Upcoming Events 2020
US-UA Security Dialogue XI
Washington, DC
March 5, 2020 
New York City
April 30, 2020
US-UA WG Yearly Summit VIII
New York City [Webcasting]
June 17-18, 2020

US-UA Energy Dialogue SE
Washington DC [Webcasting]
June 29, 2020 
UA HES Special Event:
Ukrainians in 1945/75th 
Year Retrospective 
Ukrainian Institute of America
September 26, 2020 
Washington, DC [Webcasting]
October 21-22, 2020 
PL-LT-UA Relations
Chicago, IL 
November 14, 2020 


CUSUR 2016 - Project I
US-UA “Working Group” Initiative

The US-Ukraine “Working Group” Initiative was launched in 2007 in order to secure an array of experts in "areas of interest” for CUSUR and its various forums/proceedings; at the same time, it was hoped that the ‘experts’ might agree to write a series of ‘occasional papers’ to identify “major issues” impacting on US-Ukrainian relations.
CUSUR 2017 - Project II
Publication Efforts

Recognizing the urgent need to set up proper channels for the maximum circulation of the information/analysis CUSUR possessed or had at its disposal, the Center long focused on having ‘a publication presence’ of some form or another.
CUSUR 2019 - Project III
DC Occasional Briefings Series

CUSUR did not turn its attention to having a DC presence until summer 2012. Borrowing space when the need arose (particularly for various forum steering committees meetings) from the American Foreign Policy Council, its longest abiding partner, seemed to suffice; an Acela ride from the Center’s NY office did the rest. If there was a concern, it was to open an office in Kyiv.
In Their 'Russian World', There Is No Room for Ukrainians

US-UA Working Group Dinner II

In Their 'Russian World', There Is No Room for Ukrainians...

Mykhailo Ratushny
Askold Lozynskyj

Featured remarks by First Deputy Head of the UA World Coordinating Council Mykhailo Ratushny, elaborated upon by Former WCU President Askold Lozynskyj at the 2nd Annual US-UA Working Group Dinner, held in Washington DC on July 19, 2011.

"In their 'Russian world' there is neither place for a Ukrainian school nor for Ukrainians themselves" - I heard this bitter remark at the end of last year from a Ukrainian resident of the Voronezh region of Russia, during my visit as part of a delegation from the Ukrainian World Coordination Council.

In Voronezh, according to official Russian statistics, a third of the population are ethnic Ukrainians - we, the members of the delegation, were unable to find a single Ukrainian Sunday school, even though the Azeri, the Armenian and the Jewish communities all have their schools there.

A very similar situation exists in Saint-Petersburg, where since 2003 there is no longer a Ukrainian school.

Throughout the Russian Federation, with minor exceptions for a distant Bashkitorstan village and Krasnodar region, where, in one of the secondary schools, Ukrainian is taught as an elective "Kubanski dialect" - you will neither find a Ukrainian school, church, TV channel, radio station nor even a Ukrainian newspaper. Local sporadic leaflets can not be deemed as newspapers.

The largest Ukrainian diaspora

One should note that the largest Ukrainian diaspora lives not in Canada, USA, Brazil, or EU - but in the Russian Federation.

Throughout the centuries sometimes by force or in need of money, Ukrainians resettled in the boundless territory of the Russian and Soviet Empires. To be objective, one has to concede that much from what the current day Russia has, and had in the past, for the most part of it was achieved by efforts from ethnic Ukrainians, not only territory wise, but intellectually, militarily, culturally and spiritually, etc.

Theofan Prokopovich, Mykola Hohol, Ivan Hudovych, Serhiy Korolyov... to name a few from a list of millions of ethnic Ukrainians, known and unknown.

Today Ukrainians residing in Russia form a significant, highly educated ethnic group, dispersed along the vast territories of Russian Federation. However, this group is deprived of the opportunity to satisfy its linguistic, cultural, and religious needs.

What does International law say?

Quoting the response of the UUR to a statement made by an official of the Russian Foreign Ministry in connection with the educational needs of Ukrainians: "if we - Ukrainians and Russians are really close nations, then Ukrainian culture and education presented in the Ukrainian language should have been recognised in Russia as an enrichment of the Slavic world <...> "and not as a subversive plot" aimed at the weakening of Russia. This is exactly the understanding that rules the minds of some Russian officials, who consciously and intentionally impede the development of Ukrainian culture and education in the Russian Federation which, in fact, is a real obstacle on the path of mutual understanding between our nations".

The cleansing of the Ukrainian national minority's space in Russia is not a new phenomenon and continues to be carried out methodically and systematically.

According to the last census that took place in the Russian Federation in 2010 there has been a decrease in the past 10 years of the number of Russian citizens, who identify themselves as ethnic Ukrainians from millions to hundreds of thousands. Ukrainians in Russia are uncomfortably awaiting the announcement of the census results, where such decreased figures must be officially "blessed". However, despite the migration and the assimilation of Ukrainians in Russia, this decrease looks artificial.

It is becoming dangerous to be a Ukrainian in Russia

On the 19th of November 2002 in the city of Teikovo of Ivanivsky region, Volodymyr Poburinny, the deputy chairman of the Ukrainian cultural organisation "Mriya", a businessman, philanthropist and the director of the company "Zapovit", was murdered in front of his own apartment.

In November 2003, a religious community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate was registered in the city of Vladivostok. On the 1st of April 2004, Anatoliy Kryl, one of the co-founders of the religious community and the conductor of the Ukrainian choir, was severely beaten on his way home from a rehearsal. On the 3rd of April, Anatoliy Kryl died in hospital from his injuries.

On the 19th of July 2006 Natalya Kovaliova (Medvediuk), a deputy chairman of the Tula city branch of the UUR, was severely beaten. By a miracle and with the help of her husband, Volodymyr Senishyn, Natalya was saved. After the incident with his wife, Volodymyr Senishyn continued with her activities in the Ukrainian community of Tula. He demanded that the appropriate Russian authorities commence a proper criminal investigation into the attack on his wife and updated the Ukrainian communities around the world of the outcome of his efforts. On the 26th of December, Volodymyr Senishyn was brutally murdered in front of numerous eyewitnesses by two unknown assailants near the offices of "Kobza" company.

These are only the few of the many hideous incidents that have occurred recently to activists of the Ukrainian community in the Russian Federation. To date not one has been solved.

Currently in the Russian Federation public Ukrainian regional organisations, with long-standing history, real membership, and respectable, highly-competent and pro-active leaders are being inhibited from carrying their day-to-day activities. However, new organisations that support the idea of the "United and Inseparable Russia" are being created. The main ideology of these newly created organisations regarding Ukraine and Ukrainians is - "one nation - two states".

While traditional Ukrainian public organisations are being hindered, these newly created organisations receive large donations and operate unimpeded. One begs to question whether the ideology of the "Great Russia" is fueling this.

A concrete task is being set by the Russians: instead of having the URR, the idea is to create some kind of Russian federal organisation of Ukrainians along with new "properly" created regional structures based on communities of immigrants from different regions of Ukraine. These communities would not then require Ukrainian schools, the Ukrainian language, or conditions to preserve any Ukrainian identity.

This organisation could be headed by a representative of the pro-Russian Donetsk community in Moscow - Joseph Kobzon (a signer known for performing old Soviet patriotic songs), who could then come to Ukraine and say, or sing, that all the problems of Ukrainians in Russia are finally and forever solved...

And what does the government of Ukraine think about this? Unfortunately, the situation of Ukrainians in Russia, does not create an adequate reaction of the powers that be in Kyiv. On the contrary, if one listens to Kostyantyn Hryshchenko, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister, he one would probably think that the Ukrainian Minister is more concerned with the interests of the Russian Federation, rather than protecting the interests and needs of Ukrainians diaspora in Russia.

However, what could we expect from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, when its President, Mr. Yanukovich, during his countless meetings with President Medvedev, 13 of them face to face, has not once raised the issue facing the Ukrainian diaspora in a "friendly" Russia? Is there a reason for this? No, for the past year there were more than enough of them...

We see no desire by Kyiv to address these issues. We talk here not about a desire to tease or irritate Russia, but to draw attention to the Russian government to its own obligations or at least to the promises that it has made to its own citizens.

The Ukrainian government has no sense of duty to abide by its Constitution, whereby Art. 12 clearly states: "Ukraine must provide for the national, cultural, and linguistic needs of Ukrainians residing beyond its borders". Furthermore there is no will to abide by the Law of Ukraine "On the legal status of Ukrainians abroad", whereby part 1 of Art. 11 provides that the government of Ukraine, when entering into international agreements, shall "secure the rights of Ukrainian minorities abroad".

On the contrary, the Russian government, when negotiating with Ukraine, either about gas or lard, does not forget to remind its Ukrainian counterpart about the necessity to provide necessary protection of not only ethnic Russians, but also tend to the needs of the "Russian speaking" citizens of Ukraine. However, there is no legal document that either provides for the definition of who"Russian speaking people" are, or determines their status.

So what is there left to do?

So what can one do, when the Ukrainian government is so indifferent and passive in defending the legal rights of Ukrainian diaspora in the Russian Federation?

The inability to close the Ukrainian library in Moscow, due to clear protests in Russia and Ukraine, the forced speech of Hryshchenko in Parliament, petitions sent by public and state officials in Ukraine to PACE, OSCE as well as to other international human rights institutions, shows that the Ukrainian community is capable and must, if not to stop, then to at least impede Ukrainian ethnic cleansing in Russia.

We, with our active approach and powerful solidarity, have to persuade the government of Ukraine to protect the legal rights of Ukrainians abroad. Foremost - in Russia.

It is not acceptable that in the 21st century, there is an uncovered linguistic, cultural, educational and religious ethnocide is taking place against Ukrainians in Russia.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mykhailo Ratushniy is a former member of Ukraine´s parliament and current Vice Chairman of the Ukrainian World Coordination Council based in Kyiv which serves as a liason between NGOs in Ukraine and Ukrainian NGOs abroad.

SUBMITTED TO THE ATTENTION OF the 2ND ANNUAL US UA WG DINNER BY: Dr. Askold Lozynskyj/Former President of the World Congress of Ukrainians.


Past Highlight Events

RT XVII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XVII: Ukraine & Religious Freedom, held in Washington, DC on Oct. 27, 2016
UA HES SE: UA 25th B-Day
Highlights from UA HES Special Event: 'Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Modern Ukrainian State', held at the NY Princeton Club on Sept. 17, 2016
US-UA WG YS IV Highlights
Highlights from US-UA WG Yearly Summit IV: Providing Ukraine with an Annual Report Card, held at the University Club in Washington, DC on June 16, 2016
US-UA SD VII Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue VII held on February 25, 2016 in Washington DC
UA HES SE: WW2 Legacy
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: 'Contested Ground': The Legacy of WW2 in Eastern Europe, held in Edmonton on October 23-24, 2015
Holodomor SE Highlights
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: Taking Measure of the Holodomor, held at the Princeton Club of NY on November 5-6, 2013
US-UA SD III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue III held on May 19, 2012 in Chicago, IL

  • Former UA Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko's keynote
UEAF Forum VI Highlights
Highlights from UEAF Forum VI, held in Ottawa, Canada on March 7-8, 2012
RT XII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XII: PL-UA & TR-UA, held in Washington, DC on Oct 19–20, 2011
US-UA ED III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Energy Dialogue III, held in Washington DC
on April 15-16, 2008
© 2021 CUSUR—Center for US Ukrainian Relations