Ukraine under Threat: What we Need to Do​ Now? Lubomyr Luciuk gave a Lecture at AUGB, 12-02-2015

February 18, 2015 • Articles • Views: 1002

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About Lubomyr Luciuk

Lubomyr teaches at the Royal Military College of Canada. He is an author of several books on political geography and history of Ukraine, including his latest, “Jews, Ukrainians and Euromaidan”  published by Kashtan Press.

About the Lecture

The talk was organised and hosted by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain. The room was full and the Q&A session kept the speaker on stand till late night. Here are a few talk points and quotes from the lecture.

We need to catch public space. We need to advertise and promote Ukraine.

The reason why we are losing the war, at least the propaganda war, is that we were not prepared. Ukrainians ‘went to sleep’ after 1991, they went to “vyshivanky” and “pysanky”. We were lazy about ongoing struggle for sovereignty. On the contrary, our opponents are everywhere: every article on Euromaidan that Lubomyr has written gets dozens of comments with carefully orchestrated countervailing propaganda. Why aren’t Ukrainians responding? We are we not getting our story told?

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The issue isn’t new. Even hundred years ago, thousands of Russian aristocrats living around Europe were the main source of information about Ukraine. Despite living in democratic countries and sharing democratic views, they would still see the world and Ukrainian history, in particular, through their Russia-centric views, being against autonomies of countries like Ukraine. Same as back then most of information about Ukraine is still coming from Russians: politicians, reporters, scholars etc.

We are in a competition. They are telling the West about us. We don’t have resources to compete.

It is extremely important to carefully collect information about how others see us and find the ways to reach out to those audiences. We need to make the world understand that Ukraine is something that needs to be protected.

I never thought Russian aggression could be possible. I thought Russians wanted to be European, thought they wanted to be normal. I thought Russia would just be a neighbour that you might not always like but you could live with.

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BOOK “Jews, Ukrainians and Euromaidan” brings together information about Maidan from the viewpoint of Jews. To fight the Russian propaganda’s statement that Ukraine is anti-Semitic, Lubomyr has written this book with the help of Jews of diaspora and those living in Ukraine . It has 300 pages, all of them show very positive role that Jews played in the Maidan protest. Jews of Ukraine and diaspora struggle with Ukraine, confirming that it belongs to Europe, support ideals of Maidan and do NOT see anti-Semitic activity. There are differences of opinions about Maidan, revolution, consequences for the country and Jewish community in Ukraine. What became very clear to the author was that diversity of opinion matters less, than a common desire of ALL.  That unconditional desire, with not a single exception, was that Ukraine becomes a part of the European community as an independent democratic state. All confirmed  the importance in continuing the struggle to protect Ukraine.

The articles included into the book are covering the period of 120 days after Maidan began. nly the  articles published in reputable media (where authors could be identified) were chosen by Lubomyr Luciuk . Right after the book release, the copies were sent to all major libraries around the world.

The truth is that we have something today in 21st century that we didn’t have before- support from minorities within Ukraine and around the world. We should reach out to the countries and say – your minorities stand with Ukraine back there, please support us in here.

Did you know?

This bi-lingual plaque at 218 Sussex Gardens. In memory of the Ukrainian Canadians who served their country overseas during the Second World War. This building housed the headquarters of the Ukrainian Canadian Servicemen’s Association from January 1943 to the war’s end, of the Central Ukrainian Relief Bureau from September 1945 to the winter of 1948, and of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain from January 1946 to the spring of 1947. Placed by the Ukrainian communities of Canada and Great Britain, 19 September 1995. Lubomyr was among those  who placed this plaque here.

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