Lion Awards 2010

  • Most memorable moment of 2010 - Karpaty Lviv player Artem Fedetskiy’s injury-time equalizer vs. Galatasaray in the Europa League play-offs
  • Arts event of the year - Premiere of exquisite Japanese artistry
  • VIP guest of the year Japanese designer Kenzo Takada
  • Investment of the year - Lviv’s legendary coach factory scores Euro 2012 bonanza
  • Tourism initiative of the year - English-language street signs arrive in Lviv
  • Model of the Year - Anna Shteyn
  • Arrival of the year - Gloria Jean’s coffees
  • Sports personality of the year
  • Winner of the year - Leopolis Hotel
  • Politician of the year - Oleh Tyahnybok
Issue 30, December 2010.

Most memorable moment of 2010
Karpaty Lviv player Artem Fedetskiy’s injury-time equalizer vs. Galatasaray in the Europa League play-offs

At approximately 22.34 on August 26, 2010, the crowd at Lviv’s Ukraina Stadium let out one of the loudest roars ever heard in the venue’s long and venerable history. It was a roar or relief and exhilaration, but perhaps more than anything it was a roar of surprise. Lviv had qualified for the Europa League at the very last moment, securing an away goals victory over Turkish giants Galatasaray with virtually the last kick of a highly exciting encounter. There had been a carnival atmosphere throughout the city all day during the build-up to the tie, with local fans confident that Karpaty’s credible 2-2 draw away in Istanbul would prove sufficient to ease their progress into what for the club would be uncharted territory. The often half-empty Ukraina Stadium was, for once, near capacity and bedecked in an ever multiplying array of flags and banners as the sides fought out a 0-0 draw. With less than a minute left on the clock disaster struck as a Lviv defender slipped, allowing Galatasaray to score what looked to be a last-minute winner. For many sides this would have been a knock-out blow but Karpaty somehow found enough courage to produce Artem Fedetskiy’s fairytale goal in what was the very last minute of added time. This was a piece of Lviv football history in the making which lacked nothing in drama or emotion – few watching the game in Lviv on that barmy August night will ever forget it.

Arts event of the year
Premiere of exquisite Japanese artistry
Perhaps the most memorable event on a crammed 2010 Lviv cultural calendar was the September exhibition of  Japanese artworks – mostly sculptures – from the Feldman Collection. These fascinating works of art offered a window into the craftsmanship of Early Modern Japanese artists and also allowed fans all of all things Oriental to feast on the delicate aesthetics and quest for perfect balance depicted in many of the little statues. This was the first time that these pieces from the privately owned Feldman Collection had been displayed publicly in West Ukraine and came as part of a broader Ukrainian exhibition tour.

VIP guest of the year
Japanese designer Kenzo Takada
Few visitors to Lviv have been a jovial or enjoyed themselves quite so much as Japanese fashion icon Kenzo Takada, who was guest of honour at the city’s late October Lviv Fashion Week catwalk shows. Kenzo seemed to enjoy the shows and was an active participant in the cultural programme which envelopes the catwalk aspect of the twice-a-year LFW seasons. Other big names to roll into the West Ukrainian capital during 2010 included American boxing promoter Don King but for sheer charm and charisma even the world famous American fight scene legend was outdone but the enthusiastic and engaging Japanese fashion figure. Kenzo further endeared himself to Leopolitan audiences by commenting during his stay that Lviv ladies were better dressed than their Parisian counterparts – high blown flattery indeed, even by the inflated standards of expat Ukraine!

Investment of the year
Lviv’s legendary coach factory scores Euro 2012 bonanza
The July decision by the incoming Yanukovych administration to order a fleet of new coaches from Lviv’s famous ‘LAZ’ coach plant provided the local economy with a welcome tonic and breathed new life into one of Lviv’s most well-known Soviet era brand names. This extra-large state-financed order for Euro 2012 transport was the biggest the plant had secured since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Donetsk will receive a battalion of lilac buses, while those destined for Euro 2012 in for Kharkiv, Kyiv and Lviv will be green, white and blue respectively. The first batch of buses was dispatched to their respective mayors in late October amid much fanfare as one of the city’s top brands regained its swagger.

Tourism initiative of the year
English-language street signs arrive in Lviv
A small but significant step towards greater European integration was taken in summer 2010 when Lviv unveiled bilingual street signs throughout the downtown area. Many foreigners find the Ukrainian language’s Cyrillic alphabet particularly disorienting and the introduction of English-language street signs will make things far more welcoming for many tourists and Euro 2012 visitors. The project, which was funded by the EU, is now being repeated in other Ukrainian Euro 2012 host cities.

Model of the Year
Anna Shteyn: From Lviv Today to Vogue
Anna Shteyn is the hottest property in the world of Lviv modelling. In the past year she has featured on the pages of Elle and Vogue while also starring in Marc Jacobs and Escada catwalk shows and becoming the face for Japan’s  Shisheido Cosmetics. Ms. Shteyn was first spotted three years ago by OK’s models scout Serhiy Bobak in the street with her mother, the teenager has been praised for her poise, professionalism and natural beauty.

Arrival of the year
Gloria Jean’s coffees
Centrally located on Mitskevich Square, Gloria Jean’s coffees first opened its doors to the public in spring 2010 and immediately became favorite venue among Lviv’s legions of coffee fans. Established over 30 years ago, Gloria Jean’s has become a coffee icon with over 900 stores in more than 40 countries worldwide. As a specialty coffee retailer and one of the fastest growing franchise operations in the world, Gloria Jean’s venues offer consumers a range of over 150 products including hot and cold espresso drinks, fresh premium coffee beans, teas and cocoas as well as exquisite   desserts and tons of other coffee related merchandise. Throughout the past year Gloria Jean’s coffees has introduced Lvivites to 21st century European coffee fashions and the venue has proved ideally suited to the Lviv ambience.

Sports personality of the year
Artem Fedetskiy (Karpaty Lviv & Ukraine)
Exciting West Ukrainian full back Artem came to Lviv via a roundabout route. He started his career with Arsenal Kyiv before moving to Kharkiv and then Shakhtar Donetsk in quick succession. Unable to break into the Donetsk galacticos first team on a regular basis, the promising defender found himself at Karpaty Lviv in late 2009 as a 24 year old who had attracted much praise but also a reputation as something of a journeyman. In Lviv Fedetskiy appears to have found his footballing home - he has scored eight goals in 28 appearances since joining the West Ukrainian talisman side. This phenomenal strike rate has helped push him into the Ukrainian national side. Fedetskiy made his Ukraine debut in 2010 and has since established himself as a fixture ahead of Euro 2012. However, the free-scoring defender is perhaps best remembered for his last-gasp goal against Galatasaray in August 2010 which won Lviv a berth in the Europa League.

Winner of the year
Leopolis Hotel
Lviv’s tourism sector is fast emerging as Ukraine’s strongest regional player and the rapid development of the Lviv market was highlighted this autumn when Leopolis Hotel was named Ukraine’s Leading Hotel for 2010 at the prestigious annual World Travel Awards in Istanbul. This was the first time that a Lviv hotel had won the award, providing the Leopolitan hospitality sector with a timely boost and attracting the attention of Ukrainian and international audiences to the progress being made in Ukraine’s most picture-perfect tourist destination. Leopolis Hotel officials spoke of their pride at receiving international recognition and suggested that the award would spur them on as the hotel continues to expand ahead of Euro 2012.

Politician of the year
Oleh Tyahnybok

Tyahnybok’s Svoboda movement swept in from the fringes of Ukrainian politics this autumn, scoring emphatic victories in October 31 local elections throughout the traditionally nationalist West Ukrainian heartlands. The rightwing group secured election day wins in Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts, making them one of the leading political forces in West Ukraine and bolstering their leader’s credentials as he seeks a place for himself and his movement at the top table of Ukrainian politics. With the country’s Orange opposition forces now apparently a shadow of their former selves – ex-president Viktor Yushchenko has disappeared entirely as a political force while former PM Yulia Tymoshenko is struggled to maintain flagging popularity amid disillusionment and an increasingly unsympathetic mass media – former surgeon turned rabble-rousing nationalist leader Oleh Tyahnybok is eyeing the void. If his party’s local election percentages were repeated in the next parliamentary elections (due in 2012), the Lvivborn former doctor would find himself heading up a potentially powerful parliamentary bloc. Long shunned in polite political circles for the unpalatable nature and alleged extremism of his nationalist views, Tyahnybok may now be on the verge of securing a degree of political respectability via the ballot box.

How does Svoboda hope to strike a political balance between its nationalistic positions and the multicultural norms which are broadly embraced throughout the neighbouring EU?
Up until this point European multiculturalism has actually taken on the form of an anti-culture producing the fast-food mentality of globalism which is displacing deep-rooted traditional cultures. European politicians, even those of a  liberal persuasion, already acknowledge this – even German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently declared that the policy of multiculturalism had failed. Unlike both imperialism and globalism, modern nationalism seeks a healthy balance between domestic development and productive international relations. Nationalists will always search for a common language with patriots in other countries, because true nationalism means both love of your own nation and respect for others. Only he who respects himself has the power to respect others.

Will the electoral success of Svoboda drive the Ukrainian national-democratic voter bloc away from the political middle ground and towards more nationalistic extremities?
What is the political middle ground? If you mean eternal collaboration with former invaders or forever opting for the policy of the lesser evil then we stand clearly against such things. It is true that Svoboda’s success will polarize Ukrainian politics, but only in the sense that it will allow the Ukrainian public an alternative to usual choice between the greater and the lesser of two anti- Ukrainian evils. The success of Svoboda is not only a response to the failures of the country’s traditional national democrats and morally bankrupt parliament but also a sign of opposition to the anti-Ukrainian policies of a regime which is, in essence, a Kremlin colonial administration. More and more people are recognizing that only nationalist parties can overcome the colonial inheritance.

Ukraine’s Orange leaders found their foreign policy hampered by deteriorating relations with Russia, which objected to what it identified as nationalist tendencies. Your policies are clearly far more nationalistic than anything the Orange administration ever introduced – does this make a clash between Svoboda and the Kremlin inevitable?
A conflict of interests clearly exists between the Kremlin and all of the Soviet Union’s postcolonial states. While the Kremlin remains infected with the bacilli of imperialism it will oppose any country which seeks to leave the Russian orbit. A weak and geopolitically ambiguous Ukraine will encourage ever greater Russian interference, while only a strong Ukrainian state can succeed in finally closing the chapter on Moscow encroachments once and for all. As the ancient Romans used to say: ‘if you which for peace, prepare for war’. Moscow is already waging virtual war on  Ukraine along many fronts – in the information sphere and the diplomatic sector, within the energy trade and hroughout the world of international PR spin. But would Russia be quite so ready to covet Ukraine if, for example, it was a nuclear armed state with a nationally conscious administration and a population united around a coherent national identity? The question, I believe, is largely rhetorical.

Support for Svoboda remains highly concentrated on a relatively small region of the country. What impact does this have on the credibility of your claims to be a national movement?
In this year’s local elections we polled over 5% - the fifth time Svoboda has passed the parliamentary barrier. Today our movement has factions in eight of the country’s 25 regional councils, while three regional councils are governed by Svoboda nationalists. Only four political forces now have Oblast Council leaders in their ranks, with only Svoboda representing the opposition. Our movement has succeeded in cross not just the Zbruch River (historical border between Austrian West Ukraine and Imperial Russia) but also the Dnipro, all the time remaining true to our nationalistic position. We are seeing support for Svoboda growing and spreading across the country. In the October 2010 elections, for example, the party received more support in Donetsk Oblast than it had done in Kyiv as recently as 2006. In the past four years we have succeeded in pushing the frontline of nationalistic ideology far into the eastern regions of Ukraine. Analysis of both the January 2010 presidential elections (in which Tyahnybok received 1.5% of the vote) and the recent local elections demonstrate that Svoboda is now collectively receiving more votes from Greater Ukraine than from the country’s nationalist heartlands in West Ukraine. Growing support for Svoboda is a direct result of our adherence to clearly stated policies and unchanging principles. We do not change our slogans to suit our audiences and always adopt the