The Ukrainian Weekly Press Fund

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The Ukrainian Weekly Press Fund is the only fund dedicated exclusively to supporting the work of this publication.

Remembering Helen Smindak

Earlier this month, we learned the very sad news that Helen Smindak, a longtime columnist and feature writer for The Ukrainian Weekly, had passed away at the age of 91. Tragically, she was one of this country’s 100,000 fatalities due to the novel coronavirus. This exemplary journalist was well-known and greatly loved by Ukrainian community members throughout North America. Her wonderful writing graced the pages of this newspaper for decades. And that’s no exaggeration.

Arts and culture were her beat, and Ms. Smindak must have worn out countless pairs of shoes covering all sorts of events in New York City and then, in the early days, delivering her typed up copy in person to the offices of our newspaper, then located in Jersey City, N.J. Her fans were many, and we have some of the fan mail sent in reaction to her columns as evidence.

June 2, 2010

Ten years ago, on June 2, 2010, members of the National Assembly of Quebec unanimously passed Bill 390 – An Act to Proclaim Ukrainian Famine and Genocide (Holodomor) Memorial Day.

Introduced in November 2009 by Member of the National Assembly Louise Beaudoin, the bill received unanimous approval at its first reading. The legislation recognizes the Holodomor as “the famine and genocide that occurred in Ukraine in 1932 and 1933 where millions of Ukrainians perished as victims of a famine deliberately induced by the Soviet regime under Joseph Stalin to quash the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for a free and independent Ukraine.”

Ukraine takes vital step to protect Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Crimea

Moscow must understand that the forced dissolution of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Crimea will have identical consequences for the Russian Orthodox Church in mainland Ukraine (known as the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate), Archbishop Klyment, head of the beleaguered Church in Crimea has said.

The archbishop was commenting on a vital, albeit extremely belated, resolution passed by Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers at the beginning of March. While Crimea is occupied, this transfers the Cathedral of Ss. Volodymyr and Olha in Symferopol to state ownership.

Putin hands out flats to turncoats who betrayed Ukraine in Russian-occupied Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered that flats be provided for former Ukrainian enforcement officers who betrayed their oath to Ukraine on Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. Since the individuals need to have been on Ukraine’s register as needing housing, we can only guess whether the turncoats who have zealously helped Russia persecute Crimean Tatars will be thus rewarded.

This is not the first time that Moscow has rewarded traitors. However, Mr. Putin’s order that the Russian government get on to this before February 1, 2021, comes less than two months after the Russian president issued a decree effectively declaring Ukrainian citizens “foreigners” and forcing those Ukrainians without Russian citizenship to either sell their land or risk losing it. Since the decree will apply to the land of many Ukrainians forced to leave their homes after Russia’s invasion, it is possible that their flats could end up “allocated” to traitors.

Russia barters masks for Ukrainian lives

Dear Editor:

Тhe Russian Federation (RF) is attempting to use a global pandemic to pull off an incredible scam: bartering masks and medical equipment for Ukrainian lives.

In 2014, the RF invaded and seized Crimea, and then mounted an overt and vicious military aggression in eastern Ukraine that is into its sixth consecutive year. Despite repeated attempts by Ukraine, and the international community, in particular Germany and France, to negotiate a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, including Minsk I, Minsk II and the 2020 Normandy Four summit in Paris, the RF’s military aggression continues.

About Ukraine’s land sale law

Dear Editor:

I enjoyed the commentary written by George Woloshyn, “Ukraine’s land sale law: Boom or bust” (April 19). Land reform is extremely important for Ukraine. This thoughtful article goes into the pro and cons of passing such a law at this time.

 I worked for a major Western company in the agricultural sphere in Ukraine from 1993 to 2004 and feel that with the present political situation now is definitely not the right time for such an undertaking. Why? Because good land will be legally swallowed up by Ukrainian oligarchs and by Western mammoth companies, leaving the poor Ukrainian peasants again with nothing and virtually no employment in that sphere.

Enhancing Ukraine’s relationship with NATO

With the onset of COVID-19 and all the emergency lockdowns and physical distancing measures that have been enacted in order to slow the spread of the pandemic, people have begun to use various online platforms to conduct church services, meetings, seminars and so on. What has become very popular is a new medium called “webinar,” basically a seminar held on the web.

Many of these, particularly those sponsored by the Washington-based Atlantic Council, deal with Ukraine. The advantage of such online discussions is the ability to link globally, thus allowing experts from both Ukraine and North America to discuss issues simultaneously. Recently one such webinar, sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, brought together both Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko, in Ottawa, with Canada’s new ambassador to Ukraine, Larisa Galadza, in Kyiv.

Valeriy Chaly: Russia takes opponent’s weakness as an invitation to act

Will the drop in oil prices change the Kremlin’s Ukraine plans? Why should the European Union and the U.S. extend sanctions on Russia? Can the Normandy format be effective? Is Russia’s large-scale aggression against Ukraine a realistic scenario? Why are any direct talks between Ukraine and the occupied territories not an acceptable format? The Ukrainian media outlet Glavkom sat down with Valeriy Chaly, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, to ask him these questions and speak about a broader range of issues.

Mr. Chaly devoted a large part of his professional life to the Razumkov Center, where he chaired international programs, and he served as deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Petro Poroshenko, advising him on foreign policy. Between 2015 and 2019, Mr. Chaly was Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States.

Ukrainian pro hockey update: Dennis Maruk: Unappreciated super sniper

He was described by some as another Marcel Dionne. They called him “Pee-Wee,” and he is for sure the most unheralded of the 19 players in NHL history to have scored 60 goals in one season.

Diminutive in stature at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, but with the inner fortitude of a true hockey player, Ukrainian Dennis Maruk broke into the league in 1975 during the golden days of goon hockey. The extremely talented center compensated for his lack of size with a gritty style of play, a confident attitude and a mean-looking Fu Manchu mustache.