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Why Yanukovych's Lion?

You might be wondering why the name of this website is Let me explain.


It all started when I came across a CNN video about former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s outrageous countryside mansion: Mezhyhirya Residence. I was initially puzzled at the sheer opulence of the estate. Italian wines, Turkish carpets, Swiss watches, and even a taxidermy lion. I had seen images of the spoils of corruption before. Mansions, jets, yachts, etc. are all too familiar for many oligarchies in the world. However, my attention was fixated on this taxidermy lion. What was it doing there? Did Yanukovych shoot it in Ukraine? Perhaps Russia? Was it a gift from a political donor? These questions led me to inadvertently learn more about Ukraine.


This blog is designed to introduce puzzled readers of current events to how the world arrived at the horrific sight of Russian tanks destroying Ukrainian villages. It traces the rise of Ukraine’s national identity, its oppression under Stalinism, and its current quest for freedom in a post-Putin world. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did creating it. Don’t let Yanukovych’s lion scare you away. 


About The Author

Daniel Banman is a grade 11 student who attends high school in a small town located in Manitoba, Canada. He spends most of his days on the ice as a hockey goaltender, but off the ice he is a huge advocate for change and diversity in his community. He is a youth member of a local community foundation and currently works as an intern for a local law firm.

Daniel hopes to pursue studying political sciences at a college somewhere on the west coast of the United States and to deepen his knowledge further through deeper learning.

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