Parliamentary elections redraw Ukraine’s political map

KYIV – The results of Ukraine’s July 21 snap parliamentary election have continued the biggest political shake-up in independent Ukraine’s history. Political newcomer Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s recent landslide victory in the presidential election has been replicated by a win on a historic scale by his party, Servant of the People. 

Congressional Ukraine Caucus introduces bill to compel release of Ukraine’s seamen

WASHINGTON – The chairs of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), on July 18 introduced the SAILORS Act, or the “Stopping Aggressive Incursions on Liberty by Ordering Russian Sanctions Act,” legislation that would apply sanctions to 24 senior members of the Russian Security Service and their close associates until Russia releases 24 Ukrainian seaman and three vessels the country illegally captured near the Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov.

13th annual Ukrainian Cultural Festival held at Soyuzivka

KERHONKSON, N.Y. – The 13th annual Ukrainian Cultural Festival at the Ukrainian National Foundation’s (UNF) Soyuzivka Heritage Center took place over three days from July 12 to 14. 
From Ukraine, singers Taras Petrynenko, Tetiana Horobets and Tonya Matvienko delighted audiences several times throughout the festival. Ukrainian American Max Lozynskyj also belted out his own songs while playing guitar. Fleet-fingered violinist Vasyl Popadiuk showed why he is one of the most sought after jazz and folk violinists of today.

Belarus: Springboard or casus belli for Russian aggression against Ukraine?

The Union State Treaty between Russia and Belarus (signed in April 1997) declares, in Chapter II, Section II, Articles 17-18, that border security falls into a group of key bilateral issues that must be solved jointly. In practice, this gives Russia control over Belarus’s external borders, also with Ukraine (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, December 8, 1999). 

Two years on, RFE/RL presses for Ukrainian journalist’s release

WASHINGTON – Two years since Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine confirmed they were holding Ukrainian blogger and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) contributor Stanislav Aseyev prisoner, RFE/RL is redoubling efforts to secure his release.

UCCA statement: Ukraine proves its commitment to democracy

The statement below was released in Kyiv by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America on July 22. The UCCA’s Election Observer Mission was headed by UCCA President Andriy Futey. UCCA Vice-President Michael Sawkiw Jr. served as deputy chair of the mission, and Tamara Olexy, former UCCA president and National Office director, served as mission coordinator. Long-time UCCA international election observer Reno Domenico was the UCCA’s chief observer. 

Ukraine’s parliamentary elections

The following press statement is attributed to Morgan Ortagus, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State. It was released on July 23. We congratulate the Ukrainian people on this weekend’s peaceful and historic parliamentary elections, which delivered a clear result and underscored Ukrainians’ commitment to democratic ideals. We welcome the OSCE’s preliminary conclusion that the elections took place with overall respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. We look forward to the OSCE’s final recommendations to improve electoral practices and encourage their implementation. We will work with the new Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people as they advance reforms critical to ensuring Ukraine’s success.

Quotable notes

“…We commend the sides for the disengagement of forces at Stanytsia Luhanska that began on June 26, as forces pull out of the zone and undertake demining activities. And we encourage the sides to use this success to make progress on full disengagement at the two other sites that were designated.

UNA CELEBRATES 125 YEARS: Snapshots from history, 1961, 1964, 1989, 2014

Already in its very first issue, dated September 15, 1893, Svoboda atop its front page quoted as its credo the immortal words of Taras Shevchenko: “Study my brothers, think and read, learn what others have to offer, but do not forget your own.” Therefore, it was no surprise that the fraternal benefit society to which Svoboda gave birth on February 22, 1894, the Ukrainian National Association, chose the great bard of Ukraine as its patron.

Serving the people of Ukraine

The people of Ukraine have once again made their free choice. This time in the parliamentary elections of July 21, which were the result of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s announcement, in his inaugural address on May 20, that he was dissolving the Verkhovna Rada. Just as they astounded the world by electing a political newcomer – an actor-comedian – as their president with 73 percent of the vote on April 21, Ukraine’s voters have astonished observers by giving the new president’s new party, Servant of the People, not simply a plurality, but a commanding majority in the Verkhovna Rada.