SCRANTON, Pa. – On November 5, members of the Ukrainian community of Northeastern Pennsylvania attended a presentation by Ukraine’s ambassador to the United Nations, Yuriy Sergeyev. Mr. Sergeyev spoke about the “Ukrainian-Russian Conflict and Global Security,” outlining effective steps that should be taken against Russian imperialism in order to preserve Ukraine’s sovereignty. The event, known as the Annual Honorable T. Linus Hoban Memorial Forum, was co-sponsored by the University of Scranton and the Lackawanna Bar Association. Previous Hoban Forum speakers have included: William H. Rehnquist, U.S. Supreme Court chief justice; Alexander M. Haig, Jr., former U.S. secretary of state and supreme allied commander of NATO; Helmut Schmidt, former chancellor of West Germany; and Yitzak Rabin, prime minister of Israel.
MONTREAL – Joining communities worldwide, Montreal marked the 81st anniversary of the Famine-Genocide in Ukraine on Saturday, November 22, remembering the millions deliberately starved to death in 1932-1933 by Stalin and his regime. The program was organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC), Montreal branch. It followed a requiem service officiated by the Rev. Wolodymyr Kouchnir of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, together with the Revs. Ihor Oschipko and Yaroslav Pivtorak of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and held at St. Sophia Cathedral.
NEWARK, N.J. – Ukrainians demonstrated their Ukrainian pride by donning hockey jerseys, embroidered shirts and blue-and-yellow garb of all sorts, and heading to an ice hockey game on Saturday, December 6, here at the Prudential Center. The second Ukrainian Heritage Night took place during the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals. Even before the puck dropped at 7 p.m., the melodic sounds of Ukrainian music echoed through the main concourse at “The Rock,” which opened to the public at 5:30 p.m. In a cordoned-off area of the concourse, young Ukrainian dancers were seen jumping and twirling in a variety of Ukrainian folk dances. Andrij Cybyk, artistic director of Iskra Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and Academy of Whippany, N.J., emceed the pre-game and in-between-periods shows. He introduced each ensemble and explained each regional dance.
OTTAWA – The Sheptytsky Institute of St. Paul University in Ottawa sponsored an international conference at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. The conference “Religion in the Ukrainian Public Square: An Analysis of the Euro-Maidan and Its Aftermath” brought together scholars of Orthodox, Greco-Catholic, Roman Catholic and Jewish backgrounds. Observers have noted the prominence of religious figures and practices during the uprising that began in Kyiv last year.
PART I Does a movement dedicated to recreating a Church institution that arose in the middle ages have a future in the 21st century? And if by some miracle it does, how can it understand that institution, present it to the general public and win support in today’s world? Those are the challenges that face the Ukrainian patriarchal movement after 50 years. For if the first impetus for this movement was the arrival of the widely revered Soviet captive, Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj, in Italy in 1963, and his appearance at the Second Vatican Council later that year, the beginnings of the patriarchal movement in North America can be traced to 1964. Fifty years later, the movement’s achievements are ambiguous.
Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, the UCCA Kyiv Office has begun a 10-month long civic education program titled “Uniting Our Country by Breaking Down Stereotypes.”
The purpose of the program is to build confidence in interactive communication between citizens of different regions of Ukraine and the government at both the local and regional levels, and to encourage them to create stable partnerships in the region in order to combat long-existing stereotypes or those that have been circulated by politicians with the intent of dividing Ukrainians. The UCCA Kyiv Office, which has long-term experience in conducting similar projects and works closely with regional TV and radio stations in 10 cities throughout Ukraine- – Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Poltava, Kirovohrad, Lviv, Uzhhorod, Mykolayiv and Zaporizhia – is holding a series of live radio broadcasts. The UCCA will invite community activists as well as well-known individuals, including journalists, bloggers and influential leaders to participate in the broadcasts. Leading journalist Alexander Piddubny serves as moderator, fielding calls from participants and questions from the audience, and posting the information on social media. Each broadcast is conducted with a regional co-host, either a journalist or an activist who is familiar with the current situation within the particular region where the broadcast is being aired.
Questioning the significance of security through NATO membership has become a tactic of Russia appeasers. The purported logic for this argumentation is twofold: nothing has disturbed Vladimir Putin more than NATO expansion; and nothing would exacerbate the current Ukraine-Russia crisis more than NATO membership for Ukraine. In any event, the appeasers suggest, NATO membership is hardly an absolute security guarantee since each NATO member country acts at its own discretion. Thus, Ukraine should relinquish its NATO membership aspirations. So the argument goes. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty provides that an armed attack against one shall be considered an attack against all and each will assist the one attacked. Detractors of this article point out that the all for one and one for all language is followed by “such action as it deems necessary,” thereby rendering any assistance discretionary for each member.
We in the Ukrainian “hromada” may sometimes take The Ukrainian Weekly for granted, so it is important that the editors and staff be congratulated for consistent good reporting, for helping to keep us abreast of events both here and in Ukraine, and for providing a forum that celebrates and publicizes Ukrainian culture. The December 14 issue was a stellar example. These are difficult days and journalism, and journalists are under fire around the world. We should be grateful and recognize what we have in The Weekly.
When I was in Ukraine for the parliamentary elections of October 26, I observed a Kyiv that was quiet and somber with reminders of the war everywhere, patriotic billboards calling for the support of the military, billboards proclaiming, “Glory to Ukraine” and “Glory to her heroes,” transparent plastic boxes asking for donations for the military placed at restaurant entrances, Ukrainian television stations constantly running news on the war in the east. The barrage of coverage of the war on the Ukrainian stations is never-ending. In keeping with the patriotic fervor, Ukrainian TV stations post on the side of their screen the blue-and-yellow flag of Ukraine with the motto “One country.”
People are constantly signing up to join the all-volunteer battalions. My taxi driver bemoaned the fact that he was rejected because of his age – he is 60. I met a young girl, Dasha Mikailyuk, and her boyfriend, Ivan Gogiyl.
A few weeks ago a Ukrainian journalist asked me just why so few Ukrainian Americans write for the U.S. press and policy journals. Why don’t they try to affect the policy debates? Why don’t they try to influence the discourse? I’m rarely stumped in interviews, but this time I was. To tell the truth, I have no idea why the number of people who regularly contribute to American op-ed pages and policy journals can be counted on the fingers of one hand.