Seeing what Wikipedia writes about the Lingayats and social work, I guess he is being a good Lingayat, then? It's the first time I hear of this religion, I'll admit.
One of the perks about living close to the Russian border is their late Christmas; a lot of tourists come here to spend their holidays just after our holidays are over. For the skiing resorts, hotels and department stores, that means two Christmases in a row :)
By the way, I had a chance to watch a film called Tangerines. Now, it's not about Ukraine - it's about the 1992 Abkhazian-Georgian war - but it's a must-see for anyone with an interest in post-Soviet conflicts (or for those who just enjoy a good story).