Ukrainians grow unwilling to serve in the army — media


© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan


KIEV, January 27 /TASS/. Ukraine’s male population has massively started leaving abroad in search of jobs to dodge the current mobilization campaign.

“Entire villages are booking buses to dispatch their men as far as possible. Military committees are handing over the lists of fugitives to law enforcers and try to restrict the movement of men subject to conscription outside their native districts and areas,” the Vesti publication wrote on Tuesday.

Natalya from Zaporizhia (south-eastern Ukraine) dispatched her son to Russia several months ago. The woman told Vesti on condition of anonymity that she had also sent her husband away (also to Russia) a week before. Men from western regions are leaving for Poland and Hungary. The city military committee in Ukraine’s capital Kiev is also complaining about draft dodgers.

Human resource experts are noting growing interest in vacancies abroad. “Over the past three months more than 281 job seekers interested in employment abroad, including 176 last month, have posted their CVs on our website,” Tatyana Pashkina from the portal said.

The authorities in the Kiev-controlled parts of the Lugansk region have recently forbidden men aged 18-60 to leave for militia-controlled territories and abroad without permission from local military committees.

Last Monday, the Belgorod-Dnestrovsky City Council /the Odessa region/ published a ban for reservists to leave the region’s territory.

The fourth round of mobilization in Ukraine kicked off on January 20. Another two are scheduled for April and June.

According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak, about 104,000 people may be mobilized in 2015.

Ukrainian army’s Chief of Staff Vladimir Talalay said that draft dodgers would face from 2 to 5 years in prison adding that women aged 25-50 could also be drafted into the army if necessary.

Russia may help Ukrainians avoid army service

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Monday that Russia might extend the period of sojourn in Russian territory for Ukrainians of conscription age who could be drafted into the Ukraine army.

“Many people, by the way, do not want to be mobilized. They are trying to move to Russia and lie low for some time. And they are absolutely right because they are simply being sent under bullets like cannon fodder,” Putin said at a meeting with the students of the “Gornyi” University of Mineral Resources on January 26.

At the same time, the president said Ukrainian nationals could not stay in Russia longer than for a period established by the law.

“Under a new law, Ukrainian citizens cannot stay in Russia for more than 30 days. After that they have to return to Ukraine where they are being caught and sent under the bullets again. That is why I think that we are going to change something in that law,” Putin said adding the sojourn of some categories of people, especially those of conscription age, could be extended within legal framework.

In the meantime, Delegations of Donetsk and Luhansk republics leave Minsk after Ukraine talks fail. The Contact Group for Ukraine was supposed to have met in Minsk on Friday but Ukraine’s representative at the talks didn’t come.

Vladislav Deinego and Denis Pushilin talk to reporters

Vladislav Deinego and Denis Pushilin talk to reporters

© Viktor Drachyov/TASS

Denis Pushilin criticized Kiev’s “incoherent position” on the next round of the Minsk talks.

“The date was set for today but Kiev’s hesitation and uncertainty whether they are going to go [to Minsk] or not is making the situation maximum inconvenient for all the sides,” Pushilin stressed. “We have met our commitments. We have arrived in Minsk while Kiev is still hesitating,” Pushilin said.

Poroshenko and Merkel called for “the dialogue in the ‘Normandy format’ to be continued,” along with “withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops and in compliance with the disengagement line.”

Along with that, Poroshenko and Merkel agreed to hold a bilateral meeting in Munich on February 6-8 with the aim to coordinate further steps.

The spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said a document including key provisions on a ceasefire and weaponry pullback is being worked out for the Contact Group meeting due to be held on Saturday, January 31.

Kiev does not put brake on anything, Alexey Makeyev said.

“Contents and concrete agreements are crucial,” he said. “It is also crucial that all those who put their signatures under the documents and all those who can shoulder the responsibility would attend the meetings.”

“Tomorrow’s talks are likely to be focusing on the final document prescribing how implementation of the Minsk accords could be put back on track,” he said. “Everyone is engaged in readying the document and I am very hopeful that this meeting may take place in Minsk on Saturday.”

End of article ————

[In my opinion, Poroshenko is just buying time. He’s obsessed with killing his own people. He will break any ceasefire. He’s not all there.]

Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nation Speaks


Ghanaian Kofi Annan is the former Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT) January 21, 2015

Editor’s Note: Kofi A. Annan was the 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations and is the founder and chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation. In 2001, he and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. The views expressed in this commentary are solely his.

(CNN) – The horrific events in Paris and northern Nigeria have underlined again how troubled and fragmented our world is. Religious extremism and sectarianism is fueling terrorism and widespread conflict which has forced millions in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere to flee. Aggressive nationalism and politics based on prejudice and a false view of identity is on the increase in many countries. Disease and hunger continue to take a terrible toll.

Yet we know what needs to be done, for example, to end the Ebola disaster, halt climate change, rid our world of hunger and begin the difficult process of healing deep divisions in our societies. Our failure is not because of a lack of knowledge or global resources but leadership and resolve — by politicians but also throughout society. How we put this right must be at the heart of all discussions at Davos this week.

Let’s start with Ebola. We have known about this disease for 40 years, how deadly it is, how it is transmitted and how to prevent infection. Yet we have lost thousands of lives already to the epidemic in West Africa and only now have the resources, from within countries and outside, been mobilized to halt it.

We need to learn the lessons and ensure we can move much more quickly and effectively before such deadly diseases take hold. The last few months have also underlined the need for big pharma to invest more into the research of diseases that occur in poorer countries. The extraordinary progress in tackling some of the world’s greatest killers through the development and distribution of vaccines shows what can be achieved through our collective efforts.

Second, Africa, with the world’s most uncultivated arable land, has the potential to help end the global food security and nutrition crisis. Yet it fails to grow enough food even to feed its own people.

Africa’s governments have recognised their responsibility to put in place the policies and investments which will enable the continent’s farmers, big and small, to provide the food needed. They must deliver the improved infrastructure which is vital to this ambition. Business must respond as well, particularly by giving small-holder farmers the access to new crop varieties, techniques and markets.

The third area where leadership is absolutely crucial is the climate crisis. How is it possible that climate change conferences continually fail to provide the breakthrough given that the science is so clear about the threat to future generations and our planet?

In December, a global agreement must be reached in Paris on the framework and policies needed to halt climate change. Political leaders need to look beyond the next electoral cycle. Civil society has largely already understood what needs to be done. I believe corporations will quickly respond to the challenge as many already have. There can be no clearer example of where our common values must be rediscovered. There are welcome signs that this is, at last, beginning to be understood.

Fourthly, we know that successful peace processes are our only chance of escaping the circle of violence. Without the resolve to address the past openly, and without leaders showing the courage to give peace commissions the independence they need, solutions will be haphazard. It takes courage to address the rights of victims genuinely, but it is fundamental to heal wounds permanently. In a world riddled with conflict, this courage will be more essential than ever. The international community needs to do more to support countries through this often difficult process.

Finally, there is also an urgent need to step up support for democracy and elections. While almost every country now votes, public faith in democracy is on the wane. In too many countries, political leaders manipulate the process to deny their citizens a proper voice. Even in mature democracies, there is an increasingly widespread belief that elections change little and that the political elite serve only their only narrow interests.

Leaders in 2015 will once more have the choice between using elections to give their regimes a veneer of democratic legitimacy or ensuring a level-playing field, respecting the secrecy of the ballot and, above all, accept the result peacefully. Last year’s successful Presidential elections and peaceful hand-over of power in Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, even when the result was very close provided real hope for the future. Supporting the integrity of elections in Africa and elsewhere will be an area, like all these challenges, I and my Foundation sees as particular priorities this year.

In times of uncertainty, it is all too easy to surrender to fear and retreat, look inward and think short-term. But what is urgently needed is the ability in politics but also in business and society as a whole to look beyond national borders, the next election or set of quarterly results. This must underpin not just discussions at Davos but all our actions as voters, citizens and consumers in the coming months and years.

CNN: The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of Kofi Annan.

Flashback: Nirvana Play a Bit of Boston’s ‘More Than a Feeling’

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Live at Reading 1992)



When Kurt Cobain first came up with the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” riff, he didn’t think he had anything that special. “It was such a cliched riff,” he said. “It was so close to a Boston riff or ‘Louie Louie.’ When I came up with the guitar part, Krist [Novoselic] looked at me and said, ‘That is so ridiculous.'”

After the song became an enormous hit, many others pointed out that the main riff did indeed sound like Boston’s “More Than a Feeling,” even though they’re in different keys. They probably weren’t similar enough for Boston’s Tom Scholz to file any sort of legal action, but he said he didn’t mind at all.

“I take it as a major compliment,” he said in 1994, “even if it was completely accidental.”

The group made fun of the whole thing in the summer of 1992 when they played the Reading Festival in England. After the opening bars of the song, Kirst Novoselic and Dave Grohl sang the chorus of “More Than a Feeling” while Bivouac drummer Antony “Dancing Tony” Hodgkinson danced around wildly. After about 18 goofy seconds, Novoselic launches into the “I see Marianne walk away” part, but Kurt interrupts him by beginning the song for real. It’s a great moment, though completely absent from the official Live at Reading CD. You can watch it right here though.

A couple of years ago, Tom Scholz admitted that he’s extremely unfamiliar with Nirvana’s work since he has barely heard any new music since 1974. “The only times when I’ll hear other music will be at the ice skating rink or the gym,” he said. “It’s been debated whether [Nirvana playing a bit of “More Than a Feeling”] was homage or thumbing their nose. Regardless, Nirvana was, from what I’ve heard, a great band. I was really impressed by the couple of things I heard. Regardless of what the context was, it’s an honor to be heard in the same airspace as Nirvana.”

Watch Ryan’s New Music Video!

Ryan Bingham

Ryan Bingham




Ryan’s new ‘Radio’ music video is out! Watch it now by clicking the video link below.

Ryan Bingham “Radio” Official Lyric Video



Published on Jan 27, 2015

Ryan Bingham “Radio” Official Lyric Video

From the album “Fear And Saturday Night” (C) 2015 Axster Bingham Records

New album “Fear And Saturday Night” available now

Bjork’s ‘Vulnicura’: An Inquiry Into Melodrama


Courtesy of Sacks and Co.

What the Icelandic art star Bjork has accomplished at the intersection of pop and the avant-garde cannot be summed up in one detail, but one thing to focus on is the way she sings the word “emotional.” Climbing it like one of the cliffs she often evokes in her pastoral lyrics, she lets it open up like a vista on its central, circulatory “o.” The word becomes a Valkyrie’s cry, a statement of purpose both sacred and humanly thrilling.

Recalling the way she deployed it in her landmark 1997 hit “Joga,” Bjork wails “emotional” in the very first chorus on Vulnicura, the “heartbreak album” she has just released, which offers a needed model for heart-baring (and bearing) in this cool, fiber-optic age. On “Stonemilker,” Bjork pairs the word with “respect” — she demands it from a lover who’s switched the “off” button on their connection. Strings and beats swirl together, supporting her, the language of conventional romance combining with strangely intimate electronics that remind the listener of medical monitoring machines — or of heartbeats, even stomach rumbles, themselves.

Marked in the liner notes as the preface to the love-lost story Vulnicura tells, “Stonemilker” establishes the balance Bjork characteristically seeks: between sentiment and science, an immersion in feeling and its familiar social markers and an analytical take on just those things. Vulnicura brashly reveals the most intimate and sometimes embarrassing expressions of pain a lover makes when abandoned. But in its elegant, slow unfolding, it also creates a space to observe those outbursts and recoveries. This album is an inquiry into melodrama, and if its songs demand that the listener get uncomfortably close to the viscera of that romantic experience, they do so the better to expose how humans move through pain and finally justify leaving it behind.

Melodrama is a feminine form, the designated space where domestic and erotic stories can turn grandly operatic. We associate it with bodice-ripper novels and Technicolor movies in which beauties wear their anguish openly, without shame; overwrought stories, maybe, but ones that have always filled in the gaps between relentlessly macho tales of crime, politics and war. In recent years, women artists and some empathetic men have reclaimed melodrama in ways that make it both more introspective and more clearly critical of the gender divisions that required its existence in the first place. The film collaborations of Todd Haynes and Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton’s extraordinary performance in I Am Love; Lydia Davis’s novel The End of the Story and Jenny Offill’s more recent Dept. of Speculation: these are the works that form a frame around Vulnicura, reminding us that this is not just a raw reflection of Bjork’s breakup with her fellow fabulist Matthew Barney, but an intellectually ambitious intervention into melodrama itself.

In Bjork’s hands, melodrama becomes an avenue of self-reflection. Her co-producer Arca proves an ideal partner; having previously shown his sensitivity toward highly idiosyncratic vocalists working with Kanye West and FKA Twigs, he merges his own slyly organic, determinedly fluid sound with the one she’s perfected using guts and intellect, and it’s a beautifully easy collaboration. The Venezuelan-born Alejandro Ghersi, who is 24, grew up on Bjork’s work, and his own albums connect hip-hop to experimental electronica in ways that mirror the pioneering efforts that made her a star. Arca honors Bjork’s excavation of her past and her almost obsessive examination of the state in which her and Barney’s breakup left her. Vulnicura abounds with references to her previous songs, showing how the psychic unraveling heartache causes is tied up in memory, and how one way ex-lovers recover is by reclaiming their individual pasts. It surveys and carefully accesses the range of emotions abandonment inspires — “define her abyss, show it respect” she sings on the slippery “Quicksand” — but boldly moves on, outlining a plan for healing. The album’s mostly gentle pace and sonic spaciousness — unlike her previous work, Biophilia, this one never feels busy — demand attentiveness.

“Black Lake,” Vulnicura’s centerpiece, unfolds like an aria — the designated space within classical music where a woman can reveal how men have betrayed her, both intimately and within society. Because this is Bjork, however, instead of employing coloratura cries, she shares her tragedy in calm but mounting phrases that reflect both folk balladry and torch songs. In spare couplets gradually pushed forward by Arca’s biological beats, she reveals first her own pain, then the way her lover created it through betrayal, which Bjork defines as a hollowing of the heart. Bjork’s Icelandic accent becomes stronger as she moves toward the story; reclaiming her native tongue, she returns to herself. But she also knows part of herself has burned away; the last image in this blend of the natural and the mechanical is of her becoming “a glowing, shining rocket,” returning to the atmosphere of herself. “I burn off layer by layer,” she confesses as the strings cool the mood, pooling mourning around her.

Ten minutes long, “Black Lake” both clarifies the story told on Vulnicura and serves as a statement of purpose. Bjork has said that she hopes these songs provide insight into how heartbreak affects the body: “the wound and the healing of the wound.” Allaying any doubts about this injury’s gender, the album cover depicts Bjork as a futuristic, flower-like creature with an open chest that resembles a detail from a Judy Chicago plate. For Bjork (who has an adult son and a young daughter) heart and the womb are inseparable, and one thing that makes Vulnicura distinctive is her attention to how broken romance reverberates beyond the couple. The quiet but ferocious “Family,” co-produced by electronica’s 27-year-old horror master The Haxan Cloak, begins with a summoning tympani-style beat as Bjork, vengeful as a mother’s ghost, cries out about “the death of my family.” By song’s end, she has turned toward her daughter, determined to build a bridge beyond the split earth. Her own overdubbed voice forms that bridge, intertwining with the violins she often employs as harmonic partners. “There is a swarm of sound around our heads,” she sings: it’s sound that she herself generates, as women in melodrama often do, speaking truths that both expose and begin to reassemble what has been broken.

If Vulnicura has a flaw, it’s in the way the lyrics sometimes read on the page. Melodrama risks extreme feeling, and that means embracing florid phrases. In “Atom Dance,” the dizzying duet with frequent collaborator Antony Hegarty that signals the damaged lover’s return to wholeness through compassion, she declares, “I am finetuning my soul to the universal wavelength” — this is the hippie side of Bjork that makes it hard for some cynics to take her seriously. But the weblike arrangement that Arca and Bjork create, which the singers make richer by merging their voices in self-dissolving harmony, proves her point. This music sounds like the abandonment of ego — not conventional melodrama’s self-sacrifice, but something more spiritual and sublime. It is Bjork’s way out, and back into, human feeling.

In the end, Vulnicura plays out its tragedy and pushes beyond its boundaries. “Quicksand” spins beyond the album’s frame on a drum and bass beat and the staccato push of a wordless female voice. “Our mother’s philosophy, it feels like quicksand,” Bjork snappily intones. She reflects upon the isolation of the abandoned woman and opts for something different for herself and her daughter: she turns the solitary “she is broken” of femininity’s history into a loving “we,” an invocation of the animist universalism she’s espoused in songs ranging from “Isobel” to “Pagan Poetry” to the entire Biophilia project. “When we’re broken we are whole,” she sings, at home in the swirl. She calls for hope, not just for herself, but also for “my continuity, and my daughter’s, and her daughter’s, and her daughter’s.” The track abruptly cuts off, suggesting that this reclamation of the feminine heart is unfinished business. But that hope resonates. This sad story extends beyond itself, opening into something new.