Petty Megalomania: How Ukrainians Celebrated Gagarin Day

Once upon a time the Ukrainian company Yuzhmash was a major producer of rocketry but are now left to set records in blueprints of space vehicles that will never fly

 
Wed, Apr 13, 2016
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A pale shadow of the past

I came across a note on the 2015 achievements of Dnepropetrovsk, and the first 2016 record on the Internet. These records are impressive but they are very strange. For example, yesterday, April 12th, Ukraine’s aerospace industry workers drew attention to themselves with the largest drawing of the rocket:

Yesterday specialists from Yuzhnoye Design Office, that is undergoing hard times, decided to show that Dnepropetrovsk is a space leader with a national record.

“Constructors created the largest ever rocket drawing for Space Day. According to the Director of National Register of Records, Lana Vetrova, it covers 11.92 square meters. Nine people worked on it for 20 hours.

“This is a first in the category Science and Technology. It’s a theoretical drawing of a super-heavy booster Mayak (designed to place space vehicles in orbit - author's note) in a ratio of 1:10. We are happy that young specialists are breaking stereotypes in a design office that had been steeped in secret. Now they have demonstrated that they be creative, and even hit a record”. 

Other achievements of Ukraine’s industrial capital are equally impressive:

"Dnepropetrovsk’s citizens keep surprising Ukraine with their achievements in 2015. In Dnepropetrovsk on City Day, September 12 a large picture with Ukraine’s coat of arms was made with coffee (4.5 x 6.5 m); a hundred-kilogram Russian donut; a fifty-meter towel embroidered with ribbons; a sand painting (15 m); a picture with the city’s landscapes painted by about 500 citizens.

"Students of the Western Dneprovsky Vocational School set three national records over the last year, creating the biggest amount of “deruny” (potato pancakes) – 4,518 pieces, baked a two-meter edible Cossack cudgel and created a Ukraine flag out of 10,000 4m x 8m gingerbreads.

Comment: I look at these ‘records’ and I wonder whether they really believe them? That this is what everyone should work for? Making drawings instead of building rockets? Creating pictures in the shape of a coat of arms or bake a cudgel instead of making order in the country? As go the records, so goes the country. Neither more nor less.  I’m sure the citizens of the region will achieve great things in sewing. But that’s all, because they have no aspirations, no goals, no desire to achieve anything. Only the need to create impressions.

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