Ukrainians throughout the world, including the Southwest Florida Ukrainian American community, are intimately familiar with life in Ukraine, including the heroic struggle of the Ukrainian Army against the Russian invaders in the eastern regions of Ukraine, after illegally annexing Ukrainian Crimean peninsula. All this in view of the solemn declaration of Russian Federation, together with the United States, Great Britain, and other nations, to respect the integrity of Ukrainian borders, by signing the Budapest Accord on Dec. 5, 1994.
It should be kept in mind that, as a result of the assurances provided in said agreement, Ukraine, at that time the third or fourth largest nuclear power in the world, signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and disposed of its nuclear arsenal.
It is no wonder that members and visitors at this month’s monthly meeting of the Ukrainian American Club of Southwest Florida held Wednesday, at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center (Oseredok) enthusiastically welcomed highly decorated Ihor Petruk, Ukrainian Army veteran, who was severely wounded (grenade and small arms wounds, including crushed pelvic bone) while fighting the Russian invaders in the Donetsk-Luhansk region of Ukraine.
After undergoing surgeries in Germany and rehabilitation in the Kyiv Military Hospital, he is in the U.S. to enter one of the orthopedic rehabilitation centers in Chicago.
Before going to Chicago, Mr. Petruk is visiting Florida, including Warm Mineral Springs, and North Port as a special guest of Ukrainian American Club of Southwest Florida.
After being introduced by Daria Thomashosky, club president, who described Ihor Petruk as a war hero and defender of our freedom against the Putin’s hordes, Mr. Petruk briefly introduced himself and provided information about his war service.
He then asked the public to ask questions, and there were many, to which he provided his answers. The interaction lasted longer than the normal meeting time with a featured speaker. A reception which included wine, coffee, finger sandwiches and home-baked pastries brought in by the club members provided additional opportunities to interact with the special guest.
The local Branch 56 of Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (“Soyuz Ukrayinok” — Union of Ukrainian Ladies) headed by Ann-Marie Susla of Englewood will hold its monthly membership meeting Tues., Nov. 1, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. at the Oseredok.
In addition to the customary meeting agenda, this meeting will also include commemoration of Month of November historic events: establishment of Western Ukrainian National Republic in L’viv on Nov. 1, 1918, and commemoration of “Holodomor” – artificially created famine in 1932-1933 by Stalin and his henchmen resulting in millions of Ukrainians, including women and children dying from starvation.
The monthly membership meeting of Cpl. Roman G. Lazor Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans, headed by retired U.S. Army Col. Roman Rondiak of Osprey, will take place at 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4, at the Oseredok.
The agenda will include reports of delegates to the UAV 69th National Convention held last week in Chicago, and election of Post 40 officers for the next year. Also the matter of Veterans Day observances and Installation Fundraiser luncheon at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club on Wednesday, Nov. 16, will be discussed.
Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians
by Atanas Kobryn