PHOTO REPORT: UNA celebrates 125 years

As reported in last week’s issue, the Ukrainian National Association celebrated its 125th anniversary with a gala concert on November 2 at Dolan Performance Hall of the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J. The concert’s proceeds are earmarked for the UNA Publications Endowment Fund that exists under the aegis of the Ukrainian National Foundation. Featured here is a photo report from the celebratory event, which also featured an exhibit highlighting the history of the UNA and a VIP reception. All photos are by Bogdan Grytsiv.

Ukraine’s Independence Day parade in Kyiv

KYIV – On August 24, a military parade – said to be the largest yet – on Kyiv’s Khreshchatyk was held to mark Ukraine’s 27th Independence Day. Some 4,500 military servicemen from Ukraine and 300 of their colleagues from 18 countries took part, according to Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak. 

Soldiers from 10 NATO member countries marched down the Khreshchatyk alongside their Ukrainian colleagues. (In 2017, eight NATO countries were represented.) As well, 250 units of military hardware either in use in the Ukrainian Armed Forces or undergoing trials were displayed during the parade, including the Javelin anti-tank missiles Ukraine had so long sought from the U.S. and finally acquired earlier this year. 

For the first time in many years, military aviation took part in the parade. In a first for Ukraine, the standard military greeting was replaced with “Glory to Ukraine – Glory to the heroes.” 

Dubbed the “March of the New Army,” the parade was overseen by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Special guests included U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and leaders and representatives of the defense ministries of Austria, Azerbaijan, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

Servicemen from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard, Internal Affairs Ministry, State Emergency Service, Security Service, State Border Guard, National Police, Air and Land forces of Ukraine, marines, paratroopers, tank soldiers, soldiers of the Special Operations Forces, veterans of the war in the Donbas and over 20 military orchestras marched down the Khreshchatyk.

Honoring the heroes of the Heavenly Brigade

KYIV – People gathered on February 20 in the city center of Kyiv to mark the third anniversary of the bloodiest day of protests during the Euro-Maidan that led to the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. The commemorations honored the heroes of the Heavenly Brigade, who were killed in February 2014. According to RFE/RL, Ukrainian prosecutors say 104 people were killed and 2,500 injured in the protests, which became known as the Revolution of Dignity

Among those paying tribute to the heroes of the “Nebesna Sotnia” on February 20 were Dr. Borys Buniak and Lida Buniak of Fayetteville, N.Y., who were on a visit to Kyiv, where they met with Dr. Ulana Suprun, Ukraine’s acting minister of health, as well as representatives of various charitable organizations to see how the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (of which Borys Buniak is president) could help with humanitarian aid, medical reform, educational exchanges, psychological services and rehabilitation programs.

On this page, Dr. Buniak shares his moving photos of the reverence shown by the people of Ukraine at memorial events for the “Heavenly Hundred.” Ms. Buniak underscored on her Facebook page: “…We pray for those who sacrificed themselves for our country, for our culture, for our nation and for all Ukrainians. The Revolution of Dignity continues in all our hearts.”

PHOTO ESSAY: Memories of the Maidan two years after

KYIV – We each have our own private Maidan memories. Some uplifting, far too many incredibly tragic, but all – forever vibrant and absolutely indelible. I will never forget my long walk home to the Maidan four days after the shooting stopped. As I made my way on February 24, 2014, down now hallowed Instytutska Street and across the Maidan, the silence and devastation were utterly unbelievable. There was almost nowhere to walk with so much debris and still-smoldering rubble.

Images from the 39th annual Ukrainian Festival in New York

NEW YORK –  “One Ukraine” was the theme of St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church’s 39th annual Ukrainian Festival, held on May 15-17.  With more vendors than ever lining Seventh Street between Second and Third avenues, the thousands of festival visitors had ample opportunities for shopping, eating and supporting humanitarian organizations such as Razom for Ukraine and the Wounded Warrior Project. With five stage programs over the course of three days, there was no shortage of entertainment, with numerous singers, dancers and musicians. Highlights of the stage shows included performances by Olya Fryz, Lviv’s Vatra Ensemble, Yavir School of Ukrainian Dance, and the Syzokryli and Iskra Ukrainian dance ensembles.