The Donald and I...
Have One Thing in Common

The Donald and I have one thing in common. We both have been mistaken about Ukraine. While I have dissed the Donald for a long list of other issues, we both lacked ample knowledge regarding that Eastern European country.

I rectified my mistakes several years ago. My family and some of their friends went out to dinner in Chicago. During the meal, I mentioned my hearing problem with one of my children's friends who was an audiologist. In passing, this gal mentioned that she had been in Kiev for a year working for the same hearing aid company that made my hearing aids.

When she mentioned Kiev, we talked about her time in the capital of Ukraine. We went on for a few minutes, and it happened. I made a mistake by asking her about the Great Gate of Kiev. She looked concerned and asked me for more information. I could not understand how she could have missed such a large gateway into Kiev.


This is a drawing of the Great Gate of Kiev

I gladly went into the details about Modest Mussorgsky (his Russian name: Moдéст Петрóвич Mýcopгckий) had written a suite, Pictures at an Exhibition. Mussorgsky was a friend of Russian painter and architect, Viktor Hartmann. Hartmann died unexpectedly from an aneurysm at the age of 39. Instead of a regular funeral, Vladimir Stasovan, art critic, collected 400 of Hartmann's paintings and drawings and put them in the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. When Mussorgsky attended this exhibition, he was greatly moved at the loss of his friend and his friend's great works of art. Within three weeks of attending the exhibition, Mussorgsky composed Pictures at an Exhibition, which was a musical painting of ten of Mussorgsky's favorite paintings by Hartmann. He was able to transfer his seeing ten paintings into musical pictures of the paintings.


These are some of Hartmann's paintings, which Mussorgsky used in his tribute to his friend.

After a twenty-minute explanation, the audiologist said that she had traveled all over Kiev, but there was no Great Gate. I accepted her statement. However, after returning home, I did some research regarding the Great Gate of Kiev. Hartmann had drawn a gate for the city of Kiev as his entry to a national contest to celebrate Tsar Alexander II's escaping an assassination attempt. Hartmann won the national contest, but for some reason, Tsar Alexander didn't build Hartmann's gate in Kiev or anywhere else.

While I was a bit embarrassed that I wasn't up to speed about all things having to do with Ukraine, at least I researched the various inconsistencies and became better informed about that country. I would still love to visit Ukraine and especially Kiev even, without the gate.

As for the Donald's misconceptions, the name of the country is Ukraine and isn't the Ukraine. The adjective the was dropped decades ago. Also, the area called Crimea has always been called Crimea. Never has it ever been referred to as the Crimea.


The map of Crimea and Ukraine without a the

Additionally, the Donald somehow also missed the invasion of Crimea by the Russians, which is a bit more important than his misuse of the adjective the. The Donald needs to update his knowledge of Ukraine and nearly everything else in the real world. ABC's George Stephanopoulos was interviewing the Donald and questioned him about Ukraine.

The Donald's response was that the Russians aren't going into Ukraine militarily. Stephanopoulos pointed out to the Donald that the Russians had already invaded and captured Crimea. The Donald realized that he made a stupid mistake. Therefore, his retort was that they are already there in "a certain way." The military invasion of Crimea was "a certain way." I have never heard of any military invasion referred to as "a certain way."

The Donald needs to learn from his mistakes. Learn and move on. Doubling down on mistakes exacerbates his lack of knowledge. However, it also a lie. As a result, Time's cover pictured the Donald's situation quite well....


Ukraine flag

Ukraine flag

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Donald the Dumb

Donald the Dumb

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Forrest Gump Film Poster

Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Visit the Stupid is As Stupid Does page to read more about this topic.