LVIV – During a national pilgrimage to Zarvanytsia, Ukraine, on July 18, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) presented Mykola Kmit, senator emeritus and benefactor of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), the Church’s highest honor, the Order of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.
KYIV – Arsen Avakov, one of the most powerful and independent-minded government officials, tendered his resignation as internal affairs minister on July 13. As the nation’s longest-serving top cop overseeing personnel in various agencies numbering more than 300,000 people, Mr. Avakov, 57, is one of the last officials not perceived as part of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s inner-circle.
KYIV – Eleven days after Russian President Vladimir Putin held his yearly “direct line” call-in show with ordinary citizens during which he promised to publish an article on Ukraine, he delivered on the pledge and caused a stir on July 12 by calling the two nations “one people.”
KYIV – Nathan’s Famous, New York’s legendary hotdog vendor, made its way to Ukraine’s capital on July 14 with much fanfare. In typical U.S. style complete with loud American music, muscle cars, beer and, of course, sausage links served in a bun with six topping choices, the once Coney Island nickel stand held a grand opening with U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires George Kent, American Chamber of Commerce President Andy Hunder and the company’s Senior Vice President for Restaurants James Walker among those in attendance.
CANNES, France – After a break in 2020, the 74th Cannes International Film Festival took place in France’s Cote d’Azur on July 6-17 with two Ukrainian films – “Olga” and “Babi Yar. Context” – premiering at the festival. Additionally, the State Agency of Ukraine for Cinema opened for the 15th time its pavilion that included the blue-and-yellow national flag and the hashtag #UkraineIsYourDestination in the heart of the festival’s International Village.
KYIV – In a move to protect the Ukrainian ethnic minority in Russia, the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) was compelled to suspend membership of all Ukrainian organizations and UWC leaders in Russia. The move comes after Vladimir Putin enacted draconian laws that impose criminal sanctions on Russian citizens for associating with “undesirable” organizations, including the Ukrainian World Congress.
KYIV – Ukraine and China earlier this week further deepened economic integration after signing a cooperation project to work together on road, bridge and railway projects as part of Beijing’s ambitious and large-scale Belt and Road Initiative.
KYIV – About 44 percent of Ukraine’s territory has been freed from a moratorium that was lifted on July 1 when agricultural land went up for sale.
After two decades of the freeze, more than 42 million hectares (103 million acres) – larger than Italy or California – is now purchasable as Ukraine left the club of the few remaining countries that don’t have a farmland market. The remaining countries are North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Belarus.
WASHINGTON – In an ongoing effort to implement a series of reforms that are needed for Ukraine to gain entry into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the country’s civil society will be a key partner in the reform process.