Russian President Vladimir Putin has achieved a major goal with plans for a summit between him and U.S. President Donald Trump in Europe sometime in July now going forward. That meeting effectively ends the international isolation the Kremlin leader has experienced since he invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. Mr. Putin goes into the meeting, according to analyst Liliya Shevtsova, with great expectations given the willingness of many European leaders to come to him, their anger at Mr. Trump over trade and the Iran agreement, and the apparently increasing fatigue many in the West feel about the current hard line against Russian aggression (svoboda.org/a/29308048.html). That has led to hopes among Mr. Putin and his supporters for some kind of “grand bargain” or “big deal” with Mr. Trump that will involve forcing Ukraine to accept Russian conditions and ending Western sanctions on Russia – steps that, not surprisingly, many in Ukraine and in the West clearly fear, the Russian analyst continues. But both these hopes and these fears are almost certainly misplaced, Ms. Shevtsova says.
Even though Russian officials and commentators have felt free to call Ukraine and Ukrainians other names, the suggestion by Ukrainian writer Larisa Nitsa that Russia should be called Muscovy has sparked outrage among Russians – even though Muscovy is a more historical term for what is now Russia than many terms Russians now use for Ukraine. Residents of Ukraine should “apply to the Russian Federation the historical name ‘Muscovy’ since the term ‘Rus’ ’ was stolen from the Ukrainians by the Russians,” Ms. Nitsa argues. Moreover, she continues, the tsars had to impose the name Russia on reluctant Muscovites (obozrevatel.com/society/larisa-nitsoj.htm). “Do you know how they became Russians?” she asks rhetorically. “The Russian tsars first stole the name ‘Rus’ from us. They were at the time Muscovites.
ByMaria Korkatsch-Groszko and the Rev. Myron Panchuk |
The government of Ukraine has designated 2018 as “Ukrainian Genocide Remembrance Year.” The emphasis during this year’s commemoration of the 85th anniversary of the Genocide-Famine Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine is for the Ukrainian nation, its diaspora and freedom-loving people throughout the world, including here in the vast American heartland, to preserve the memory of the approximate 10,000,000 victims of this horrific event that will forever live in infamy.
As I accepted The Ukrainian Weekly’s gracious invitation to write a regular monthly column from a Ukrainian Canadian perspective just before both Canada and the United States celebrate their national holidays, I thought there would be no better way to launch this column than to focus on these holidays and what they really stand for. Actually, there is very little confusion of what America’s July 4 Independence Day celebrates. It represents the signing of a statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, in which 13 American colonies, already at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain, would regard themselves as 13 independent sovereign states no longer under British rule. It took seven more years of war before this independence became reality under the 1783 Treaty of Paris, and by that time the 13 colonies had already signed the Articles of Confederation that were to bring them all together as the United States of America. Many people erroneously believe that the July 1 Canada Day is somewhat similar.
The controversy about the number of Holodomor losses has divided parts of our communities, both in Ukraine and abroad. Some support the 7 million to 10 million estimate, while others consider 4 million as a more valid figure. The first group relies on the research spearheaded by Prof. Volodymyr Serhiychuk from the National Taras Shevchenko University and his associates; the second group relies on research conducted by a team of Ukrainian and U.S. demographers and historians at the Ptoukha Institute of Demography and Social Studies and the Institute of History in Ukraine, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the U.S.
Evidence is provided on the misleading origin of the 7 million estimate and problems with the different attempts to justify it. The choice is between a figure based on research that ignores universally accepted scholarly principles and can be easily discredited due to its unrealistic implications, and a figure based on research conducted according to Western scientific standards, independently reviewed by experts and published in Western peer-reviewed journals and books. It is important to clarify first our understanding of the Holodomor and Holodomor losses.
NEW YORK – The Executive Board of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization for over 1.5 million Americans of Ukrainian descent, has announced that the Organization for the Rebirth of Ukraine (known by its Ukrainian-based acronym as ODWU) and the Center for U.S.-Ukrainian Relations (CUSUR) have become member organizations of the UCCA National Council.
The highest ruling body between UCCA’s quadrennial conventions, the UCCA National Council comprises over 20 national Ukrainian American organizations.
TORONTO – The Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) has called on Ukrainians in the diaspora and friends of Ukraine to support the #RedCard4Putin campaign of the International Coalition for Human Rights.
The campaign was initiated by the UWC with the goal of mobilizing the international community and participating football players to pressure the Russian Federation to end its military aggression in Ukraine and other parts of the world, and to release all Ukrainian political prisoners being illegally detained by the Russian Federation. Over the course of one month during the 2018 FIFA World Cup under way in the Russian Federation, the campaign will issue multiple “red cards” to Vladimir Putin’s regime, highlighting the reasons an occupying regime is not entitled to host such events and stressing that the actions of the Russian Federation contradict the ideals of peaceful coexistence and the spirit of the World Cup. “We see that Oleh Sentsov is ready to continue his hunger strike until death. It is very important that we, as the international community, act to secure the immediate release of Oleh Sentsov and all political prisoners from Russian prisons,” stated Paul Grod, head of the International Coalition for Human Rights, who is vice-president of the UWC.
“The #RedCard4Putin campaign unites NGOs, human rights activists, journalists, athletes and other celebrities in speaking loudly against the crimes of the Putin regime,” he explained. The International Coalition for Human Rights is a coalition of non-governmental organizations and individuals committed to supporting and advocating for human rights.
TORONTO – The Summer Institute 2018, organized by the International Educational Coordinating Council (IECC) of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC), will begin its work in Lviv, Ukraine, on July 3. The Summer Institute is coordinated by its chair, Oksana Wynnyckyj-Yusypovych, who is also a community advisor to the minister of education and science of Ukraine. During this year’s Summer Institute, which will be conducted July 3-14, participation will be by teams of educators representing their schools. Each team will include the school principal, the vice-principal, a science teacher, a Ukrainian language teacher, a foreign language teacher and the school psychologist. Additionally, instructors from the Lviv Regional Pedagogical Development Institute (LRPDI) as well as Consultants from the City of Lviv Educational Center will participate.
WASHINGTON – The Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS) on June 25 e-mailed the following message: “Due to various circumstances, the July 18 Ukrainian Day advocacy event in Washington will be postponed. The daytime advocacy event and evening reception honoring Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), co-chair of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, will most likely be re-scheduled. UNIS will keep you abreast of future advocacy events and activities.”
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – On April 29, 1918, ships of the Black Sea Fleet raised the Ukrainian flag at 1600 hours, marking a victory of the Ukrainian movement towards independence as the fleet came under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian National Republic. The effort to unify all Ukrainian lands the following year (1919) was short-lived, but the raising of the flag on the Black Sea Fleet in 1918 was a significant event and is celebrated annually to this day. It is considered the birthdate of the Ukrainian naval fleet.