Okean Elzy, who have been popular across the CIS for many years, were at the forefront of last winter's Euromaidan demonstrations in Kyiv. Their concerts have been fantastically well received all over Ukraine since then.
Akunin says he was very jealous of the audience of Ukrainians in London, most of them according to Akunin, Russian-speaking, They lustily and emotionally sang Ukraine's nation anthem together with the band.
This was honest, unashamed patriotism - pride and joy of being a Ukrainian citizen, and even more so, taking place in London, and not in Kyiv.
Akunin concludes he finally now 'gets it' - what being a Ukrainian really is about. Putin and Yanukovych have unwittingly created great unstoppable national revival across that country.
In the Russian Federation, the many differing lesser ethnic minorities experience discomfort, maybe a frisson of fear when they hear the singing of the Russian national anthem. According to Akunin shouts of 'Glory to Russia!' would only be heard "at a bureaucratic[ally organised]-patriotic events, or at meetings of aggressive xenophobia." Russophone Ukrainians shout 'Slava Ukraini' just as sincerely as their Ukrainophone friends..they are proud of being Ukrainian.
Akunin feels bitter that Russians are not the same as these liberated Ukrainians.
p.s. Also please watch new generation of Ukr politicians on Hromadske.tv in English here
And some former opposition activists, like Tatyana Chornovol say the occupied part of Donbas "should now be separated from the Ukraine." This is the winning option for the state". I think there will be more and more similar comments made in weeks to come..
President Petro Poroshenko has compared the Holodomor of 1932-33 with the current war in eastern Ukraine, declaring the war is a continuation of imperial genocide against the Ukrainian people.
Your blogger thinks back to his visits to Ukraine, seeing the vast tracts of arable land, the silos, the lush private vegetable plots with huge amounts of produce...The stores and reserves people have in their cellars, especially in smaller towns and villages...
Hunger? Now in and around Donbas? I can't get my head around this.. The thugs that are in charge of DNR and LNR are are not concerned about the welfare of those incapable of looking after themselves in areas they control..For them humanitarian aid is another get rich quick opportunity.