Monthly Archives: June 2015

How lawmakers gave themselves prosecutorial immunity in 1996

Mykhailo Syrota, member of the Constitutional Center parliamentary faction and co-author of Ukraine’s first post-independence Constitution, doesn’t hide his joy in the arms of his colleagues outside the legislature after the Verkhovna Rada adopted the Constitution on the morning of June 28, 1996.

Mark Rachkevych

Ukraine will celebrate Constitution Day on June 28 while the nation will get a working holiday the next day.

What follows is asummary of how the nation’s fundamental law was passed and a few interesting facts about the document as told to the Kyiv Post by Kyiv-Mohyla Academy professor Mychailo Wynnyckyj. In 1999, he wrote his master’s thesis at Cambridge University analyzing how the nation’s Constitution wasadopted 19 years ago. Continue reading

Russia’s Hybrid War in Ukraine: Breaking the Enemy’s Ability to Resist

“Hybrid warfare is built on capitalizing on the weaknesses of a country, on flaws in its political system, administration, economy and society. If an adversary cannot detect sufficient weaknesses, then no full-scale attack can be launched, meaning that hybrid warfare never reaches the second, attack phase. Hence, the best defence against hybrid warfare is good governance.”

HELSINKI, June 16, 2015 (UBO) – The Finnish Institute of International Affairs published today what we believe will be one of the foundation documents historians eventually use when studying this period in world history. Continue reading

Ukrainians in WWII. Part 2. Stories of Ukrainians in the Red Army


Article by: James Oliver
For Part 1, in which we uncovered the underreported role of Ukrainians living both in Ukraine and abroad in WWII, please see this article.

On 19 September 1939, advanced units of the Soviet 6th army reached the outskirts of the city of Lviv. What they found was a city that had already been subject to relentless bombardment from German artillery placed upon nearby hills as well as from the Luftwaffe. Officially, the Red Army and the Wehrmacht were supposed to keep a 25km distance from one another during their joint invasion of Poland [1]. But here (as elsewhere), it was not the case. Lviv was meant to be a city to be defended at all costs for the Polish in the name of Continue reading

Understanding the Ukrainians in WWII. Part 1


Article by: James Oliver
The Ukrainians carried at least 40% of losses of the USSR in WWII. The Soviet historiographical concept of the “Great Patriotic War,” however, employed major misperceptions of the Ukrainians’ role and is now being used as a propaganda instrument fueling the war in Donbas. In our series “Understanding the Ukrainians in WWII” we seek to uncover the underreported role of Ukrainians living both in Ukraine and abroad in the most deadly war of the 20th century. Continue reading

The Russian Troll Farm

The new face of 21st century warfare?

Wrong kind of troll. Photo credit: Kai Schreiber via Flickr

If you’ve spent any substantial time on a social networking site, you’ve likely encountered an anonymous troll. They may mock something you’ve said, or a photo of yourself or others that you’ve shared. Then again, maybe they’ll say nothing of substance at all, churning out a slew of profanities or insults. Trolling is even appearing in ukrainian/Galician-oriented genealogical web sites.[Emphasis mine–Jim Onyschuk] Sometimes they hit below the belt; other times they’re easy to swat away and ignore. Either way, a troll’s purpose is inherently ethereal — its raison d’etre can be shattered by the click of a “block” button.
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Part 2—How I Describe My Father’s and Grandfather’s Village, as Gleaned from the Gazetteers

In Part 1, we derived information on the village of Shydlivtsi by consulting four gazetteers. See: What follows is a description of my father’s village, which gives me a picture of the surroundings in which he lived. The material gleaned from the Gazetteers answered a lot of questions and gave a demographic description of the village. However, the material also gives rise to many questions, which were not covered in the Gazetteers. At the end of this description are some unanswered questios, requiring further research.

“My Grandfather, Stepan Ihnatovich Onyschuk , was born in the village of Szydlowce (today called Shydlivtsi), on December 9, 1869. My Grandmother, Teklia Petrivna Szklar was born in the nearby village of Sydorow (Sydoriv) on February 17, 1874. Continue reading

Part 1—Using Gazetteers to Construct a Village Description

By Jim Onyschuk


 I had never heard the term “Gazetteer” until I started my genealogical pursuits. I read that if you wanted to find the records of your ancestor’s village, you needed to consult a gazetteer. For example, suppose the village you were searching was called Biala. By consulting the “Genealogical Gazetteer of Galicia” by Brian Continue reading

The Putin Syndicate


The Godfather

June 09, 2015

When Russia annexed Crimea, the Kremlin installed a reputed gangster known as “the Goblin” to run the peninsula. When Moscow’s agents abducted Estonian law enforcement officer Eston Kohver, they used a mafia-run smuggling ring to set him up.

And of course, organized crime groups have played a prominent role in the Moscow-instigated conflicts in Transdniester, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Donbas.
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Sixth Annual Family History Conference


August 22, 2015

9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
(Registration begins at 8:00 AM)


10062 Bramalea Rd. Brampton,ON
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Russia Is Using Mobile Crematoriums to Hide Ukraine Dead

Russia is so desperate to hide its military involvement in Ukraine that it has brought in mobile crematoriums to destroy the bodies of its war dead, say U.S. lawmakers who traveled to the war-torn country this spring.

The U.S. and NATO have long maintained that thousands of Russian troops are fighting alongside separatists inside eastern Ukraine, and that the Russian government is obscuring not only the presence but also the deaths of its soldiers there. In March, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow told a conference, “Russian leaders are less and less able to conceal the fact that Russian soldiers are fighting — and dying — in large numbers in eastern Ukraine.”

Hence the extreme measures to get rid of the evidence. “The Russians are trying Continue reading