Leaders of Ukraine and Israel meet in Kyiv, seeking to bolster bilateral ties

KYIV – During Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official visit to Ukraine on August 19-20, which is being hailed as “historic” by both sides, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy cited the two countries’ “long-standing historical ties.”
“Our nations have together experienced all the tragedies of recent history – the Holodomor and the Holocaust, the second world war, the totalitarian Soviet regime,” Mr. Zelenskyy stated.
Mr. Netanyahu, who cited “the excellent relationship between the two countries,” called for stronger ties between Israel and Ukraine, emphasizing, “We can seize the future separately, but we can do it better together.”

British investigators: More evidence found of Russian role in the Donbas

A London-based digital forensics agency says it has gathered an enormous body of evidence that Russia’s military was deployed in the August-September 2014 fighting around Ilovaisk, in eastern Ukraine, in which Ukrainian forces were defeated by combined Russian and separatist troops.
Forensic Architecture used “machine learning and computer vision” to amass “the most comprehensive collection of evidence for the presence of Russian military personnel and hardware throughout the battlefield,” its project website states.

UCCA: Russia does not belong in the G-7

NEW YORK – Responding to a question posed by a journalist about whether Russia should be reinstated in the Group of Seven, the world’s largest advanced economies, President Donald Trump said that “it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in [the G-7. …I could certainly see it being the G-8 again. And if somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably.”
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization for over 1.5 million Americans of Ukrainian descent, reacted by saying that President Trump “gave the wrong answer.” The president’s comment had come on August 20, while he sat alongside President Klaus Iohannis of Romania in the Oval Office.


Putin, Macron discuss peace prospects

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, have discussed efforts to advance negotiations to curb the conflict between Ukrainian forces and Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Mr. Macron, who held talks with Mr. Putin at the Palace of Versailles near Paris in 2017, this time hosted him at his summer retreat at Bregancon Fort, near the village of Bormes-les-Mimosas. The talks lasted two and a half hours and touched upon the Syrian conflict, the situation in Libya, the Iran nuclear deal and “prospects” for a four-way summit on the crisis in Ukraine. The Russian president voiced support for the Normandy format for negotiations aimed at putting an end to the Ukrainian conflict and involving France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia, though no date for further talks was set, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on August 20. “The leaders compared their stances on key aspects of bilateral and global agendas.

Ukraine sets its sights on the Arctic: A viable prospect, or wishful thinking?

Ukraine’s ambassador to Norway, Vyacheslav Yatsiuk, on June 12 visited the Svalbard archipelago, where he stated that his country “may become an Arctic player” (Vestifinance.ru, July 5), even though Kyiv is not currently directly involved in the region’s affairs. In 2017, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, on an official trip to Canada, articulated Kyiv’s determination to cooperate with Ottawa in the Arctic (Izvestia, July 5). And now, it appears, the Ukrainian government is trying to foster bilateral ties with Norway to make its presence in the Arctic more visible (Vestifinance.ru, July 5).

Notorious Ukrainian Berkut commander gets second crack at protesters – in Moscow

Sergei Kusyuk is wanted in both Kyiv and Moscow, but in two very different ways.
Ukraine has issued an international arrest warrant for the former Berkut riot-police commander in connection with the lethal suppression of the 2013-2014 Euro-Maidan protests. Yet in Moscow, Mr. Kusyuk is now a colonel in the Russian Internal Affairs Ministry’s OMON force and was seen on August 3 overseeing the arrests of demonstrators calling for fair municipal elections in the capital.

U.S. non-recognition of Russia’s annexation of Crimea one year on

A year ago, on July 25, 2018, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo issued the Crimea Declaration, which referred to the Welles Declaration in 1940 regarding the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and reaffirmed “the bedrock international principle shared by democratic states that no country can change the borders of another by force” (state.gov/crimea-declaration/).

UNA CELEBRATES 125 YEARS: A snapshot from history, 2011

On Тuesday, August 23, 2011, employees of the Ukrainian National Association’s Home Office in Parsippany, N.J., took a little time out of their work day to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of Ukraine’s independence. Seen on the right are members of the UNA staff along with staffers of the UNA’s two newspapers, Svoboda and The Ukrainian Weekly, who gathered to honor their ancestral homeland with a toast. With the employees are two UNA executive officers, President Stefan Kaczaraj and National Secretary Christine Kozak. The celebration came a day early since Ukrainian Independence Day, August 24, is an official holiday (and a day off for employees) at the UNA.

Black Ribbon Day 2019

The following statement was released by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress on August 20.
On August 23, Canadians commemorate Black Ribbon Day, the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism and Nazism in Europe.
Established through a unanimous resolution of Canada’s Parliament in 2009, Black Ribbon Day coincides with the anniversary of the signing of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union.