Tag Archives: Ukraine
KIEV (Reuters) – Cash-strapped Ukraine on Wednesday reminded entertainers making money by posing as Did Moroz – the local version of Santa Claus – and his helpers to pay income tax.
The former Soviet republic’s government faces $ 9 billion in foreign debt repayments next year and its budget deficit almost tripled in January-October this year to more than $ 4 billion.
By studying internet advertisements, the state tax service found out that a Did Moroz with a traditional female Snihuronka (Snow Maid) helper would earn 250 to 3,500 hryvnias ($ 30 to $ 440) per hour in capital Kiev this season.
“Such citizens will need to file forms and pay taxes,” the tax service said in a statement.
The service said it was barred from conducting tax checks on small businesses but urged ordinary Ukrainians to report tax-dodging Santas.
(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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KIEV (Reuters) – It seemed a light-hearted gesture of soccer goodwill at the time, but a drinks bet Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov had with a Swedish fan at Euro 2012 has brought the wrath of the opposition down on him.
Azarov bet Swedish fan Ola Sjostedt a beer that Ukraine would beat Sweden in their opening Group D match in the tournament last Monday.
When the home team beat the Swedes 2-1, Azarov duly invited Sjostedt to sup a beer with him at government offices in Kiev.
A widely-distributed photograph showed the usually-dour white-haired prime minister smiling broadly, a Ukrainian football scarf round his neck, as he raised a pint of beer with his Swedish guest.
With political infighting in Ukraine running at a high pitch, the opposition was quick to pounce.
Leading opposition deputy Mykola Tomenko, in a statement on an opposition party website, reminded the 64-year-old Azarov that drinking alcohol – even weak alcohol – was strictly prohibited on official premises.
“It is shameful and inadmissible when the leaders of the country contradict the law and the principles of defending morality by beginning to publicize consumption of strong drink during working hours and on state premises,” said Tomenko.
He said Azarov should pay a fine of 85 hryvnias ($ 10) – the usual level of punishment for an administrative offence – and he called on the Kiev police to take necessary action to see this was done.
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KIEV (Reuters) – A Ukrainian women’s rights activist stripped to the waist and seized the Euro-2012 soccer trophy while it was on public display in Kiev on Saturday in a protest against the forthcoming month-long championship.
The young woman, 23-year-old Yulia Kovpachik, is a member of the Kiev-based Femen women’s rights group which believes the Euro-2012 soccer tournament being played in Ukraine next month will encourage sex tourism.
Kovpachik strode up to the silver, 60 centimeter (two feet) high trophy, which was on display as a tourist attraction in an open air exhibition in central Kiev, ostensibly to be photographed alongside it like hundreds of other sightseers.
But she then pulled down her red T-shirt to reveal the words “Fuck Euro 2012″ scrawled on her torso. As she grabbed hold of the cup with both hands, she was seized by security guards, who appeared to have had advanced warning of the protest.
They covered her with a sheet and took her off to a waiting police car.
The protest appeared to be the first action in a campaign against the championship by Femen which regularly stages bare-breast protests in Ukraine – and sometimes beyond – to highlight what it sees as political injustice, social abuse and the exploitation of women in Ukraine.
Femen says Euro-2012, which Ukraine is co-hosting with Poland next month with the final in Kiev on July 1, will be a magnet for sex tourists – one of the group’s main targets – and will feed a booming sex industry.
About one million foreign tourists are expected in Ukraine for the Euros.
Organisers said the 8 kg (17 lbs) Henri Delaunay cup was undamaged though Kovpachik appeared to topple back under its weight as security guards seized her. It was still on show in late evening.
Femen’s spokeswoman, Anna Gutsol, said Kovpachik, who staged the protest on her 23rd birthday, was released after being told she would have to appear in court on Monday on a charge of hooliganism. The charge carries a maximum fine of 800 hryvnias ($ 100) and 15 days detention.
Conscious of Ukraine’s growing reputation as a new destination for sex tourism, Euro-2012 organisers say they are taking steps to curb prostitution during the month-long tournament.
After Kovpachik’s protest, Femen activist Olexandra Shevchenko told reporters: “We came here today to stop this Euro fan low-life from making a bordello out of Ukraine.”
City authorities have mounted the trophy in a temporary exhibition area on Kiev’s Independence Square.
Hundreds of sightseers were queuing up under the blazing sun for souvenir photographs alongside it when Kovpachik staged her demonstration.
Independence Square itself will be the centre of a huge ‘fan-zone’ during Euro-2012, capable of holding tens of thousands of football supporters.
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KIEV (Reuters) – Two valuable paintings in the offices of the Ukrainian government have been mysteriously swapped for replicas, the former Soviet republic’s Culture Ministry said on Wednesday.
The landscape paintings by 20th century Ukrainian artist Mykola Hlushchenko have been on display in the government building since August 2001.
“Chemical tests have shown that both paintings are replicas of Hlushchenko’s works,” the ministry said in a statement.
Insurers have valued the paintings at about $ 144,000 combined.
The ministry said the replicas appeared to be 5-10 years old. Ukraine has had five prime ministers since August 2001, two of whom – current president Viktor Yanukovich and his rival Yulia Tymoshenko – have held the post twice.
(Reporting by Natalya Zinets; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov, editing by Paul Casciato)
KIEV (Reuters) – Welcoming the local authorities’ move to the dark side, Darth Vader has asked for a land plot in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa to park his space ship.
An Odessite dressed as the Star Wars villain visited the mayor’s office this week to claim a free land plot citing Ukrainian legislation which grants every citizen the right to own 1,000 square meters of land.
His visit followed a decision by city authorities to grant attractive land plots along the sea coast to a group of people for free, prompting public concerns about corruption, according to local media.
The mayor’s office has since said the move was a mistake but has not yet canceled it, according to local news website Dumskaya.net.
“I am Darth Vader, the right hand of Emperor Palpatine,” the man introduced himself to amused policemen, as seen in a video posted on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezFBvrqQChM) and accompanied by the Imperial March music.
“…Knowing that many (local legislature) deputies and the mayor have switched to the dark side… I have come for a land plot… for my space cruiser.”
Officials accepted the man’s application after he showed his passport and removed the black helmet equipped with a voice-distorting device.
“The application has been registered and will be considered,” a spokeswoman for the mayor’s office told Reuters.
“We are not on the dark side, we are light-side people,” she added.
(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Additional reporting by Pavel Polityuk, editing by Paul Casciato)