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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holodomor - the Ukrainian Genocide – 85 years ago: Remembering and counting the losses

The tragedy of the Ukrainian people, who even today suffer from Russian aggression, was planned first in 1492, when Moscow devised a concept of building up its principality as an empire envisioning itself as the Third Rome.
These intentions become germane vis a vis Ukrainian territory, especially after the Pereyaslav Council of 1654. The Ukrainian Cossacks found themselves in an extremely difficult situation after a long struggle with Poland. Their hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky concluded an alliance with Moscow for armed support, believing in the assurances of a consensual Orthodox alliance.
This Cossack oath of loyalty was exploited by Moscow as a step towards the assertion of its hegemony over the Cossack Ukrainian state, so that a hundred years later, that state ceased to exist. The Moscow autocracy then implemented a consistent prohibition against everything Ukrainian through Russification, the elimination of the Ukrainian church, limitations on education in the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture, the promotion of mixed marriages with the Russian side in more favorable political circumstances, the massive resettlement of Ukrainian peasants to undeveloped Russian territories far from their homeland and the settlement of Ukrainian territory by Russians. In 1863, the czar's minister, Valuev, declared that the Ukrainian language, "never was, isn't and never will be".
That Ukrainians survived this policy was a testament to their perseverance? They even managed to rise up in a national revolution during the First World War which culminated in the proclamation of the Ukrainian National Republic. Surprisingly they were not jaded? For the most part, they did not become chauvinists and were supportive of other nationalities in Ukraine in pursuing their own culture. One of the first acts of the UNR was a law on national autonomy protecting the rights of national minorities.
However, Bolshevik Russia would not tolerate the existence of the UNR. Vladimir Lenin admitted that "without Ukrainian bread, without Ukrainian coal, without Ukrainian sugar, without the Ukrainian iron ore, the Russian Soviet republic is impossible." As a result of aggression on the part of the Bolsheviks, the czarist forces and the Poles and without the support of the West, the UNR fell. The UNR government was forced to go into exile. Still the struggle for Ukrainian independence continued, albeit less pronounced.
To win over the Ukrainians Lenin initiated a policy of Ukrainization. A massive revival of national consciousness began not only in Ukraine itself but also beyond its borders, where Ukrainians (7 million people) lived in compact masses in the North Caucasus, Slobozhanshchyna, Volga region, Siberia, Kazakhstan and the Far East. The Ukrainian working class, particularly in the cities of Russia felt this revival. This became particularly worrisome to Stalin and his Kremlin henchmen. They saw only one solution - to put the Ukrainian peasantry on its knees since the peasantry was the heart of the Ukrainian national liberation movement. It was possible to achieve this only through a man-designed famine which could be disingenuously attributed to natural causes. And Moscow resorted to this.
Fifteen years later in December 1948, the United Nations, in its Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, codified and defined the crime of genocide. The Holodomor fit the UN definition of the crime in at least five aspects: there was an intentional use of food used as weapon to subdue national aspirations, there was the imposition of a prohibition on travel in search of food to preclude survival, there was an attempt to cover up the crime, there was a refusal of aid from abroad to ameliorate the situation while persistently exporting grain and there were settlements of Russians in place of the deceased Ukrainians. Each one of these aspects is well documented. Here are only several a few examples:
On June 21, 1932 Stalin and Molotov sent a telegram to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) which emphasized the mandatory nature of the quotas imposed at “whatever the cost”. Thereafter in a confidential report of the CPU, compliance with this directive was described:
“those who failed to turn over bread and other governmental obligations were summoned to the village council, beaten, stripped naked, forced to kneel with posters attached to their chests marking them as outlaws and were led through the village...then led naked into the steppe, kept for days in cold ditches, refused food and sleep, hit with revolvers, destroyed their homes and other structures...”
On December 6, 1932 the “Black list directive” was issued. Villages that failed to meet their quota were placed on a public black list and blockaded from receiving any food products. Three days later a telegram was sent to remove forcibly the inhabitants from those villages. On January 1, 1933 Stalin sent a telegram to urge the voluntary transfer of bread after which everything edible would be swept way and the residents condemned to die. Finally on January 22 1933 Stalin and Molotov issued a directive preventing travel from the villages of Ukraine and Kuban. According to the census of 1926 there were 915,450 Ukrainians in Kuban more than two thirds of the entire population of that region. This directive also authorized the arrests of those peasants from Ukraine and Kuban who had managed to escape to the north. By February 14, 1933 - 31,783 were detained, of which 28,351 were returned to their former places of residence and 3,434 arrested or killed. 579 were sent to Kazakhstan.
Without diminishing the suffering of the Kazakh people themselves during this time, it is significant to point out that while the hungry nomadic Kazakhs migrated to the regions of Western Siberia, Kirghizia and even China, no directives were issued or implemented for their forcible return. In fact on April 15 1933 a special Soviet directive was issued entitled “On methods for providing assistance to migrant Kazakhs in the Middle Volga, Western Siberian regions and the Kirghiz ASSR.” No similar directives of aid were issued on behalf of starving Ukrainians who had migrated to the neighboring regions of the Russian Federation.
Thus, the genocidal character of the Holodomor against the Ukrainian people is indisputable.
How many people did Ukraine lose during the Holodomor-genocide in 1932-1933?
A complete answer can only be obtained through documents that must continue to be located and analyzed in once encrypted archives. The population of the Ukrainian SSR on the eve of this terrible Holodomor, as of January 1, 1932, was 32,600,700. Based on this number, the prominent Ukrainian demographer Arsen Khomenko, extrapolated that, under normal conditions for the population of the USSR, as of January 1, 1934, the population of the Ukrainian SSR should have increase to 33,464,000 and by January 1, 1937 to 35,615,000.
The data from the All Union Census of 1937 of the population of the Ukrainian SSR, was revealed only in 1990 as it had been purged by Stalin. The number of 28,383,000 in January 1937, that is, the inhabitants of the Ukrainian SSR, was less than the number in the 1926 census. On January 15, 1937, the head of the Department of National Economy of the Ukrainian SSR, Asatkin had secretly reported to the leaders of the republic that "of all 525 districts of the Ukrainian SSR only in 85 districts does the population exceed the results of the census in 1926, and in 93 of those districts the population was 30 and more percent less than in the 1926 census. " At the same time, a simple re-calculation of results in the districts showed that the official 1937 Census results were overestimated by at least 532,000 people, since 12 districts were still subject to scrutiny. However, even with this overstatement of the population of Ukraine, at the beginning of January 1937 that population was only 27,851,000.
Subtracting from this figure the increase of the population of the Ukrainian SSR based on official government statistics of excess births over deaths beginning with 1934 - 88,200, 1935 - 417,200, 1936 - 533,700, a total of 1,039,100 over the three year period, on January 1, 1934 the population of the Ukrainian SSR was 26,702,000. A simple subtraction of the numbers between January 1932 and January 1934, indicates that during the two years of famine, there was a direct loss of 5,898,000 people. Furthermore, when we add those who were born in 1932-1933 — 782,000 and 470,000 respectively according to official government statistics, then the total number of losses during the Holodomor was 7,151.400 people. Assuming some one million died in 1932-1933 from natural causes, then 6,151,400 was the loss from the Holodomor in the Ukrainian SSR alone. Whether the number is 5, 898,000 or 6,151,400 the number of deaths from the Holodomor in Ukraine alone was roughly 6 million.
Why do we insist today that the loss figure is at least 7 million people? Because more than 6 million died from the Holodomor in the Ukrainian SSR alone and these losses were peasants in villages. Ukrainians comprised the peasant population. Cities were often restocked with an influx from other ethnics. At least another million Ukrainians died from famine outside Ukraine, the Kuban region and the like. 
Of all the nationalities comprising the USSR, the Ukrainians experienced the greatest losses not only in Ukraine, but also in their ethnic settlements outside the Ukrainian SSR. The only records available listing populations by nationality throughout the USSR rather than all peoples by residence within the constituent republics of the USSR were the censuses. According to the 1926 census Ukrainians in the USSR numbered 31,195,000.The total population of the USSR was 147, 000,000 with that roughly 31 million Ukrainians and 116 million non Ukrainian. 
According to the 1937 census Ukrainians numbered 26,421,000, almost 5 million less. By comparison the total of the USSR population was 162,039,000 with 135,618,000 non-Ukrainian. The non-Ukrainian population grew by 17%. This includes Kazakhs whose population declined in that period of time due to both death by starvation and migration. Simply using the non-Ukrainian rate of growth during this period of 17%, the Ukrainian population should have been 36,498,000. There were more than 10 million less. Various other factors outside the Holodomor may have led to this, including some Ukrainians declaring themselves Russians as this would have enhanced their livelihood and chance of survival survival, but the numbers of losses are, nevertheless, staggering. 
To date, some avenues of scientific research have not been pursued in ascertaining the number of Holodomor deaths. A recent study by Ukrainian and American demographers came up with a figure of 3.9-4.5 million victims in Ukraine. However, this study missed the January 1932 records entirely. Their starting point was the 1926 census where the population of Ukraine was 31,195,000. The population in January 1932 was 32,600,700, a difference of 1.5 million. Simply adding that difference to their finding of 4.5 million results in the number of 6 million victims in Ukraine alone.
Omissions on the part of researchers should not disparage their work. They simply need to move on in their research with the benefit of documents that have been discovered by others. Even so, perhaps, even years of additional work will not allow us to produce a conclusion of scientific certitude as to the number of victims. More work will be needed. After all the USSR was shrouded in deliberate secrecy for some 70 years. The conservative estimate of 7 million victims of the Holodomor, arrived at many years ago by western historiography and the Ukrainian diaspora prior to the demise of the USSR and the opening of its borders and its repositories of documents, is corroborated by newly discovered evidence from Soviet archives today.
by Volodymyr Serhijchuk, PhD Professor of History, Kyiv National University
Translated and edited by Askold S. Lozynskyj

Note: Published on the website with permission. Flag Counter

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

UCSS-MB Charity Visit to the Oranta Orphanage in Drohobych in 2017

by Ihor Cap and Dariya Dyryk-Cap

Winnipeg, Manitoba – Ukrainian Canadian Social Services - Manitoba Branch (UCSS-MB) Vice-President Dr. Ihor Cap and UCSS-MB Recording Secretary Mrs. Dariya Dyryk-Cap visited the Oranta Orphanage in 2017 Drohobych, Ukraine. It has already become somewhat of a tradition for them because they have been visiting this orphanage every three years since they first made contact with the Orphanage back in August of 2008.  Back then, they met with the long-time Director of this Orphanage Mrs. Vera Kruhlij when the institution cared for about 35 children, aged 3 to 17 that were  orphaned, abandoned, or otherwise not supported by their parents. 

You can view this first visit and assessment of the Oranta Orphanage by searching for “Orphans, Drohobych, Ukraine-Сироти, Дрогобич, Україна” on YouTube or visiting the EzReklama channel. Earlier visits covered the costs of new fridges and entrance doors, and general goods such as detergents and PVC piping. Indeed, there was a time when the Orphanage was on the verge of closing since they lacked fire-signaling systems in their buildings and fire retardant coatings to wooden interior attic surfaces to protect the surfaces from failure in the event of a fire. Our visit provided the funds for this too and prevented the Orphanage from certain closure just days to come.

It was a timely visit, because the orphanage was in danger of being shut down within a week's time given that the roof top beams and columns were not coated with a fire resistant paint. This is something that needs to be done every couple of years or so.  This issue was resolved the very next day. The treatment of the wood beams and columns came at a cost of approximately 3,839.62 hryvnia. Another 8,363 hryvnia  was provided towards the installation of a fire alarm system for one of the orphanage buildings.  Project receipts were obtained from the local "Derzhavnyj Oshadnyj Bank Ukrayiny" chapter No.6307 in Drohobych. The total costs of these services and installations, a box of pampers notwithstanding,  amounted to $1500 CDN dollars (12,202 hryvnia) paid for by UCSS-MB by way of money raised in the city of Winnipeg by individuals who wished to sponsor the "Oranta Project" campaign.

This year Ihor and Dariya met with Acting Director Roman M. Stefanyshyn. To our delight, he said there were only about 15 kids in the orphanage this year ranging from 3 to 15 years of age and there have been many significant improvements to the Orphanage since our first visit. Back in 2008 government funding was limited, workers received their salaries on an intermittent basis, and the orphanage was in general disrepair.  Now, they operate in a much more stable environment of funding and there is visible improvement. 

Nevertheless, there were still needs to take care of so this year we purchased a new wash machine, computer gas heater, an electric meat-grinder, a tea pot and bath fixtures.  “We are definitely happy to visit the Oranta Orphanage and we will surely miss the kids. We hope our financial contributions  and support will help promote closeness and for them to know we really wish them well,” said Dr. Ihor Cap, Vice-President of UCSS-MB.

UCSS-MB saves on travel, hotel and food costs because Ihor and Dariya take this time to visit their family members in Ukraine while simultaneously taking this opportunity to ensure that 100% of the funds raised go to help improve the living conditions of the only orphanage house in Drohobych. This is accomplished by means of the money raised in the Ukrainian Winnipeg community at large for just such a purpose via the “Pomich Ukraini” Fund, care of the Oranta Project. 

Our readers should know that the orphanage still relies on private contributions from individuals and organizations to help with changes necessary to maintain standards. This reality has prompted UCSS MB to initiate a cash plea and campaign, dubbed "The Oranta Project", to help the only orphanage house in Drohobych. Your donations will help offset the government subsidies that simply do not keep pace with existing needs.

We need your help with this campaign. Together we can make a difference. The goal of this campaign is to help improve the living conditions of the only orphanage house in Drohobych, Ukraine. Your gift of support is the catalyst for change. Help make a difference in the lives of these children now. Those wishing to send financial assistance to the orphans in Drohobych can do so now by selecting one of the options below. How much you want to donate is entirely up to you. UCSS-MB has offered to issue you a receipt for income tax purposes for any donation over $20 dollars towards this effort.

Remember our campaign and help us give these children the care they need. You can help make this campaign more visible by telling others about it. The Oranta Orphanage attends to the total welfare of these children. Orphaned, abandoned, or otherwise not supported by their parents, Oranta provides these children with a home, and programmes that help strengthen them and keep them together. These children only receive other things they might need through the kindness of donations. So, be kind to the less fortunate. Let us not forget these children. See further below to donate now. Thank you kindly for your support and encouragement! Thank you for caring.
The children's orphanage "Oranta" is located in the city of Drohobych, Lvivska oblast (province). First established in September of 1997, the institution cares for about 15 children, aged 3 to 15. However, the orphanage does not meet all the standards required for housing orphanages. 

Money Gift
In Ukraine
Bank UDK u Lvivskij oblasti
MFO 825014
rozrakhunkovyj rakhunok 35423002002490
fax/tel: (244) 22695

For Ukrainians in Ukraine, your payment must be made in Ukrainian funds only, the Hryvnia. Donations to this operating account directly fund the day-to-day costs of the orphanage and are used in areas of greatest need.

Outside Ukraine By Mail
To send a donation via check or money order, please use the following mailing address:
c/o Oranta Project,
235 McGregor Street., 
Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Canada, R2W 4W5
Checks and Money orders should be made payable to UCSS-MB and in the memo put towards "Oranta Project". Do not forget to provide us with your full name and return address if you are expecting a receipt for income tax purposes in Manitoba, Canada. Receipts are issued for donations of $20 dollars and more.

UCSS-MB is an affiliate branch of UCSS, Inc which has it's head office in Toronto. Ukrainian Canadian Social Services (Toronto) Inc. is a non-profit organization registered with the Canada Revenue Agency.
BN/Registration Number:  129974572RR0001
Category Code: 03. (Welfare) Charitable Corporations
Designation:  A. Public Foundation Date of Registration: 1971-01-01

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Dutch “Superbus” or World's Fastest Limousine?

by Ihor Cap

The 23 seater 250 km/h Superbus

Photo: The Superbus, Wikimedia Commons

It’s 15 meters or 49.2 feet long, it costs a cool 13 million euros and it was exhibited at the 2010 Millionaire Fair in Amsterdam Holland as the most luxurious bus in the world. It’s called the “Superbus.” Super, perhaps because it has a very powerful electric motor which reaches speeds of 250 kilometers or 155.3 miles per hour. You might also say it’s super because it is eco-friendly. The bus, while having an imposing length, uses a lithium polymer battery pack, has powerful regenerative braking and does not consume a lot of energy.
The “Superbus” has a cured carbon fiber chassis and is constructed with light materials, IXIS Thermoplastic reinforced fiberglass, much like the ones used in the aerospace industry. A fully loaded vehicle of this type comes with Seat belts, airbags, TV, internet, air-conditioning, heating, and much more yet it weighs a mere 9,500 kilograms or about 20,944 pounds. It seats 23 passengers comfortably and has eight doors on each side that open vertically.
The research and design team for this innovative “Superbus” project consists of the first
Dutchman in space, Prof. Dr. Wubbo Ockels, Italian Designer with Formula 1 experience Dr. Ing. Antonia Terzi (she is the Chief Project Designer), and Aerospace Engineer and now Assistant Professor Joris Melkert MSc. Its main mission is to explore public transport for the future.
Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a web author and Dad.  

More about this project here  

The Dutch Superbus Project

Friday, October 27, 2017

I will guess what you are thinking

Please follow the instructions below carefully. Go through each step first before pressing the below button, or you'll only ruin everything!
  1. Think of a number between 1 and 10.
  2. Multiply the number by 9.
  3. Add the digits of your result.
  4. Subtract 5 from your new number.
  5. Find the letter that corresponds to your number, if 1 = A, 2 = B, 3 = C, etc.
  6. Think of a country that begins with your letter.
  7. Write down the name of that country.
  8. Think of an animal beginning with the second letter of your country.
  9. Think of the color of that animal.
  10. Write down the animal and its color.
  11. Think of an animal that begins with the last letter of your country.
  12. Think of a fruit that begins with the last letter of this second animal.
  13. Write down the fruit and the animal.
When you are finished, touch analyze...

Friday, October 13, 2017

Manitoba Partners with Atlantic Provinces to Modernize Apprenticeship Program

Strengthening Services for Apprentices,
Training Providers, Employers:  Wishart

The Manitoba government has signed an agreement with the Atlantic provinces to develop a shared apprenticeship management system that will improve and modernize online services, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.
“Strengthening the services we provide for Manitobans is a priority for our government and we are pleased to take an important step forward to modernize the apprenticeship program,” said Wishart.  “This new system will improve services for apprentices, employers, journeypersons and training providers with modern, web-based technology.  It will eliminate red tape by replacing the current cumbersome and time-consuming need to register for classes in-person with easy-to-use online registration.” 
The minister noted the current system has limited online client-service functions and is reaching the end of its useful life.  The new apprenticeship management system will better meet the needs of apprentices, training providers and employers and will allow Apprenticeship Manitoba to ensure effective communication and enhanced reporting.
“Manitoba’s apprenticeship system is built on strong partnerships between employers, educators and learners,” said Wishart.  “We are taking action to ensure this important part of our education system remains responsive to industry needs and supports the continued growth and development of Manitoba’s economy.”
Wishart confirmed the new system will allow apprentices, training providers and employers to complete forms, process payments and log hours online with self-service functions.  Developing a shared system with the Atlantic provinces will also reduce implementation and maintenance costs, and will enable improved forecasting of training offerings, especially to meet regional demands, he added. 
The shared system is partially funded by the government of Canada.  In addition to funding from the federal government and the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, the Manitoba government’s investment of $3.7 million over five years enables the acquisition of a state-of-the-art new system for only 14 per cent of the total cost. 
“This partnership is a prime example of a strategic investment that not only will improve services for Manitobans but also provide value for taxpayer money,” said Wishart.
The new, shared technology system is expected to be in place in 2019, he added.
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Monday, October 2, 2017

Original 1918 Map of Ukraine added to Lviv History Museum Exhibits

blog posted by Ihor Cap
Internet daily, “Ukrayinska Pravda” reports a sensational find – A Map issued by Austria in 1918, which first defines Ukraine’s borders, without a doubt depicts Crimea as part of its geographical borders.
Michael Havryliv, a private citizen of Lviv, obtained the map visiting an Ivano-Frankivsk marketplace in the mid 80’s and decided to donate it to the historical museum in Ukraine. As the internet daily says, “Maps of Ukraine in 1918 were purposely destroyed in Soviet times and its storage could get up to 10 years imprisonment.”

"Map of Ukraine 1918” is written on it. It clearly identifies the then Ukrainian state owned territories of Transnistria, a part of Belarus-Beresteyschina, Gomelschina (that stretches deep into the territory of Ukraine to Belarus 80-150 kilometers) and east Sloboda (modern Kursk and Voronezh region – where the wedge stretched for 250 kilometers).
The boundaries have since changed, but one could clearly see that Crimea then belonged to Ukraine. Mr. Havryliv said that he was satisfied that the original was in a museum, for it has to be accessible to all. Published by the Viennese publishing house Freyth and Berndt, the map comprises an awareness of the territory, which includes the independent Ukraine state, and an understanding of what was being protected during the first world war. As such, there is no question of the map’s authenticity. The Ukrainians have no territorial claims, and the map will be of interest to Ukrainian citizens and historians alike.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Amazing Rescue of Baby Wildebeest and Zebras by Hippo

by Ihor Cap

YoutTube Screenshot from The hippopotamus
rescues a sinking cub of a zebra.
In the frequently wild and untamed animal world of Africa, there are moments of compassion between animals that often go unnoticed by humans. This is one such moment. Some amazing video footage is captured in the rushing waters of the Mara River in Tanzania that is receiving much attention on YouTube lately. It’s a touching video about a Hippopotamus that appears to be saving the lives of a baby wildebeest (antelope) and zebra as they attempt to cross over to the other side of the river. These precious video moments were captured by South African native Tom Yule, one of the Lemala camp guides present at the scene.
It begins with the enormous Hippo nudging the baby wildebeest in distress towards more shallow waters. Just minutes later, the same Hippo does the same for a baby zebra. We can only assume it’s the same “caring” Hippo because the rushing rapids and surrounding landscape also appear to be the same in both events, and the camp guides tell us so. Nearing the end, we see how the Hippo stands by the baby zebra to ensure its total safety while it stands somewhat disoriented on a rock island. Finally, the baby zebra slowly makes its way towards the rest of the herd and the camp guides who are witnesses to these events.
Here is the You Tube Video.
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and Dad.

Tourist Contact Information for Lemala Camps and Expeditions
Camps Operated By
Grumeti Expeditions (Tz) Ltd., P.O.Box 14529, Arusha. Tanzania
Tel: + 255 27 254 8966, + 255 27 254 8952
Fax +255 27 254 8937
Skype : lemalanbores  

Emergency Contacts :
+255 754 611 988
+255 786 548 397

Camp Contacts :
+255 785 257 305
+255 655 257 305
+255 767 257 305

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How A Ukrainian Ace Pilot Became Mohawk Chief

blogpost by Ihor Cap

The latest Ukrainian film release "He Who Went Through Fire" or as in the official film trailer's title "Fire Crosser" may be just the blockbuster hit that Ukrainians are wanting to see. Insightmedia Producing Center in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine, and specifically the State Service for Cinematography financed this film in the hopes of finding a movie hero that appeals to a wide range of Ukrainian movie goers, a "Ukrainian Rambo" you might say, except a real one and find him they did in the most unexpected of all places, in Montreal, Canada. 
Film maker Mykhailo Illienko worked on this full-length feature film several years. It has all the elements of a great cinematic tale. "Fire Crosser" is not a documentary but it is based on historical realities. It's about a highly decorated Soviet Ukrainian squadron leader who is captured by the Germans in WW II and considered missing in action. He manages to escape German captivity and cross impossible front lines to return to his squadron only to be arrested and hauled off to Siberia as a traitor. This time he manages to escape Russian imprisonment and ends up in Canada to become a Mohawk chief all the while maintaining his Ukrainian cultural identity.

Ivan Datsenko family photo from archive of Olha Ruban 

The Ukrainian newspaper Istorychna Pravda (Historical Truth) found some pretty convincing evidence to support the movie's main hero Ivan Dodoka (in real life Ivan Datsenko).  As it turns out, a famous Soviet Chechen dancer Makhmud Esambayev who performed at Expo 67 in Montreal said he was flabbergasted by the Ukrainian language fluency of this Iroquois who also sang a well known Ukrainian Cossack song Rozpriahaite, khloptsi, koni¦, [Unharness the horses, boys].   Makhmud  was part of a Soviet delegation that visited the Indian reservation in Montreal and after meeting this Chief, he made repeated claims that the Chief and Ivan Datsenko are one and the same person, says the  January 12, 2012 edition of the daily Ukrainian newspaper Day. Elsewhere it says that Illienko himself only heard of this in 1993 and the story resurfaced again in 2002 in a popular TV program called Wait For Me. On this program, one of  Ivan Datsenko's relative's,   Olha V. Ruban showed two pictures of her uncle. The first picture was of  her uncle receiving the Gold Star, and the second picture was of an Iroquois tribe leader in full battle regalia, war paint, amulets, feathers and all.  Incredibly, expert examination of the two photographs confirmed that the individual in the two separate photographs is the same person!

Mohawk Chief - He Who Went Through Fire
Yaroslav Pidhora-Hviazdovskiy, interviewed the movie director Mykhailo Illienko and asked him where he found information about this little known character? Ilienko explains it in this way:
I've found many investigative reports online. Some confirm his story, others deny it. That's why we put a caption at the end of the film saying, The story is based on the life of a real person... We know that the Germans captured him after his plane crashed and our soviet Hero, like all other prisoners of war, became a soviet antihero. So, Datsenko was sent to other camps, to soviet ones. He escaped. And there trail ends, so we changed his name.
Our character is Ivan Dodoka. We can't use the name of a real person without knowing all details of his life. A branded man, Datsenko had a very simple relationship with society: as a soviet prisoner, a traitor and a runaway, he was on the run. Many years later, he meets a soviet delegation in Canada as chief of an Indian tribe. Nobody knows how he got there. This is our own version, the one I find the most convincing. And it satisfies the crucial impulse without which I wouldn't have started the film. 
When he saw the soviet delegation, Datsenko remembered what it was like, running from the NKVD, so when someone asked How did you get here? he said that he had been born here, in Canada, to a Ukrainian immigrant, and met a daughter of an Indian chief later. He married her and inherited the chief's status. The tribe gave him the name, He Who Went Through Fire. Why would a migrant's son have a name like this? What fire did he go through? Despite some assumptions we've had to make, the version in our film is clearly true. In the synopsis to my movie I wrote that a soldier abandoned by his kingdom has a right to choose another king and this is the story of a soldier who became king himself.

Fire Crosser received its first international recognition at the Grand Prix III Kyiv Film Festival. It was released for public consumption on January 12, 2012 but the unusual storyline of the film has already managed to spark further interest abroad in the USA, Canada, Argentina, Poland, Russia, and Mozambique.

Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and Dad.

Online References
In English
In Ukrainian

Note: This article first appeared January 27, 2012 in http:/

Firecrosser: Official Movie Trailer

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Amorous Sharks “Breaching” in the West Coast Waters of Scotland

by Ihor Cap
Some 21 shark species are known to swim the British coastal waters. However, when it comes to amorous basking sharks, recent studies have shown they tend to swim the shores of Scotland four times more than the UK waters. They slowly surf the west coast shores in search of food and a mate, especially around the outer Firth of Clyde. Other recently confirmed hotspots are located in Gunna Sound, between Coll and Tiree, and nearby the islet of Hyskeir, southwest of Canna. Come summer time and sharks as long as 33 feet (10 meters) ‘bask’ the surface of the warm waters feeding on plankton with their mouths wide open. A single ‘basker’ filter’s as much as 1.5 million litres (330,000 gallons) of water through its gills. This dark slaty grey to black fish is sometimes mistaken for a second fish following the other since both the dorsal and tail fins stick out of the water at the same time.

Basking Shark Photo by Chris Gotschalk at Wikimedia Commons
Jet-skiers, speedboats and other boaters must be especially careful this time of year not just because the sharks are feeding along the surface but also because this is their mating season. Basking sharks are loners, but come courting season and a hundred of them can appear in these plentiful waters. What makes basking sharks unusual around this time is their courtship behavior. The nose of one love struck shark follows the tail of the other shark or they may swim next to each other. Sometimes, they lunge vertically out of the water also known as “breaching.” Being the second largest fish in the world, it is easy to see why they are often mistaken for whales.

Shark Breach photo taken from YouTube video Flying Shark: Great White Breaches Off South Africa's Coast
Little is known about these creatures and their behavior. Recent evidence shows that one shark can give birth to as many as six young live ones. Also, they take a long time to mature so the Scottish government has taken measures to protect them, especially around the identified hotspot areas. You can read more about these amazing creatures and their unusual behaviors by visiting the sites mentioned below.

Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and Dad.   

Breaching Basking Sharks | World's Weirdest

Sharks in British Seas – 2009 Simon Spear/Richard Peirce/Elasmo Films

Basking shark feeding in the UK 2010

Main Reference:
Basking Sharks at (Used as main reference for my article)

Sharks swim Closer to Extinction 

Additional Readings About Amorous Basking Sharks:
Sharks head west to look for mate at

Experts basking in shark find 

Nature’’s Top 40: No.9 Basking Sharks  

Wealth and Health of 200 Countries Over Last 200 Years in 4 Minutes Flat

by Ihor Cap
What you will see is here is one amazing video that is a must see for everyone who likes or hates statistics. However, this story is not about statistics or numbers per se. Rather, it is a video story about the health and wealth of 200 countries in the world over the last 200 years and beyond in just 4 minutes flat. How is it done? A Swedish professor and super star of sorts with the locals, Hans Rosling, teaches global health and uses visualization as part of his work to communicate the wealth and health of countries by plotting 120,000 numbers and displaying them on an animated correlation chart which appears before him like a hologram.
He is the only individual that I know that communicates this historical progression of life expectancy against wealth for every country since 1810 in the most enjoyable way anyone can think of. In short, Professor Hans illustrates a world far different from what most of us imagine. The facts speak for themselves in this spectacular video of human evolution, but Professor Hans communicates this information in a way everyone understands. Now, sit back and enjoy the show.
Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a web author and dad

Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four

Monday, June 5, 2017


By Ihor Cap

Digital Rectal Exam
Sooner or later, men over 50 will or should regularly receive annual Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening tests for prostate cancer.   Depending on your ethnic and racial backgrounds or family history these tests may even begin earlier. In any case, these screening tests may include but are not limited to a PSA test, a rectal examination, a urinalysis with micro to assess the kidney and urine for urinary tract infection or Uroflowmetry (aka Uroflow test) for assessing related voiding dysfunction.  It’s a humbling experience at least for a minute or so, but most of all PSA test receivers just want to know what the PSA results mean. This article addresses just that. It assembles a range of references from the health and medical literature on this topic and constructs a ready to use quick reference chart for that purpose. Test screening scores received from your Doctor’s office can be compared against the range of indices provided in this chart when you get home. The reading list at the end of this article also provides the corresponding hypertext link for the obtained indices. The hypertext links in and of themselves also make for a useful reading list to individuals who know nothing about this topic but need to satisfy their appetites for more information in this area.  As such, it is hoped that future scheduled visits and discussions with your Doctor will be more fruitful than the previous ones.
PSA Reference Range and Cancer Probability Chart for Blood Test

PSA (Total)< 2.62.6 to 44  to 10>10ng/mL
CANCER PROBABILITY RANGE0% to 19% chance20% chance25% to 45% chance>67% chance 
NOTE: PSA Total values that fall below 4.0 nanograms per mililiter of blood (ng/ml) are generally considered “normal” although some physicians propose even stricter ng/ml values of 2.5 or less.  This latter value may be particularly relevant to people that tend to be more predisposed to these conditions. While the debate in the literature continues about setting even more stringent lower limit values for the safe or normal zones, there is little or no argument about the seriousness of the negative meaning of ng/ml values of 10.0 and more. However, as one of the articles in the reading list below tells us, there is more to all of this than just interpreting the PSA scores. One has to also consider many other interrelated factors to make a conclusive determination. A Free PSA score, a Free/Total PSA  value, PSA velocity, PSA density, age of the person, race, nutrition, and even sexual relations prior to blood test amongst them.
Cautionary Note:
This blog post and quick reference chart is provided for your information only and must not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of the information contained in this blog post; rather, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.
Author Information:
Ihor Cap, Ph.D. - Dr. Cap is an Education Research Specialist and Web Author. 
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Additional Reading
What is considered a normal range for PSA test?
Age-Specific Reference Ranges for PSA in the Detection of Prostate Cancer 
The PSA Story: It's A Lot More Than a PSA Score 
Why Follow PSA Readings - YouTube Video

Or see the following link

Monday, May 8, 2017

Free PlugBoards and Backlinks to Promote Your Web Site Products and Services

By Ihor Cap
88x31 Plugboard Sample
Plugboards and text links vary somewhat in their use but their common goal is the same, to increase backlinks and in so doing visitors to your web site. They are just some of the latest technologies facilitating the way to providing quick backlinks for web sites looking to promote their products and services. They won’t give you an instant upsurge in your SEO search engine rankings, but they will most definitely increase your click through rate. However, there are other reasons why these technologies are so well-liked.  They are popular because of their ease of use and most of all because they are free, like the ones in use on and EzReklama's Premier Blogspot. Similar types of free and dedicated plug boards or tables are used on the home pages of the Let'sPlugit and PlugCity websites (see and The latter website purports to be the largest site for plug banner graphics. Other Plugboards can be viewed at ( and (
80x15 Plugboard Sample
In most cases, you just provide the URL address of your button image, your web site address and press the Plug it button to submit your site and it appears instantly on the Plugboard. Can it get any easier than that? If so, then let me know. Your backlink is created and you move on to your next Plugboard or Plugtable to create another backlink, and voila! That is how you create backlinks to your site, increase your site visibility, and watch the traffic trickle in to your web site. 
It tends to work better with indefinite or permanent links which are found on some PlugBoards and other dedicated share tables that are managed by the web site owners, but these tend to cost a minimal fee.
Plugboards or Plugtables are a great way to promote your website because you no longer have to write website masters or owners and “beg” for a link exchange. Today, it can all be done anonymously and quickly.  Time is money they say, so why not use it efficiently. A great place to obtain a Plugboard is (  Here you will get a good appreciation of the great variety of plugboards in use. Don't forget to submit your web site URL there too while you are at it. "Getting plugged in to a virtual plugboard is the new benchmark for word of mouth referrals, I say." Online web promotion via the use of plugboard panels is rapidly gaining popularity in the digital world.  So, enhance your brand awareness and take charge of your virtual prospects by getting plugged in now!
Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and Dad.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Focus9 Soccer Academy for Athletic Success in Winnipeg

An Exclusive Interview by Ihor Cap for EzReklama BlogSpot
Winnipeg is home to many soccer clubs and associations, including the Focus9 Soccer Academy. Focus9 has a history of success that unlike other programs attracts a highly talented pool of motivated athletes from all across Winnipeg. What they have in common is a burning desire to boost their chances for athletic success and their coaches help facilitate this experience to fruition. It is but one example of a very special group of athletes that choose not to waste their time flailing around when they can be honing their skills with and among the very best players and coaches in the community. Their participation in the Academy enriches their lives and the fist bumps they receive from the coaches at the end of their training day are an acknowledgement of the players’ tireless efforts and commitment to the program.
EzReklama Blogspot reached out to Patrick Di Stefani, a professional coach and former player from Europe, and founder of the Focus9 Soccer Academy to get a better understanding of what Focus9 is all about and what is planned for the Academy in the upcoming year.
Photo 1: Focus9 Academy archives
EzReklama Blogspot: When did the Focus9 Academy start and why?
Patrick Di Stefani: I established Focus9 in August of 2003 upon my return from Belgium. In Belgium I was coaching Professional Football for 5 years in the Belgium Pro League. The move to Canada was for my family. After moving to Canada I quickly realized there was a need for high performance coaching for youth players and felt I could create and establish a European style Soccer (aka Football in Europe) Academy. Our Philosophy is to present junior and senior athletes the opportunity to train with and receive instruction from experienced coaches and trainers within a secure, professional environment of the highest standards designed specifically for the needs of each individual athlete. Since 2003 we’ve been training young players in the Winnipeg, MB community as well as other cities within Canada.
EzReklama Blogspot: What types of programs and services does Focus9 offer and are they only soccer specific?
Patrick Di Stefani: We provide 4 main areas of service to our clients:
i) Club Services:
a. Technical and Tactical Support
b. Strength and Conditioning
c. Coaching Support
d. Establishing a Soccer Academy with Curriculum
e. Club Audit
f. Athlete Testing Protocol.
ii) Soccer Programs:
a. Goalie Academy
b. Outfield Player Academy
c. Striker Academy
iii) Athletic Conditioning Programs:
SAQ, Strength and Conditioning, and
iv) Performance Evaluation Testing:
Optogait and Optojump Analysis System.
Photo 2: Focus9 Academy archives
EzReklama Blogspot: Do any of your program participants ever make it to any professional teams?
Patrick Di Stefani: We have had many successful athletes compete at the highest level. This includes not only Soccer but also athletes from Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball and Rowing. For soccer specifically, we have and have had players in the Belgium Football League, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Division. Most recently, Federico Pena, a pure product of Focus9 signed a Professional Contract with KAA Gent.
EzReklama Blogspot: What kind of things happen at one of your practices?
Patrick Di Stefani: Focus9 structures its practices and training sessions similarly to a Professional European Club. The intention is to create an environment where the players are challenged in every aspect of the game and are pushed to the highest standard. Our strategy is to immerse the players in the same environment that a young European player would be exposed to in their respective Country and Clubs. The sessions consist of specific technical, tactical and physical skills that players must learn in order to compete at the highest level.
EzReklama Blogspot: What does it take to become a professional soccer player/athlete?
Patrick Di Stefani: To become a professional soccer player or athlete it takes a number of varying elements, from talent, strength to speed… However, the most important aspect is always the players willingness to link all of these elements together which creates a professional player and/or athlete. EzReklama Blogspot: Can you tell us what you have planned for the upcoming year?
Patrick Di Stefani: We continue to build-up and improve our programming while striving to be the leaders in the soccer community. This summer we are delighted to have again with us Joel Crahay for a Professional week-long camp the first week of July.
EzReklama Blogspot: What one word or phrase do you want people to associate with your Academy?
Patrick Di Stefani:The ULTIMATE GOAL of our GAME is to IMPROVE YOURS“, I always say, and in a way that has also become our motto. Yes, That is what I want people to remember us by.

Photo 3: Focus9 Academy archives
EzReklama Blogspot: Anything else you would like to share?
Patrick Di Stefani: Yes. Two main sources where you can learn more about the Focus9 Soccer Academy is to visit our website at or our Facebook page at . You can email us at  or Phone us at (204) 990-4897.

Looks like it’s going to be another excellent year for Focus9. A big thank you goes out to Patrick Di Stefani for providing this interview with EzReklama Blogspot. I wish you and the Academy continued success and prosperity!
About the Author:
Ihor Cap is a Web Author and a Dad. Flag Counter

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Origins of the Name Canada

by Ihor Cap
How did Canada get its name? Most Canadians, if asked about the origins of the name “Canada”, will admittedly lament their ignorance of that part of Canadian history. Of those that do remember, they might even recall the “official” version of how Canada got its name, the one they received from the Heritage Minutes: Jacques Cartier TV commercial “A Part Of Our Heritage – Canada.” After all, Canadian history is not a subject taught in the schools, per se. Education remains in provincial jurisdiction so each region features their preferred understandings of Canada’s history. As such, there are many competing theories on how Canada came to be known and called. All of them fascinating and equally compelling, but only three theories tend to capture the hearts and minds of historians and researchers more so than the others. They are presented here momentarily.

According to Dr. Velyhors’kyj (1955), the ones that had no staying power were “Vinland” which Lief Ericson (Leifr Eiríksson in Old Norse) used when he arrived to the shores of Labrador in the year 1000 and “Cabotia” named after the Italian navigator and explorer Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot in English or Jean Cabot in French) “who found new isle” – (today Newfoundland) in 1497. John Cabot’s employer, King Henry VII, recorded this venture as such in his notebook in 1498. This is almost certainly the first recording ever known to exist about this grand territory, and that only complicated and further exacerbated the historians’ searches for the true origins and meaning of the word “Canada.” Even before the passing of the British North America Act of 1867 which established Canada as a semi-independent country, over thirty some suggestions were entertained to give the country a new name, writes Velyhors’kyj (1955) in the topo- and anthroponymic series ONOMASTICA X: The Term and Name “Canada”. “Albertsland, Albionora, Borealia, Britannia, Cabotia, Colonia, Efisga (a combination of the first letters of England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Aboriginal lands), Hochelaga, Norland, Superior, Transatlantia, Tuponia (an acrostic for the United Provinces of North America), and Victoria” were among them, writes Hamilton (1978) in The Macmillan book of Canadian place names.
The Three Main Theories on the Origins and Meaning of “Canada”
Velyhors’kyj (1955) asserts that the origins and meaning of the word “Canada” still remains elusive namely because so much time has passed before researchers started to trace its origin. Nevertheless, he sums up the three main theories in these words:
I. Local origin theory.
Dauphin Map of Canada - circa 1543 -Project Gutenberg, Wikimedia Commons
The theory of local origin branches off into several minor views, depending on what language is considered in regard to the name “Canada”: (a) the language of the Indian Huron and Iroquois tribes; (b) of the Algonguins; (c) of the Montagne tribe; (d) or of the Cree Indians. Furthermore, it also depends on what was really called “Canada”. Most of the research workers are inclined to think that the name “Canada” is taken from the language of the Iroquois. The name “Canada” was used as a name for the whole of the eastern peninsula, stretching from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River up to lake Ontario; as a name for a province; for a part of a province, lying between the Island of Coudre; for both sides of the St. Lawrence River; for the St. Lawrence River; for the Montreal district, a lake, an unknown land, a town, a village, a settlement, a group of houses or wigwams, etc., or generally as a name for foreigners, or an unknown country, and so forth. (p.5)

II. European origin theory.

Canada 3 cents Jacques Cartier 1934, Wikimedia Commons
The theory of European origin branches off in two directions, conditioned by whether the research workers regard: (a) the Spanish (“aca nada”), or (b) the Portuguese language(“aqui nada”) as the language of its origin. Both phrases mean the same thing: “nothing here”, which could have been used both by the Spanish and the Portuguese sailors, after failing to find a way to the East Indies, or failing to find any gold. The natives, who heard this phrase repeated many times, might have accepted it, in its abbreviated form, as a name for their country. There are more followers of the Spanish theory.
     The so-called German theory of Dr. Burgmeister is really the Spanish theory, deriving the name “Canada” from the Spanish word “Canada” as used in Argentina.
A few French research workers try to find the origin of the name “Canada” in France. (pp.5-6)
III. Oriental origin theory.
     The followers of the oriental theory affirm that the name “Canada” was either (a) brought over from the East Indies (Davies), or that the country was named after its discovery in honour of the Hindu philosopher Kanada (Johnson). (p.6)
This article began with the general guiding question asking “How did Canada get its name?” Dr. Ivan Velyhors’kyj exhausted all the Canadian sources available in Canada to study this question. Three main theories were given overriding precedence. In the end, Dr. Velyhors’kyj leans towards the local origin theory. The Canadian Board on Geographic Names in Ottawa promised to unravel this mystery, noted Dr. Velyhors’kyj. Its successor today, the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) also tends to promulgate the local origin explanation.
Main Reference:
Велигорський, Іван. (1955). Назвознавство Ч.10: Слово й назва “Канада“. Вінніпеґ, Манітоба. Накладом Української Вільної Академії Наук. 1-30 . [Velyhors’kyj, Ivan. (1955). ONOMASTICA X: The Term and Name “Canada”. Winnipeg, Manitoba. Published by Ukrainian Free Academy of Sciences. 1-30.]
Other References:
Hamilton, William B. (1978): The Macmillan book of Canadian place names, Macmillan of Canada, Toronto, p. 21.
Author Information:
Ihor Cap is a web author and Member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada.