Category Archives: news

Holodomor Rememberance Flame tours Canada in April to May

UPDATE: Here are photos from the event!

The International Remembrance Flame will arrive in Canada on April 18 launching over a month of commernorative events marking the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor.

The Flame, a joint project of Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ukrainian World Congress International Coordinating Committee, will originate in Australia and travel to 33 countries worldwide in an effort to raise Holodomor awareness.

Travelling between Ukrainian embassies, the torch will be ceremoniously transferred from country to country by Ukraine’s ambassadors or consular representatives following which every community will have an opportunity to organize events around the Flame.

Tentative Itinerary for the Remembrance Flame in Canada

  • April 18 – National Launch prior to the opening of the exhibit Holodomor: Genocide by Famine – Toronto (at City Hall), Ontario
  • April 20 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • April 28-29 – Regina – Saskatoon – Yorkton – North Battleford, Saskatchewan
  • April 30 – May 2 – Vegreville – Red Deer – Edmonton – Lethbridge, Alberta
  • May 3 – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • May 22 – St. Catharines, Ontario
  • May 23 – Toronto, Ontario
  • May 24 – Hamilton, Ontario
  • May 25 – Montreal, Quebec
  • May 26 – Ottawa, Ontario

Here are also lists of US dates and International dates for the tour.

Saskatchewan Premier caught on tape mocking Ukrainians

On April 3, 2008 the provincial NDP uncovered a video tape from the ’91 Saskatchewan general election, showing Conservative MP Tom Lukiwski making homophobic remarks.  Also on the tape is now-premier of Saskatchewan Brad Wall mocking Ukrainian and former premier Roy Romanow:

On the videotape (@ 7:10 on the above YouTube clip), Wall, who jokes about being “filmed for posterity,” does a mock interview with a Ukrainian accent, questioning how Romanow “walks upright with his head so far up his ass.”

Unidentified males also call Romanow a “spineless political playboy” and then-Liberal leader Linda Haverstock “a hard-headed slut.”

Wall first apologized briefly saying “It just never was then, and neither would it ever be, in any way an attempt to slight any group”. He later apologized in the legislature yesterday (here’s a transcript and MP3 download), as well to the Ukrainian community, Roy Romanow and Lynda Haverstock.  Also he has decided not to pursue his lawsuit with the Canadian Press.  While some have praised the speech, one sociology professor at U of Sask says that societal attitudes haven’t changed since 1991:

“The strong language that Lukiwski used probably makes it more
offensive to people. But when you imitate someone’s ethnicity and
disparage them because of their ethnicity, I don’t know what the line
between racism and homophobia is but in my opinion they’re both
offensive behaviours,” said Schissel.

The Tories and Prime Minister Stephen Harper effectively defended Lukiwski by refusing to discipline him.

Three police officers jailed for Gongadze’s murder

Some much needed closure arrived over the weekend for the family of Heorhiy Gongadze (May 21, 1969 – Sept 16 2000), a reporter and founder of Ukrayinska Pravda who was brutally murdered for being a critic of the Kuchma regime’s incompetency and corrupt administration.  His decapitated and acid-laced body was found in the Taraschanskyi Raion of the Kyiv Oblast two months after he was reported missing.

His murder prompted many protests in Ukraine, as many high-profiled crimes against journalists went unresolved during the course of the Kuchma administration.  There was much evidence to implicate Kuchma in the murder, including over 700 hours of recorded conversations between himself and Interior Minister Yuri Kravchenko, but unfortunately no conviction was made due to corruption, hampering and obstruction.  It became a hot issue in Ukrainian politics, and a catalyst for the Orange Revolution

On March 1, 2005 President Yushchenko announced that his killers were apprehended and three years later on March 15 Mykola Protasov,  Valeriy Kostenko and Oleksandr Popovich, senior police officers working in the Interior Ministry’s Criminal Investigations directorate (CID) were sentenced to prison for 15, 13 and 13 years respectively.  Kravchenko, who received orders in the recorded conversations by Kuchma to “take care” of Gongadze was found dead in his apartment near Kyiv on March 4, 2005 after being called as a witness to the murder case.  An apparent suicide, some news reports suggested that suffering two gunshot wounds to the head in the manner he received would indicate foul play.  It is believed that Kravchenko gave the killing orders to Police General Oleksiy Pukach to assemble with a group of high-class detectives he controls “without any morals, and ready to do anything”.  Pukach remains at large and an international warrant is out for his arrest.  It is believed he has fled Ukraine and was last spotted in Israel.