Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer (at podium) with Member of Parliament James Bezan, both members of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Canada’s opposition Conservatives support U.N. peacekeeping mission in Ukraine

OTTAWA – Canada’s Official Opposition Conservative Party has joined the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) in calling for a Canadian-led United Nations peacekeeping mission in eastern Ukraine.

“The defense of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be a priority for Canada’s government on the international stage,” said Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer on November 9 when he announced that a Conservative-led Canadian government would call for such a mission that “would allow Ukraine to restore control over its eastern border with Russia” and ensure the Russian military stays out of Ukraine.

Conference participants with Metropolitan Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A.

Ukrainian Heritage Consortium convenes fifth conference

SOMERSET, N.J. – Preserving and making accessible the rich collections of Ukrainian American archives and museum collections was the focus of a three-day conference titled “Conservation and Preservation” held by the Ukrainian Heritage Consortium of North America (UHCNA) that took place October 27-29. The conference provided a unique opportunity for member organizations to get exposure to professional-level museum, archive and library procedures.

Russia pours more military hardware into annexed “Fortress Crimea”

According to the chief of the General Staff of Russia, Valery Gerasimov, in the last five years Russia has profoundly increased its military presence in key regions of the world, in some areas “reaching the level of the Soviet Union” (Vpk.name, November 9). Speaking on November 7, Russia’s top-ranking military official devoted significant attention to Crimea, which Moscow had forcibly annexed from Ukraine in spring 2014.

Members of Congress announce Victims of Communism Caucus

WASHINGTON – Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) on November 8 announced the formation of the Victims of Communism Caucus for the 115th Congress (2017-2019).

The Victims of Communism Caucus is a bipartisan group of members of Congress dedicated to raising awareness of how communism victimized and enslaved more than 100 million people in the past and how its tyranny in the five existing Communist countries – China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea and Vietnam – and its legacy in the post-Soviet sphere shapes international relations today.

Activist arrested at D.C. concert

Billed as “A Concert for Unity,” the November 13 performance at the Washington National Cathedral of the Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev, with pianist Denis Matsuev, drew peaceful protesters who carried placards and distributed leaflets pointing out that Messrs. Gergiev and Matsuev were among the Russian cultural activists who in 2014 signed a public letter in support of President Vladimir Putin’s actions in Crimea and Russian annexation of that Ukrainian territory. Among the protesters was Alexa Chopivsky, executive director of The American Center for a European Ukraine. Security guards asked Ms. Chopivsky to leave the cathedral grounds, but she insisted she had a right to be there as a member of the National Cathedral community (she had attended a private all-girls’ school affiliated with the cathedral). Security then summoned police, who arrested Ms. Chopivsky, handcuffing her and taking her to the police station.

Prof. Natalia Ishchuk Pazuniak (circa 2000).

Prof. Natalia Ishchuk Pazuniak, scholar and community activist

With the recent passing on October 12 of Prof. Natalia Ishchuk Pazuniak, our American community lost one of the last experts in the field of the Ukrainian language and its history. She was also a pillar of the Ukrainian community in Philadelphia, and belonged to numerous organizations, continuing the tradition of her ancestors. Through her maternal line, she was a descendant of the Polubotok, Myloradovych, Skoropadsky and Shulhyn old Ukrainian lines; it was her great-great aunt Yelysaveta Myloradovych who provided the funds for the Shevchenko Scientific Society, when it was established in 1873. This tradition of cultural and community activism greatly influenced Prof. Pazuniak’s life and choices. She was born on February 24, 1922, in Kyiv, where the Shulhyns were among the leading families in the Ukrainian cultural and political life.

Victims of Communism

The centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution was marked in various ways around the globe. For example, as noted by RFE/RL, the Russian Communist Party on November 7 staged a celebratory march in Moscow, while in the Baltic states, the date was not marked at all. In Ukraine, the date is solemn and sorrowful, as it recalls more than seven decades of Communist Party rule, oppression, the Gulag and murder on an enormous scale. The number of Ukrainian victims of Soviet repression cannot be fully known; millions died in the Holodomor of 1932-1933. In The Washington Post, columnist Marc A. Thiessen wrote: “The death toll of communism, cited in ‘The Black Book of Communism,’ is simply staggering: In the USSR, nearly 20 million dead; China, 65 million; Vietnam, 1 million; Cambodia, 2 million; Eastern Europe, 1 million; Africa, 1.7 million; Afghanistan, 1.5 million; North Korea: 2 million (and counting).

November 23, 1947

Seventy years ago, on November 23, 1947, the Chicago Tribune Press Service’s correspondent Hal Foust, reported about a 21-year-old Ukrainian partisan fighter named Olga, who with a small troop of seven male fighters had recently surrendered to the U.S. authorities in the occupied zone of Germany.  She did not want to identify herself further because her relatives in Ukraine would be likely enslaved or killed by the Reds because of her deeds. “Her five-foot figure may lack that ‘new look’ but it has the old-fashioned charm of sturdy capabilities. Olga, the daughter of the Kozaks, is an unwilling citizen of Russia, detained by the United States occupation army for possible repatriation. If sent back home, executed as a rebel probably would be her fate. She has been a combatant in the little-publicized guerrilla fighting behind the Iron Curtain which she and her thousands of co-belligerent describe as their war for Ukraine independence from the Kremlin,” Mr. Foust wrote.

Ukrainian Genocide Remembrance Month

The following Joint Legislative Resolution was adopted by the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly on November 7. The text of the resolution was provided by the office of Sen. Anthony R. Bucco. His co-sponsors were Assemblymen Anthony M. Bucco and Michael Patrick Carroll.

Ukrainian Canadian community commemorates Remembrance Day

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress issued the following release on November 11 for Remembrance Day. On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., the guns of Europe fell silent and peace returned to the continent after four years of war. Each year on this date, Canadians gather from coast to coast to honor the brave men and women who fought with valor in defense of liberty on so many battlefields throughout the history of our country. Today, we pause to remember our soldiers, who have served defending our way of life and who serve today in the Canadian Armed Forces. From Passchendaele to Normandy to Korea to Afghanistan, Canadians have fought with honor and courage so that we may be free.