Poroshenko makes his case

On September 26, President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine addressed the United Nations General Assembly. The occasion was the annual General Debate, when world leaders gather to discuss global issues. Mr. Poroshenko strongly made the case for his country, which has faced unrelenting Russian aggression since 2014, and called on the United Nations to stop that aggression. The president also presented Ukraine’s position during the high-level Action for Peacekeeping meeting, where he repeated his position that the U.N. should send an international peacekeeping mission to Ukraine, as well as in his meetings with many world leaders who also were in town for the opening of the General Assembly’s 73rd session. 

Mr. Poroshenko began his speech to the General Assembly by stating, “We shall never forget that the raison d’être of this organization is to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,’ ” and noting, “Unfortunately, my fellow citizens have become a part of that one-fifth of the world population who is experiencing the horrors of war.”

He then proceeded to eloquently tell his listeners how the people of Ukraine are suffering because of Russia’s hostility: “Moscow turns Ukrainians to orphans. It tortures our patriots in its prisons.

October 2, 1983

Thirty-five years ago, on October 2, 1983, an estimated crowd of 18,000 people gathered at the Washington Monument in the nation’s capital to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Holodomor, known at the time as the Great Famine of 1932-1933, that killed millions of Ukrainians through forced starvation. The two-and-a-half-hour rally included addresses by Morton Blackwell, a representative of President Ronald Reagan, and Rep. Don Ritter (R-Pa.). The speakers expressed sympathy with the Ukrainians and lauded the Ukrainian nation’s courage and continued resistance against Soviet Communist subjugation. President Reagan stated: “…In a time when the entire world is outraged by the senseless murder of 269 passengers on Korean Airlines Flight 007, we must not forget that this kind of action is not new to the Soviet Union. That the dream of freedom lives on in the hearts of Ukrainians everywhere is an inspiration to each of us.

Moscow has complex system to run agents of influence abroad, says historian

As Moscow’s geopolitical isolation has increased, Dmitry Khmelnitsky says, the role of its agents of influence abroad and the enormously variegated organizations that recruit and direct them has increased far beyond what they were during the Cold War when anti-communism served as a constraint.

“The Russian network of agents of influence abroad is extraordinarily broad and differentiated,” the Ukrainian historian living in Germany says. “It consists of a multitude of organizations created and financed by Moscow and under social groups and simulating social, cultural and scholarly activity”

Warning sign in Donbas: Pro-Moscow forces replacing local people with outsiders

One of the most reliable signs that an aggressor is about to launch a new attack is his replacement of local people who might resist his effort with carefully selected outsiders who can be counted on to support or at least not actively oppose any new aggression. According to people in the Donbas with whom U.S.-based Russian journalist Kseniya Kirillova has spoken, that is exactly what has been happening in the days since the murder of Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the so-called “head of the DPR.” Her report should set off alarm bells in Kyiv (day.kyiv.ua/ru/blog/obshchestvo/mestnoe-naselenie-zameshchayut-priezzhimi). One Donbas resident speaking on condition of anonymity says that in the days since Zakharchenko was killed, the powers that be in the Donetsk “people’s republic” (DPR) region have increased the number of searches and arrests of local people. Residents are frightened “but despite that, dissatisfaction is growing” because of three inter-related developments. First, “the local population continues to be replaced by new arrivals.

Geopolitical divorce, Trump administration, sanctions cheaters

“The Geopolitical Divorce of the Century: Why Putin Cannot Afford to Let Ukraine Go,” by Peter Dickinson, Ukraine Alert blog, Atlantic Council, September 18 (http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/the-geopolitical-divorce-of-the-century-why-putin-cannot-afford-to-let-ukraine-go):

…Ukrainian businesses have begun to discover life after Russia. In 2017 alone, Ukraine-EU trade grew by almost a quarter and India emerged as the largest international market for Ukrainian agricultural exports. On the domestic front, American companies are replacing longstanding Russian partners. The first General Electric locomotive engines recently arrived in Ukraine, while the country’s Soviet era aviation flagship Antonov is now working with Boeing. 

Increasing international mobility is making it much easier for ordinary Ukrainians to look beyond Russia. The advent of visa-free EU travel for Ukrainian passport holders in summer 2017 is transforming attitudes toward the rest of Europe and helping Ukrainians to shed the psychological shackles that long kept the country penned inside the narrow confines of the post-Soviet world.

A righteous man named Lemkin

He was the first to call it what it was. Sixty-five years ago, on September 20, 1953, Dr Raphael Lemkin, a legal scholar, spoke in New York City about Stalin’s four-pronged offensive against Ukraine. The country’s dismemberment began with the evisceration of its heart, mind and soul, achieved through the murder or deportation of Ukraine’s writers and poets, intelligentsia and clergy. That outrage was coupled with a body blow against Ukraine’s peasantry, the repository of the nation’s traditions, orchestrated through a man-made famine. To finish off the assault the country’s ethnic character was diluted through a mass resettlement of non-Ukrainians, particularly along Ukraine’s eastern marches.

Coro Stetsenko performs Kyrylo Stetsenko’s “Panakhyda” to commemorate 85th anniversary of Holodomor

FRESNO, Calif. – Coro Stetsenko, an ensemble of the Fresno Community Chorus (FCC) Master Chorale, an outstanding choral group led by world class conductor Dr. Anna Hamre, premiered Kyrylo Stetsenko’s “Panakhyda,” a plaintive memorial service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the Chapel of the Holy Innocents at St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Fresno, Calif., in memory of the Holodomor of 1932-1933. 

This was a centennial world premiere by the 30-member ensemble, the first non-Ukrainian a cappella group singing it in Ukrainian. 

On Sunday, August 26, in the early and late afternoon, three tolls of the bell signaled the beginning of the memorial services for the millions of innocent men, women and children starved to death by the Soviet regime in the 1930s. The services also ended with the triple tolling of the bell. “The Holodomor for Ukrainians means more than just a famine, because famines are caused by drought or blight,” said Alan Peters, president of the FCC board of directors, setting the tone in his opening remarks.

The 27th Anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence – Syracuse, N.Y.

On a pristinely clear and sunny August 24, a diverse crowd of Syracuse University students, pillars of the Ukrainian America community, retirees and multigenerational professionals with their families, donned their Ukrainian shirts to attend a Ukrainian flag-raising ceremony at Syracuse City Hall to mark the 27th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence. 

As people gathered for the morning’s program, the youngest 5- to 8-year-old members of the Odesa dance ensemble and their director Christina Bobesky, Ph.D., had an opportunity to meet the newly elected mayor of Syracuse, Ben Walsh, and take a picture with him. Later on, the dancers’ charming performance of “Little Hopak” delighted both the assembled crowd and onlookers passing by. The event was organized by Ukrainian Congress Committee of America Syracuse branch members Orest Hrycyk and Hryts Lisnyczyj. Mr. Lisnyczyi also emceed the program. Father Mykhaylo Dosyak, pastor of St.

Newsbriefs

Ukraine terminates Friendship Treaty 

Ukraine said it would officially notify now-bitter rival Russia on September 21 that it will not extend its treaty of friendship, cooperation and partnership with Moscow. Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Pavlo Klimkin said on September 19 that Kyiv will notify all relevant organizations, including the United Nations, about the move. According to the UNIAN news service, on September 25 Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed it had received an official note from Kyiv about Ukraine’s decision not to extend the friendship treaty. “The note was brought to us by a chargé d’affaires on Monday,” September 24, the director of the Second CIS Department of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry Andrei Rudenko was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS. “This is formal notification that starting from April 1 this treaty will not be prolonged,” he added.

Plast senior sorority of Chornomorski Khvyli meets at biennial conference

GROTON, Conn. – Members of Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization’s senior sorority of Chornomorski Khvyli attended their 13th conference, which was held by the sea in Groton, Conn. The conference, which is held every two years, took place on September 14-16, and was attended by zaloha (branch) members from New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut. The primary goal of Chornomorski Khvyli is to acquaint and inform others about the traditions and specifics of Ukrainian sea scouting. Two of the traditional greetings used by the members are “Ahoy” and “Fair winds” (Dobroho vitru).