The Ukrainian World Congress has expelled the Association of Ukrainian Societies in Latvia
On March 13, 2021, the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) expelled the Association of Ukrainian Societies in Latvia (AUSL) from its ranks as the Association’s activities demonstrate an anti-Ukrainian stance that contradicts the basic principles and values of the UWC. This is the first time the UWC has made such a decision in its more than 50-year history. AUSL was one of three member organizations from Latvia.
This decision was informed by the results of long-term monitoring of AUSL’s activities, official communication with AUSL’s Board with direct evidence of the Association’s anti-Ukrainian activities, consultations with leading Ukrainians in Latvia, and a special meeting on March 13, 2021, authorized by the Chair of the AUSL.
Based on the open-source information gathered, it was established that the members and leaders of AUSL clearly demonstrate an anti-Ukrainian position. This includes the promotion of anti-Ukrainian information on various social networks; actions guided by the ideology of the “Russian world”; spreading misinformation about the war in Eastern Ukraine and slandering the Ukrainian Government, which the Association alleged is a “fascist faction” that kills children; statements that discredit the Revolution of Dignity; promoting the idea of creating a new Russian republic; ennoblement of terrorists and war criminals in Donbas, in particular, Oleksandr Zakharchenko; cooperation with Russian propaganda media; support for pro-Russian radical groups in Latvia that undermine its sovereignty; promotion of banned Soviet symbols and history in Latvia; participation of AUSL leaders and representatives in the events of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Latvia; holding cultural events in the institutions of the Russian Federation and inviting diplomatic representatives of the aggressor state to them.
This evidence was provided to the AUSL President and Board in an official written communication, however, none of the presented evidence was refuted in writing or during the AUSL representative’s speech at a special meeting of the UWC Board of Directors. Ultimately, this led to the exclusion of the AUSL from UWC membership.
“Today, as Ukraine has been resisting Russian aggression for seven years, one of the main tasks of the UWC and its network in more than 60 countries is to support the Ukrainian people in protecting Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” said UWC President Paul Grod. “This is why the UWC considers membership of any organization that promotes anti-Ukrainian policies and cooperates with Russian authorities inadmissible. The UWC is open to cooperation with Ukrainian NGOs in the diaspora who are pro-Ukrainian, as is in line with the basic principles of the UWC.”
The UWC will work with its constituent organizations in Latvia to strengthen Ukrainian patriotic forces
and support the formation of a new central representation of Ukrainians in Latvia for pro-Ukrainian civic activities.