Ukraine will be in EU within a decade, likely in NATO too, Lithuanian expert says

Vladimir Putin’s effort to block Ukraine’s integration with Europe by trying to spark a civil war in the former Soviet republic has failed, Leonidis Donskis says; and consequently, Kyiv, despite its current difficulties, can look forward to becoming a full member of the European Union sometime within the next 10 years. Moreover, the former European Parliament member and scholar at Vitautas the Great University in Kaunas, Lithuania, says, he will not be surprised if Ukraine becomes part of NATO as well (gordonua.com/news/society/Ex-deputat-evroparlamenta-NATO-poslal-Kremliu-chetkiy-messedzh.html). What is regrettable he says, is that Ukraine was “not integrated into NATO and the European Union earlier.” Had that been the case, “almost 7,000 people would not have lost their lives,” although their sacrifice, Mr. Donskis says, is hardly in vain. It has awakened Europe and the West to the threat that Vladimir Putin constitutes. The Kremlin leader’s “honeymoon” with the West is over, Mr. Donskis continues, and Europe and the U.S. will never react as they did when he attacked Georgia in 2008 and say that “‘Georgia was not without sin.’”

“Now, it has become entirely clear: Ukraine is absolutely innocent, and all the fault lies with Russia,” he underscores.

The chilling side to Russia’s claims about Yatsenyuk as a Chechnya fighter

Russian Investigative Committee claims that Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk once fought against Russia in Chechnya aroused hilarity and some excellent flights of Photoshop fantasy following publication of an interview with the head of the committee, Alexander Bastrykin. It was left to the Russian propaganda channel Life News to mention one chilling detail. The allegations are based on “testimony” obtained from two Ukrainians held incommunicado in Russian detention for over a year and now accused of involvement in the same fighting. There is also a third person whose testimony, in turn, is likely to be used to sentence Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh to long prison sentences. There is nothing funny about torture, and we have every reason to believe that the men were tortured since Messrs.

Surprise, surprise!

Here we are, more than a year from the presidential election and already national politics is taking center stage for political news junkies like me. Surprises abound. The blustering narcissist Donald Trump is leading among 15 national Republican hopefuls. Inheriting millions from his father, he made millions more as an entrepreneur, suffering bankruptcies along the way. The laid-back Dr. Ben Carson, world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, is second.

Worldwide action to spur media coverage of Holodomor memorial dedication in D.C.

Joseph Stalin’s terrorization and de facto execution of 5-7 million Ukrainian farmers in 1932-1933 via forced starvation , i.e. the “Holodomor,” was a heinous, premeditated crime of industrial-scale proportion – a crime against humanity. Yet, it is not well-known outside of our community. The upcoming November 7 dedication of a memorial to Holodomor victims in Washington is an opportunity to, once again, reach out to the news media to raise awareness of this forgotten genocide. By pooling our voices worldwide, reaching out to local news media in our home communities and repeating key messages over the course of the coming year, we can not only boost media interest in Stalin’s atrocity against Ukraine, but compare it to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Both are crimes for which the perpetrators should be brought to justice, in Stalin’s case, in absentia.

Sportsline

Weightlifting

• Yevhenii Nykonenko (77 kg) won bronze in European Weightlifting Championships in Landskrona, Sweden, on August 1-8. In the snatch his best was 107 kg and in the clean and jerk his best was 126 kg.  Alina Shevkoplyas (63 kg) won gold in the U-17 division, with 89 kg in the snatch and 106 kg in the clean and jerk. Dmytro Sukhotskyi (56 kg) won gold in the U-17 division after a first-place finish in snatch with a best result of 102 kg; he scored fifth in the clean and jerk with a best of 120 kg. The competition was sponsored by the International Weightlifting Federation. Basketball

• Ukraine finished in last place (sixth) in Group D of the FIBA EuroBasket 2015, finishing with a record of two wins and three losses.

Newsbriefs

One sentenced in pro-Ukraine stunt 

MOSCOW – A Moscow court on September 10 acquitted four people and found one guilty of hooliganism and vandalism for taking part in a pro-Ukraine stunt. The five, including two women, went on trial on August 17. They were accused of taking part in a stunt in which a Soviet red star atop a Stalin-era skyscraper was painted in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag. Four defendants were accused of drawing attention to the painted star and a Ukrainian flag hoisted from it by parachuting from the 176-meter building. The fifth defendant, Vladimir Podrezov, was sentenced to 27 months in jail.

UNA congratulates 56 scholarship recipients for the 2015-2016 school year

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Fifty-six student members of the Ukrainian National Association were awarded scholarships by the UNA for the 2015-2016 school year. The scholarship awards totaled $12,475, of which $4,250 were designated for special scholarships in higher dollar amounts. The UNA Scholarship Committee reviews applications in light of financial needs of the student, academic achievement, field of study, as well as each applicant’s activity level within the Ukrainian community. The Joseph and Dora Galandiuk Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 was awarded to Alexander Zelez, a member of UNA Branch 277, and an honors student at Wagner College studying to be a physician’s assistant. Alexander is active in his student life at college as a member of the Physician’s Assistant Association, where he spends many hours volunteering his time; he is vice-president of the newly formed Catholic Club at the college, where he organizes various programs for students.

Priest ordained in Edmonton Eparchy

EDMONTON, Alberta – The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton celebrated the ordination of Deacon Jim Nakonechny into the holy priesthood on August 8 at St. Basil Ukrainian Catholic Church. The ordination took place during Divine Liturgy by the laying on of hands by Bishop David Motiuk, eparch of Edmonton. This was the first ordination in the eparchy in five years. In the presence of well over 500 friends, colleagues, family, parishioners and faithful, and some 30 Ukrainian Catholic priests, deacons and acolytes from the Edmonton Eparchy and beyond, along with Bishop Emeritus Joseph Neil McNeil of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, Deacon Nakonechny was ordained into the priesthood.

UACCNJ and Chornomorska Sitch to hold golf tournament and outing

WHIPPANY, N.J. – The Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey (UACCNJ) and the Chornomorska Sitch Sports Club, both based in Whippany, N.J., will hold a fund-raising golf outing and Chornomorska Sitch Challenge Cup golf tournament on Saturday, October 10, at the Beaverbrook Country Club in Annandale, N.J.

Organizers of the annual UACCNJ golf outing and Sitch, a member organization of the UACCNJ Center in Whippany, introduced a new concept several years ago, by challenging other Ukrainian sports clubs to form four-man teams and compete in a best ball foursome tournament. Golf committee members – Ihor Zwarycz, Michael Zawadiwsky, Jarema Kochan and Stefan Nahorniak – agreed that they wanted to establish a Ukrainian American golf tournament where players who may not compete on a regular basis against each other can come together once a year in a tournament format. Mr. Twardowsky, president of the Sitch sports club, endorsed the idea of expanding into what are non-traditional sports for Ukrainians, including golf. Last year, 60 golfers, grouped into four-man teams, competed at the Beaverbrook Golf Club in Annandale, N,J. The players ranged from low 5 to high 30+ handicappers who arrived from various parts of the United States and Canada, from Philadelphia to Toronto.

Corruption alleged at top government rungs

KYIV – When it comes to reforms, Ukrainians are more concerned about corruption than any other issue, according to a poll conducted in late July by Kyiv’s Razumkov Center and the Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Fund. When asked to choose five spheres of reform as most important, about 65 percent of the 2,011 respondents cited anti-corruption reform, about 58 percent cited legal reforms and about 40 percent selected pension and social security reform. Yet the very leaders of Ukrainian politics and business remain as engrossed in corruption as ever, if the accusations they’re flinging at each other on a weekly basis are to be believed. The latest such attack came on September 15 from Vice Prime Minister Valerii Voshchevskyi when alleging to the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s Parliament, that the president exclusively controls the energy ministry. “The rivalry between the two heads of the executive government is so obvious that they are not only disrupting the energy sphere, but all of Ukraine,” said Mr. Voshchevskyi, a member of Oleh Liashko’s Radical Party who submitted his resignation on September 1.