The Ukrainian Weekly’s new correspondent in Kyiv

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Mark Raczkiewycz, a veteran journalist based in Kyiv, this week became The Ukrainian Weekly’s principal free-lance correspondent in Kyiv. A Ukrainian American, Mr. Raczkiewycz has 10 years of journalism experience in Eastern Europe. Most recently he was the editor-at-large of the English-language weekly Kyiv Post, where he wrote more than 500 articles and was the co-winner of the 2014 Missouri Honor Medal “for superior journalism throughout the publication’s history.”

In June of this year he received an honorable mention for best feature at the Catholic Press Awards in St. Louis, Mo., for an article about the Ukrainian families displaced by war that appeared in One, a multimedia magazine published by the papal agency Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). His journalism experience includes war zone reporting, and bylines for the Associated Press (sports); Financial Times, Bloomberg News, Irish Times (business news); Jane’s Intelligence (risk analysis); as well as other news publications, among them The Ukrainian Weekly (in 2011).

The Ukrainian Weekly Press Fund: Donations received via UNA Christmas card project, February-April 2015

$100.00 Hlushewsky, Irene & Bohdan Harrison NY

$50.00 Petrysyn, Michael Bellerose NY

$25.00 Buchynsky, Bohdan & Olena Glendora CA
Czuczman, Myron Orchard Park NY
Kernitsky, Roman & Lydia Colts Neck NJ
Komarynsky, Myron St. Louis MO
Olynyk, Stephen Washington DC
Hruszkewycz, Christine Denwood MD

$20.00 Horobchenko, Ksenia & Volodymyr Warren MI

$10.00 Ozga, Jurij Naperville IL
TOTAL: $330.00
Sincere thanks to all contributors to The Ukrainian Weekly Press Fund. 

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

Rep. Chris Smith, Sen. Roger Wicker tapped to lead Helsinki Commission

WASHINGTON – Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) has been appointed by Speaker of the House John Boehner as chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, during the 114th Congress. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) has been appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to co-chair the commission. “Today, the principles enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act are under attack. The Russian government is blatantly violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” said Chairman Smith. “More than 20 million people are trafficked each year for sexual or other forms of exploitation.

A Christmas message from the frontlines

This year, my Bethlehem is completely torn to shreds by an endless expanse of gaping holes. It is sown and braided with puncture marks of machineguns and automatic fire, fragments of mines, grenades, Grad rockets. Wherever you turn, holes are ubiquitous – in the facades of buildings, in fences, retaining walls, windows and roof tiles, trees and automobiles – all strafed with holes. This year, my Bethlehem emerges from a porous, pock-marked world, positioned somewhere on the margin between human thought and human mindlessness, on the border between the real and imaginary, abundantly strewn with the dried and scattered seeds of last year’s sowing. Today in the Pisky Sands near Donetsk, there is no hint of safety, no refuge or hiding place from the ruthless, ragged proliferation of punctured holes.

A future after 50? The first half-century of the Ukrainian Catholic patriarchal movement

Does a movement dedicated to recreating a Church institution that arose in the middle ages have a future in the 21st century? And if by some miracle it does, how can it understand that institution, present it to the general public and win support in today’s world? Those are the challenges that face the Ukrainian patriarchal movement after 50 years. For if the first impetus for this movement was the arrival of the widely revered Soviet captive, Metropolitan Josyf Slipyj, in Italy in 1963, and his appearance at the Second Vatican Council later that year, the beginnings of the patriarchal movement in North America can be traced to 1964. Fifty years later, the movement’s achievements are ambiguous.

2014-2015: Living in historic times

At New Year’s, we reflect on the year gone by and look to the next. For Ukraine 2014 – which for all practical purposes started at the end of November 2013 – was fraught with history: peaceful demonstrations, which featured guitars, religious services and an endless flow of speakers, attracted hundreds of thousands over the course of many months, along with millions more in scores of cities and towns around the country and tens of millions participating in the movement online. Like the Orange Revolution, the Euro-Maidan continued well into the cold of winter. By their massive presence, Ukrainians affirmed their resolve to orient their country on Europe and its standards and values, and away from Russia and the moral rot and corruption it’s associated with. On a February night, government snipers turned a demonstration for Europe into a revolution as the smoke and fire of a Maidan turned violent generated yet another hero-martyr story: the Heavenly Brigade (Nebesna Sotnia).

Light! Peace! Love!


Pastoral letter of the Permanent Conference of the Ukrainian Orthodox Hierarchs Beyond the Borders of Ukraine on the approaching feast of Nativity of our Lord. To the venerable clergy, monastics and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Beyond the Borders of Ukraine and to our brothers and sisters of the faith in Ukraine. Beloved brothers and sisters: Christ is born! “Do not be afraid…” These are the words of the angel to the shepherds when he announces that a Savior has been born for us. “Do not be afraid” is also the greeting the angel gave to Zechariah in announcing the birth of John the Baptist and to the Mother of God in announcing the birth of Jesus.

Anatole Kolomayets, artist and Holodomor survivor, 87

CHICAGO – Anatole Kolomayets, a prolific and well-respected Ukrainian American artist passed away peacefully in Chicago on December 9. Mr. Kolomayets was born on February 12, 1927, in the “chornozem” (black earth) of the Kobeliaky region of the Poltava Oblast in eastern Ukraine, the oldest son of Ivan Kolomayets and Maria Vasylenko. He was born at a time of great turmoil in that part of the world; when he was 5 years old, Stalin’s Famine decimated the land-holding class of Ukraine. Several members of the immediate family perished during the Holodomor, but Mr. Kolomayets’ father moved the family to the big city of Dnipropetrovsk, where he spent his childhood and first showed a talent for drawing and sketching, often serving as the illustrator of the school newspaper. In 1941, the family fled the second world war and arrived in Belgium, where Mr. Kolomayets worked in the coal mines at night and attended school during the day, eventually completing two art degrees at St.

WFUWO participates in Beijing +20 review

GENEVA – The United Nations NGO Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) in Geneva organized and hosted an NGO Forum on November 3-5 that immediately preceded the United Nations Economic Commission of Europe (UN ECE) conference November 6-7. On the agenda for the UN ECE was the review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action 1995 at its 20-year mark (2015). Close to 700 representatives of 350 non-governmental organizations from 56 countries of the UN ECE region convened for the NGO Forum to assess progress made in implementing the promises made to the women of the world at Beijing and to make recommendations for the future. Ukraine, and many of the countries that are home to the Ukrainian diaspora (North America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia) are included in the region embraced by the UN ECE. The World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations (WFUWO) was among the forum’s participants.

Conference in New York examines Ukraine conflict and gender violence

NEW YORK – The New York Regional Council of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America hosted a conference on “The Ukraine Conflict and Wartime Gender Violence” jointly sponsored by the World Federation of Ukrainian Women’s Organizations and the UNWLA at the latter’s headquarters here on December 6. The conference explored the multitude of ways the Ukrainian war affects women. Over 40 people attended the multi-generational event. Program director and moderator Dr. Marta Kichorowska Kebalo, the WFUWO’s main representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council in New York, introduced the theme of the conference. She started by giving an overview of the history and politics of the current events in Ukraine.  The war has affected women, as participants, as victims and as caretakers.