Thursday, February 5, 2015

Judge speaks on Ukraine’s democracy quest

    Last week’s meeting of the Ukrainian American Club of Southwest Florida, headed by Daria Tomashosky of North Port, — the first meeting of this year — was attended by a large number of members and many guests fully filling the main hall of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center (known as the “Oseredok”). There is no doubt that the reason for such a large turnout of members, guests and even guests who are not members of the Ukrainian American community, was the speaker, the Honorable Bohdan A. Futey, a federal judge serving on senior status for the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and his topic, “Ukraine’s quest for democracy and rule of law after the Revolution of Dignity,”

    Judge Futey, who spoke to various audiences on legal matters at many seminars and professional meetings in the United States, Canada, Germany and Ukraine, and was consulted by governmental agencies of Ukraine, had
no problem keeping the audience captivated for over an hour. He traced the pre-history of the “Revolution of Dignity,” which lasted from Nov. 23, 2013, to Feb. 22, 2014, and its aftermath, and explained some of the difficulties the new, western-oriented government of Ukraine, including President Petro Poroshenko, are facing in their quest for democracy and the rule of law in the midst of open military aggression of the neighboring Russian Federation. The revolution, which began as a peaceful protest against then-president Yanukovych’s refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union,
resulted in over 100 lives of peaceful demonstrators shot by security personnel, ordered by Yanukovych, while the de-facto open war since April 2014, took over 5,000 Ukrainian lives, including soldiers, but mostly civilians including women and children — and there is no end in sight.

    Preceding Judge Futey’s presentation there was a relatively brief meeting of the club. Following the traditional reports of secretary Doris Horbachevsky, treasurer Nancy Wosny, and correspondence secretary and chair of the social services committee, Halya Lisnyczyj, president
Daria asked professor Victor Lisnyczyj, chair of the club’s scholarship committee, to submit his report. He spoke about the last meeting of the committee, some of the difficulties he and members of the committee had to face and to overcome, and informed members and guests that the applications for scholarships, which are available on the club’s website (ukrainian for seniors at North Port High School and, for the first time, from Charlotte County high schools. The traditional Scholarship Awards Luncheon will be held March 18. Details to come.

                                                                            • • •
    The monthly membership meeting of Cpl. Roman G. Lazor Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans, headed by Commander Col. Roman Rondiak, USA (Ret.), will take place at 3 p.m. Friday at the Oseredok.

    Finance Officer Oleh Sawkiw is asking all members who did not mail their dues to him to prepare to pay this year’s dues ($30) at the meeting, with checks payable to “UAV Post 40.” Additional donations are appreciated.

    Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port Sun. He can be emailed at 

Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians
by Atanas Kobryn

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