis

116009OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Astrid Thors addressed the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Autumn Meeting in Geneva on 3 October 2014, and participated in the debate on Ukraine.

Thors said the crisis in Ukraine was complex and had several causes, some of which are not issues that typically fall under the High Commissioner’s mandate. Among the causes that the High Commissioner has been addressing for over 20 years are linguistic issues. “It is indisputable that long-standing disagreements about the respective roles of the Ukrainian and Russian languages and different interpretations of history in Ukraine have aggravated this crisis,” Thors said.

“Language issues have been used in Ukraine time and again to gain political advantage without considering the risk to national unity.”

In February, Thors called for a language policy that “promotes the State language while providing safeguards for minority languages” and called for “restraint, responsibility and dialogue” on this issue. Читати далі: High Commissioner on National Minorities addresses OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Autumn Meeting on Ukraine crisis

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Chernivtsi and its inhabitants: who they were and who they should be

PrintChernivtsi and its inhabitants: who they were and who they should be
A century ago, the hero of cartoonist Ben Kaczor, a foreign tourist with Baedekerian guidebook «Czernowitz» in his hands, saw Chernivtsi as a multicultural city, where Ukrainian, Germans, Jews, Poles, Romanians and people of other ethnic origin peacefully coexisted in the space of one street (see the cover).
«Six ethnic nationalities resided here side by side occupying themselves with their daily affairs, trying to be the West in the East, namely to stand under the sign of European culture, – wrote George Drozdowski, recalling his life in Chernivtsi before the World War I. – We were keeping the contact with the space where sun was setting, and saved it deliberately and persistently until the hour of the historical Bukovyna disappearance has come».
A lot has changed since then, the place of German, Polish and Jewish (Yiddish) languages was held by Russian language, but the cheerful spirit of Bukovynian Babylon is still dozing in shabby walls of old houses.
This picture shows us the street, which during the last 70 years bears the name of the leading figure of Ukrainian theatre Mariya Zan’kovets’ka. Before the World War II this street was named after the Romanian national hero of Transylvania Avram Iancu, and before the World War I it was dedicated to Carolina, the wife of Austrian emperor Franz. Читати далі: Chernivtsi and its inhabitants: who they were and who they should be

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V. Staryk. Ukrainian Chernivtsi

УкраїнськиWe shall start our excursion through Ukrainian Chernivtsi from a wooden Saint Nikolai Orthodox Church (1607) in Sahaydachnyj St #83, which is associated by Ukrainian historical tradition with hetman Bohdan Khmel’nyts’ky’s times. Modern history has put this Church in the centre of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church revival in Bukovyna. Nearby in the suburb Horecha the Saint George’s Orthodox Church (1765-67) is located; this oldest stone church in Chernivtsi is an architectural model of Ukrainian Baroque. The church preserved the unique for Bukovyna frescos of the 18th century and magnificent Baroque iconostasis with Ruthenian (old-Ukrainian) inscriptions. Another architectural model of Ukrainian neo-Baroque is Greek Catholic Assumption Church (1820-1821, completion 1937) in Rus’ka St #28. This church was the centre of Chernivtsi Ukrainian Greek Catholics’ confessional and spiritual life. An outstanding architectural model of Ukrainian Modernist style is represented by a house in Lesya Ukrainka St #16 constructed by the architect Ivan Levyns’kyj. Читати далі: V. Staryk. Ukrainian Chernivtsi

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V.Staryk. Polish Chernivtsi

dimThe ruins of the Cecina castle is the most ancient historic monument of Chernivtsi, which is connected with Polish king Kazimierz III the Great by the historical tradition. Jan Dlugosz claimed in his «Annals» that this castle was constructed or re-constructed by king Kazimierz in the middle of the 14th century. Austrian power gave permission to Chernivtsi inhabitants to demolish walls of the castle to building stones, and the final total destruction of castle’s remains occurred in the middle of the 20th century when Soviet power constructed on its place a TV-retransmitter.
Until the end of the 15th century Bykovyna was included into the Polish-Lithuanian state, nevertheless no material monuments of that time remained intact in Chernivtsi. Instead, mass recruitment of Bukovynian boyars to military service of Polish king Jan Sobieski in the second half of the 17th century established numerous Polish gentry (Szlachta) here, which played a significant role in this province under Austrian occupation. Читати далі: V.Staryk. Polish Chernivtsi

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V.Staryk. Jewish Chernivtsi

12ee22The first Jewish settlers resided in Chernivtsi from the middle of the 18th century. The above mentioned first census of town population (1774) registered 92 Jewish families among Chernivtsi inhabitants. Jewish settlers formed the majority of those city inhabitants, who had an exemption from the capitation tax (161 families); in total there lived 388 families in Chernivtsi at that time.
The life of medieval Jewish community was concentrated in the downtown around the present-day Barbusse St. All Jewish institutions were situated in this site – the first synagogue, Judaic confessional school, old Judaic cemetery. All these wooden buildings were destroyed by the fire in 1865.
The «Große Schil» (Great Synagogue) newly constructed in the classicism style in Barbusse St #31 became the chief sanctuary for the Orthodox Jews in Chernivtsi and the architectural dominant of the Jewish residential area. Not far from it in Barbusse St #23 a former Prayer House of members of the burial society «Chewra Tillim» is situated; it was also constructed in the classicism style. Jewish school «Safa Iwria», which was dedicated to the teaching of the Hebrew language, was situated across the road in Barbusse St #26. Former ritual Saturday House «Maxike-Sabbath» was situated a little farther on the same side of the street (Barbusse St #18). One more highly respected by Orthodox Jews private Prayer House «Schil Reb Chaim Czernowitzer» was constructed in Gagarin St #14. However the only Judaic synagogue, which remained open during the Soviet times, was the «Beit Tefilah Benyamin» (1923) with valuable oil murals; it is situated in Kobylytsya St #53. Читати далі: V.Staryk. Jewish Chernivtsi

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V.Staryk. Armenian Chernivtsi

organhallThe first Armenian settlers have resided in Chernivtsi since pre-Austrian times. Even the first census of the town population, held in June 1774 by order of the Russian military governor count Vorontsov, listed 8 Armenian merchants among the total 227 tax-payers in Chernivtsi (Pavlo, Stefan, Grigori, Norciz, Stefan, Toma, Ovanes and Mane). An interesting commentary was added to this list: «These strangers Armenians have permanent residence in Snyatyn; however they stay in Chernivtsi for the purpose of carrying on their trade».
On the first Chernivtsi city plan (1782) we can find the houses of local Armenians – mostly around Roman-Catholic Church of Holy Cross (1787-1814), which remained the place of their prayer until the construction of separate Armenian church was finished in 1875. Thus Bogdan Axenti, an Armenian from Snyatyn, Ignacy Antonowicz, an Armenian from Stanislaviv along with his partner Jakob Symonowicz resided on the corner of present-day Streets of Sholem Aleichem and Karl Liebknecht; Kristof Petrowicz, an Armenian from Horodenka, resided in the house #29 in Holovna St; the house #29 on the Sahaydachnyj St was the property of another Armenian from Snyatyn; Kajetan Theodorowicz resided on the corner of present-day Streets Holovna and Kochanowski. The famous Armenian family Mikuli, who were the owners of hotel «Moldavia», situated in the present-day Holovna St #14, where the concert of Ferenz List has been arranged in 1847. One of the representatives of Mikuli family, a pupil of Fryderyk Chopin, a prominent pianist and composer Karl Mikuli was friends with Ferenz List for a long time; he was also one of the founders of professional music life in Chernivtsi. Later the houses of Chernivtsi Armenians massed around the present-day Armenian, Lomonosov and Ukrainian Streets. In total there were 310 Armenian inhabitants in Chernivtsi in 1910. Читати далі: V.Staryk. Armenian Chernivtsi

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Russian Chernivtsi

The history of Russian community of Chernivtsi occupies the shortest time if compared with histories of other communities. The first Russian settlers appeared on the territory of Chernivtsi oblast only at the end of the 18th century, while in Chernivtsi city they settled even one century later. Nevertheless, close historical connection between Russia and Bukovyna/North Bessarabia has left a few interesting monuments in the city with which our itinerary is starting.
The Orthodox monastery Saint George’s Church (another name Assumption of Virgin Mary Church) in the suburb Horecha (1765-67) is a most ancient historic monument of Chernivtsi, which has been connected with two Russian emperors by the historical tradition. Russian empress Catherine II made a donation for construction of Saint George’s Church, and the description of emperor’s Alexander I visit to this church in 1823 became one of the most favourite Chernivtsi narratives.
Emperor Alexander I resided in so called «General’s House» in Sholem Aleichem St #2. It was the first stone house in Chernivtsi, constructed in 1780 by order of Austrian military governor of Bukovyna Major-General Karl baron von Enzenberg.
And a short time previously, in 1771, by order of Russian military governor of Bukovyna general field marshal count Peter Vorontsov, another baron Peter Nikolaus Neugarten von Gartenberg-Sadogursky established a mint for mintage of Russian coppers in Sadagura (nowadays Sadgora is a part of Chernivtsi). These coins were used by Russian army in its payments with the inhabitants of the occupied principalities of Moldova and Valachia. Читати далі: Russian Chernivtsi

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Romanian Chernivtsi

003The ancestors of modern Romanians (who called themselves Moldavians until the middle of the 19th century) lived in Chernivtsi since ancient times and practised the Orthodox faith, designated here as «Volos’ka vira» (Vlakh faith). Because in pre-modern times confessional identity was in the first place for Chernivtsi citizens, all Orthodox residents of our city – both Moldavians and Ruthenians (ancient name of Ukrainians) – called themselves «Volokhy» (Vlachs). However, absolutely all Chernivtsi Orthodox clergymen in 1784 knew both Moldavian and Ruthenian languages; this fact brought out clearly that both Moldavians and Ruthenians constituted the absolute majority among contemporary Chernivtsi Orthodox community.
Therefore the only extant monument of folk wooden architecture from pre-Austrian times, the Saint Nikolai Orthodox Church (1607) in Sahaydachnyj St #83, is a common cultural heritage of both Ukrainian and Romanian communities. Читати далі: Romanian Chernivtsi

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