UCCA Statements

On the 24th Year of Ukraine’s Independence

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August 24th marks the 24th anniversary of Ukraine’s renewed independence, when in 1991 Ukraine’s Parliament valiantly proclaimed an end to the nation’s bondage and announced the promise of a free and democratic Ukraine; a promise that for all Ukrainians became a driving force in our existence.

 

This day has enormous significance for Ukrainians as for centuries the nation remained under the oppressive rule of foreign regimes, most notably the Russian Czarist Empire and later, the Soviet Union.  The people of Ukraine endured cruel persecution, unspeakable hardships and garish attempts by the Russian czars and, later, the Soviets, to eradicate the nation of close to 50 million.  During the Holodomor – the Famine-Genocide of 1932-33, 7-10 million Ukrainians were murdered when, in an attempt to destroy the nationally conscious Ukrainian peasantry, the Stalinist regime confiscated all food, leaving the people to starve to death. Countless others suffered in Soviet Gulags forced into backbreaking labor and unbearable conditions, only to perish in desolation. Ukrainians endured numerous purges, assaults and discrimination throughout history.  And yet – they endured.

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UCCA Mourns the Death of Scholar Robert Conquest

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The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) deeply mourns the loss of acclaimed historian, academic and author Robert Conquest, who passed away on Monday, August 3, 2015, at the august age of 98. As an outstanding scholar he is credited by many as being the first to expose the true horrors of Soviet communism, particularly under the totalitarian regime of Josef Stalin.  He is also celebrated, particularly by Ukrainians around the world, as a pioneer of truth for his seminal work “Harvest of Sorrow; Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine”, a groundbreaking study which authentically documents one of the darkest chapters in Ukraine’s history - the Holodmor – Ukraine’s Famine Genocide of 1932-1933.  Sadly, Mr. Conquest passed away only a day before the long-awaited sculpture dedicated to the victims of the Holodomor - the Ukrainian Holodomor Memorial - was installed in Washington, DC. We believe he would have been proud to see this monument dedicated to the millions of victims for whom he spoke so valiantly.

The UCCA is grateful to Mr. Conquest for his many years of research and study, but most particularly for serving as a harbinger of truth for the millions of innocent victims of the Holodomor, when few other non-Ukrainians would dare to speak the facts. Mr. Conquest – we thank you and we honor you for your enormous contribution to history and to justice. May the Lord grant you eternal rest.

 

Vichnaya Pamiat!

UCCA Attends 2nd World Congress of Crimean Tatars in Ankara, Turkey

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Below is the statement delivered by UCCA Executive Board Member, Andrij Dobriansky, at the Congress:

 

Ankara, Turkey (UCCA) – On August 1-2, 2015, the 2nd World Congress of Crimean Tatars gathered in Ankara, Turkey. Sadly, instead of marking a joyous celebration, this historic occasion was overshadowed by the current Russian occupation of the indigenous Tatar homeland - Crimea.

Shortly after masked gunmen stormed the Supreme Council of Crimea in a pre-dawn raid, the world awoke to the reality that the world’s largest country, Russia, which possesses the largest known number of nuclear warheads, had yet again militarily invaded a sovereign territory. Russia not only blatantly violated the UN Charter with its actions in February of 2014, but also the Helsinki Final Act, the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, and at least 2 bilateral agreements between Russia and Ukraine, not least of which was the so-called “Friendship Treaty.”

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“Worldwide Solidarity Day”

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Remarks delivered on July 30th at the NYC Rally (organized by the UCCA NYC Branch and the Organization for the Defense of Four Freedoms for Ukraine) protesting the illegal imprisonment of Nadiya Savchenko and other Ukrainian prisoners.

 

“Worldwide Solidarity Day”

Today, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, the representative organization of the over one million Americans of Ukrainian descent, stands in solidarity with Ukrainians worldwide to demand the immediate release of Nadiya Savchenko.

It has been over a year since Nadiya Savchenko, a former Ukrainian Air Force pilot, Iraq War Veteran, Member of Ukraine’s Parliament and delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, was captured by Russian-backed terrorists in southeastern Ukraine and trans-nationally abducted to Russia.

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Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky - Remembering His Legacy of Love

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July 29 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of an individual whose dedication, sacrifice and deep religious faith transformed the lives of countless Ukrainians and non-Ukrainians alike.

 

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky was born in 1865 in the Ukrainian village of Pryibychi into a wealthy family. At the age of 26, he entered the Ukrainian monastery of the Order of St. Basil the Great and by 1900 was made Bishop of Stanyslaviv. Shortly afterwards, at the age of 36, he became the ranking hierarch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, taking upon himself the post of Metropolitan until his death in 1944.

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