The case of Paul Manafort

On October 30, Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 criminal charges, among them conspiracy against the United States, failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and money laundering. Both men have pleaded not guilty. What makes this case most interesting to our readers is that the FARA charges are related to Mr. Manafort’s work when he represented the interests of the odious Viktor Yanukovych and his cronies. The indictment was the result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in the U.S. Mr. Manafort, readers will recall, at one time served as campaign manager for Donald Trump. In particular, he was the campaign’s manager at the time of the Republican Party convention.

National Day for the Victims of Communism

The following text was released by the White House, Office of the Press Secretary, on November 7. The proclamation was signed by President Donald Trump. Today, the National Day for the Victims of Communism, marks 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution took place in Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution gave rise to the Soviet Union and its dark decades of oppressive communism, a political philosophy incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life. Over the past century, communist totalitarian regimes around the world have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless more to exploitation, violence, and untold devastation.

Flags and flowers but little fanfare, as Russia’s neighbors mark revolution anniversary – or don’t

The 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution was marked in different ways in different former Soviet republics – and in some cases, it was hardly marked at all. The November 7 centenary of the revolution – which ushered in more than seven decades of repressive single-party rule from Moscow across a huge swath of Europe and Asia – came nearly 26 years after the Soviet Union’s collapse. The Russian Communist Party staged a major march and rally in central Moscow, while other commemorations across the former Soviet Union were smaller. For some, the anniversary was an occasion to criticize the revolution and the Soviet Union, while the vast majority of citizens throughout the region stayed away from the organized events. In Minsk, some 700 people – most of them members of the Communist Party of Belarus – held a rally on Independence Square.

Democracy in Ukraine?

Speaking to a group of some 200 university students in Ukraine in 2016, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declared, “You have had three revolutions in 25 years: Independence, the Orange Revolution and the Maidan. It is time to stop having revolutions and to start governing.”

“The students burst into applause and onto to their feet,” writes Dr. Rice in her latest book, “Democracy: Stories from The Long Road to Freedom.” She adds, “The Ukrainians are tired of drama, I thought. Can’t their leaders see?”

Dr. Rice devotes the first chapter of her book to “The American Experience,” focusing on the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident – that all men are created equal.” She then reviews the intense debate that emerged during the writing and ratification of the American Constitution. Fortunately for us, America’s founders understood human nature. “I never expect to see a perfect work from imperfect man,” wrote James Madison in the “Federalist Papers.” The greater good, not the perfect good, became their goal.

A precious legacy

The following is a guest editorial by Anisa Mycak, a freelance writer and former columnist of The Ukrainian Weekly. Ms. Mycak’s news story headlined “Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford marks 80th anniversary” appeared on the front page of our October 22 issue.

In the Ukrainian American community, whose roots in the United States extend back into the late 1800s, the 80th anniversary of one of its venerable cultural institutions is cause for celebration, not just by its own members, but by the community as a whole. Thus, it is with interest and reflection that we have been following the recent 80th anniversary celebration of the Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford, both for what it tells us about this particular institution and for what it tells us about the state of affairs of many other cultural institutions in our community today.

Ukrainian Canadian Congress on Russia’s war against Ukraine

Following is the text of the briefing note submitted by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defense on October 23. The briefing note accompanied testimony by UCC President Paul Grod on Canada’s role in supporting Ukraine and countering Russian aggression.

The Russian Federation invaded and occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in March 2014 and has waged war against Ukraine in the eastern oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk for over three years.

A case of congressional bipartisanship

Recently, one of the nation’s most prominent Democrats, longtime senator and former Vice-President Joe Biden presented the Liberty Medal to Sen. John McCain, an icon of the Republican Party. The two consider themselves friends, despite many disagreements over national security matters during the course of their many decades of public life. Both men, notwithstanding party affiliation, are internationalists who strongly believe in an America committed to international peace and stability and the defense of human rights, democracy, freedom and justice. Not coincidentally, both men have also been among Ukraine’s strongest supporters, reflecting a bipartisan consensus. Growing partisanship has been rife on Capitol Hill in recent years, leading to polarization and dysfunction.

The Hromovytsia Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Chicago in Barcelona.

Hromovytsia sweeps Spain with three-city tour

CHICAGO –  Its rumbles of thunder may have passed through Chicago’s stately Harris Theater last month, but the real storm that is the Hromovytsia Ukrainian Dance Ensemble blew over three of Spain’s most iconic and historically prolific meccas of art and culture in early June. Hromovytsia is one of the Ukrainian diaspora’s many gems in Chicago, but the tricks, the turns, and the vibrant red boots are only a granule of what the company brings to the table. What drives the young dancers to give up their Friday nights and Saturday mornings for hours of challenging rehearsals is a profound understanding that each and every dancer belongs to a rich, Ukrainian heritage, and this – in and of itself – is a connecting factor. This heritage defies geographical boundaries, and what better way to represent that than a 10-day trip to Spain? On Wednesday, June 7, the Hromovytsia family packed its bags and headed for Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona – ready to taste the paella.

Improving Ukraine’s health

Back in August of last year, Dr. Ulana Suprun was appointed Ukraine’s acting minister of health. This Ukrainian American physician was well-known to our readers, foremost as the person behind Patriot Defence, the organization that has provided combat lifesaver training to Ukraine’s soldiers and NATO-standard individual first aid kits for the battlefield. She hit the ground running and soon proclaimed her revamped ministry’s intention to reform Ukraine’s Soviet-era health care system. On October 19, acting Minister Suprun scored a major victory when the Verkhovna Rada, with 240 votes for, approved a comprehensive health care package that promises to advance the health of Ukraine’s people and improve how the health care system operates. It’s also a reform that is seen by the West as further evidence of Ukraine’s movement toward the European Union and away from Russia.

Your news in our community newspaper

Earlier this year during festival season, using this editorial space, we invited readers to share photos and short news items about the Ukrainian festivals in their areas. We reasoned that since we listed 51 festivals in the 2017 edition of our annual special supplement called “A Ukrainian Summer,” there should be a lot to report from all over North America. The message of the editorial was this: Tell us, and our readers, all about it! Some of you, we’re happy to say, took us up on the offer and did send in wonderful high-quality photos that filled an entire color page in one of our issues. (There’s an example in this week’s issue on page 11.)

Now that a new year of community activity is in full swing after the summer, we again invite readers to become our partners in sharing news about your community in our community newspaper.