This past week, President Donald Trump caused quite a stir when he suggested that Russia should be readmitted to the Group of Seven. “I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I could certainly see it being the G-8 again.” He added, “If somebody would make that motion, I would certainly be disposed to think about it very favorably.” Thankfully, the reaction to his August 20 comments was not supportive.
Twenty-eight years ago, in the days following Ukraine’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on August 24, 1991, Ukraine’s Parliament reached a temporary economic and military agreement with a delegation of leaders of the Russian Parliament during their impromptu official visit to Kyiv on August 28-29. A joint communiqué was signed by Ukrainian Supreme Soviet Chairman Leonid Kravchuk and Russian Federation Vice-President Alexander Rutskoy in response to a statement by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who questioned the current borders of republics that declared independence following the failed Communist coup.
Not many remember what happened today, 80 years ago. Worse, we live in a world populated by scores of propagandists doing their darnedest to pretend nothing much did. These shills are more than duplicitous. They are dangerous. For they are trying to rewrite the history of World War II, to obfuscate not just the dates on which the war began, and ended, but to confound us about who the villains were. Eighty years ago, on August 23, 1939, the Soviet Union allied itself with Nazi Germany under the terms of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The second world war began on September 1, 1939, as Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin dismembered Poland.
Before his sojourn into politics, Ukraine’s new president played a teacher on television who accidentally gets elected president. Once he became the real president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy sent his new deputies to a one-week crash course to “get educated” and learn about strategy, public policy, legislation and their responsibility as lawmakers. This step and, ironically, his choice to play the role of a teacher in his past life as an actor, may be coincidental, but it also might signal that Mr. Zelenskyy recognizes the indispensable role education plays. (It doesn’t hurt that his father is a professor either.)
Thank you to Oryna Hrushetsky, member of the Ukrainian National Museum’s executive board, for a beautifully written article “Chicago revels in the genius of Ivan Marchuk” (August 11). Ms. Hrushetsky’s recounting of the art exhibit and meeting with Ukrainian artist Ivan Marchuk very aptly and with anticipation leads the reader through the various phases of the event. Reading the article truly afforded me a wonderful insight into this unique cultural exhibit. It made me wish that I had been there witnessing this historic visit.
WASHINGTON – The American foreign policy direction has remained the most important one to Ukraine in recent years amid Russian aggression and the conduct of the necessary reforms. During this time, the United States allocated more than $3 billion in aid to Ukraine, provided lethal weapons, imposed sanctions on Russia and treated heavily wounded Ukrainian soldiers. And this is far from a complete list. Bilateral relations have gained intensity that was not seen before.
The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the historic unification of the Western Ukrainian National Republic with the Ukrainian National Republic. The author and presenter of the Act of Union was Dr. Lonhyn Cehelsky. Marusia Kvit-Flynn, a relative of Cehelsky (he was her grandmother’s brother), writes about this political leader and the historic events in which he played a key role.
PHILADELPHIA – Dr. Lonhyn Cehelsky was honored earlier this year when Ukraine’s Ambassador Valery Chaly and his wife, Ludmila Mazuka, took part in a commemorative event marking the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Union in Kyiv, at St. Sophia Square, on January 22, 1919. The commemoration on January 20 was organized by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America and the Society of Veterans of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. The official ceremony started at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery, where Ambassador Chaly laid flowers at the tomb or the unknown soldier of the Ukrainian National Republic.
Twenty-one Ukrainians saw action in the National Hockey League during the 2018-2019 season. Six of them also dressed in games for their American Hockey League affiliates, in addition to another 27 Ukrainian AHL skaters. A total of 30 Ukes were found on ECHL rosters, while the Southern Pro Hockey League had 12 players of Ukrainian descent. When taking into account players who played in more than one professional league, the grand total of Ukrainian pro hockey players in 2018-2019 was 79.
KYIV – The acrimonious political contest for control of Kyiv between the new Ukrainian president’s team and Mayor Vitali Klitschko and his defenders has been intensified and prolonged. It has also assumed an international dimension that is embarrassing, if not damaging, to the country’s image. On the surface it would appear to be a case of the victor in Ukraine’s presidential election, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose Servant of the People party subsequently captured all of the single “majority” constituencies in the city, calling on a representative of a defeated political force to take heed of the popular mood and to step aside, and the latter digging his heels in.