- A monument for those who died in the Chernobyl disaster stands near the nuclear power plant’s reactor No. 4. On April 26, 1986, an explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive material into the atmosphere, which spread across the western USSR and Europe.
I spent nearly two hours this afternoon going through the incredible multimedia project created by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to commemorate the fall of the Soviet Union.
“The Fall – Twenty Years After the Collapse of the U.S.S.R.,” looks back on the momentous event and the developments leading up to it with video interviews, photographs and an interactive timeline and map.
Each of the stories told by the people who lived under Communism – the miner who was arrested by the KGB for predicting a mining accident; the villagers who lived through the 1932-33 Holodomor under Stalin’s rule; the men who escaped to Finland only to be arrested, sent back and put in a mental hospital – are fascinating glimpses into an oppressive society.
If you have any interest whatsoever in this part of the world, I highly recommend checking this out.
Here it is: http://ussrfall.com/
Corruption persists in many countries around the world, according to Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perception Index.
“This year we have seen corruption on protestors’ banners be they rich or poor. Whether in a Europe hit by debt crisis or an Arab world starting a new political era, leaders must heed the demands for better government,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International, in a statement released with the index on Dec. 1.
Using data from 17 surveys that looked at factors such as enforcement of anti-corruption laws, access to information and conflicts of interest, the index scored 183 countries and territories from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean).
Ukraine ranked 152nd, with a score of 2.2. In contrast, New Zealand, Denmark and Finland topped the list, with scores of 9.5, 9.4 and 9.4, respectively.
Two thirds of countries scored below 5.
The index shows most Arab Spring countries scoring below 4.
The United States, ranked 24th, scored 7.1.
- Ukrainian police stand guard outside a Kiev courthouse during the trial of ex-Premier Yulia Tymoshenko in October.
A protester is reported to have died in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk during a police raid of a tent city on Nov. 27.
Retired miner Hennadiy Konoplyov, 70, reportedly collapsed of a heart attack and died after his tent was dismantled.
About 30 protesters against cuts to their state pensions had been staging a hunger strike in the city center since Nov. 14.
Police moved in during the night on Nov. 27 to evict the protesters, following a court ruling last week that the protest was illegal.
According to reports, police cut off lighting and seized a power generator.
Protestors have denounced the raid as an “act of terrorism.”
The police have not commented on the incident.
The last tent of Chornobyl cleanup workers in Donetsk has been removed by municipal services, Interfax-Ukraine reported.
DONETSK – The last tent of Chornobyl cleanup participants, who are protesting against cutting down and for timely payment of social benefits, has been pulled down in Donetsk, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent has reported.
According to deputy chief of Donetsk city department of police Roman Romanov, the police have nothing to do with the demolition of the tent.
“The police were not there, we only ensured the protection of public order. Municipal services demolished [the tent],” he said.