Across the former Soviet empire, non-Russians have been taking down the Soviet-era statues that Moscow had imposed on them. The Baltic countries did so in 1991. Ukraine recently eliminated all Lenin statues, and now Poland is being sharply criticized by the Russian government for eliminating monuments to the Red Army. But now a district in Lithuania has come up with a clever strategy, one that moves between the Scylla of leaving these monuments and their messages in place and the Charybdis of taking them down and being attacked by Moscow or by others who decry the destruction of something they view as part of the historical record. At a cemetery in a district in northern Lithuania, local officials have not taken down the monuments Moscow erected near the graves of Red Army soldiers but rather put up new signs indicating that “the ideological inscriptions of the Soviet period do not correspond to historical truth” (zinios.lt/lzinios/Gimtasis-krastas/prie-paminklu-sovietu-kariams-specialios-lenteles/252739).
Crimea is Ukrainian territory. Full stop. Russia violated international law when it annexed the peninsula. And the Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov – a resident of Crimea who publicly opposed the annexation and was subsequently imprisoned for “terrorism” – is a political prisoner who should be released. Saying any of these things – or even reposting or liking such remarks on social media – could get most Russians prosecuted for supporting separatism and extremism.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – In 1917, exactly 100 years ago, World War I was raging on for a third, brutal year. On the western front, it had devolved into a static, almost motionless trench warfare, in which neither the Germans nor the French, British and their allies had the ability or the momentum to move forward and overcome the opposing forces. It was war by a very slow process of attrition. On the eastern front, the situation was different.
“The Future of the Past: New Perspectives on Ukrainian History,” edited by Serhii Plokhy, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2017. 516 pp. ISBN: 978-7932650167. $29.95 (paperback). Ukraine’s defense against overt Russian aggression is the latest international crisis in East-West relations, which are at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War.
ByVolodymyr Mezentsev / Special to The Ukrainian Weekly |
The war and economic problems in Ukraine have complicated, but not ended, the annual excavations conducted by the Canada-Ukraine archaeological expedition in the town of Baturyn, Chernihiv Oblast, since 2001. This is thanks largely to the sponsors of the Baturyn historical and archaeological project: the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) at the University of Alberta, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) at the University of Toronto and the Ucrainica Research Institute in Toronto. Prof. Zenon Kohut, a distinguished historian of the Hetman state and former director of CIUS, serves as the academic adviser of this undertaking. Orest Steciw, the managing director of the national executive of the League of Ukrainian Canadians, is the president of the Ucrainica Research Institute. The W. K. Lypynsky East European Research Institute Inc. in Philadelphia awarded a generous grant for the archaeological investigations of early modern Baturyn in 2016-2017.
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has called upon his supporters in Ukraine to protect him from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. “Poroshenko wants to extradite me,” Mr. Saakashvili said in a statement broadcast on the NewsOne television outlet on October 24. “I ask Kyiv residents and all other honest people for protection.” Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko announced that the country’s migration service had rejected Mr. Saakashvili’s application for refugee status. “As a result, he is now a stateless person and there are no special obstacles excluding him from deportation or extradition,” Mr. Lutsenko said. Mr. Saakashvili’s lawyer, Pavlo Bohomazov, told Russia’s RIA Novosti that his client has not received a rejection from the migration authorities.
HILLSIDE, N.J. – New York Yankees legend and 57-year resident of Hillside, N.J., Phil Rizzuto (a.k.a. The Scooter), would have been 100 years old on September 25. Sixty years ago, in 1957, Rizzuto was one of the early benefactors of the building fund of Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hillside – despite having no ties to the parish other than being a resident of the town. To honor Rizzuto and to show appreciation of his past generosity, on Sunday, September 24, the Hillside parish offered the liturgy intentions for him. Immediately after the liturgy, Ann Pettigrew, president of the Hillside Historical Society, gave a captivating speech about Rizzuto’s storied life and her own personal accounts of having known the baseball great and his wife, Cora, very well. She also brought several memorabilia to church from the Phil Rizzuto Exhibit collection housed in the Woodruff House of the Hillside Historical Society, of which Rizzuto was an active and dedicated member.
PARMA, Ohio – On Sunday, September 17, St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Parma, Ohio, joyfully continued the tradition of welcoming new altar boys at the altar. Following special prayers and vesting in their robes, they were presented with icons from the parish’s senior chapter of the Ukrainian Orthodox League, as well as certificates of recognition of their first day as altar servers. Pictured above (from left) are: Landon Mroczka, Kyrylo Mahlay and Tyler Widmor. Graduating altar servers were honored for their years of service with plaques of recognition.
NEW YORK – Razom hosted a lively panel discussion on contemporary Ukraine on Saturday, September 23, moderated by Dasha Ozimko (left) with (from left) Andrii Suslenko, a participant of the RAF Journalism Fellowship at the United Nations; Daria Sipigina of Pennsylvania State University; Luke Tomycz, M.D.; Mariya Soroka, Razom co-founder and president; and Igor Gudz, entrepreneur. The panelists shared their experiences of innovation in Ukraine in the fields of journalism, cultural diplomacy, medicine, civic engagement, and manufacturing backpacks and selling them globally. The event was part of the annual meeting of the non-profit, volunteer organization, Razom, held in New York at Civic Hall in Manhattan. Over 100 people attended the gathering and heard updates regarding finances and highlights of past and present projects. Razom was established in 2014 to support the people of Ukraine in their continued quest for democracy, justice and human rights.
CHICAGO – The UMANA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established to improve medical literacy and knowledge among Ukrainians worldwide. It is the educational and instructive arm of the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA), awarding scholarships, sponsoring CPR classes and supporting educational conferences. This 2017-2018 academic year, the UMANA Foundation and its Dr. Walter and Olha Prokopiw Scholarship Fund has awarded six scholarships, encouraging and supporting students who have chosen a profession in the healing arts. Since 2007, the foundation has awarded 50 scholarships to deserving medical and dental students who are studying in the United States and Canada. Each recipient receives $3,000 to defray some of the expenses of medical or dental school tuition.