UCCA Statements

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.”


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.

UCCA Honors Ukraine’s Day of Dignity and Freedom

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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 of Dignity and Freedom, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America joins our brethren across the world in celebrating the indomitable Ukrainian spirit which manifested itself in the growth of European identity among the Ukrainian electorate during the historic 2004 Orange Revolution, and the defense of these democratic values, rights and freedoms for which the Ukrainian people “laid body and soul” during the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity.


Re-counting “Holodomor” Losses

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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 well as the Ukrainian diaspora. Naturally it renewed much discussion of this tragedy of the Ukrainian people which took place more than eighty years ago. Some of the discussion centered on issues of somewhat disproportionate significance. The Russians once again spread distractions insisting that this was not a genocide and made attempts to minimize the size of the tragedy.

The issue of whether this historical event was, in fact, a genocide of the Ukrainian people, however, has been resolutely determined. This in spite of Russian persistent propaganda and distraction and some international reluctance to recognize the genocidal nature of the “Holodomor” by appeasing governments. Among them, unfortunately and shamefully is the current administration of President Barrack Obama who refers in all annual proclamations since Mr. Obama took office to the “Holodomor” as a great tragedy, crime against humanity, etc. but not genocide. These proclamations instead of honoring the victims,  not only offend the Ukrainian living but disrespect the findings of a United States Congressional commission from the 1980's on the Ukraine famine as well as the U.S. Congress in session and the president of the United States in office in 2006.


Statement on the Holodomor by Congressman Brendan Boyle

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In commemoration of the 82nd Anniversary of the Holodomor, Congressman Brendan Boyle from Pennsylvania delivered the following remarks on the House Floor on November 5, 2015.


Mr. Speaker, as we near the anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the victims, survivors and families of this tragedy.

During this time, nearly 10 million Ukrainians were killed under the direction of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin who ordered the borders of Ukraine sealed to prevent anyone from escaping the man-made starvation and prevent any international food aid from entering.

Grain harvests were deliberately confiscated so millions of innocent men, women and children starved all to destroy the nationally conscious movement for independence.

In 1985, the United States Commission on the Ukraine Famine formed to expand the world’s knowledge and understanding of the events of this genocide of 1932-1933. They found that the victims were “starved to death in a man-made famine” and that “Joseph Stalin and those around him committed genocide against Ukrainians in 1932-1933”.

And so, today I stand here in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, to remember the suffering experienced under Stalin. I am a proud representative of Pennsylvania’s 13th District where I have many Ukrainian constituents whom I would like to specifically acknowledge.

I commend the Congress when in 2006 legislation was enacted to authorize the construction of a memorial in the District of Columbia to honor the victims of the Ukrainian Famine-Genocide. Today, we can see the culmination of this effort with a meaningful memorial by Union Station that I visited earlier today.

Unfortunately, today many people have never heard of Holodomor, despite the 10 million that perished. I call for more efforts to be made like that of the Commission to educate the public on this issue, so everyone understands the events of this genocide. We must learn our history so we do not repeat the mistakes of our past. We must ensure this never happens again – especially at a time where Russia continues to show aggression in Ukraine.


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