74 years on, Russian genocide of Crimean Tatars continues

Seventy-four years ago, Stalin deported the Crimean Tatars from their historical homeland, an action that cost nearly 200,000 lives at the time, set the stage for Vladimir Putin’s Anschluss of the Ukrainian peninsula, and continues in the form of a Russian genocide against that nation. On May 18, Crimean Tatars in their occupied homeland and around the world and their supporters in Ukraine and again around the world are pausing to remember the events of 1944 that almost three years ago the Ukrainian government recognized as an act of genocide and called on the rest of the world to do the same. But in remembering that singular horrific act, it is equally important to take note of the fact that Moscow is continuing it. As the Ukrainian foreign affairs minister put it on May 18, Moscow holds “the entire Crimean Tatar people in prison” and seeks to destroy them as a collective community (qha.com.ua/ru/politika/rossiya-derjit-v-tyurme-ves-krimskotatarskii-narod-klimkin/192286/). Others have echoed similar views – see Ukrainian historian Serhii Gromenko’s article in Delovaya Stolitsa (dsnews.ua/society/zvichayniy-genotsid-yak-rosiyani-dvistiv-rokiv-znishchuvali-krimtsiv-170 52018220000).

Stop Putin propaganda by dispelling myth of U.S. as world center of evil

Many European intellectuals think that Russian propaganda is essentially “post-modernist,” that it sows confusion but does not have a specific message, Igor Eidman says. But his own interviews with Russian speakers in Germany show that is not the case and that Moscow today is successfully promoting its myth that the U.S. is “the center of world evil.”

Calling Trump et al to account

Dear Editor:

I am astonished by Ihor Mirchuk’s letter to the editor (“Seek collaboration, not partisanship,” May 18), including his reference to the paid advertisement of the UACTT [Ukrainian-Americans for Compassion, Truth & Transparency) that appeared in the February 25, 2018, issue of The Ukrainian Weekly calling for the support of the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference. 

Bishops and their flocks

Dear Editor:

Andrew Sorokowski’s article on the future of Ukrainian Churches in North America (“Future Flock,” May 13) skips the importance of the episcopal factor in church viability. 

Both of the major Ukrainian confessions in the U.S. belong to (or are in communion with, if you prefer) non-Ukrainian Churches. Thus, the bishops are bound by oaths of strict obedience to carry out whatever orders come down the pipeline, however it may reflect on them and whatever they may bode for their Churches

The Ukrainian Catholic Church (UCC) in the U.S. is a case par excellence of this conundrum. Its flock has been shrinking for decades, in part due to flawed episcopal decisions – whatever their origins. That being the case, relying on new immigrants to maintain the flock will be just a temporary solution, as Mr. Sorokowski points out. A few examples should illustrate why over the years some of the flock felt stressed when confronted with developments they viewed as regressive and which generated some painful questions.

UWC remembers deportation of Crimean Tatars from Ukraine

The release below was disseminated on May 18. On May 18, 2018, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) and the 20-million strong Ukrainian diaspora join Crimean Tatars worldwide in remembrance on the 74th anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea. On this day in 1944, on the order of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars were deported from the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine to various regions of the Soviet Union, with close to half perishing either during the journey or within a year of being exiled. In 2015, the Parliament of Ukraine declared May 18 as the annual Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar people. The Crimean Tatars had lived peacefully on the peninsula since their return in 1987 until the illegal occupation of Crimea by Russian forces in February 2014.

UCC remembers the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar people

The statement below was released on May 17. May 18 is the Day of Remembrance of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People. The Ukrainian Canadian community joins the Crimean Tatar people in mourning, grief and solemn remembrance. May the Memory of the Victims Be Eternal. Вічная Пам’ять.

UCCA commemorates 80th anniversary of the assassination of Yevhen Konovalets

The following statement was released by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America on May 21. On May 23, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest grassroots representation of Americans of Ukrainian descent, will mark 80 years since the assassination of one of Ukraine’s greatest statesmen, revolutionaries and military leaders – Col. Yevhen Konovalets. Struck down by the cowardly time-bomb of an NKVD agent, his body was discovered on the streets of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 1938, almost 12 years to the day after the assassination of his close friend and comrade-in-arms Symon Petliura. 

Born in Zashkiv, outside of Lviv, Col. Konovalets was a man deeply dedicated to the cause of Ukraine’s independence, rising to the rank of commander of the Corps of Sich Riflemen, commandant of the Ukrainian Military Organization (UVO) and finally as co-founder and first elected leader of the Supreme Council of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN). 

One of the most prominent Ukrainian leaders of the 20th century, Konovalets led an international effort of organizing Ukrainian veterans’ associations throughout the diaspora, as well as the establishment of foreign-language press bureaus in order to help garner political support for Ukraine’s independence; this included his personal appeals to the League of Nations to address the issue of Ukrainian sovereignty.

The Holodomor and Canada’s response

“Starving Ukraine: The Holodomor and Canada’s Response,” by Serge Cipko, Regina: University of Regina Press, 2017. 351 pp. ISBN: 978-0-88977-506-0. $65 (U.S.)/$80 (Cdn.). Through an extensive analysis of newspapers, political speeches and protests, “Starving Ukraine” by Serge Cipko examines both Canada’s reporting of the Holodomor, the Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933, and the country’s response.

Newsbriefs

Global Sentsov campaign planned 

Activists have announced a global campaign to demand the release of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov, who opposed Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and is now on hunger strike in a Russian prison. The Save Oleg Sentsov group said on Twitter late on May 22 that the campaign, dubbed #SaveOlegSentsov, is being organized for June 1-2, ahead of this summer’s World Cup soccer competition in Russia. Mr. Sentsov, who is a native of Crimea, is currently serving a 20-year prison term after being convicted on terrorism charges that he and human rights groups say were politically motivated. “In different cities around the world, we will show a red card to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s regime, which illegally holds people behind bars,” the group said. Separately, a demonstration is being planned for New York City’s Times Square on May 26 to protest against Mr. Sentsov’s detention, according to organizers who contacted RFE/RL.

Salov wows Washington

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Pianist Serhiy Salov cut a dashing Byronesque figure on April 22 as he bounded up to the stage at the Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum in Old Towne, Alexandria, just outside Washington. Youthful and lanky, he is originally from the war-torn city of Donetsk. For more than a decade, he has been a Canadian resident in Montreal. 

Christine Lucyk, co-director of The Washington Group Cultural Fund, welcomed the audience to this last recital of the 2017-2018 season, and thanked all the sponsors of the Sunday Music Series. She informed the audience that in 2004 Mr. Salov won first prize at the prestigious Montreal International Musical Competition, and in 2014 the first Richard Lupien Improvisation Prize at the same competition.