Article by: Mykola Mowczan
Ukrainians are a soft spoken Caucasian people who by their own nature adapt to all societies. Apart from the first generation who may be identifiable with an accent – siblings generally have no accent, thus the integration into foreign Caucasian cultures is complete by the second generation. Ukrainians have thus adapted and integrated into such countries as Australia, USA, Canada, UK, South America and all over Europe! In Canada, the situation is slightly different because of the vast number of immigrants over an extended period of time. The Ukrainian culture has become synonymous with Canada’s history and it is not uncommon to see prominent people of Ukrainian background in politics, law, medicine and many other professions.
Thus in Canada, even if a minority of the Ukrainian settlement were to uphold the cultural traditions then there is sufficient numbers to identify Ukraine and Ukrainians as a unique culture in Canada.
Apart from the USA, elsewhere in the world the situation is different and this is the need for unity and not separatism. I am not advocating due to the large numbers of Ukrainians that USA or Canada can afford separatism. Conversely, I see a special need for these countries Ukrainian Communities to provide leadership for the rest of the world.
Why is Ukraine not known in the western world? As a nation and country, Ukraine has a history as old as any other country in Europe and her ancient history has beginnings with the earliest civilizations. Why is it such a secret to the rest of world?
The answer lies in the 17th century, when after a 30 year battle the Ukrainians suffered a decisive defeat at the battle of Berestechko, the Hetman of the Cossacks, Khmelnytskyy signs a treaty with the Russian Tsar for help. In 1709 (some 30 years later) Hetman Ivan Mazepa defects and with Sweden loses the catastrophic Battle of Poltava. The King of Russia Peter decides that to consolidate and modernize Russia’s political and economic power he must do away with the Ukrainian “hetmanate”.
After this there are countless times in Ukraine’s history where it would almost succumb to her northern neighbor and landlord. Ukraine’s language would be suppressed, writers and poets and bards came and went but Ukrainian language and culture persisted. In 1932-33 the Holodomor (death by enforced starvation) witnessed another 7 to 10 million Ukrainians; perish because of Stalin and his regime. Little is known about this mass extermination even today!
In 1945 after WW2, Ukraine was geographically defined by Stalin and the Ukrainian Socialist Republic came into being and existed until the decline of the Soviet state on December 26, 1991 when Mikhail Gorbachev resigned and declared his office extinct.
The Ukrainian parliament accepted the Declaration of the State Sovereignty in July 1990 and after a failed coup by the communist party to depose Gorbachev; and Ukraine adopts the Act of Independence on August 24, 1991.
Thus Ukraine struggles as an infant struggles to find her feet, to find her real path in life whilst her past keeps her bound to the former “Soviet bloc” countries and business deals. Partnerships and business deals are difficult to break and there are those who do not want relationships damaged or severed (especially in the East). So Ukraine’s road to the EU and the “western world has taken longer than expected; and as she moved closer to securing these relationships – the strain was obvious from the other side.
Ukraine was and is a European country, and has the potential to not be a “fledgling” country for long. Ukraine’s agricultural potential is enormous. Ukraine’s black soil has always been called the “bread basket” of Europe. Ukraine is the 5th largest exporter of wheat and the 2nd largest exporter of feedstock crops (after USA), notwithstanding Ukraine exports more sunflower (doubling the tonnage of the 2nd place getter, Argentina!)
Ukraine’s iron and steel industry is the dominant heavy industry in Ukraine. Ukraine is a major producer of manganese ore and ferrous alloys and a significant producer of aluminum. Ukraine has also well-developed high-tech space, aviation, shipbuilding and defense industry (presently, 300 enterprises, institutions, and organizations employing over 250,000 people are licensed to produce arms and military equipment in Ukraine). Most industry is centered between Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia through to the Donbas Basin and to the Southern Ukraine (Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson). The production in the past years has been crippled, the economy of Ukraine is a mess, local currency Hryvnia plunged, the inflation rate is high due to the ongoing war, many civilian and defense factories in territories occupied by Russian-backed terrorists were looted by Russians and terrorists, infrastructure damaged during the war. But certainly it would be at its best if peace were given a chance.
When Ukrainian soldiers are fighting for the existence of Ukraine against the Russian Federation they do not ask each other what Ukraine Oblast they are from; what religion confession they belong to; which armies their parents served in WW2; or what language they speak in their home! They support each other as bothers-in-arms fighting one enemy – Russia. These young men and women are creating a new unified nation which is based on new principles and new loyalties.
We urge Ukrainians everywhere in the world to recognize this. To fully support our brothers who are fighting in Ukraine we need to be united; we need to have a bond which transcends old social structures. Be it may from what confession, or language or Oblast, or what army your parents fought in, the Red or Soviet Army or UPA, whether they were Banderivstsi, Melnykivtsi, or Petlurivtsi, believe me, today none of the above matters anymore!
Ukrainians in the diaspora wherever you live US, Canada, Australia, EU, other countries of the world and Ukrainians in Ukraine all need to be united like never before in our history. It is a good reference to look at the resilience of the Jewish people and their resolve and unity within their communities in the diaspora. The Jewish history is a useful lesson for us all and one which we can learn from.
Ukrainians in diaspora and in Ukraine will be a proud and united and free nation when we all stand behind this one objective and one motto “We are one, we are family and we are indivisible” (“Ми є одним, ми сім’я, і ми нероздільні!!”)
From Ukraine the light of FREEDOM inspires the world.’ In December 2013 when the corrupt criminal Yanukovych regime was brutally clamping down on Ukrainian journalists, students and people. With inspiring dignity, the Ukrainian people stood up and stepped forward in their millions to demand a corruption free country; a country with fair and equal values for all. After the (now wanted by Interpol) corrupt president ran away to Russia a new attack began. Russian administrators didn’t want a corruption free Ukraine and began a covert war to steal land and resources.
The Ukrainian people trust in God and defend their land with the goal of winning lasting peace and stability for all. It is this dignity under enormous pressure, which is a real and true inspiration to the world.
Pray for peace and do what you can to help the million Ukrainian people who have been forced out of their homes by terrorists. Help the tens of thousands who have been badly injured. Pray for the thousands who have been killed and help their families. Evil is happening on the border of Europe and your help is needed to win a lasting peace with justice and fairness. Please do what you can. Everything small you do helps a lot. Thank you. You are awesome!
There are always two sides of a coin – the Ukrainians have never started wars against their neighbors – the Ukrainian nation throughout history has been subjugated by its “northerly neighbor”
It is not Ukraine who has had sanctions imposed on her – it is the Russian Federation and oligarchs and business men who follow Putin, The ones who have perpetuated a war against Ukraine for the past 12 or more months.
As John Lennon said “Give Peace a chance: – I ask you give “Ukraine a Chance” to be the TRULY DEMOCRATIC AND EUROPEAN NATION THAT UKRAINE ALWAYS WAS AND ASPIRES TO BE ECONOMICALLY TODAY!
I also agree with the logo “Help Ukraine”. Help Ukraine and Europe and the whole world be a in a better place!