09 March 2022

Videos of the day -- pop-culture break

A few favorite Ukrainian videos I've saved over the years.  All of these date back long before the current crisis.

Verka Serduchka (stage identity of comedian and pop singer Andriy Danylko) performs his song "Dancing Lasha Tumbai" at the 2007 Eurovision song contest, where it took second place.  The lyrics are a mix of German, English, Russian, Ukrainian, and stuff he made up.  Some people at the time heard the nonsense phrase "lasha tumbai" as "Russia goodbye", though Serduchka insists that that was not his intent.  Some religious conservatives in Ukraine bitterly objected to having the country represented by a man they called a "transvestite", but the song achieved great popularity at the time.

"Oy Zahray My Muzychenku" by the energetic Ruslana Lyzhychko (usually known just as Ruslana).  Her music is partly inspired by that of the Hutsul minority in the Carpathian mountains in the far west of Ukraine.  Ruslana participated in the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2014 Euromaidan protests, and was a member of the Ukrainian legislature for a short time.

"Ukraina - Yulya" by Potap and Nastya Kamenskih, performed in Independence Square in central Kyiv (I've been in this exact place).  Unlike most Western pop music, this is quite unabashedly patriotic -- what sounds like "oo-kra-yee-na" is how the name of the country is pronounced in Ukrainian.  The woman in the audience with the blond braided hair and red-embroidered white dress is Yulia Tymoshenko, who was prime minister of Ukraine at the time.

o o o o o

Temperatures in Ukraine will drop well below zero today and remain there for several days, adding to the woes of the long-stalled Russian military convoy outside Kyiv -- though also to those of the refugees fleeing the cities.

Ukraine claims to have re-taken the northeastern city of Chuhuiv from the Russians.

According to US intelligence, Russia will try to avoid any direct military conflict with the US.  Considering how its forces have performed in Ukraine so far, this is probably wise.

Photos here showing the devastation inflicted in Ukrainian cities by Russian missiles.

The Ukrainian military has been adopting asymmetrical guerilla tactics, perhaps preparing for the possibility that the war will evolve into a long campaign of resistance to occupation, as in Afghanistan.

Former Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev has some must-see insights into Putin's likely thinking.

Putin has shown dangerous weakness, and it's possible but far from inevitable that he could fall from power.  Also note that the poll I linked earlier, stating that 68% of Russians support the invasion, was by a government-controlled pollster, meaning it may well be skewed and we don't know what the actual level of support is.

Many people in Russia recognize that the invasion is a disaster, and the issue is dividing families.  Here's the scene where the entire staff of that TV channel quit en masse over the invasion.

Some Chinese men have a disappointing response to the plight of Ukrainian refugees (I've heard of some of this kind of thing in the US as well, but not much).

The canceling of Russian culture is getting ridiculous and disturbing.  Russian composers and movie directors aren't invading Ukraine, you idiots.


Blogger NickM said...

In the UK we have supermarkets rebranding their ready-meals as "Chicken Kyiv" not "Chicken Kiev". I'm not sure if that counts as "cancel culture" but certainly this debacle has fuck all to do with the likes of Sergei Rachmaninoff...

I'd rather they supplied Ukrainian troops with rations. That would achieve something beyond self-righteous posturing.

I also liked the Biden scheme that Poland, Romania etc would send it's MiGs and Sukhois to Ukraine (where the pilots are familiar with such kit) and they'd be replaced with new build F-16s and such. So Ukraine gets more jets, the East of Nato gets upgraded airforces and the US gets more aerospace jobs. It's win, win, win and I guess lose for the mentalist in the bunker under the Kremlin so I'm calling that four wins for the good guys. I dunno. If they don't want block 70/72 Vipers then there are also Grippens, Typhoons and Rafales... Options, options...

09 March, 2022 06:13  
Blogger SickoRicko said...

Thank you for the musical interlude, even if I couldn't understand the words.

09 March, 2022 12:35  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

The situation there is so dire that a quick break from the terrible news is always welcome.
Vlad is not going to fare in the world stage well after this...


09 March, 2022 17:43  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: I'm not sure why the deal with transferring planes fell through. I hope something can still be worked out.

International conflicts seem to produce a penumbra of terminological nonsense. I remember when there was some kind of dispute with France and people here started referring to "french fries" as "freedom fries".

Ricko: Glad you liked it. In the case of some English-language pop music, I sometimes feel that not being able to understand the words would improve the experience.

Sixpence: No one should feel obligated to stay glued to the news all the time. It's not as if doing so is actually helping the situation.

11 March, 2022 01:58  
Blogger NickM said...

I'd forgotten "Freedom Fries". It's a cultural disconnect. The French are seen by many in the Anglosphere as aloof. The point is when push comes to shove they ain't. I think that was something to do with 9/11. Blame the French! We can't blame the Saudis now can we? I actually saw 9/11 unfold in a pub in England (I'd just popped in for lunch) and a bar-stool philsopher was expounding about how great it was that the Yanks getting what they deserved for assorted nebulous reasons including his Dell breaking down... More UK citizens died in the 9/11 attacks than in any single terrorist incident before or since. I think that probably applies to a number of countries.

11 March, 2022 04:58  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

It led to jokes about people wanting their girlfriends to dress up in "freedom maid"costumes and so forth. I wonder if the Beatles' "Back in the USSR" will end up being "canceled" now. It really is silly.

There are always going to be problems with this or that country. France hasn't been fully in line with most other democracies on confronting China, and now India has been similarly disappointing about confronting Russia. They're still democracies. An ally we have disagreements with isn't the same thing as an enemy.

11 March, 2022 06:17  
Blogger NickM said...

India's issue is at least partly how much it's aerospace industry is in cahoots with Russia.

11 March, 2022 08:08  
Blogger Daal said...

tx - the music is a great reminder that despite crazy leaders, people are just people...

14 March, 2022 14:28  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

NickM: it's aerospace industry is in cahoots

Cahoots -- that's a town near New Delhi, right?

Daal: Most people would probably get along fine if it weren't for these emotionally-damaged creeps who keep rising to power in country after country.

15 March, 2022 00:19  

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