Author: Andrew Fedynsky

PARMA, Ohio – On a beautiful August Saturday, members of the Ohio Ukrainian community and their many friends came out in large numbers to celebrate the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s renewed independence with a parade through the Ukrainian Village in Parma, Ohio. “The parade was the largest in Parma’s history in regards to parade participants,” Ukrainian Village Chairman Roman Fedkiw said. “We had 65 groups participating. The crowds watching the parade were also our largest ever.” While the parade was an unequivocal declaration of support for Ukraine in its existential struggle against the Russian Federation, the brilliant sunshine could not…

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I have been a lifelong lover of music. Sometime in the 1960s, as a teenager, I discovered the Red Army Chorus sang magnificent renditions, including Taras Shevchenko’s “Reve ta Stohne” (“The Dnipro Roars and Moans.”)  My mother, Lesia, asked me not to play it. But it’s so beautiful, I said. I know, she replied –...

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Less than 24 hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale war on Ukraine on February 24, former President Donald Trump hailed his KGB comrade as a genius: “He’s taken over a country for $2 worth of sanctions. … really a vast, vast location, a great piece of land with a lot of people,...

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Before flying out of Kyiv in the summer of 2008, I went to a bookstore to buy a novel for the long flight home. Most of the stock was in Russian, with only a small section in Ukrainian. I bought “Я Богдан” (“I’m Bohdan”) by historical fiction author Pavlo Zahrebelnyi, who should have won the...

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I will be 75 in September: that is already a generous life span with 1,000 adventures and countless interesting experiences, nearly all of them happy; a few not so much. And now this. I came into the world in 1947. The war in most of Europe had ended two years earlier, with tens of millions...

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Late 19th Century German field marshall Helmut von Moltke wrote how war is unpredictable: “No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.” I hope someone is telling that to Russian President Vladimir Putin so he thinks long and hard before invading Ukraine. Previous Russian wars have...

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In July 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin released a 5,000-word article asserting that Russians and Ukrainians are “one people – a single whole.” Referencing 9th Century Kyivan Rus’, he declared that Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians are all descendants, “bound together by one language.” Now more than 1,000 years later, he argued that “true sovereignty of...

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Bob Dole died on December 5 at age 98. Having served his country in World War II and in a decades-long political career, he was one of the most distinguished members of America’s “Greatest Generation.” I had the privilege of working for him and of seeing him up close. I was 30 years old in...

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Every November we commemorate the Holodomor, pausing to reflect on one of history’s most horrific crimes. From my earliest days, the Kremlin-instigated famine in Ukraine was part of my consciousness. I was seven years old in 1955, one of 30 or so first graders in Cleveland’s Saturday Ridna Shkola Heritage School, nearly all of us...

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I don’t envy Joe Biden, now eight months in office. No president in my lifetime (I was born in 1947) has faced as many problems coming in. Consider the following: The worst health crisis since the Spanish Flu in 1918: when Mr. Biden took the oath, tens of millions of Americans had already been infected...

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In the 1840s, Karl Marx famously wrote that “religion is the opium of the masses.” That’s no longer true; now it’s sports and I’m addicted. I’m a Cleveland Indians, Browns, Cavaliers fan; I root for the Ohio State football team unless they’re playing my alma mater Notre Dame, and then I root for the Fighting Irish; I root for the U.S. in World Cup soccer; I root for Ukraine in the Euro Cup. No doubt most of you reading this have your own favorites – religious affiliation notwithstanding.

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As a volunteer at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, I often come across some curious items. Consider, for example, a 1950s membership application to join the “Organization of Elderly Ukrainians” in Detroit, Mich.; “eligibility beginning at age 40...”

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