The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

Collateral Damage

Last week’s news was dominated by the crash of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Flight PS752 shortly after it left Tehran airport in Iran headed for Kyiv.  After the expected initial denials by the Iranian government, they eventually admitted in the face of incontrovertible evidence that the plane had been shot down by two Iranian anti-aircraft missiles, in what they claimed was a tragic mistake.

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The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

Year-End Hryts

Newspapers and journalists are prone at the end of each year to writing tendentious reviews on the key events that transpired over the course of the previous year. These usually come in the form of “The Ten Most Important..” or “The Ten Best or Worst of…” and purport to summarize what was most important or worthy of our attention over the previous twelve months.

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The View From Here

By Volodymyr Kish

Panakhyda Reflections

I went to another Panakhyda this past week.  As most of you know, a Panakhyda is a Ukrainian religious service commemorating the passing of an individual from this earthly world to a hopefully better hereafter. 

These days, as I near the end of my seventh decade of life on this planet, going to a Panakhyda has become a frequent occurrence.  Nonetheless, this one affected me more than the usual.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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