Standing Together for Victory: UWC builds cooperation and relationships with Ukrainian leadership  

#UWC news
June 7,2022 237
Standing Together for Victory: UWC builds cooperation and relationships with Ukrainian leadership  

KYIV – On June 1-4, a delegation of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) led by UWC President Paul Grod arrived in Kyiv on a working visit to thank leaders from the Ukrainian government and churches for their bravery and leadership in this existential time in Ukrainian history.

Delegation members included First Vice President and President of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations Stefan Romaniw, UWC Third Vice President and Ukrainian Congress Committee Chairman Andriy Futey, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alexandra Chyczij, UWC Vice President Lenna Koszarny, UWC Executive Director Sonya Soutus, Retired Canadian Forces General Rick Hillier, UCC Executive Director Ihor Mikhalchyshyn and UWC Representative in Kyiv and Przemysl Serhiy Kasyanchuk.

During the visit, the UWC delegation attended several top-level meetings with representatives of the president’s administration, cabinet ministers and church leaders. UWC delegation members also visited Bucha expressing support for its mayor.  

The delegation outlined UWC’s main initiatives that have significantly supported the situation in Ukraine during extremely challenging times. The first was the mobilization of the global Ukrainian Community to publicly advocate for Ukraine’s interest before governments and international decision-making bodies. The next initiative was the #UniteWithUkraine fundraising campaign that supplies non-lethal equipment to Ukraine’s defenders as well as the coordination of an outpouring of humanitarian aid from abroad of an approximate value of over USD 300 million.

The delegation discussed ways that UWC and the global Ukrainian Community can enhance support for Ukraine through global advocacy for EU accession, coordination of international assistance procurement and logistics, increased deliveries of both military and humanitarian aid, particularly for internally displaced persons, and economic assistance and battling Russian disinformation and lies.

The UWC delegation met with Deputy Chief of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Sybiga who stressed that international organized information campaigns and governmental lobbying were of great importance in the areas of defense and financial-economic aid to Ukraine.

At a meeting with Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, the UWC delegation discussed the fact that Ukraine has proven its qualification for EU membership. The discussion continued around UWC’s unequivocal support for the Ukrainian government’s plan to work out an accelerated procedure for EU accession and ways that the global Ukrainian Community can build international political will for to grant Ukraine candidate status.

In a meeting with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, the UWC delegation discussed various scenarios for provision of military assistance including armaments.  Minister Reznikov thanked the global Ukrainian Community for its steadfast support and activism in support of Ukraine and confirmed the ministry’s intention to continue cooperate with UWC.

Minister Reznikov said, “Today, Ukrainians from around the world have joined forces with us in our fight against the Russian invaders. I support your aspirations, diligent work and fruitful cooperation to bring our common victory closer. We already have positive results from our cooperation with partner countries on the supply of modern weapons to our defenders. Such support is extremely important.”   

UWC President Grod emphasized, “We are working hard to help Ukraine. This work will be intensified. Together, we will prove to the world the great spirit of the Ukrainian nation.”  

UWC President Grod signed a memorandum of understanding with Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Yulia Laputina. The MOU provided for the initiation and deepening of joint activities to protect the rights and interests of war veterans, ensuring their social protection and post-war reintegration.  UWC agreed to share global experience and best practices on social protection and reintegration of veterans. 

In a meeting with Chief of the Security Service Ivan Bakanov, the delegation talked about  strengthening cooperation with the Security Service of Ukraine, in particular, working to refuting Russian disinformation spread on international platforms.  President Grod pledged that UWC is “ready for further coordination and closer cooperation with the government and law enforcement agencies of Ukraine to make our support more effective and systemic.”  

Mr Bakanov remarked, “We appreciate the help of the Ukrainian World Congress whose representatives in different parts of the world convey the real picture of what is happening in Ukraine to their governments and citizens.”   

In a meeting with Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko, the delegation discussed continued cooperation on the Museum of the Holodomor Genocide and support for Ukraine’s Freedom Channel as a critical component to the dissemination of the truth and refutation of Russian lies and propaganda.  

In a meeting with Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Anna Malyar, UWC President Grod emphasized that, as a united front, the global sixty-five million strong Ukrainian Community will help carry Ukraine to victory and beyond.  

The UWC delegation met with Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko with whom UWC has been working to deliver equipment and supplies for Kyiv’s territorial defense forces through the #UniteWithUkraine campaign.  The campaign has raised over USD23 million and delivered almost twelve thousand sets of personal protective and medical gear to territorial defenders in addition to all-terrain vehicles, drones, optical and communications equipment and combat medical equipment and supplies.

The delegation met with Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to discuss ways to ensure that Russia and Putin are prosecuted for war crimes. In particular, UWC briefed Ms Venediktova on the organization’s efforts to monitor, report and inform Western governments about war crimes and the on-going genocide against the Ukrainian people.

UWC agreed with the Prosecutor General that it would assist in bringing evidence of war crimes to national and international courts and would assist the prosecutor general to enlist international experts in war crimes prosecution.

The delegation met with Minister of Internal Affairs Denys Monastyrsky to discuss ways to deepen existing cooperation in global advocacy for arming Ukraine, for procuring vital equipment and supplies for Ukraine’s defenders, for keeping Ukraine’s needs salient before world leaders and for fighting against Russian disinformation.   

UWC President Paul Grod signed a memorandum of understanding with Minister Monastyrsky to confirm continued cooperation. 

In a meeting with the leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church His Beatitude Archbishop Sviatoslav, discussion centered on support for Ukrainian refugees and potential cooperation between UWC, Caritas Ukraine and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to provide humanitarian aid to over seven million internally displaced persons.  

UWC delegates met with the Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Metropolitan Epiphanius to discuss support for Ukrainian Orthodox refugees abroad.  His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanius pronounced, “Only together, with joint efforts and God’s help, will we be able to overcome the Russian invasion. Ukrainians defend truth and justice, stand on the God-given land of their ancestors and sacrifice their lives for the future of their children. The Lord sees this and will not allow evil to defeat us.”  

The delegation came away from the meetings with strengthened resolve to ensure Ukraine’s sovereign destiny through unity of purpose and cooperative action. The UWC delegation visit coincided with the 100th day of the full-scale war in Ukraine. UWC President Grod recorded a video appeal in front of the St Michael’s Golden-Domed Cathedral in Kyiv.  




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