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March 31, 2014 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-31

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6A - Monday, March 31, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Russian conflict incites
Ukrainian nationalism


Cultural and political'
leaders rally around
new government
after Crimea invasion
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - He's one
of Russia's favorite doctors, the
author of books read by parents
from Moscow to Siberia. And he
lives in eastern Ukraine where
the Russianlanguageis dominant
and ties to Russia strong.
But when Russia seized con-
trol of Crimea, Yevgeny Koma-
rovsky sent this blunt message to
the Russian people: We Ukraini-
ans are a nation of our own.
"Don't impose peace on us,"
Komarovsky told his fans in
Russia, many of whom used his
books to raise their children, in
a video that received nearly 1.2
million views on YouTube.
The appeal for an indepen-
dent and united Ukraine by the
Russian-speaking Komarovsky
underscored Ukraine's distinct
nationalidentity, and belied Rus-
sian President Vladimir Putin's
claim that Ukraine is part of the
Russian family. In fact, Russia's
invasion - which Putin justifies
by saying he needs to protect
Russian speakers - has fueled
a surge of patriotism among a
great many Ukrainians, what-
ever their language.
These feelings of unity are
underpinned by a sense of fragil-
ity stemming from being a coun-
try that has for centuries been
dominated by great empires
to the east and west. And from
folklore to ancestral traditions,
Ukraine has shown itself to
possess a distinct identity.
The Ukrainian national con-
sciousness is steeped in love
of one's land and the quest for
survival. The challenge simply
to stay whole is as acute as ever
today after Russia annexed
Ukraine's strategic Crimean
Peninsula, stoking fears that
the Kremlin is planning to
invade more Russian-speaking
eastern territories.
Ukraine, a land the size of
France with a population of
46 million, has historically
been a massive orize in the

heart of Europe. The site of the
ancient Slavic state, the Kievan
Rus, it was the regional cradle
of Orthodox Christianity. Over
centuries, parts of Ukraine have
belonged to Poland, the Austro-
Hungarian Empire, Russia and
the Soviet Union.
Ukraine is also a land steeped
in 20th century tragedy - con-
flict so traumatic that one
historian has called Ukraine
"Bloodland." The litany of
calamities include the Bolshe-
vik revolution and ensuing civil
war that brought Ukraine into
the Soviet Union; a devastating
famine engineered by Soviet
dictator Josef Stalin that killed
millions of Ukrainians; Stalin's
purges that targeted Ukraine's
intellectual elite; invasion by
Hitler and the murder of more
than 1 million of Ukrainian
Jews in the Holocaust.
Ukraine became independent
in the 1991 collapse of the Soviet
Union. It has since struggled
to define its relationship to the
world as well its ideology, shift-
ing between aspirations to be a
Western state that belongs in
the European Union, or a post-
Soviet republic that tilts toward
Ethnic, cultural, linguis-
tic and religious similarities
between Ukrainians and Rus-
sians - as well as centuries of
shared history - have prompt-
ed Russian President Vladimir
Putin to claim that the two
nations are in fact one.
But to most Ukrainians, as
well as scholars and historians,
that is simply not true.
Komarovsky, who writes
best-selling books on pediatrics
that fight Soviet-era stereotypes
such as a purported need to
overfeed and overclothe chil-
dren, said Putin in fact woke
some Ukrainians up to the real-
ity of who they are as a people.
"Nobody has done as much
for the country's unity as Vladi-
mir Vladimirovich Putin," said
In the Russia-friendly east-
ern city of Donetsk, sales clerk
Tetyana Ryabchenko, 58, said
she was deeply hurt by Rus-
sia. "A lot of Ukrainians have
changed their attitude toward

Russia," Ryabchenko said. "One
should look at the Russians'
deeds, not words. And the deeds
are horrible."
Pollsters support the view
that Russia's invasion has fos-
tered Ukrainian unity and iden-
"It's a freedom-loving, rebel-
lious spirit that will always
remind its leaders that they are
temporary and if we want to, we
will oust them," said Volody-
myr Yermolenko, who teaches
philosophy at the Kyiv Mohyla
Academy in the Ukrainian capi-
Folklore may be one indica-
tion of the differences between
traditional Russian and Ukrai-
nian mindsets.
In a popular Russian folk tale,
a childless old couple trans-
forms a dough-boy into their
son. When the creature - called
Kolobok - disobeys his parents
and runs away, he gets eaten bya
fox. In a similar Ukrainian tale,
Ivasyk Telesyk, a boy who mate-
rialized from a piece of wood, is
also separated from his parents
through a twist of fate, but man-
ages to escape an evil snake and
return home.
"Ukraine is one big country
in defiance," said Andriy Bon-
dar, a modern Ukrainian writer.
"Ukrainians are the most stub-
born people in the world. ... The
Kolobok ending is not for us."
The most prominent literary
figures in Ukraine and Russia
also embody the differences.
Russia's great poet Aleksandr
Pushkin preached liberty in his
poems, but his family owned
serfs. Ukraine's national sym-
bol, the renowned poet Taras
Shevchenko, was born a serf
Having long specialized in
agriculture and boasting some
of Europe's most fertile soil,
Ukrainians also have strong ties
to their land.
Last spring, nearly 60 per-
cent of Ukrainians planted
potatoes on their personal
plots, according to a poll con-
ducted by the Razumkov Cen-
ter. For many, growing food is
just away of getting by; for oth-
ers, it's a tribute to ancestral

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan wave to supporters from the balcony of his rul-
ing party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, early Monday, March 31, 2014.
Turkey's prime minister has
apparent winy in elections

Erdogan's AKP party
sweeps local races
after accusations
of corruption
ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan on Sunday hailed what
appeared to be a decisive victory
for his party in local elections,
providing a boost that could help
him emerge from a spate of recent
Erdogan was not on the ballot
in the countrywide polls, but he
campaigned as if he were. Hours
after the polls closed, Turkish
newswires suggested that his
party was significantly outstrip-
ping its results of about 39 percent
in the last local elections in 2009
and roundly beating the main
opposition party.
With nearly 70 percent of the
votes counted, Erdogan's party
was above 46 percent of the votes
while the main opposition CHP
was at just over 30 percent, accord-
ingto state-run TRT television.
"I thank my Lord for granting
such a victory, such a meaning-
ful result," Erdogan said at a vic-
tory rally in Ankara, speaking to
a crowd of supporters who had
been chanting, "Turkey is proud
of you!"
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Incumbent candidates from
Erdogan's Justice and Develop-
ment Party, better known by its
Turkish acronym AKP, also were
leading in high-profile races in
Istanbul and Ankara. Voter turn-
out appeared to be heavy, with
people forming long queues at
polling stations.
The strong results were a big
boost for the prime minister fol-
lowing a tumultuous corruption
scandal. In recent days, Erdogan
has also provoked outrage at home
and abroad by blocking access to
Twitter and YouTube.
Fadi Hakura, a Turkey analyst
at London-based independent
policy institute Chatham House,
said neither corruption issues nor
media freedoms determined the
"Overall, the people are happy
with the government's economic
performance," he said.
promising, tough and polarizing,"
the analyst added. "It is an indica-
tion that he will intensify his cur-
rent robust style of leadership."
The result could embolden
Erdogan to run for president in
an election scheduled for August.
Prior to Sunday's showing, he had
appeared to be leaning against
that route, which has risks. In a
direct vote, he would have to win
50 percent in a country that is
deeply polarized over his rule.

Erdogan and his party have
dominated Turkish politics
over the past decade in a period
of great prosperity. The party
came to power backed by a pious
Muslim base looking for greater
standing in a country that had for
decades favored a secular elite.
But AKP, whose party symbol is a
light bulb, has also cultivated an
identity of pragmatism and com-
That image has been damaged
by the corruption scandal, with
a series of leaked tapes bringing
down four ministers with rev-
elations of bribe-taking and cover-
ups. One tape allegedly involves
Erdogan and family members, but
he and his allies have rejected the
allegations as a plot orchestrated
by followers of U.S.-based Muslim
cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former
Erdogan ally who has split with
Following the results, Erdo-
gan promised retribution against
Gulen's movement.
"We shall enter into their
caves," he said. "They will pay and
account for their deeds."
In the wake of the scandal,
Erdogan has shuffled thousands
of police officers and tightened
control ofthe judiciary, which had
launched investigations.
The moves prompted concern
that Erdogan was moving toward
more authoritarian rule.


RELEASE DATE- Monday, March 31, 2014
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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Search dogs pause
in resuce operation

Authorities have
stated 30 still
missing and 18 dead
- Families coping with the loss
of friends and neighbors sought
comfort Sunday in church ser-
vices, while crews searched for
more victims of the mudslide
that buried the mountainside
community of Oso more than a
week ago.
Many of the dogs that have
been essential in the search will
take a two-day break, rescue
crews said. Days of working in
the cold and rain have taken their
toll on the animals, and officials
say the dogs can lose their sens-
ing ability if overworked.
"The conditions on the slide
field are difficult, so this is just
a time to take care of the dogs,"
said Kris Rietmann, a spokes-
woman for the team working on
the eastern portion of the slide,
which hit March 22 about 55
miles northeast of Seattle and is
one of the deadliest in U.S. his-
Dogs from the Federal Emer-
gency Management Agency
that arrived more recently will
continue working, said Heidi
Amrine, another spokeswoman
for the operation.
Late Saturday, authorities
revised the number of people
believed to be missing from 90
to 30, while the official death
toll increased by one, to 18, said
Jason Biermann, program man-
ager at the Snohomish County
Department of Emergency Man-
Officials have said they had
expected the number of missing
to change as they worked to find
people safe and cross-referenced
a list that likely included par-

tial information and duplicate
Authorities have said they
recovered more than two dozen
bodies, but they won't be added
to the official tally until a formal
identification is made. Under-
scoring the difficulty of that
task, Biermann said crews are
not always discovering complete
Crews have completed a make-
shift road that will link one side
of the debris field to the other,
significantly aiding the recovery
They have also been working
to clear mud and debris from the
highway, leaving piles of gooey
muck, splintered wood and hous-
ing insulation on the sides of the
Searchers have had to contend
with treacherous conditions,
including septic tanks, gasoline
and propane containers. When
rescuers and dogs leave the site,
they are hosed off by hazardous
materials crews.
The slide dammed up the
North Fork of the Stillaguamish
River, causing water to pool up
on the east side. The river cut a
new channel through the mud,
but the rain has raised the water
level nearly a foot, Rietmann
In at least one place, the water
level got so high that it covered
areas that have already been
searched, said Tim Pierce, leader
of Washington Task Force 1, a
search-and-rescue team.
"At this point, there's no
point in searching (that area)
again until the water drops back
down," he said.
Rescuers should get some
relief soon. Conditions were
improving Sunday, and mainly
dry weather is forecast Monday
through Wednesday in western

3 Rice-A- ' I I I I
4 CapofAustria ByEdSessa




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