Lithuania Feels Squeeze in Sanctions War With Russia

In the sanctions war between Russia and the West, Kasia Jankun’s 80 dairy cows seem to be losing.

The sanctions, which are taking a toll on Russia’s economy, cut both ways. And Ms. Jankun and other small farmers in this Baltic nation of three million people are bearing an overwhelming share of the pain from a Russian ban on European dairy products.

Former Soviet bloc countries that, like Lithuania, are part of the European Union and the NATO military alliance might seem safe from the Russian strong-arming that made Ukraine so vulnerable. But in economic standoffs, it is often the most vulnerable that suffer most.

The loss of the Russian market created an oversupply of milk, which pushed prices in Europe well below the break-even point for farmers like Ms. Jankun, whose 250-acre farm in eastern Lithuania lies at the end of a dirt road in rolling country dappled by groves of pine and alder.

“If nothing changes by spring, at these prices, it’s bankruptcy, ” Ms. Jankun, 50, said recently, as she served visitors thick slices of homemade cheese that she sells at outdoor markets to make up for lost income.

Eat, bray, love: amorous donkey couple reunited after protests at separation

Unfinished buildings, Croatia. 


Romania: The return of the European bison

Romania’s last bison were hunted out by 1790 as the species headed towards extinction across Europe. They disappeared from Britain by the 12th century and from western Europe by the 15th century. In 1919, hunters shot the continent’s last remaining wild specimen in Poland’s Bialowieza Forest. Only 54 survived in captivity to become the nucleus for all future reintroduction programmes. All of the 3,200 wild bison reintroduced into Europe come from an incestuous gene pool of just 12 families.

Other bison reintroductions have taken place in Romania, but this joint initiative at Armenis, run by WWF and the Dutch organisation Rewilding Europe, is the first to reintroduce them properly to the wild, rather than into protected reserves.

“We want to create a self-sustaining, viable population of 500 bison by 2025 that will roam free and breed,” said Hagatis. To stir up the genetic soup, the Armenis herd is assembled from bison brought in from Italy, Sweden, Belgium and Germany.

This is a travel piece, which I’m not usually interested in, but it’s neat to learn about this project.

Ukraine's Cryptic, Clever (And Always Insulting) Lexicon Of War

As the separatist conflict simmers in eastern Ukraine, supporters from both camps fight on in another war — a war of words. The result is a torrent of new slurs — often cryptic, at times clever, always insulting.

Here are some of the most common terms:

Banderovtsy, banderlogi

Russian synonyms for ”neo-Nazis,” literally followers of World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera.

The “logi” suffix lends an additional pejorative connotation.

From the onset of the pro-European Maidan protests in Kyiv, Russian authorities have repeatedly branded the demonstrators — and more generally any Ukrainians supporting efforts to steer their country out of Moscow’s orbit — “banderovtsy.”

A hero to Ukrainian nationalists, Bandera collaborated with Nazi Germany in a bid to create an independent Ukrainian state. The Nazis subsequently arrested him and his associates. 

He was assassinated in 1959, a killing widely attributed to the Soviet KGB secret services.

Okay read this piece though.

Word of the day


динозавр  (m)

Example sentence:

Я всегда замечаю, когда в фильмах используют поддельных динозавров.
I always notice when fake dinosaurs are used in movies.



Thracian winged horse from Bulgaria, 4th century BCE


Thracian winged horse from Bulgaria, 4th century BCE

Little aside:

If anyone feels the need to reblog one of my posts with racist commentary, I WILL report you to tumblr for harassment. When someone did that last week and it showed up in my activity, I felt sick to my stomach and yes, harassed. Just thinking about it now makes me upset. This is the first time I’ve ever seen anyone do that, so it’s not a major issue, but in case you feel the urge…don’t.

anabsencepresently said: It's so great to see you're back! :D

Thank you so much! It’s nice to be appreciated. :)

The Creepy Story of How Budapest Became a "City of Smiles" in the 1930s