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Canadian volunteers fed up with Ukrainian government’s inaction, issue ultimatum

Demonstrations in support of Ukraine at Toronto’s Dundas Square in December 2014

In an open letter addressed to the Ukrainian government, Canadian volunteers demand that the Ukrainian government equipes the Ukrainian military, pays off debts to the soldiers, and presents a plan to combat corruption at the Ministry of Defense by 31 July 2015. The letter states that the Canadian community has helped Ukraine’s military efforts with tens of millions of dollars, but that the support is waning because people do not see commitment from the part of the Ukrainian government. Euromaidan Press has the full text of the address:

June 14, 2015

TO: President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko
Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Speaker of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Volodymyr Hroisman

Letter from Canadian Volunteers and Community Organizations.

Canadian Volunteers and community organizations in Canada are working on supporting Ukrainian army since the annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation. From volunteers at the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine we hear about a bureaucracy and failure in the implementation of Government’s contracts, the indifference of civil servants and non professional duties in all organs of power, corruption. A recent financial audit of the Ministry of Defence revealed lack of funds in the amount of 382 million Hryvnias.

For more than a year, in collaboration with the Government of Canada, we have been helping the Ukrainian military fighting in eastern Ukraine, wounded soldiers and civilians, refugees. Canadian volunteers have purchased tens of millions dollars’ worth of items and shipped thousands tons of cargo. We provide:

  • Political lobbying of Ukraine’s interests in Canada.
  • Informational coverage in the Canadian media and street actions.
  • Material and military equipment supply
  • Rehabilitation of Ukrainian military in Canada as well as in Ukraine.
  • Assistance to the families of the fallen military.
  • Assistance to refugees displaced from the area of ATO.

We are informing you that financial support from the Ukrainian Diaspora in Canada, which is exhausted financially and morally, is decreasing. The reason is that the Ukrainian-Canadian Community does not see the Leadership and clearly established priorities on behalf of Ukrainian Government Institutions. We, the undersigned, consider the right to state the following demands to the President, the Government and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by July 31, 2015 to:

  1. Fully equip the military (those being trained and those who are in a combat zone) quality uniforms and shoes required tactical equipment and individual survival kits.
  2. Pay off all debts to the military and establish regular payments in the future.
  3. Present an open and detailed plan of actions of battling corruption at the Ministry of Defence and determine responsible those guilty of the disappearance of almost 400 million Hryvnias, as shown by the most recent audit of the Ministry.

We expect a comprehensive response from the President, The Government and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to put our demands in an open transparent reporting and open press conference in response to this request. In the case of non-response and failure to comply with these demands, the volunteers and community organizations in Canada who undersigned plan to take the following steps:

  1. We will minimize our collaboration with the authorities in Ukraine.
  2. We will advise members of the Government and the Parliament of Canada to change their strategy on assistance to Ukraine.
  3. We will inform Ukrainian diaspora in Canada that we did not get the answer / did not see the results as required.

Volunteers and community organizations who undersigned hope for the necessary changes and concrete actions on behalf of the President, the Government and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, so that we could work together effectively for the benefit of the People of Ukraine and prosperity of the State.

Glory to Ukraine!

Signed by:

Ukrainian Canadian Activist Society NGO – Antonina Kumka, Vice-President.
Volunteer Hundred of Montreal NGO – Oleksandr Biloshytskiy, representative.
Automaidan Toronto NGO – Taras Kinash, representative.

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