Political division in Ukraine

Jun 21, 2012

The month of June was Ukraine’s time to shine.  The former Soviet satellite is co-hosting the European soccer championships. The event is bigger than the Super Bowl, more comparable to the Olympics. 

Ukraine constructed airports and hotels, sports stadiums and roads, to prepare for an invasion of fans, and set a goal of making nearly $2 billion in tourist revenue.

But on Sunday, when England and Italy play a quarterfinals match in Ukraine, no government representative from London will be in the stands. Political leaders in Britain, Germany, Austria and other western European countries are boycotting the matches in protest over the imprisonment of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. 

In addition, there were numerous protests inside and outside of stadiums and accusations of charges of racism among fans. And the governing body of soccer in Europe is under pressure to investigate claims of massive corruption in the allocation of state money allocated for building all those infrastructure projects.

Katya Soldak has written a series of blogs on the latest developments in Ukraine for the Forbes’ website, and spoke to Global Journalist. In the second part of the episode, host David Reed talked with anthropologist and author Laada Bilaniuk about cultural activism and the great language divide in Ukraine.

 

Note: There is no video for this week's edition of Global Journalist.