Recognizing and defining the Holodomor

Ukrainians have mobilized to include the word “Holodomor” and its definition in major English-language dictionaries, including Oxford, Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com, as a start for this effort. According to Deeptruth.ca, the broader goal of this initiative is to “help raise awareness of the Holodomor, increase the number of countries that recognize it as an act of genocide, and unmask the truth about modern-day genocides that continue to be perpetrated around the world today.” Currently, Ukraine and 15 other countries recognize the Holodomor as genocide.

The organization Deeptruth.ca on July 21 posted an online petition to have Holodomor recognized by the aforementioned dictionaries. The website also features a clever video (https://youtu.be/Gfuue2nP_Ro) using “deepfake” technology from the very man who perpetrated it – Joseph Stalin – to tell the truth about the Holodomor, the Famine-Genocide of 1933-1933 that killed millions of Ukrainians.

Aug. 6, 2019

Last year, on August 6, 2019, just three weeks after a ceasefire had been agreed, Russia-backed forces opened fire at Ukrainian military positions, using grenade-launchers, machine guns and assault rifles. During the preceding week, four Ukrainian soldiers – Oleksandr Sharko (1988-2019), Vladislav Rak (1998-2019), Serhiy Shandra (1995-2019) and Vasyl Kurdov (1999-2019) – were killed in the fighting, which marked the highest daily death toll since President Volodymyr Zelenskyy took office.

The ceasefire agreement was reached in Minsk on July 17 by Ukrainian and Russian envoys, as well as members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, (the three parties comprise the Trilateral Contact Group). The ceasefire was to go into effect on July 22, but nothing changed from previous attempts in September 2014 and in February 2015, in addition to the 22 violated truces that had been agreed to since the beginning of the war.

Crimean Anschluss in 2014 exacerbates Kremlin’s fears about Khabarovsk protests

Many assume Vladimir Putin’s obsessive attention to the defense of Russia’s borders is rooted in the loss of Moscow’s control over the former union republics and occupied Baltic countries in 1991, says political analyst Pavel Luzin. But while that matters, in fact, Mr. Putin has become especially nervous about it since his occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

In addition to everything else, the Anschluss not only meant that Russia is again like the USSR (as regards the Baltic countries it occupied), a state with only partially recognized borders, but also created new problems for domestic territorial arrangements within the country, the analyst from Perm notes (region.expert/forbidden-lands/).

Ukrainians remain split after five-year effort to eliminate Soviet place names and statues

Since April 2015, the Ukrainian authorities have renamed more than 51,000 place names, including 1,000 cities and towns, 26 districts, 75 academic institutions, 30 railway stations and several ports, replacing Soviet-imposed names with Ukrainian ones, Anton Drobovych, head of the Kyiv Institute of National Memory, says.

And as part of this same effort, officials have removed about 2,500 Soviet-era statues from public places. Just over half of these are statues of Vladimir Lenin; and at the present time, there are only three statues to the founder of the Bolshevik state remaining in Ukraine. All three are in Odesa Oblast, whose officials pledge to remove them and 19 other Soviet symbols soon.

Canada’s largest newspaper chain shamelessly spreads Russian propaganda

The monument-vandalizing craze currently sweeping the United States has crossed the border into Canada. Two recent incidents have particular significance for the Ukrainian community.

The first to be brought to public attention (though the second in chronological order) was the defacing of the fence sign in front of construction site for the forthcoming Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Ottawa with the message “communism will win.” The vandals also included three hammer and sickle symbols. (See The Weekly’s front page of July 12).

Responding to racial reckoning

We are told that today’s historic moment of racial reckoning necessitates a collective Ukrainian response. Though no other American ethnic group has put itself out to similar self-castigation, a “Call to Action for Racial Justice” with sharp criticisms of the Ukrainian community has been drawn up and published in Ukrainian newspapers.

Alongside fleeting expressions of solidarity, this manifesto of sorts pushes a historical narrative about Ukrainians in North America that is not only largely unhistoric but does a great injustice to the memory of past generations.

Count me out!

Writing in the June 22 issue of The Ukrainian Weekly, Andrij Semotiuk suggested Ukrainians support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. I respect your sincerity, Andriy, but I can’t support your idea. Color me “unwoke.”

I do not want our police to be defunded. I do want police unions to stop protecting bad cops.

I do not support the desecration of monuments of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other great Americans.

VOA’s Ukrainian window on the 1996 Democratic Convention

The following story captures one specific reporting assignment in the history of the Voice of America. It is noteworthy that these diaspora voices from 1996 are being preserved by the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland.  (https://www.umacleveland.org/research/voa/). Unfortunately, I am not aware of any recordings of the 1996 Republican convention. This article is a reminiscence of what Ukrainian Americans were telling this writer in Chicago in 1996 about politics, about independence and about the Fourth Wave of immigrants to the United States.

Last year the Ukrainian Museum-Archives (UMA) in Cleveland was successful in acquiring a collection of some 5,000 audio and video recordings of Voice of America (VOA) Ukrainian Service programming. The majority of the collection consists of television stories produced between 1993 and 2016. However, the collection also includes hundreds of audio recordings spanning several decades.

Western Canada Branch of Shevchenko Scientific Society launches special collection

EDMONTON, Alberta – On July 18, the Western Canada Branch of the Shevchenko Scientific Society of Canada (NTSh) organized a special event – the launch of the latest volume of the Zakhidniokanadskyi Zbirnyk (Western Canadian Collection), which celebrates 125 years of Ukrainian settlement in Canada, and a lecture by Dr. Iuliia Kysla on the history of the Western Canada Branch of the NTSh.

Members and supporters of the NTSh from Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal attended the online event.

UNWLA launches directory of Ukrainian American artists

NEW YORK – The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA), in contin­uing its 95-year legacy of promoting, preser­ving and providing education on Ukrainian culture, history and the arts, has announced its sponsorship in the development of a Ukrainian American Artist Directory.

The creation of this directory comes from the need to make information about artists and their work accessible, as the Ukrainian American community witnesses the continued flourishing of Ukrainian arts. The goal is to create a searchable national directory of the many talented and varied Ukrainian artists who work in so many genres. The directory aims to become a resource for communities across the U.S. and, indeed, the world.