Dear Editor: I enjoyed Prof. Paul R. Magocsi’s excellent article on anti-Semitism in Ukraine (October 6). I would like to add two tidbits of Ukrainian history that are rarely mentioned. The Central Rada founded in 1917 consisted of 822 deputies. Of these, 35 were from Jewish Socialist Parties. Also, Ukrainian currency at this time included Hebrew on its face, as seen in this photo.
Dear Editor: Paul R. Magocsi’s recent article with the catchy title “Anti-Semitism in Ukraine?” (October 6) turned out to be a plug for a 2016 book he co-authored on Jews and Ukrainians. The piece concludes that Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s election as president of Ukraine demonstrated the “political maturity of Ukrainian society.” Really? As a comedian, Mr. Zelenskyy made his living disparaging Ukraine and Ukrainians in vivid terms. Would a comedian using the “n” word in his or her routines and then running for president be electable in today’s America? Can Prof. Magocsi name at least one other democracy where the majority – as a sign of their political maturity – had elected a president who made a career out of derogating them?
Dear Editor: I read Andrew Fedynsky’s article in The Ukrainian Weekly titled “A family snapshot from a vastly larger picture” (September 8) with great interest. Thank you for sharing the story about Mr. Fedynsky’s parents and the hardships they endured in Ukraine before and during World War II. Every paragraph was heart-wrenching. These kinds of stories are rare treasures, because so many Ukrainians either died before being able to talk about their experiences, or they were afraid of the consequences of doing so, or they were emotionally unable to talk about them. I would enjoy reading more of such survivors’ accounts in The Ukrainian Weekly. Thank you, Mr. Fedynsky, for writing about your parents’ experiences.
This year has been filled with good news about various entities adopting the correct spelling of Ukraine’s capital city: Kyiv. First came moves by international airports to change the way the capital is rendered on its flight arrivals and departures lists. One by one, airports in Canada, Europe, the Mideast and Africa announced the change. By July 1, the count was up to 50 airports. It was part of the very successful campaign launched by Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In an open letter, the ministry explained: “Under the Russian empire and later the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Russification was actively used as a tool to extinguish each constituent country’s national identity, culture and language. In light of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, including its illegal occupation of Crimea, we are once again experiencing Russification as a tactic that attempts to destabilize and delegitimize our country. You will appreciate, we hope, how the use of Soviet-era place names – rooted in the Russian language – is especially painful and unacceptable to the people of Ukraine. … To better inform the international community about the correct forms of Ukrainian place names and to avoid mistakes, we are launching the campaign: #CorrectUA.”
Forty-five years ago, on October 26, 1974, nearly 500 persons attended the 50th anniversary banquet at Club Navaho Manor in Irvington, N.J., to mark the founding of Ukrainian Athletic Education Association Chornomorska Sitch. Based in Newark, N.J., the club was founded on December 21, 1924, and remains the oldest Ukrainian sports club in the U.S.A. In 1974, the club had more than 300 members and 11 athletic teams, including soccer, ice hockey and bridge. The banquet was opened by the club president, Myron Stebeslky. Zenon Snylyk, editor of The Ukrainian Weekly and a former three-time U.S. Olympian and World Cup soccer player, served as emcee. Mr. Snylyk introduced representatives of over 40 various local organizations.
It’s been called the Trump-Ukraine controversy, Ukraine scandal, Ukraine matter, Ukraine affair, Ukraine mess. Call it what you will, but since late September, Ukraine has been at the center of attention in the United States in a way never before seen. There are so many aspects that can be discussed, but let me share just a few thoughts. As damaging and tragic as this whole episode is for the United States, how it plays out for Ukraine’s relationship with its most powerful strategic partner remains to be seen. While it certainly complicates U.S.-Ukraine relations in the short-term, I remain confident that America will continue to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and democratic aspirations.
Since its inception in 2005, the Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Group (CUPFG) has proved to be an invaluable tool in promoting and enhancing relations between our two countries. As an all-party group, it serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas between Canadian parliamentarians and their counterparts in Ukraine, and to promote and enhance the political, economic and cultural relations between Canada and Ukraine. This is not unlike the U.S. Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, founded in 1997, and its Senate counterpart, established in 2015. Many parliamentarians of all stripes have participated in it over the past 14 years, but this year marks a watershed as three of the group’s most venerable members will no longer sit in Parliament. The first to go was Raynell Andreychuk, a Conservative senator who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on August 14 (See The Ukrainian Weekly August 9).
Ukraine defeated Portugal 2-1 on October 14 at the Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex in Kyiv to clinch a spot at Euro 2020 despite Christiano Ronaldo scoring his 700th career goal. Roman Yaremchuk and Andriy Yarmolenko had Ukraine up 2-0 after only 27 minutes. In the 72nd minute Ronaldo notched his landmark goal from the penalty area after Taras Stepanenko was sent off, but Ukraine held on to secure first place in Group B. Thus, Ukraine joined Poland, Russia, Italy and Belgium in next summer’s finals.
IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KO) utilized a vicious body attack to wear down and defeat previously unbeaten WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KO) in the 10th round on October 18 in their unification match at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University in Philadelphia. Gvozdyk more than held his own in the first five rounds before Beterbiev began wearing him down with his punishing shots, non-stop pressure and body attack. It had been a close, competitive and exciting bout until Beterbiev steadily broke Gvozdyk down to unify two 175-pound title belts and claim the lineal title in the main event at the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card before 3,283 fans – many of them Ukrainians. This was the first ever light heavyweight world title unification fight between undefeated titleholders.