Valerij Semenenko has served as Vice President and as a member of the Board of Directors of the UWC since 2008 and as Deputy Chairman of the Association of Ukrainians in Russia.
Semenenko was born in Ukraine. He graduated from Dnepropetrovsk State University and defended his dissertation in engineering at the Gubkin Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas. He worked in Ukraine as an engineer in the South Design Bureau. He also worked at the Academy of Sciences and as the Director of Autonomous Energy Sources, a research and production implementation centre in Russia. He is currently a scientific consultant at this centre.
He has been actively involved in the community since 1988. In 1989, he founded the Slavutych Society of Admirers of Ukrainian Culture in Moscow. In 1993, he founded the Association of Ukrainians in Moscow, a member organization of the Association of Ukrainians in Russia. Semenenko was involved in all the Congresses of the Association of Ukrainians in Russia as an organizer and a participant. From 1993-2005, he chaired the Association of Ukrainians in Moscow. From 2005-2011, he chaired the Association of Ukrainians in Russia and the Federal National-Cultural Autonomy of Ukrainians in Russia. Both federal Ukrainian public organizations were liquidated by the Russian authorities in 2012. Since 2012, Semenenko has served as the Coordinator of the regional Ukrainian organizations in Russia.
Semenenko is also a key organizer of Ukrainian education in Moscow and Russia. In 1989, a Ukrainian Sunday school was opened in Moscow, which from 1995 to 2008 operated as a Ukrainian educational centre. In 2008, the education centre was liquidated by the Russian authorities. Semenenko undertook significant efforts to resume the activities of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, which was the only institution of this type in Russia and substantially promoted and developed Ukrainian culture in Moscow, Russia. In 2017, the library was liquidated by the Russian authorities. In 2015, due to political persecution, Valerij Semenenko was forced to leave Russia for two years.
Semenenko has been a delegate to the World Forum of Ukrainians and at Congresses and Annual General Meetings of the UWC.
Semenenko has been awarded the Order of Ukraine, III Class and the St. Volodymyr the Great Medal, UWC’s highest honor.