The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

Friends or Interests?

Charles DeGaulle is reputed to have once said that “No nation has friends, only interests.” In this he was paraphrasing a still earlier quote by Britain’s Lord Palmerston who back in the 1800’s famously said “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” This sentiment basically summarizes what unfortunately has become the operating principle for most countries’ foreign policies. It is also what guides the behaviour of many country’s diplomats posted beyond their nation’s borders.

Continue reading

The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

How Do You Say That in Ukrainian?

One of the big developments in Ukraine over the past few years has been the rapid growth of people using the Internet, and specifically the main social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc. This is a direct result of the fact that internet and cellular phone services are dirt cheap compared to what we have here in Canada.  In Ukraine, you can buy an inexpensive but capable smart phone for the equivalent of $50 to $100 dollars and get a virtually unlimited phone/data services plan for about $5 per month. As a consequence, I have found that almost all of my numerous cousins in Ukraine have become my “friends” on Facebook.

Continue reading

The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

The Burdens of Victimization

This past week has been a somewhat sad and solemn one for me. This is of course the time of year when Ukrainians world-wide commemorate the Holodomor, Stalin’s artificial famine that starved so many million Ukrainians because they stood in his way to building the Communist “Paradise on Earth”. Also, this week, the Documentary channel on cable TV here aired Ryan Boyko’s powerful film “That Never Happened” about Canada’s shameful internment of thousands of innocent Ukrainian Canadians during World War I, because it perceived them to be “enemy aliens”. This made me pause and reflect on the fact that Ukrainians have had a long history of being victimized by both unkind fate and rapacious neighbours.

Continue reading

The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

The Decline of Real Politics

The spectacle that is being played out south of our border involving the impeachment proceedings against President Trump is at the same time both fascinating as well as profoundly dismaying. The U.S. has had forty-five Presidents to date. Some, like Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt have been great; most have been reasonably competent; and some, like Buchanan, Pierce and Harding were found sadly wanting. None however came close to matching the sheer gall, the overriding egotism, the ignorance of the constitution and the governing process, the lack of ethics, the absence of human empathy, and the abysmal grasp of foreign policy that characterize President Trump.

Continue reading

The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

Remembrances

The Remembrance Day we celebrate each November to commemorate the end of perhaps the most needless and destructive war in human history holds a special place in my memories. That is mostly due to the fact that my father was a Canadian Army war veteran, and when I was a child, I remember him marching every Remembrance Day in the memorial parade down the main street of our town, with his war medals and ribbons proudly arrayed on his chest.

Continue reading

Кубань – земля українська, козача?..

by Yaroslav Hradowy

Колись давно, 230 років назад, тисячі українських козаків цілими селами приїхали жити на південь Росії, на малозаселені території Російської імперії.

Тепер, коли Російської імперії вже не існує, нема вже і комуністичної Росії, цікаво було б подивитися, що сталося з нащадками того геройського покоління українців.

Continue reading

The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Future

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) had its Triennial Convention in Ottawa this past weekend.  From all reports it was a grand affair with prominent guest speakers, numerous panels on a wide variety of interesting topics, and a well-crafted balance of celebration, stimulating content, discussion, policy development, social interaction and decision making. It reflected the fact that the UCC is at its peak in terms of power and influence, both within the Ukrainian community, as well as within Canadian society in general. Its leadership ranks are filled with knowledgeable, well-educated and competent professionals who have achieved commendable success in the spheres of business, politics, academia and the arts. It carries an impressive amount of clout and leverage with both the Canadian and Ukrainian governments. It is generally highly regarded and supported by most of the Ukrainian “hromada” in Canada, and is the acknowledged leader of the Ukrainian diaspora throughout the world.

Of course, it was not always so.

Continue reading

The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

Born of Fire

I recently spent the Thanksgiving Day weekend at the family cottage far removed from the urban environment where I live. One of the great joys of spending time in the wilderness was that every night, weather permitting, we would build a large bonfire (“vatra” in Ukrainian) using fallen wood and branches scrounged from the surrounding forest.

Continue reading

The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

Who Were You Luka?

One of the great joys of my life in recent years has been adapting to the role of being a grandparent. Although my wife and I have had considerable parenting experience having raised three kids of our own, being a grandparent is very different and, in many ways, a much more enjoyable proposition. You are free from the more demanding on-going daily responsibilities of discipline and care and can focus much more on just having fun and sharing the experience of young and curious minds discovering the wonderful world around them. Their innocence, joy and awe is infectious, and we gain the added benefit of knowing we can help shape them into mature, knowledgeable and responsible adults. Our only regret is that we don’t get to see them often enough, since we live in different cities several hours drive away.

Our grandchildren are fortunate in that they have two sets of grandparents that dote on them. When I was growing up, I had none. 

Continue reading