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Stefan Romaniw and Vitório Sorotiuk in Ukraine: highlights

#UWC news
October 13,2023 1291
Stefan Romaniw and Vitório Sorotiuk in Ukraine: highlights

Stefan Romaniw, First Vice President of the Ukrainian World Congress and Co-Chair of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO), and Vitório Sorotiuk, Vice President of the Ukrainian World Congress and President of the Ukrainian-Brazilian Central Representation (UBCR), are on a working visit to Ukraine this week.

The UWC leaders arrived in Kyiv to coordinate joint commemorative events for the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor and to make efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s cooperation with the Global South through cultural diplomacy and advocacy.

The first high-level meetings have already taken place, at which the members of the UWC Leadership agreed on several important issues of cooperation and effective interaction between the diaspora and the Ukrainian authorities.

In particular, Stefan Romaniw, the UWC First Vice President, met with the deputy heads of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Andrii Sybiha and Oleksii Dniprov.

The meeting participants considered issues related to the commemoration of the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine – the genocide of the Ukrainian people. The meeting focused, in particular, on organizing thematic events in Ukraine and abroad with the involvement of representatives of Ukrainian communities in other countries.

In addition, those present discussed holding thematic international events and promotions. The interlocutors also paid attention to the Ukrainian diaspora’s role in recognizing the Holodomor of 1932-1933 in Ukraine by the world states as an act of genocide.

The meeting was attended by Stefan Romaniw – the Head of the Commission for recognition of the Holodomor as genocide against the Ukrainian people – and Serhii Kasianchuk, Director of the UWC Mission to Ukraine. 

The UWC members discussed joint actions to counter Russian disinformation worldwide during a meeting with Olena Kondratiuk, the Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. In particular, the parties discussed deepening advocacy activities and informational influence through strong Ukrainian communities in the countries of the Global South.

The meeting also focused on the closer cooperation of diaspora organizations with parliamentary friendship groups, educational and humanitarian aid projects, and returning forcibly deported Ukrainian children. 

A separate issue of the meeting with the Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament was the commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor in Ukraine and the coordination of joint efforts to recognize the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as a genocide of the Ukrainian people by the parliaments of the countries of the world.

There was also a working meeting of the UWC Leaders with Rostyslav Karandieiev, Acting Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.

During the meeting, the UWC representatives presented for consideration the projects and initiatives of the UWC, which are planned for the 90th anniversary of the commemoration of the victims of the Holodomor of 32–33 years. Representatives of the UWC and the Ministry of Culture exchanged views and discussed joint events for the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor. It was agreed that in cooperation with the Office of the President, the Ministry of Culture, the National Museum of the Holodomor Genocide, and the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, a joint information campaign will be developed in the near future, which should unite the world in honoring the victims of the Holodomor-genocide.

Vitório Sorotiuk and Stefan Romaniw emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation in the cultural and educational sphere. The parties agreed that the implementation of joint projects will begin in the near future. After all, cultural diplomacy is a powerful “soft power” in countering Russian disinformation and the influence of its narratives in the world.

Vitório Sorotiuk met with the ambassador of Brazil and discussed the strengthening of Brazilian-Ukrainian cooperation, possible joint projects in the cultural sphere, potential opportunities for further development of the medical project of the UWC and countering Russian disinformation.

Vitório also held a meeting with the expert network of the Crimea Platform. The state of relations between Ukraine and Brazil, ways to establish and improve cooperation between the states, Ukraine’s strategic priorities in the Latin American region, Russian disinformation in Brazil and Latin America, Russia’s influence on the political class in Brazil, as well as methods of communication with the Brazilian media to spread the opinion of Ukrainians, were discussed.

The UWC leadership also met with the Secretary and deputies of the Kyiv City Council. The parties discussed the issue of commemorating the victims of the Holodomor in Ukraine in 1932-1933, in particular, joint events in 2023 for the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor-genocide of 1932-1933 in Ukraine, UWC and its constituent organizations’ projects in supporting Ukraine and rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure (in particular, the Kyiv Oblast), the development of twinning ties between Kyiv and the cities of Australia, the planned participation of Kyiv in cultural events in Brazil, the development and deepening of twinning ties between Kyiv and Rio de Janeiro, as well as the strengthening of Ukrainian-Brazilian cultural cooperation and joint cultural projects are possible.

Leaders of Ukrainian communities also honored the warriors who died for Ukraine, who came from Australia and Brazil to fight for Ukraine and died for its independence. Representatives of the UWC placed commemorative flags on Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square] and held a moment of silence.

Vitório Sorotiuk also met with Larysa Myronenko, the former head of the Brazilian consulate in Ukraine. Together, they held a meeting dedicated to Ukrainian-Brazilian relations for students of the College of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Representatives of the Ukrainian community abroad agreed on fruitful cooperation during the meeting with Volodymyr Lavrynenko, vice-rector for international relations from Drahomanov National Pedagogical University. Together with Volodymyr Serhiichuk, the head of the Department of Global Ukrainian History of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, doctor of historical sciences, professor Vitório Sorotiuk held a joint lecture dedicated to the Ukrainian language in Brazil, and also discussed projects with Brazilian universities to study the Ukrainian language.

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