U.S. senators and representatives react to authorization of lethal weapons for Ukraine

Providing lethal weapons to Ukraine will send a clear message that America stands with the Ukrainian people in their nearly four year struggle to secure a democratic, prosperous and independent future for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. This decision – while long overdue – will reverse the Obama administration’s de facto arms embargo against Ukraine and will finally allow Ukraine to access the tools it needs to defend itself. As co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus and author of several provisions authorizing expanded U.S. military assistance – including lethal aid – and establishing the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, I hope that this decision opens the door to the full implementation of the bipartisan legislation Congress has already passed to help the Ukrainians defend themselves against Russian aggression.

UWC statement on the centennial of the Kurultai

The Ukrainian World Congress in December 9 extended its congratulations on the 100th anniversary of First Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar People. The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) congratulates Crimean Tatars on the 100th anniversary of the First Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar People, which proclaimed the Crimean People’s Republic, and adopted a Constitution and national symbolism. Despite the fact that, as a result of the brutal actions of Soviet authorities, the young Crimean People’s Republic was short-lived, the convening of the First Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar People remains a historic event of international consequence that testifies to the long-standing aspiration of the Crimean Tatar people for self-determination and establishes democratic traditions in the history of the Crimean Tatars. Today, Crimean Tatars once again suffer harsh pressure, repression and persecution by the occupying authorities of the Russian Federation. The criminal actions of the Russian Federation are forcing the Crimean Tatar people to defend the right to live freely on their own soil.

Committing to the fight against corruption in Ukraine

The following statement by U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert was released on December 4. Recent events – including the disruption of a high-level corruption investigation, the arrest of officials from the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the seizure of sensitive NABU files – raise concerns about Ukraine’s commitment to fighting corruption.  These actions appear to be part of an effort to undermine independent anti-corruption institutions that the United States and others have helped support.  They undermine public trust and risk eroding international support for Ukraine. As Secretary Tillerson has said: “It serves no purpose for Ukraine to fight for its body in Donbas if it loses its soul to corruption.  Anti-corruption institutions must be supported, resourced and defended.”

Reflecting the choice of the people of Ukraine, the United States calls on all branches of Ukraine’s government to work together cooperatively to eliminate corruption from public life.  Eliminating corruption is key to achieving stability, security, and prosperity for all Ukrainians.

Statements on Holodomor Memorial Day

On Saturday, November 25, Canada commemorates Holodomor Memorial Day. In 1932-1933, millions of Ukrainians – children, women and men – were murdered by the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin.

The Ukrainian nation was condemned to death by starvation because of the Ukrainian people’s aspiration for independence and their desire to maintain their culture and traditions and speak their language.

UCCA on freedom of assembly

The statement below was released by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America on November 14.

On Monday, November 13, a Ukrainian American activist was arrested outside the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. A member of the National Cathedral community, Alexa Chopivsky had been vocal in her disappointment over the cathedral hosting “A Concert for Unity” organized by the Russian Embassy. The concert featured conductor Valery Gergiev and pianist Denis Matsuev, both well-known supporters of Vladimir Putin and his imperial ambitions in Ukraine. Not only did both artists sign a well-publicized letter in support of Putin’s actions in Ukraine after the occupation of Crimea, Gergiev has touted his friendship with Putin by performing in Russian-occupied territory in Georgia and in the Russian-occupied city of Palmyra in Syria while Putin’s forces were actively shelling civilians in Aleppo in 2016.

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.

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.