Russia’s war against Ukraine

In case anyone forgot there’s a war going on in Ukraine, this week’s news was a stark reminder. On Saturday, April 23, an American paramedic who was part of the Special Monitoring Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, was killed in the occupied Luhansk region when the vehicle he was riding in hit a landmine. Joseph Stone died and two other OSCE monitors, a German woman and a Czech man, were injured in territory controlled by Russian-led “separatist” forces. RFE/RL reported that OSCE Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier said there will be both an internal investigation and a criminal investigation “to understand who is responsible for this outcome.” He added, “A mine was left on a road which is also used by civilians, and there could have been other victims as well.”

On Wednesday, April 26, Ukraine reported three of its troops were killed and five wounded in yet another flare-up of fighting in eastern Ukraine. According to the Associated Press, the press office for the Ukrainian government’s ATO said Ukrainian positions had come under fire 65 times in the previous 24 hours.

May 5, 1992

Twenty-five years ago, on May 5, 1992, President Leonid Kravchuk and Ambassador Oleh Bilorus officially opened the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States in Washington. The Embassy was an 11-room suite of offices located at 1828 L St. NW.  The Embassy location moved after 1992 to its current location at 3350 M St. NW, known as the historic Forrest-Marbury House. With the opening of the Embassy, President Kravchuk and Ambassador Bilorus declared that a new phase of Ukrainian-American relations was beginning and that the Embassy of independent Ukraine in the U.S. was ready to work.

Making Ukraine mono-ethnic: Putin’s greatest achievement, most fateful failure

Ninety-two percent of Ukrainian citizens now consider themselves ethnic Ukrainians – an unprecedented figure that is the product of Vladimir Putin’s aggression against their country and one that highlights the fundamental weakness of ethnic Russian national identities not only there but elsewhere, including in the Russian Federation. According to a new poll by Kyiv’s Razumkov Center, 92 percent of Ukrainian citizens now consider themselves ethnic Ukrainians, 6 percent say they are ethnic Russians, and 1.5 percent identify as members of other ethnic groups (zn.ua/UKRAINE /bolee-90-grazhdan-schitayut-sebya-etnicheskimi-ukraincami-245309_.html). Among young people in Ukraine, the share identifying as ethnic Ukrainians approaches 100 percent, the pollsters said, while among those over the age of 60, the figure was less than 90 percent but still far higher than at any point in the past. The Razumkov Center also asked how many people feel themselves part of only one ethnic nation or, alternately, as members of several. Among ethnic Ukrainians, it said, “77 percent feel themselves part of one nationality, 12 percent of two or more, 6 percent not as members of any nationality; 8 percent couldn’t or wouldn’t answer.”

But among those who identify as ethnic Russians in Ukraine, “only 39 percent” identify only with that ethnicity, an indication that many of them are less attached to the nationality of their birth and are in the process of shifting from one nation to another, in this case from the ethnic Russian nation to the Ukrainian ethnic one.

Moscow Patriarchate says parishes in Ukraine must get permission to shift to other hierarchies

Faced with a rising tide of Orthodox parishes in Ukraine whose members have voted to transfer their allegiance to the Kyiv Patriarchate, the Moscow Patriarchate, i.e., the Russian Orthodox Church, has issued rules specifying that parishes cannot change from one hierarchy to another without its explicit written permission. Individuals, of course, can continue to move from one church to another; but the Moscow Patriarchate, by insisting that the church buildings belong to it and not to the parishes, can block entire parishes from voting to leave collectively and take church buildings and other property with them. In the words of TSN reporter Sergey Galchenko, this action “completely destroys the Ukrainian structure of the church, transforming it into a reflection of the Russian Orthodox Church” in Russia and thus “in fact taking the churches away from their parishioners” (ru.tsn.ua/ukrayina/moskovskiy-patriarhat-pridumal-kak-po-hitromu-uberechsya-ot-perehodov-veruyuschih-v-drugie-konfessii-847237.html). This is a very big deal for both Moscow and Kyiv. For the Moscow Patriarchate and the Kremlin, the more than 12,000 parishes of the Moscow Patriarchal Church in Ukraine not only form more than a third of the religious communities there, allowing enormous opportunities for Russian influence, but also represent almost half of all Moscow Patriarchate churches in total and thus an important source of revenue for the Patriarchate.

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.

Ukrainian technology companies reach far beyond their national borders

“Made in Ukraine” is not a phrase usually associated with technology product companies and start-ups. And yet, outsourcing of software development projects to Ukrainian consultants has been a global practice for years. But now the business landscape is changing as more technology product companies and start-ups from Ukraine try to make their mark in the EU and beyond. Two key reports on the technology industry in Ukraine

In 2016, two reports were published about Ukraine’s technology industry environment and business scene. The authors were Ukraine Digital News, an online website focused on the Ukrainian digital and IT industries since 2014, and AVentures Capital, a prominent early stage venture firm focused on nurturing businesses in Ukraine and Central and Eastern Europe.

New exhibit tells the stories of Ukrainian immigrants to Canada

 

 

 

Gadacz family photos and immigration documents from the personal collection of Dr. Ihor Gadacz. TORONTO – In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Ontario Branch, has curated a very special exhibit that has been in the works for almost three years. Opening on April 29, “Trunk Tales: Leaving home… finding home” will tell some of the many poignant stories of Ukrainian immigration to Canada beginning in the late 1800s. The exhibit revolves around four trunks brought by Ukrainians over four major periods of immigration. Each trunk has its own fascinating history of hardship, loss and ultimately great hope and joy found in a new home in Canada.

Newsbriefs

EU envoys OK visa liberalization

BRUSSELS – European Union ambassadors have approved visa liberalization for Ukraine, a key step toward closer ties and visa-free travel to the EU for Ukrainians. EU ministers are now set to rubber-stamp the decision on May 11, and the signing ceremony for the deal is expected to take place in Strasbourg on May 17. EU diplomats have told RFE/RL they hope the visa-free regime will enter into force in mid-June. Analysts say Russia’s seizure of Crimea and involvement in a war against government forces in eastern Ukraine have only increased many Ukrainians’ desire for closer ties with the EU. Many in the country of 44 million have closely followed the process since December 2015, when the European Commission recommended to EU member states and the European Parliament that Ukraine be granted visa liberalization.

Philadelphia-area Ukrainian leaders hold roundtable meeting with Rep. Brendan Boyle

JENKINTOWN, Pa. – Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat who represents Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, held a roundtable meeting with Ukrainian leaders on March 18 at the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Jenkintown, Pa. Congressman Boyle is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. Congressman Boyle updated attendees on current legislation as related to developments in Ukraine. He also spoke about the ongoing impact of Russian interference in U.S. domestic politics.