President Trump acknowledges Russia’s ‘destabilizing activities’ in Ukraine

The following statement was released by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America on July 6. Earlier today, President Donald Trump was welcomed by throngs of Poles in Warsaw’s Krasiński Square, where he stood at the foot of the Memorial to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and urged Russia “to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine and elsewhere.” Following his re-commitment that the United States “stands firmly behind Article 5,” it was also announced that an agreement was reached to sell eight Patriot missile defense systems to Poland by the end of the year, in a memorandum signed on Wednesday night. The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest grassroots representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, welcomes today’s acknowledgement by President Trump that Russia has acted against Ukraine. Since the beginning of 2017, there have been nearly 2,000 recorded attacks by Russian forces across the “ceasefire” line in Ukraine, with dozens of civilians killed this year alone. Since January 2017, Russian forces have also resumed firing heavy artillery onto Ukrainian positions and deployed portable rocket launchers among its invading forces.

U.S. ambassador, speaking about rule of law, ‘tremendously optimistic about Ukraine’s future’

Below is a slightly abridged text of remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch at the presentation in Kyiv on June 26 of the Council of Europe Venice Commission Rule of Law Checklist. …When I was thinking about this over the weekend and, you know, what would I say and, you know I had to sort of stop for a moment, cause I wasn’t exactly sure what a Rule of Law Checklist actually is. …I am a practical person; I’m not somebody steeped in the law, as probably everybody else in this room is – I’m a practical person. And so, how do you connect the law, you know, the big concepts of rule of law, democracy and human rights, into something that actually makes people’s lives better? And so I love the fact that you are going to be presenting here practical things to think about to help guide this process in Ukraine.

As White House welcomes Ukraine’s president, Ukrainian Americans demand more action

The following statement was released by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. Earlier today, President Donald Trump welcomed Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko to the Oval Office for a frank discussion about recent developments in Ukraine, as well as continuing the United States’ support of Ukraine in defense of its sovereignty and democratic values. Today’s meeting came on the heels of Speaker Paul Ryan and Chairman of Ukraine’s Parliament Andriy Parubiy meeting last week and signing a memorandum of understanding reaffirming the U.S. Congress- Verkhovna Rada Parliamentary Exchange (CRPE). Also today, the United States Treasury sanctioned 38 additional individuals and entities related to Russia’s continued occupation of Crimea. While all of these developments serve to demonstrate to the world that the longstanding strategic alliance between Ukraine and the United States continues on, we can ill afford to sit back while Russia continues to go on the offensive.

Remembering the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people

The Ukrainian World Congress issued the following statement on May 18. May 18, 2017, marks the 73rd anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea in 1944 on the order of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. On this day, declared in 2015 as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar people by the Parliament of Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars were deported from the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine to various regions of the Soviet Union, with close to half perishing either during the journey or within a year of being exiled. The Crimean Tatars returned to the peninsula in 1987, and in March 2014 once again faced persecution, and the curtailment of human rights and fundamental freedoms with the illegal occupation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation. The representative assembly, Crimean Tatar Mejlis, remains banned by the occupying Russian authorities, having been branded as an extremist organization.

UCC on Victory in Europe Day

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress on May 8 issued the following release. Today marks the 72nd anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day). On May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Western Allies and the Soviet Union. World War II in Europe, which had begun in 1939 with the Nazi-Soviet invasion and dismemberment of Poland, was ended. After more than five years of the most brutal war ever inflicted upon humanity, the guns of Europe fell silent on May 8.

Illinois congressman writes to Tillerson about why Ukraine needs U.S. support

The following letter was sent by Rep. Peter J. Roskam (R-Ill.)to U.S. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson on April 13. Dear Secretary Tillerson:

As you conclude your official visit to Europe and the Russian Federation, I write to express my strong support for Ukraine and the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. The United States must do everything we can to stop Russia’s hybrid warfare against Ukraine. As Vladimir Putin seeks to destabilize Europe, undermine democratic governments across the region and rebuild an expansionist Russian empire, the U.S. and our allies must remain resolute in our commitment to the Ukrainian people and Ukrainian democracy. At a recent Group of Seven (G-7) meeting, you reportedly raised the rhetorical question to G-7 Foreign Ministers, “why should U.S. taxpayers be interested in Ukraine?” I have held numerous meetings with Ukrainian officials, discussed issues with my Ukrainian constituents and led several solidarity missions to Ukraine.

The new confinement structure for the Chornobyl nuclear power plant’s reactor No. 4 is seen on November 14, as the process of sliding it into place began. 2016 marked the 30th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster of April 26, 1986.

Remembering the Chornobyl nuclear disaster

The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America disseminated the statement below on April 24. On Saturday, April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history began with the rupture of Reactor No. 4’s containment at the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Nuclear Power Station. Conceived to be one of the largest nuclear power plants in history during its construction in the 1970s, Soviet planners located this megastructure 11 miles northwest of the city of Chornobyl, Ukraine, and approximately 62 miles north of Ukraine’s capital and most populous city, Kyiv. Alongside the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, the disaster at Chornobyl remains one of only two man-made catastrophes classified at the maximum level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

UCCA issues appeal for Ukrainian National Fund

The following appeal was issued by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America on April 3. For 77 years, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) has served as the nation’s largest representative body of Americans of Ukrainian descent. Since its founding in 1940, the UCCA has represented the interests of our community and supported Ukraine’s fledging democracy. With new leadership elected during last year’s XXII Congress of Ukrainians in America, as well as the return of prominent national organizations as members, the UCCA is better equipped than ever to create a greater understanding of and stronger advocacy for Ukraine, especially during these perilous times. The UCCA has also forged new relationships with diverse ethnic communities and strengthened old ones, and has continued an ongoing dialogue with elected officials and leading policy makers, while diligently working to advocate a variety of issues.

screen-shot-2017-04-07-at-10-48-07-am

Jewish, Armenian, Ukrainian, Rwandese communities issue statement on Genocide Remembrance Month

The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Armenian National Committee of Canada, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Humura Association issued a joint statement on April 3 regarding Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month. 

OTTAWA – On April 24, 2015, the House of Commons unanimously passed a historic motion (M-587) designating the month of April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month. With support from all major parties represented in the Canadian Parliament, the motion recalls the genocides recognized by Canada, the Jewish Holocaust, the Ukrainian Holodomor, the Rwandan Tutsi Genocide and the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The Canadian Parliament has also recognized the Bosnian Genocide and the ongoing genocide that is being committed against the Yezidi minority in Syria and Iraq today. The passage of Motion 587 was the realization of a joint effort between the Jewish, Armenian, Ukrainian and Rwandese communities that sought to bring the issue of recognizing, condemning and preventing future genocides to the attention of the international community. On April 24, 2015, a strong and a united message was echoed through the halls of the Canadian Parliament.

Canada supports Ukraine

Canada will remain at the forefront of the international community’s response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Since the summer of 2015, 200 Canadian women and men stationed in Ukraine have trained more than 3,200 Ukrainian soldiers. The Canadian Armed Forces delivered over 90 training programs in that time. Following is the transcript of a speech delivered to the Canadian Parliament on 20 March 20 by Harjit S. Sajjan, minister of national defense. I welcome this opportunity to highlight the extraordinary work of our military members in advancing Operation UNIFIER, and to proudly stand behind them and our government’s decision to renew this campaign in Ukraine.