• Mykyta Matashevskyi (90 kg) won silver and Oleh Ovcharenko (66 kg) won bronze at the Junior European Judo Championship on September 15-17 in Maribor, Slovenia. Leonid Gasyuk (+100 kg) and Karo Marandian (66 kg) finished in fifth place, and Iryna Khryashchevska (70 kg), Vitalii Shepel (90 kg), Hievorh Manukian (73 kg) and Aleksandr Cherkai (81 kg) finished in seventh place. In men’s team competition, Ukraine lost 2-3 in the second round against Azerbaijan. • Georgii Zantaraia (66 kg) finished in fifth place at the World Senior Championships in Budapest, Hungary, held on August 28 through September 2. The tournament attracted 731 athletes from 126 countries.
PARSIPPANY, N.J. – A U.S.-based soccer team, made up of members of the Ukrainian American Youth Association (UAYA), participated in an international soccer tournament in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, on July 12-15. The tournament, “On the Wings of Friendship Cup (Ukraine Heritage and Soccer Cup),” was made possible by an initiative between the UAYA and the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast soccer federation, as well as the soccer fields arranged by Ruslana Martsinkiva (Ivano-Frankivsk), Ihor Sliuzaria (Kolomiya) and Ihor Matviychuk (Kalush). The players, age 16 and under, included four teams – Teplovyk Deuce No.3 of Ivano Frankivsk, Karpaty of Kolomiya, FC Kalush and the U.S. team of the UAYA. Matches were held in stadiums, including Rukh in Ivano-Frankivsk, Khimik in Kalush and Yunist in Kolomiya. Karpaty won the tournament after winning the final 4-2 against Kalush; in the third-place match, Ivano-Frankivsk won 5-3 against the U.S. team.
• In girls’ doubles at the U.S. Open in New York that concluded on September 10, Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine and Olga Danilovic of Serbia won first place after winning 6-1, 7-5 against Lea Boskovic of Croatia and Wang Xiyu of China in the final. The Ukrainian-Serb duo won 6-4, 7-6(7-3) against Sofya Lansere and Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia in the semifinal and won 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinal against Emily Appleton of Great Britain and Emiliana Arango of Colombia. Boxing
• Ukraine was represented by eight boxers at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Hamburg, Germany, on August 25 through September 2. Middleweight Oleksandr Khyzhniak (81 kg) won the gold-medal bout against Ablikhan Amankul of Kazakhstan. Viktor Vykhryst (+91 kg) lost in the second round against Joseph Goodall of Australia, and Iurii Shestak (60 kg) lost in the quarterfinal against Sofiane Oumiha of France.
KERHONKSON, N.Y. – Thousands of people, hailing from venues ranging from California to Ukraine, converged at the 11th Ukrainian Cultural Festival held on Friday-Sunday, July 14-16, at Soyuzivka Heritage Center. The largest Ukrainian festival in the United States, it is organized by the Ukrainian National Foundation (UNF), under the patronage of the Embassy of Ukraine. This year’s sponsors included the Ukrainian National Association (UNA), Ukraine International Airlines, Self Reliance New York Federal Credit Union and SUMA Federal Credit Union (Yonkers, N.Y.). The festival truly offers something for all ages, from the stage shows with a wide variety of performers, to the film screenings, intricate crafts of the Ukrainian Village, the myriad Ukrainian embroidery, music recordings and a variety of artwork for sale at the vendors’ court, and the information and fun activities at the Ukrainian National Association’s gazebo. The refreshing swimming pool, the beer garden and even the beach volleyball court were all put to good use.
• Andrii Vynokurov finished in ninth place in the men’s keirin final at the 2017 Track Cycling World Championships in Hong Kong on April 12-16. • Tetiana Klimchenko won gold in the scratch race at the World Cup in Los Angeles on February 24-26. Lubov Basova won silver in the individual sprint and Olena Starikova finished in fourth place. Basov finished in fourth place in the women’s keirin final. Oksana Klyachina and Anna Nahirna finished in ninth place in the women’s madison race.
• Ukraine dominated the team, combination and highlight events at the FINA Synchro World Series 2017 competition on May 25-28 in Las Palmas, in the Canary Islands of Spain. In the fifth leg of the series, Ukraine collected 183.8718 points in the team routine, ahead of Spain (178.8717) and Kazakhstan (161.2293). Ukraine also won in the same order with Spain and Kazakhstan in the combination routine (90.6001 points) and the highlight routine with 91.8332 points. In duet routine, Anna Voloshyna and Jelyzaveta Yakhno won silver with 180.1179 points. In the solo routine, Voloshyna won silver (181.6459 points). The final two stops of the series are on June 22-24 in Long Island, N.Y., and on September 21-24 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
UNITED NATIONS – More than 100 people gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York to hear Prof. Timothy Snyder, who was the guest speaker at a discussion on May 16 that was hosted by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the U.N. He was introduced by Yuri Vitrenko, charge d’affairs of the mission, and Prof. Snyder thanked the guests and former ambassadors of Ukraine to the U.N. in attendance – Yuri Sergeyev and Valeriy Kuchinsky. Opening the talk, “A Dialogue with Timothy Snyder about Ukraine,” Dr. Snyder discussed the parallels between the lessons of the 20th century and his latest best-selling book, “On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.” But he also noted the difference between historians and diplomats – historians do not need to be diplomatic, constantly talk about the past and how Ukraine is a prime example of a country still overcoming tyranny. From the framework of colonization versus de-colonization, in light of the contributing factors that led to the first world war, Dr. Snyder noted the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire, the Hapsburgs and others that saw the rise of national identity across Europe. But in the case of Ukraine, it had no sustainable state boundaries recognized by the international order of the time. By 1923, the USSR had incorporated Ukraine into its structures and there would be an internal policy of colonization, first under Lenin and then under Stalin.
• Elina Svitolina won the Italian Open tournament in Rome on May 20-21 after winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 against Simona Halep of Romania in the final. Svitolina is ranked by the WTA in sixth place amongst the best tennis players in women’s singles. In the 2016-2017 tour, Svitolina tops the rankings, and with her fourth major title win this season, she leads the tour with 31 match wins. In the quarterfinal, Svitolina won 6-3, 7-6(9) against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Svitolina is set to play in the Roland Garros tournament, known as the French Open, that begins on May 27 and ends on June 11.
UNITED NATIONS – The Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations on May 16 officially opened an art exhibit, “Ukrainian Insights,” that featured works by contemporary artists from Ukraine: Victor Sydorenko, Oleg Tistol, Mykola Matsenko and Valentin Popov. The latest example of “cultural diplomacy” by the Permanent Mission, the exhibit aims to show the cultural, political and spiritual aspects of Ukraine and the promise of Ukraine’s future in a global context. The exhibit, curated by Natalia Shpitkov-skaya and art director Tamara Shevchenko, is on display at the Delegates Entrance Hall, is free to the public and concludes on May 26. Nearly 100 people attended the opening of the exhibit and reception, which was paired with a lecture, “A Dialogue with Timothy Snyder About Ukraine,” by Prof. Timothy Snyder of Yale University, also hosted by the Ukraine’s Mission to the U.N. (More information about the lecture and Prof. Snyder’s latest book, “On Tyranny,” will appear in the May 28 issue.)
On display at the exhibit were: “Cupola,” a four-panel ethereal image of people seeming to ascend and descend in midair and a fiberglass/plastic sculpture “Deperso-nalization” by Mr. Sydorenko; an installation of the four-panel painting “Happiness of Labor” by Mr. Tistol flanked by two 12-panel squares using folk motifs, “Neofolk,” by Mr. Matsenko; and three paintings by Mr. Popov, “From… to…,” “Red Candles” and “Life is painful, suffering is optional.”
In his official greeting, Yuri Vitrenko, chargé d’affairs of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the U.N., said that this exhibit is a testament to Ukraine being a vibrant country in the face of Russian aggression. This was the first time, he said, that the exhibit was on display in New York, and at the United Nations Headquarters.
PARSIPPANY, N.J. – A “Ukraine Freedom March” is set to take place on May 20 in Washington. The march, officially known as “Once in a Generation: Ukraine Freedom March,” is organized by Ukrainian American activists, led by Ed Skibicki, a Ukrainian American of Lemko origin. The march – with a full police escort – is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at the Washington Monument and conclude at the Holodomor Memorial, near Union Station, where a vigil is to be held, concluding at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Among the invited guest speakers are analyst Paul Goble, Peter Borisow, president of the Hollywood Trident Foundation; other noted Ukraine advocates are expected and, at the time of writing, were still being confirmed, among them Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly. Clergy from the Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic Churches, as well as leaders of the Jewish and Muslim faiths in Ukraine have been invited to properly represent the people of Ukraine. As stated by Mr. Skibicki: “We demand that the Russian-backed terrorists immediately vacate the Donbas region and that Crimea be returned to Ukraine.