The Ukrainian Weekly welcomes letters to the editor and commentaries on a variety of topics of concern to the Ukrainian American and Ukrainian Canadian communities. Opinions expressed by columnists, commentators and letter-writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of either The Weekly editorial staff or its publisher, the Ukrainian National Association. Letters should be typed (doublespaced) and signed (anonymous letters are not published). Letters are accepted also via e-mail at email@example.com. The daytime phone number and complete mailing address of the letterwriter must be given for verification purposes. (A daytime phone number is essential in order for editors to contact letterwriters regarding clarifications or questions.) Please note: The length of letters can- not exceed 500 words. Letters may be edited or abridged.
One weekend this past summer saw a lemonade stand appear in Soyuzivka’s Main House lobby; it was set up and run by three Plast cub scouts: “novachky” Kalyna Konrad, age 7, and Zoryana Popadynec, 6, and “novak” Marko Skoratko, 7. While their younger siblings were taking part in “Tabir Ptashat” (the Plast day camp for children age 4-6 held at Soyuzivka since 1989), these three “ptashata” alums spent their days roaming the grounds and playing. They soon noticed that a tandem swing they had enjoyed riding last year at the playground was now out of commission. Disappointed but undeterred, they channeled their energy into organizing, advertising and running a lemonade stand, with the goal of raising enough money to buy a new swing for the Soyuzivka playground. Their sale on July 7-8 raised over $125.
Thanks to the Ukrainian Partnership Program, established in 2013 by Tamara Denysenko and Dr. George Eisen, former director of the Center for International Education at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., students from the National University of Ostroh Academy have the opportunity to study at Nazareth College for the next five years tuition free during the spring semester. A special Nazareth grant provides funding for half the cost of room and board. Thanks to the generosity of Greater Rochester Ukrainian community donors, the Ukrainian Language Society and the Ukrainian National Foundation’s Ostroh Fund, $5,000 was raised to cover the other half of room and board, travel, books and out-of-pocket expenses. Dmytro Baida was the first Ostroh student to benefit from this program; he completed the 2017 spring semester at Nazareth. Ostroh Academy student Kateryna Basiuk of the Department of Romance and Germanic Languages was selected to be the second exchange student for the 2018 spring semester at Nazareth College.
Orysia Sushko, president of the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations and the second vice-president of the Ukrainian World Congress, was invited to participate in the September 16, 2017, conference at the Princeton Club to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the UWC. Created in Philadelphia in 1948, the WFUWO was a founding member in 1967 of the World Congress of Free Ukrainians, the predecessor organization to the UWC. Despite the WFUWO’s 50 years of contribution to the UWC, we regret that neither at the event luncheon, nor at the 50th anniversary gala banquet did the organizers of the event see to the proper introduction of Ms. Sushko as UWC second vice-president while, in turn, choosing to recognize the two other (male) vice-presidents in attendance. The WFUWO and the UWC have a long history of cooperation and equally share a mission to ensure the well-being of our homeland. We expect wider inclusivity and gender equality in our mutual efforts.
Some time ago, a Ukrainian American friend tried to impress me with his conservative orthodoxy, saying: “A candidate cannot be right-wing enough for me.”
Some Ukrainian Americans harbor the illusion that combating Communism means embracing any ideology – no matter how extreme – to oppose liberalism or moderation. Is there really no right-wing extreme too abhorrent to embrace? This question becomes especially urgent as we consider recent events in Charlottesville. Blind loyalty to any ideology is dangerous. After all, our forefathers witnessed not only the horrors of Stalin, but also the horrors of the Nazi occupation, serfdom and tsarist imperialism.
As a reminder, the Ukrainian Human Rights Committee is still engaged in sending QuickClot bandages to the war zone in Ukraine. These bandages stop the flow of blood with their clotting properties, thus saving lives. To help this effort, readers may send tax-deductible donations to: Ukrainian Human Rights Committee, 203 Bainbridge, Philadelphia PA 19145. For more information, e-mail this writer at ubulana@aol. Philadelphia
It is with great sadness and some ire that I read some letters to this paper concerning the present situation in Ukraine. I wonder if I am living in a time warp. Do people not know we had an election for president in 2016? Do they think Barack Obama got a third term? Six months into the presidency of Donald Trump, some still assail both Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton for their dealings.
The comments by John T. Bodnar (letter to the editor, June 18) regarding President Donald Trump reminds me of the rhetoric of comrade Joseph Stalin when speaking of the kulaks: There is no longer any doubt; it is common knowledge; the facts are blatant and overwhelming; etc. Mr. Bodnar is wrong. There is no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. After all the hype and fake news, no crime has been committed by President Trump or his campaign. That the Russians were seeking to interfere in the election was known by President Barack Obama and his staff by August 2016.
John Bodnar (letter to the editor, June 18) maligns Donald Trump by using innuendoes and distortions without demonstrating any concrete evidence. He states that President Trump can’t wait to sweep Russian intrusions under the rug. Yet among the evidence on Barack Obama’s desk was proof that Vladimir Putin was directing Russian espionage against the U.S. Nevertheless, President Obama kept relatively silent on this effort in order to avoid contaminating the expected Hillary Clinton triumph. Mr. Bodnar states Jared Kushner sought to make common cause with the Russians. This is as vague a statement as you can make.
A hearing on the Massachusetts Genocide Education Bill, sponsored and drafted by the Greater Boston Committee for the Remembrance of the Holodomor, will be conducted on June 27. The bill aims to require the study of genocide in the public schools of Massachusetts, and the study of the Holodomor is specifically mentioned in the proposed legislation. The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. in Hearing Room A-2 in the State Capitol on Beacon Street in Boston. Proponents will be given three minutes to present their views; they are encouraged to present new information to the Joint Legislative Committee, rather than reiterate what other speakers have said. The Boston Committee for the Remembrance of the Holodomor urges all members of the Ukrainian community to offer their support at this important time.
As I watched the Senate testimony of former FBI Director James Comey on June 8, I wondered whether my fellow Ukrainian Americans are paying attention to the multiple scandals unfolding in Washington. Never before have we seen a president and his administration currying favor with the Russian government to this extreme. There is no longer any doubt on the part of our intelligence community, the FBI and the CIA that the Russians penetrated our electoral system on a massive and sophisticated scale. The Watergate break-in was trivial compared to Vladimir Putin’s penetration of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee. Yet President Donald Trump can’t wait to sweep this massive intrusion under the rug and to distract Americans from this gross violation of our democratic process.