Thursday, March 10, 2016

Global Day ‘Free Nadiya Savchenko!’

The third and, according to one of Savchenko’s defense lawyers Mark Feygin, the final Global Day to free Nadiya Savchenko is today. The previous one was held on May 11, 2015, Nadiya’s birthday. Attorney Feygin hopes this will be “the last worldwide action prior to her freedom.”
Nadiya Savchenko, 34-year old Ukrainian Air Force lieutenant, was captured by the Russian-supported terrorists in eastern Ukraine June 17, 2014, driven across the border to Russia and turned over to the Russian authorities. She is being tried for complicity in killing two Russian journalists and illegally crossing the border to Russia. Moving a prisoner of war across international borders is prohibited by international law, but Russia contends Savchenko sneaked into Russia pretending to be a refugee and was arrested on Russian soil.
By 2015, Savchenko was being labeled Joan of Arc, and was elected in absentia to “Verkhovna Rada” (Ukraine’s parliament). President Petro Poroshenko awarded her Ukraine’s highest award for bravery.
Her case became cause celebre across Europe and North America, including in Canada. Resolutions and statements, including one by the U.S. State Department calling on Russia to free herunconditionally, are being ignored by Russia. Russia is proceeding with all charges against Savchenko, even though all agree that the decision whether to sentence or to free her is being made by Russian President Putin, and not by any court. While Savchenko was expected to speak during the last session, March 3, the court adjourned unexpectedly, and in protest she began her second hunger strike.

The traditional pre-Easter Bazaar of Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God (St. Mary’s) Ukrainian Catholic Church is planned Friday and Saturday at 1078 N.
Biscayne Dr., North Port. Popular Ukrainian food and pastries, for on-site consumption or for take-out, Easter breads, and other gift items will be available.
Oksana Lew of Venice chairs this year’s Bazaar Committee.

The Southwest Florida Ukrainian American community will commemorate the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), an artist, poet, and revolutionary, at 4 p.m. Sunday, at St.
Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center, known as “Oseredok” (the center) to Ukrainians.
The event is being sponsored by the “Hromadskyi Komitet” (coordinating committee of Ukrainian American Clubs and Organizations), headed by Romana Guran of Venice.
Taras Shevchenko, who was born a serf, obtained his freedom in 1838 at the age of 24. He became a celebrated painter, a poet, and a member of the Brotherhood of St. Cyril and Methodius, which advocated liberalization of despotic czarist Russia, for which he was arrested in 1847, and sentenced to 10 years of banishment while serving as a private in the Russian Army.
His first book of poems, “Kobzar,” was published in 1840. It is treasured by Ukrainians all over the world on par with the Bible.
Many of his poems, including the world famous “My Testament” were translated into almost all civilized languages of the world.
Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port 

Sun. He can be emailed
Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians
by Atanas Kobryn

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