What about “A Ukrainian Summer”?

Dear Readers: We’ve had some inquiries about our annual supplement called “A Ukrainian Summer,” which traditionally appears in the first issue of May. Some asked us whether the deadlines for the issue were the same as in previous years or had they been adjusted because many organizations had not yet made their final determinations about their summer programming. Others asked if they could submit some information on summer offerings now and additional information later, as the situation with the coronavirus pandemic became clearer. The major question was: Will there be a summer supplement this year?

The closer we got to May, the more evident it became to us and all concerned that our regular summer supplement could not be published on May 3, as would have been the case in keeping with our longstanding tradition. (This would have been the annual supplement’s 24th year!)

April 26, 2016

Four years ago, on April 26, 2016, the 30th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster was commemorated in Ukraine and around the world.

In the early morning hours, sirens sounded in Ukraine to mark 30 years since the moment that the first explosion blew the roof off the building housing a reactor at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant that sent a cloud of radioactive material high into the air, drifting into Russia and Belarus, and across northern Europe.

Journalist savagely beaten during Euro-Maidan faces dubious charges of “murder” on Maidan

Ukraine’s increasingly controversial State Bureau of Investigations has informed  Tetyana Chornovol, a former national deputy, journalist and victim of a near-fatal attack during the Euro-Maidan, that she is under suspicion of murder. Ms. Chornovol has reacted with anger, saying that she is being persecuted by the same people who, in December 2013, tried to kill her. She believes this is part of efforts to rewrite the history of the Revolution of Dignity, as the Euro-Maidan protests became known, and political repression for her role in the movement.

Officers arrived at Ms. Chornovol’s home in the morning of April 10 and carried out a search. They asked to see clothes that she wore during the Euro-Maidan, and took away a jacket, helmet and backpack. They also removed a trophy weapon and telephone, both of which Ms. Chornovol believes they had no right to take.

Chilling déjà vu in Ukraine as criminal charges are brought against ex-President Poroshenko

Ukraine’s new prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, has registered five criminal investigations into “possible illegal actions” by former President Petro Poroshenko when appointing Supreme Court judges. The most extraordinary of several potential charges is of “action aimed at the violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order or seizing of state power” (Article 109 § 1 and §3 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code).

This is the first criminal case against Mr. Poroshenko since Ms. Venediktova became the country’s top prosecutor, but she actively promoted at least one prosecution in her capacity as acting director of the State Bureau of Investigators (SBI). It is fairly widely believed that Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka was dismissed early in March at least in part because of his refusal to sign an indictment against Mr. Poro­shenko. Since his dismissal, Mr. Ryabo­shapka has reiterated his view that the charges were “legal rubbish,” unlawful and without foundation. However, he also said he thought it likely that Ms. Venediktova would sign the document that she had, in all likelihood, co-authored while SBI acting director.

Canada-Ukraine Parliamentary Program approaches 30 years of operation

Dramatic changes that began with the collapse of the Soviet regime provided Ukrainians with a chance to re-establish their statehood. On July 16, 1990, the Ukrainian SSR Parliament passed the Declaration of State Sovereignty proclaiming the need to build the Ukrainian state based on the rule of law. On August 24, 1991, the same Parliament adopted the Act of Declaration of the Independence of Ukraine, which was subsequently supported by Ukrainian citizens in the referendum of December 1, 1991.

After prolonged Russian occupation, Ukrainians received the opportunity to govern their own state. However, Ukraine suffered from lack of talents to share and promote Western democratic values. The ruling political establishment was made up mainly of former members of the Communist Party and needed to be replaced by a generation of intelligent and determined Ukrainians motivated to implement best democratic practices in all areas of social life.

Thank you to supporters of bushfire relief campaign

Dear Editor:

The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations (AFUO) has transferred $68,201.89 to the Red Cross to support the Bushfire Relief Campaign.

The AFUO Campaign – Kolyada for Australia – Bushfire Relief was an extraordinary effort by Australia’s Ukrainian community whereby AFUO member organizations and community members all pulled together.

It is another indication as to how united and effective this community is. When called upon, all parts of the rallied and showed their commitment.

From an unhyphenated Ukrainian American

Dear Editor:

I read Andrew Sorokowski’s “Crosscur­rents” column titled “Hyphenated?” (March 15) with great interest. Identity is a complex issue. Growing up in America as a child of post-World War II immigrants from Ukraine, I certainly experienced the angst of split identity and often would ask myself whether I was Ukrainian or American. Being both was difficult.

When I lived in Ukraine from 1990 to 1999, I never felt more American; and when I would come home to visit, I’d never feel more Ukrainian. Now, back in the U.S. for almost two decades, I am reconciled with my identity being an American (after all, I am a U.S. citizen) of Ukrainian descent – hence, an un-hyphenated Ukrainian American. But this does not negate my sense of loyalty and responsibility to Ukraine, the land of my ancestors and the source of so much spiritual, cultural and social enrichment for me.

GUIDELINES FOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Please note our revised guidelines:

The Ukrainian Weekly welcomes letters to the editor that react to articles published on its pages. Opinions expressed by letter-writers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of either The Weekly editorial staff or its publisher, the Ukrainian National Association.

Letters must be signed (anonymous letters are not published). The daytime phone number, e-mail address and complete mailing address of the letter-writer must be given for verification purposes.

Dnipro NGO impacts civic engagement locally and nationally

WASHINGTON – “The development of civil society, implementation of reforms and battling corruption” – those are the key components of the Civil Control Platform’s (CCP) mission, says Artem Romaniukov, a leader of this dynamic NGO based in the city of Dnipro. CCP was established in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity and its activities are the embodiment of the ideals of the Euro-Maidan.

“Our organization was born of the Maidan” and “ideologically we are there,” emphasizes Mr. Romaniukov.

During the current academic year, however, he is here in the United States, on a fellowship of the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program at Stanford University.

Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus introduces virtual streaming rehearsals

PHILADELPHIA – As organizations and businesses find new ways to work during COVID-19 social distancing and shelter-in-place directives, the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus of North America (UBC) has adapted as well. In order to stay in practice, the UBC has used G-Suite for Nonprofits to hold virtual streaming rehearsals (VSRs).

“Our 50 musicians are located throughout 10 states and three Canadian provinces,” says UBC President Anatoli Murha. “Earlier this year, our project manager, Danylo Smolilo, registered the UBC for Google’s G-Suite business management solutions for non-profit organizations. The UBC executive board knew that the organization needed a more efficient way to communicate, collaborate and share information. What we didn’t know at the time was how important G-Suite’s video conferencing feature would be during this time to bring our musicians together for rehearsals.”