Ukraine's weather forecast: expect severe political storms

Reporter says fine weather compensated for the injustice, lawlessness and chaos rife in the country

Moscow

Ukraine's fractured political climate has in recent years led to fist-fights in parliament, thousands of protesters pitching tents in Kiev's main square, and topless women protesting on the streets. Indeed, in this deeply divided country, the weather forecast was one of the few places where Ukrainians could expect a respite from politics.

Not any more: one of the country's best known weather forecasters has caused a scandal after turning the evening weather forecast into a political diatribe.

Lyudmila Savchenko heads the forecasting division of Ukraine's meteorological service, and her daily weather reports made her a well-known voice. But her bosses decided she overstepped the mark last week, when she suggested that a spell of good weather was compensation for Ukrainian's dire political leadership.

"One cannot remain indifferent to this beauty which shows in the tender scent of lilac and lily of the valley and the melodious trilling of the birds," she said, reading the weather on Ukrainian national radio earlier this week. "At times it seems that such miraculous days are a gift from nature to compensate us for the chaos, lawlessness and injustice which reigns in our country." In case anyone had not got the full gist, she continued: "It is simply incomprehensible that anyone can dislike this paradise on earth, this country, the Ukrainian people so much that they treat it so badly."

Ukraine is a country divided, broadly speaking, between a Russian-speaking east that favours close relations with Russia, and a Ukrainian-speaking west that would like to see more European integration. In the Orange Revolution of 2004-5, thousands of Western-leaning Ukrainians protested against rigged elections and brought the pro-European government of Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko into power. But the government became mired in scandal and infighting, and was unable to improve the economic situation in the country.

Then last year, the presidency was won by Viktor Yanukovych, the politician the Orange Revolution had tried to unseat. Ms Savchenko's diatribe was against Mr Yanukovych's government, which critics accuse of being mired in corruption and inefficiency.

Ms Savchenko has not been fired, but the weather forecasts will now be pre-recorded rather than broadcast live.

"I knew that they wouldn't let me broadcast live any more, but I wanted to make my position known, and I don't regret it," Ms Savchenko said. But she was criticised by the deputy director of Ukrainian National Radio, Roman Tchaikovsky: "If a person is talking about the weather, he or she should be objective, qualified, and sharp – but they should limit themselves to talking about the weather," he said.

The case has become a talking point, with Mr Yanukovych's political rivals getting involved. Ms Tymoshenko, the former prime minister, called for Ms Savchenko to be returned to the airwaves. "We give Lyudmila Savchenko the warmest compliments," wrote Ms Tymoshenko on Twitter. "It has again become heroic just to tell the truth."

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam