Only 10% of Ukrainians, who define themselves as believers, regularly visit religious houses. These are the data of a sociological study conducted by the Active Group social research company and the Expert Club analytical center and presented during a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine.
“Compared to the indicators of 2020, the number of people, who consider themselves rather non-believers, has grown in Ukraine. This figure has increased from 8 to 13% over the year. This may be due to the reverse transition from religious practices to secular ones due to the end of the critical phase of the pandemic in our country,” the co-founder of the Expert Club, political scientist Daniel Bogatyrev said.
“Among people who consider themselves believers, 86% identify themselves as Orthodox Christians, 9% are Catholics, 1.2% are Islam believers, 0.7% Protestantism believers, 0.3% pagans, and 0.2% Judaism believers,” Head of Active Group Oleksandr Pozniy said, summing up the results of the study.
In addition, Pozniy noted the correlation between adherence to Orthodox Christianity and the age of citizens. The study revealed an increase in the number of Orthodox believers among middle-aged and elder people.
According to Editor-in-Chief of the Ukraine in Arabic news portal Mohammad Farajallah, faith should meet the traditions and life of the nation in which it prevails.
“Ukraine has always been a multinational and poly-confessional state, but Orthodoxy has been and will remain the main religion in Ukraine. As for Islam here, the percentage of Muslims has remained generally unchanged thanks to the indigenous people, primarily the Crimean Tatars… Over the 30 years of independence, the number of immigrants professing Islam in Ukraine has not exceeded 50,000-100,000 people, which is not a significant figure,” Farajallah said.
Many people select a particular confession based primarily on political considerations, political scientist and Head of the UP Foundation, Kost Bondarenko, said.
“If one looks at the realities, political engagement does not make it possible to talk about the churching of parishioners of certain confessions. It is one thing to declare the faith, but another thing is churching. This can be observed every year, when at the end of July religious processions are organized in honor of the feast of the Baptism of Rus. At the same time, the processions of the two confessions (UOC and OCU) are different. The number of parishioners of the UOC is usually 200,000-300,000 people who walk with crosses and banners, showing their adherence to Orthodoxy. At the same time, during the processions of the OCU, parishioners mostly go with national flags and portraits of the heroes of the Ukrainian pantheon. This really indicates to two approaches to religiosity in these confessions,” Bondarenko said.
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The meeting between the presidents of the United States of America and the Russian Federation is important primarily for the system of collective world security, said Serhiy Rakhmanin, member of the Holos faction, representative of the parliamentary committee on national security, defense and intelligence.
“It is good that this meeting took place, and this is important primarily for the system of collective world security. Russia and the United States are obvious antagonists who possess nuclear weapons, and therefore Biden’s logic was that given that they are enemies, then they should negotiate as enemies. In fact, Biden, as a representative of the old school, is a supporter of the relationship with Russia to be something similar to the relationship of the United States and the Soviet Union, which were enemies, but logical and predictable enemies. What worried the current head of the American administration is that Russia is an unpredictable enemy, and he wants, let’s say, to drive Russian-American relations into a certain framework,” Rakhmanin said in a comment to Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.
At the same time, he called the expectations of this meeting in Ukraine excessive due to the fact that “some conditionally breakthrough moments were supposed to take place there, which concerned the further fate of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, in particular in the east of Ukraine – in Donetsk and Luhansk areas.”
“As far as it is possible to analyze the available information, the parties touched on this topic quickly, and no one, in fact, was going to focus on it. Because both for the Americans, and unfortunately for us, this is not a priority topic. Ukraine could not, unfortunately, be the subject of a long conversation,” said the parliamentarian.
Rakhmanin also believes that regarding this issue, the parties to the negotiations do not have any proposals that could be considered or dwelled on.
“The only point that, as I understand it, interested Putin, is how much the United States, the new American administration, are ready to intervene more actively in this process and in one form or another enter the Minsk format, whether America questions what was achieved in Minsk. Russia received an answer that, in principle, was predictable: the Americans do not intend to enter the Minsk format and do not question the political agreements reached,” said the member of the Holos faction.
In his opinion, the development of the situation in the east of Ukraine will depend on how further relations between Russia and the United States will develop.
At the same time, Rakhmanin emphasized that Russia had chosen a very convenient model of behavior in relation to the settlement of this situation: “They do not consider themselves a participant in the negotiations, a party to the conflict – they have invented a certain function of peacekeepers for themselves, therefore the corresponding thesis [that Russia does not have any additional obligations concerning Ukraine, except for “assistance” in the implementation of the Minsk agreements], they constantly repeat this narrative in one form or another, which is absolutely expected.”
In addition, Rakhmanin associates the indirect touch on the topic of Ukraine’s accession to NATO at the summit of the presidents of Russia and the United States with the fact that Russia has not yet worked out its position on this, since it hoped that “even the phrase “Membership Action Plan (MAP)” will be remembered next to the word “Ukraine” in the final communiqué of the NATO Summit.”
“Putin avoided too harsh statements about America in this context, precisely because he was also interested in establishing a more or less conditional constructiveness in his conversation with Biden. They both need this conversation. These are states with completely different interests and, of course, with different attitudes to Ukraine, but both of them needed this meeting. But in fact it was an agreement that it is necessary to come to an agreement,” the politician added.
As reported, the summit between U.S. President Joseph Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin took place in Geneva on June 16.
A month ago the Experts’ Club made a summary and a forecast concerning further relations in world policy.
You can watch the full video about it on the Experts’ Club YouTube channel.
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Nestle Corporation starts selling a line of Garden Gourmet plant-based products in Ukraine, resembling meat in taste, appearance and texture.
The company’s press service reported on Thursday that the Garden Gourmet product line is represented in Ukraine by Sensational Burger, Sensational Sausage, Vegan Meatballs and Vegetarian Nuggets.
The press service of Nestle told Interfax-Ukraine that the new products will be delivered to a number of restaurants in Kyiv and Lviv, and the Garden Gourmet line will arrive in the retail network at the end of 2021. At the same time, the selling prices of new products are not disclosed.
The company said that Garden Gourmet products consist of natural plant ingredients, and the dye in plant products is beet juice and fruit and vegetable concentrate. The product also contains wheat, soy, oil and water. According to Nestle, the shell of Sensational Sausage uses natural algae.
According to the company, the production of vegetable burgers requires 80% less energy compared to a similar meat product. Also, the production of Garden Gourmet products reduces the carbon footprint and land use compared to the meat product by 80% and 75%, respectively.
“The choice in favor of plant products helps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in food production. Thanks to the optimal price, this product is affordable for everyone, and we hope that Ukrainians will discover the world of plant foods thanks to Garden Gourmet,” Nestle Professional Business Executive Officer in Ukraine and Moldova Elena Shevelyova said.
According to the company, Garden Gourmet is a popular plant food brand in Europe, with production facilities in the Czech Republic.
Kyiv is standing in front of building a complicated, but necessary dialogue with Warsaw, which has reached a dead end in recent years. It is fair to say that both sides derailed the relations between Ukraine and Poland, however, this does not mean that Kyiv should wait for a full or partial reboot of the government in the neighboring country, moreover, this may not happen, according to political expert Valentyn Haidai.
“We should not forget that in both cases with Poland and with Russia one should differ between sociopolitical and economic dialogues. It is no secret that under conditions of political confrontation between the Ukrainian and Russian elites trade and economic cooperation between the two countries is growing. We can see the same situation in case with Poland,” Haidai said in a program on the Expert Club YouTube channel.
In the expert’s opinion, there is no especial confrontation between the political elites of both countries. Poland and Ukraine do not have any territorial disputes, despite the desire to revise the borders by certain marginal circles, or a sharp conflict related to humanitarian policy, as in the case of Hungary.
“Speaking about economic cooperation, it should be noted that it was estimated at more than EUR 7 billion at the beginning of this year, which is EUR 2 billion more than in 2015, and it continues growing even during the coronavirus pandemic. Ukrainian export to Poland has increased, just the same as Polish import to Ukraine did. An increase in trade, in particular, was registered in the following segments: mineral fertilizers, textile, mechanical and electric equipment, animal fat and metal goods. In addition, Ukraine is one of the largest recipients of Polish food. According to Statistics Poland, export of agricultural goods to Ukraine has grown by more than 20%,” the political expert said.
As of the end of 2019, more than 400 joint enterprises operated in Ukraine and Poland in machine building, consumer goods and food industry, agriculture, etc. Cultural and scientific cooperation continues. Poland, which has a range of grant and scholarship programs, including the Eastern Studies, Stipend for Young Researchers and Krzysztof Skubiszewski Scholarship programs, is traditionally preferred by Ukrainian school graduates, postgraduate students and scientists.
“The problem is that if liberal Trzaskowski won, it is highly probable that Warsaw would take a step forward towards the normalization of relations with Kyiv on its own, while after the victory of conservative Duda in the presidential election the search for compromises was put off,” Haidai said.
The full interview is available on the Expert Club YouTube channel
In the second part of an educational video made by the Expert Club about nutrition, veganism and vegetarianism, Doctor of Biological Sciences Sviatoslav Morozov and healthy nutrition expert Veronika Vero, who promotes vegetarianism, analyzed staple food that is traditionally consumed by Ukrainians.
The experts came to the conclusion that consumption of sausages and sausage products, as well as cakes, some sorts of sweets and canned herrings could be harmful. They also recommended to eat more fruit and vegetables, as well as limit consumption of bread, flour products and bacon.
Honey, dried fruit, raisings, seasonal fruit and vegetables were highly recommended by the experts.
In addition, the experts cast doubt on benefits from regular consumption of dairy products since quality of the raw material (milk) raises questions, while lactose intolerance among many people makes consumption of such products even detrimental.
Doctor of Biological Sciences Sviatoslav Morozov said that food producers aspire to reduce their products’ cost value and often ignore the harm they may cause to consumers’ health.
Otherwise, they will be simply unable to withstand the market competition.
“Speaking about monotonous diet for farm animals and various chemical additives, they are used not to poison consumers. Nobody pursues such a goal. The task is different – to cut the cost value and make products with a very long shelf life, while it is a big question whether this is useful or at least safe for human body,” Morozov said.
The full video is available on the Expert Club YouTube channel
Veronika Vero, a vegetarian and healthy nutrition expert, spent more than eight years of training at the research and development center. She is the author of several programs, seminars, as well as physical, mental and energy retreats.
Sviatoslav Morozov is a scientist with 30 years of experience, a Doctor of Biological Sciences and the author of a series of trainings, titled “Survival in a Megalopolis.”
Many people, who have become vegetarians, risk gaining negative experience of eating poor quality seasonal fruit and vegetables, says nutrition expert Veronika Vero, who is also an author of health improvement programs.
“In my practice, I often noticed the presence of nitrates in seasonal fruit. Since vegetarians often have an increased sensitivity to tastes, such people may have a stronger reaction to nitrate-containing food than ‘omnivorous’ people,” Veronika said.
According to the expert, after long body purification, consumption of any contaminated food may cause at least an allergic reaction or even a serious poisoning. This is connected with changes in vegetarian’s metabolic processes.
“The body of a person consuming both animal and plant food can accumulate toxins for years, but finally this may cause liver cirrhosis or another serious disease. As to vegetarians, their bodies response immediately as they do not accumulate toxins,” Vero said in a program on healthy nutrition on the Expert Club YouTube channel.
She said people, who decided to become vegetarians, first of all should focus on self-improvement and self-education, because learning healthy nutrition programs is one of the most important tasks of a person, who decided to refuse from eating meat.
Veronika Vero, a vegetarian and healthy nutrition expert, spent more than eight years of training at a research and development center. She is the author of several programs, seminars, as well as physical, mental and energy retreats.
The full video is available on the Expert Club YouTube channel.