Month: March 29, 2019 9:15 am

KYIV – As Ukrainians head to the polls on March 31 to elect their sixth post-Soviet president, questions still linger about the commitment the three front-runners have to continue reforming the country to realize its true economic potential. 

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Father laments ‘death sentence’A Russian court has sentenced ailing 20-year-old Ukrainian Pavlo Hryb to six years in prison after convicting him of “promoting terrorism,” a charge he contends was fabricated by the Federal Security Service (FSB).Mr. Hryb’s father, Ihor, condemned the March 22 verdict as a “death sentence for Pavlo... who needs an urgent medical operation in order to live.”

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Ukrainian American Veterans, working with Ukraine’s Embassy in Washington, helped organize an official U.S. fact-finding visit on February 27 through March 4 for Iryna Friz, Ukraine’s newly minted minister of veterans affairs. As the low-grade war in Ukraine continues with no end in sight, more and more veterans there find themselves in need of medical and support services. Confirmed in November 2018 by Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada, Minister Friz now faces the daunting challenge of creating a new ministry from scratch and helping those who bravely served Ukraine in its struggle against Russian aggression. 

On February 27, during a meeting between Ukraine’s ambassador to the United States, Valeriy Chaly, and the head of the National Aeronautical Space Administration (NASA), James Bridenstine, the U.S. side expressed interest in including Ukrainian companies in projects pertaining to lunar exploration (Tvzvezda.ru, February 28). 

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On November 26, 2018, a day after Russia attacked three small Ukrainian naval vessels attempting to pass through the Kerch Strait, German Chancellor Angela Merkel received official notification about this incident from Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko. In addition to sharing with Ms. Merkel the details of the act of aggression at sea, Mr. Poroshenko informed her of Kyiv’s response, including the introduction of martial law (Unn.com.ua, November 26, 2018).

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WASHINGTON – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Ukrainian Service is marking five years since it launched its Crimea Realities platform to provide audiences with accurate and uncensored reporting following Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in 2014. 

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“Today, the United States, EU and Canada took coordinated action in response to Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine by imposing sanctions on individuals who orchestrated the unjustified November 25 attack on three Ukrainian naval vessels near the Kerch Strait. Additionally, the United States imposed sanctions on six Russian defense firms, including shipbuilding companies; two individuals involved in the November sham ‘elections’ in Russia-controlled eastern Ukraine; and two Russian energy and construction companies operating in Crimea.

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CHICAGO – Chicagoans commemorated the fifth anniversary of Ukraine’s Euro-Maidan, honoring the Heavenly Hundred who sacrificed their lives for the independence of Ukraine. Around 200 people came on February 22 to pay their respects to the fallen heroes. “Heroes Do Not Die,” was organized by the Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago, Ukrainian Congress Committee of America – Illinois Division and the Ukrainian National Museum. 

It’s that time of year: our Ukrainian credit unions, or “kredytivky,” in the United States are holding their annual meetings to report back to the members and communities they serve and to elect board members. Perhaps you’ve noticed some of those meetings advertised in your area, or you’ve received an announcement because you are a credit union member. We encourage readers to attend to learn more about these institutions.

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Fifteen years ago, on April 5, 2004, President Leonid Kuchma signed into law a series of bills on presidential elections that had been overwhelmingly passed by the Verkhovna Rada in March. The bills reduced the presidential campaign period from 180 to 120 days and lowered the threshold for registering a candidate from 1 million to 500,000 signatures.

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