United Nations Marks the 30th Anniversary of the Chornobyl Catastrophe

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On April 26th the United Nations General Assembly held a commemorative meeting to mark the 30th anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophe.

As President of the 70th session of the General Assembly, H.E. Mogens Lykketoftl opened the session by reminding everyone that, although 30 years have passed since this catastrophe, when huge quantities of radioactive particles exploded into the atmosphere over large parts of Ukraine, Belarus, and the Russian Federation, the areas affected by Chornobyl are still struggling to overcome poverty, exclusion and stigma.  “Moving forward, we must continue to demonstrate international solidarity so that those most affected by this accident will be able to recover to the fullest,” he emphasized.

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On the 30th Anniversary of the Chornobyl Catastrophe

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Thirty years ago today, the worst nuclear disaster in history occurred at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, causing irreparable harm and tragic human, natural and economic losses to Ukraine and its people.

On the night of Saturday, April 26, 1986, an act of unforgivable negligence at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Northern Ukraine resulted in disaster. An explosion at the plant blew the concrete roof off of Reactor #4 sending large amounts of toxic radioactivity billowing into the atmosphere.  This was not simply an industrial accident, but the unimaginable result of carelessness and disregard on the part of Soviet authorities, that led to human tragedy on a massive scale. Cognizant of their error, the regime did the unthinkable. It imperiled millions of lives by remaining silent and refusing to admit that anything out of the ordinary had happened! It wasn’t until Swedish diplomats, having detected abnormal amounts of radioactivity within their own country, gave notice on Monday, April 28th of their impending desire to file an official alert with the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Moscow finally issued this brief five-sentence statement, which read: “An accident has occurred at Chornobyl Nuclear Power Station.  One of the atomic reactors has been damaged.  Measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of the accident.  Aid is being given to the victims.  A government commission has been set up.”

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UCCA Urges President Obama to demand the immediate release of Nadiya Savchenko #FreeSavchenko

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The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of over one million Americans of Ukrainian decent, sent an urgent letter to President Obama imploring him to use all diplomatic efforts to secure the immediate and unconditional release of Nadiya Savchenko, former Ukrainian Air Force pilot, Iraq War Veteran, Member of Ukraine’s Parliament and delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, from Russian prison.

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The UCCA Condemns the Ongoing Occupation of Crimea

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It should come as no surprise to our fellow Americans, and those who value freedom and equality as basic human rights, that the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization for the over one million Americans of Ukrainian descent does not, has not, nor will ever recognize Russia’s March 2014 staged plebiscite in Crimea. Russia’s military invasion and current illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory has shed Ukrainian blood from day one, while journalists, activists and community leaders who support Ukraine’s territorial integrity continue to “disappear” from their native land. In the words of Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, “Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea is not a one-time violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, but rather represents an ongoing, continuous violation, one that persists for every day that Russia continues to occupy the peninsula.”

After two years of the illegal occupation of Crimea, Russia has once again escalated its crimes by seeking to deprive the Indigenous Crimean Tatars of their representative body, the Mejlis. By exporting his inhumane anti-extremism legislation to Crimea, Vladimir Putin has found yet another devious method to target the leadership of Ukraine’s indigenous population, who had already suffered through Stalin’s 1944 act of genocide and earlier periods of ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Russian Tsars.

The UCCA urges the United States of America to enforce stricter sanctions against those who choose to ignore Russia’s heinous crimes, and encourage the international community to intensify their condemnation of Russia’s aggression towards and illegal occupation of Ukraine. Ukraine must take its rightful place among the free nations of Europe, as a sovereign and whole nation.

Annual Requiem at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Commemorates Ukraine’s Holodomor

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New York, NY (UCCA) - On Saturday, November 21, 2015, hundreds of Ukrainians, friends and supporters gathered at Manhattan’s iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral for an ecumenical requiem service and commemorative program dedicated to the memory of Ukraine’s Holodomor, Stalin's Famine Genocide of 7-10 million Ukrainians in 1932-33. As co-organized by the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the largest representation of Ukrainians in America, this annual commemoration regularly attracts hundreds of attendees from across the tri-state metropolitan area, and this year was no exception. Even following the massive gathering in Washington, DC on November 7, when the National Ukrainian Genocide Memorial was dedicated in the presence of several thousand people, this year’s annual program at St. Patrick’s Cathedral still drew buses from communities in Hartford, CT, Whippany, NJ, as well as hundreds of others solemn churchgoers.

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Press Releases

United Nations Marks the 30th Anniversary of the Chornobyl Catastrophe
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
On April 26th the United Nations General Assembly held a commemorative meeting to mark the 30th anniversary of the Chornobyl catastrophe. As... Read more...
Ukrainian Community to Commemorate 30th Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Accident in Ukraine; Sunday, April 17 Program of Prayer, Song, Reflection and Hope Will Also Pray for Peace in Ukraine
Wednesday, 13 April 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information contact: Rev. John M. Fields Director of Communications Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia... Read more...
UCCA Urges President Obama to demand the immediate release of Nadiya Savchenko #FreeSavchenko
Wednesday, 09 March 2016
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of over one million Americans of Ukrainian decent, sent an urgent... Read more...
Annual Requiem at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Commemorates Ukraine’s Holodomor
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
New York, NY (UCCA) - On Saturday, November 21, 2015, hundreds of Ukrainians, friends and supporters gathered at Manhattan’s iconic St. Patrick’s... Read more...
UCCA Calls Upon the International Community to Increase its Pressure on Russia
Thursday, 19 November 2015
  The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), the representative organization of the over one million Americans of Ukrainian decent,... Read more...

Statements

On the 30th Anniversary of the Chornobyl Catastrophe
Friday, 22 April 2016
Thirty years ago today, the worst nuclear disaster in history occurred at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, causing irreparable harm and tragic... Read more...
The UCCA Condemns the Ongoing Occupation of Crimea
Friday, 18 March 2016
It should come as no surprise to our fellow Americans, and those who value freedom and equality as basic human rights, that the Ukrainian Congress... Read more...
UCCA Honors Ukraine’s Day of Dignity and Freedom
Friday, 20 November 2015
New York, NY (UCCA) -- For a land with centuries of tradition, November 21st is only a recent commemorative date in Ukraine’s history. On this Day... Read more...
Re-counting “Holodomor” Losses
Thursday, 12 November 2015
The recent unveiling of the “Holodomor” Memorial in Washington DC was an important event in the history of the Ukrainian nation as a whole, as... Read more...
Statement on the Holodomor by Congressman Brendan Boyle
Friday, 06 November 2015
In commemoration of the 82nd Anniversary of the Holodomor, Congressman Brendan Boyle from Pennsylvania delivered the following remarks on the House... Read more...
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