Month: June 28, 2019 12:38 pm

On the agenda: Russia sanctions, energy security, occupation of rimes, continued U.S. assistance to Ukraine

WASHINGTON – The first Ukrainian Day advocacy event sponsored by the Ukrainian National Information Service (UNIS), the Washington public affairs bureau of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), was held on Wednesday, June 12, in the nation’s capital. Nearly 50 community activists from 11 states descended upon Washington to promote issues of concern, including a robust Russia sanctions regime and enhanced U.S. assistance to Ukraine. 

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Ukraine’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has walked out in protest and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has voiced his “disappointment” over Russia having its voting rights reinstalled at the body after a three-year hiatus. 

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Billionaire Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine on May 16 – his first time back in the country since June 2017, when he had to leave due to an unfolding conflict with then-President Petro Poroshenko over Privatbank (Gordonua.com, May 16). The businessman has well-known ties to Ukraine’s newly elected head of state, the former comic and actor Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and is strongly suspected of having supported or possibly even financed the latter’s presidential campaign (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, February 11, 13, April 23). 

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Repercussions of the downing of Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 Flight 17, which was shot down over the occupied Donbas of eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, continue to haunt the Russian authorities. 

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to travel to Canada in early July to take part in a major donor conference and hold talks with top Canadian officials.

The Ukrainian presidential office said in a statement that during his July 1-3 visit, Mr. Zelenskyy will hold meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, members of Parliament and business representatives.

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On June 25, the U.S. Department of State released information about a new memorandum of understanding with Ukraine on the destruction of conventional weapons. Following is the text of that release.

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The following statement by U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo was released on June 19.

The United States welcomes the announcement today regarding the indictment of four individuals for their role in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014. This is an important milestone in the search for the truth, and we remain confident in the professionalism and ability of the Dutch criminal justice system to prosecute those responsible in a manner that is fair and just. We fully support the work of the Dutch authorities and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), an independent criminal investigation led by the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

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Dmytro Tymchuk, a military journalist, a colonel in the reserve who at the very onset of Russia’s aggression against eastern Ukraine in 2014 founded the Information Resistance group to expose Russian military tactics, and a national deputy of the People’s Front, was found shot dead on June 19 in Kyiv, Ukrainian police confirmed.

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Journalist Vadim Komarov of Cherkasy, Ukraine, died on June 20 of injuries sustained in a savage attack on the morning of May 4. He had been in an artificially induced coma ever since. There is nothing to suggest that the police have made any progress in finding either those who carried out the attack or, as seems likely, those who ordered it.

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The following release was issued by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress on June 21.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) strongly condemns the wave of political persecution against Crimean Tatars in Russian-occupied Crimea. The UCC calls on Canada and the international community to respond to the repressions with resolute action.

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Seen in this 1936 photo from the Svoboda archives are staffers of the Ukrainian National Association Home Office, Svoboda administration and Svoboda print shop employees. First row, from left: Stella Levich Ryan, Mildred (Melania) Milanowicz, Irene Lenchuk Hawrylko, Mary Bodnar Herman and Paraska (Betty) Lefchick. Second row: Wolodymyr Kusznir, Stefan Turenchak, Evhen Parnicky, Joseph Silecky, Stefan Hladkyj and Stefan Shymon. Third row: John Napowanetz, Theodore Gill, Dmytro Krawetz, Dmytro Levitzky and Nicholas Yankowicz. The photo was taken at the entrance to the UNA building on Grand Street in Jersey City, N.J.