FACES AND PLACES
by Myron B. Kuropas
Predictions past and present
A year ago I made some predictions regarding the world's Ukrainians during the 1990s.
Among other things, I predicted that: the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church would be re-established in Kiev; the Ukrainian SSR would become a true federal republic; fraternal ties would be maintained between Russia and Ukraine to the mutual benefit of both; Svoboda and The Ukrainian Weekly would have their own correspondent in Ukraine; Ukrainian entrepreneurs from Europe and North America would begin pouring into Ukraine to establish joint ventures.
Although at the time some people told me that my predictions were so much wishful thinking, much of what I predicted has already come to pass.
The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church has been re-established; the Ukrainian SSR declared its sovereignty; Russian president Boris Yeltsin visited Ukraine and signed an agreement establishing bilateral ties; Svoboda and The Ukrainian Weekly will soon - very soon - have their own correspondents in Ukraine; Ukrainian entrepreneurs from the free world are beginning to enjoy modest success in Ukraine.
I also predicted that the world's Ukrainian Catholic bishops would hold a synod in Ukraine and Pope John Paul II would install Ukraine's first Catholic patriarch. I believe this will happen in 1991.
I'm holding to my predictions that the Israeli Supreme Court will order a new trial for John Demjanjuk; that the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) will be discredited during a Congressional hearing; that Illinois Sen. Walter Dudycz will become America's first congressman of all-Ukrainian parentage; that a Center of Ukrainian Studies will open at the University of Illinois; that the University of Toronto Press will become the premier publisher of significant Ukrainian scholarship; that the University of Minnesota will inaugurate a Center for Ukrainian Immigration History; and that Ukraine will declare its independence.
The coming year will be a decisive, albeit difficult, year for Ukrainians. I believe that during the next 12 months...
Mikhail Gorbachev's commitment to the preservation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and state ownership of all land will provoke violent confrontations throughout the various republics, including Ukraine.
Confrontations, many of which will be precipitated by the KGB, will be the signal for the American left to launch a campaign to convince the American people that the disintegration of the Soviet Union will lead to political instability in the region and a rise in national chauvinism, inter-ethnic conflict, and anti-Semitism. Maintaining the Pax Sovietica will become the goal of many U.S. media pundits.
History will repeat as the United States once again rushes to the assistance of the Soviet Union with financial aid and material assistance. Lenin and Stalin will be smiling in their graves.
The KGB will "discover" OUN influence throughout Ukraine and begin harassing outspoken Ukrainian leaders.
Dissatisfaction with Ukraine's democratic bloc will increase as Ukraine's economic woes multiply.
While Ukrainian Catholics and Orthodox continue bickering over church property, ecclesiastical turf and "foreign influences" upon their respective churches, Ukraine's Protestants, unencumbered by such concerns, will continue to reach the Ukrainian masses by providing them with what they want most - spiritual renewal through the Word of Jesus Christ. More evangelists from the United States and the Western world will come to Ukraine in search of converts.
Mired in a no-win situation in the Middle East, President George Bush will turn a blind eye toward the Soviet Union and reject entreaties from independence-minded republics for unilateral assistance. American public opinion will support the president.
More and more American Jews will join in the mounting vendetta to discredit Patrick Buchanan as a closet anti-Semite for his criticism of OSI, his defense of John Demjanjuk, and his displeasure with certain Israeli policies. Anxious to deflect attacks on Israeli practices, some American Jews will continue to raise the spectre of anti-Semitism until the concept is totally trivialized.
The Ukrainian-Jewish dialogue in Chicago will issue a statement condemning anti-Semitism and supporting Rukh in its efforts to gain freedom for Ukraine.
As more and more Ukrainian American attention is focused on Ukraine, our community will continue to decline. Church and fraternal membership will reach a 10-year low.
Attempts to unite UCCA and UACC will fizzle as both sides grow more comfortable with their own mediocrity and growing irrelevance.
Renewed interest in the early history of Ukrainian immigrants in the U.S. and Canada will be generated by the University of Toronto Press with publications focusing on their roots and aspirations.
The UNA executive will form a 100th anniversary committee and begin making plans for a worldwide celebration of Svoboda in 1993 (only two short years away) and the UNA in 1994. People will be reminded that Svoboda is the oldest continuously published Ukrainian-language newspaper in the world.
Plans for the 1994 UNA convention in Kiev will be put on hold until the situation in Ukraine is clarified.
All factions of the OUN will not unite as I predicted a year ago.
Nor will Joseph Lesawyer reconcile himself with his 1978 loss to John Flis and heal with Walter Klawsnik, Andy Keybida, Walter Sochan, Taras Szmagala and Ulana Diachuk.
Mike Ditka's Chicago Bears, however, will win the Super Bowl.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 30, 1990, No. 52, Vol. LVIII
| Home Page |