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Year in review (by The Ukrainian Weekly) 1985

Year in review (by The Ukrainian Weekly) 1985

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www.ukrweekly.com The Ukrainian Weekly was founded in 1933 to serve the Ukrainian American community and to function as a vehicle for communication of that community's concerns to the general public in the United States. Today the English-language newspaper publishes news about Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world; its readership, though mostly North American, is worldwide. The Ukrainian Weekly's editorial offices are in Parsippany, NJ. It is published by the Ukrainian National Association, a fraternal benefit life insurance society, based in Parsippany, NJ. Read more at www.ukrweekly.com
www.ukrweekly.com The Ukrainian Weekly was founded in 1933 to serve the Ukrainian American community and to function as a vehicle for communication of that community's concerns to the general public in the United States. Today the English-language newspaper publishes news about Ukraine and Ukrainians around the world; its readership, though mostly North American, is worldwide. The Ukrainian Weekly's editorial offices are in Parsippany, NJ. It is published by the Ukrainian National Association, a fraternal benefit life insurance society, based in Parsippany, NJ. Read more at www.ukrweekly.com

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No.
52:"
--Л-'-:-::'–.
^
-' : ,!', ... THE UKRA1N1AN WEEKLY SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1985 - " - -
: ;v
:5
1985: A LOOK BACK
Human rights
While the West observed the 10thanniversary of the signing of theHelsinki Accords this year withceremonies in Helsinki and follow-up meetings in Ottawa and Buda–pest, Soviet and Warsaw Pact re–pression of dissidents continuedthroughout the year with arrests, re-arrests, house searches and inter-rogations of Helsinki monitors,human-rights activists and refuse–niks, and religious activists, parti–cularly defenders of the UniateChurch.The year also witnessed the deathof Ukrainian poet and Helsinki mo–nitor vasyl Stus, and news of Ar–menian Helsinki Group founderEduard Artunyan's death late lastyear reached the West.Foreign ministers from all 35signatory states, including theUnited States and the Soviet Union,gathered in Helsinki on July 29-31for three-day anniversary observances of the 1975 Final Act of theConference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, which com–mitted its signatories to respecthuman rights, avoid interference ineach others' internal affairs, respectpost-World War
11
borders and worktoward free flow of information.The CSCE held a session fromMay 7 to June 17 of experts onhuman rights in order to review towhat extent the 35 signatory stateswere living up to their promises torespect minorities and promotehuman rights.The meeting was characterized byheated exchanges between Eastand West, particularly the U.S. andSoviet delegations, which ultimatelyThe saddest news coming outof Ukraine this year was the tragicdeath of Ukrainian poet and Ukrainian Helsinki Group membervasyl Stus, who died in a laborcamp as a result of emaciationfollowing a long history of sto–mach and kidney problems.Considered by many as one ofthe greatest contemporary Ukrainian poets and literary critics, Mr.Stus was serving the fifth year of a10-year labor-camp term, whichwas to be followed by five years'internal exile, on charges of"anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda."He died on September 4 at the ageof 47.Mr. Stus' poetry and literaryreviews frequently appeared inSoviet periodicals until 1965,when he was expelled from theTaras Shevchenko institute ofLiterature, Academy of Sciencesof the Ukrainian SSR, for publiclyprotesting the 1965 arrests ofUkrainian intellectuals.in January 1972, during thesecond wave of arrests of Ukrai–nian intellectuals, Mr. Stus washimself arrested and chargedwith "anti-Soviet agitation andpropaganda." He was subse–quently sentenced to five years ina labor camp and three years ofexile.He completedthissentencein August, 1979 and after return–ing to Kiev, he joined the Ukrai–nian Helsinki Group in the
fall.
Hewas arrested for the second timeresulted in a lack of consensus overa concluding document.Ambassador Richard Schifter,who headed the U.S. delegation,scored the Soviets numerous timesfor rights abuses, while East Euro–pean monitoring groups lobbiedand demonstrated outside the closedsessions against Warsaw Pact hu–man rights violations. Among thelobby groups were the WorldCon–gress of Free Ukrainians and theUkrainian Canadian Student Union.The 35-nation CSCE CulturalForum held in Budapest on October15-November 25 similarly endedwith no consensus on a concludingdocument amid a barrage of angryrhetoric between East and West.Meanwhile, the Soviets continuedto crackdown on members of
Hel–
sinki monitoring groups with thearrests and re-arrests of UkrainianHelsinki Group members YosyfZisels and Petro Sichko, respective–ly. Mr. Zisels, 37, was sentenced onApril 10 to three years in a strict-regimen camp for "anti-Sovietslan–der," and Mr. Sichko was re-arrestedon unknown charges several daysbefore his scheduled release from alabor camp in May.Ukrainian Helsinki Group mem–ber Mykola Horbal, 43, wassen–tenced to eight years in a labor campand three years of internal exile afterhe was convicted of "anti-Sovietagitation and propaganda" at athree-day trial April 8-Ю.Tatiana Osipova of the MoscowHelsinki Monitoring Group receivedan additional sentence of two years'strict-regimen camp plus five yearsin exile for "maliciously disobeying
vasyl Stus, 1938-1985.
on May 14, 1980, and sentencedonce again for "anti-Soviet agita–tion and propaganda" - to 10years in a labor camp and fiveyears' exile. His sentence wouldhave been completed in May
1995.
Although Soviet authoritiesconfiscated and destroyed some600 of Mr. Stus' poems and trans–lations, some of his works havereached the West through under-ground channels,
HIS
poetry hasbeen published outsidethe'JSSRin the collections "Wim
o
r Trees"and "A Candle in the Mirror."the orders of the administration of acorrective labor institution." Ms.Osipova was completing her five-year sentence for "anti-Soviet agita–tion and propaganda" in a women'spolitical camp and was awaitinganother five-year term in exile.Some good news came late in theyear when 80-year-old UkrainianHelsinki Group founding memberOksana Meshko was released afternearly five years in exile in theKhavarovsk region of Ukraine andwas allowed to go home to Kiev.in July the Ukrainian– and English-language editions of News FromUkraine, a newspaper publishedstrictly for distribution outside theUSSR, printed what were purportedto be excerpts of a recantationwritten by Ukrainian Helsinki Moni–toring Group member and longtimedissident Yuriy Shukhevych. in thealleged recantation, Mr. Shukhevychdenounced his father and his own"mistakenpath,"the excerpts ap–peared along with a photo-repro–duction of a portion of the recanta–tion in what was claimed to be thedissident's own handwriting. Ob-servers in the West, including for–mer Soviet political prisoners, hu–man-rights organizations and hand-writing experts, reported that therecantation was a fabrication.Stressing that, for various reasons, itis clear that the recantation was aforgery, Nina Strokata and her husband, Sviatislav Karavansky, bothformer prisoners of the gulag and'members of the Ukrainian HelsinkiGroup, stated that the fabricationwas aimed at halting Western de–fense actions on Mr. Shukhevych'sbehalf, as well as another maneuverin the USSR's "psychological warwith the West."1985 also saw a crackdown onreligious activists, particularly de-fenders of the Ukrainian CatholicChurch, which was dissolved by anillegal synod in 1946. While nineregular issues as well as one specialissue of the samvydav Chronicle ofthe Catholic Church in Ukraine,documenting activities of the under-ground initiative Group for theDefense of the Rights of Believersand the Church, founded in 1982,surfaced in the West, members ofthe group suffered official harass–ment and arrests.The group's first chairman andeditor of the Chronicle, which ap–peared in consecutive issues of TheWeekly from January through June,Yosyp Terelia, 42, was sentencedAugust 20 in Uzhhorod to sevenyears in a labor camp and five yearsin exile for "anti-Soviet agitation andpropaganda." Mr. Terelia had beenin hiding from November 1984 untilhis arrest in February 1985.vasyl Kobryn, 46, who served asthe second chairman of the religiousgroup, was arrested late last yearand subsequently sentenced inMarch to three years in a general-regimes camp for "disseminating ofknowingly false fabrications discre–diting the Soviet political and socialsystem."Both of these men actively cam–paigned for the legalization andrestoration of the Uniate Church,which claims some 4 million mem–bers in the USSR.it is apparent that one Sovietdissident benefitted from the up-coming Reagan-Gorbachev Summitin Geneva this November; YelenaBonner was granted a three-monthexit visa for medical treatment in theWest after years of failed attemptsand a hunger strike staged in protestby her husband, Soviet physicist andhuman-rights activist Andrei Sakha–rov, who remains in exile in theclosed city of Gorky. A handful ofseparated spouses were reunited,also on the eve of the summit.The superpower summit also re–sulted in an agreement te-openconsulates in Kiev and New York.
The Medvid case
The most heartrending event forthe Ukrainian community thatfoughtso hard for the freedom of a youngUkrainian sailor was the ill-fateddefection attempt of Ukrainian sea-man Myroslav Medvid. The handlingof the Medvid case caused outragenot only from U.S. citizens andmembers of Congress, but also castdoubt worldwide as to the directionthe U.S. government was taking inregard to defectors. Many criticscontend the United States had failedto live up to the words attributed tothe Statue of Liberty, the "Mother ofExiles": "Give me your tired, yourpoor, your huddled masses yearn–ing to breathe free..." And UkrainianAmericans nationwide loudly voicedtheir displeasure through demon–strations, telephone networks andletter-writing.
Rep.
Fred Eckert, a Republicanfrom New York, perhaps best ex-pressed the feelings of the Americanpeople after Mr. Medvid was forciblyreturned to Soviet custody, in acommentary published in The WallStreet Journal op-ed page on No–vember 21, he wrote: "Somewhere; oui on the high seas the MarshalKoniev is carrying Ukrainian seaman! Myroslav Medvid to the heli that; awaits him back in the Soviet Union.- The ship is also carrying away a fullІ load of American grain. And pieces
Button
urges: remember MyroslavMedvid.of America's reputation, pride andhonor."Mr. Medvid had tried to defectfrom the Soviet Union by jumpin–from his Soviet freighter and
swi–
ming to the Louisiana shore nearBelle Chase on the night of Octo:
24.
At about 7:30 p.m., Mr. Medv,^ran into Joseph and Wayne WymanOn a piece of paper he wrote theword
"РОІІСІЙ
and drew an arrowpointing to the .vords "Novi Orlean."After the Wymans dropped Mr.Medvid off at the police station, thepolice, inturn,took him to theharbor police, who, took him to theBorder Patrol of the immigrationand Naturalization Service.Once at the lNS offices in New
J
Stus: dead in labor camp
 
6
THE
UKRAINIAN WEEKLY SUNDAY, DECEMBER
29,1985
No.52
1985: A LOOK BACK
Orleans, at around 11:45 p.m., theBorder Patrol contacted a JusticeDepartment interpreter in New York,lrene Padoch, in order to ascertainwhat Mr. Medvid wanted, it wasduring this conversation that thefate of Mr. Medvid was sealed. Al–though Mrs. Padoch stressed twiceduring this hourlong conversationthat Mr. Medvid was seeking
poli–
tical asylum, and although the guardstold Mrs. Padoch that no harmwould come to the sailor and thatthey would get in touch with her thenext day, within an hour after shegot off the phone, Mr. Medvid wason his way back to the MarshalKoniev. For unknown reasons, thetwo lNS Border Patrol officers toldemployees of Universal ShippingAgencies, a private shipping com–pany, to return Mr. Medvid to Sovietcustody. The two men hired a launchand set off for the Marshal Koniev.Raymond Guthrie, the launchpilot said of Mr. Medvid later, "l feltsorry for the seaman. Hewaskickingand screaming. He didn't want to goback." Mr. Medvid ran his fingersacross his throat, a gesture whichindicated he was afraid he would beharmed if returned to the Soviets.When the launch came to the sideof the Marshal Koniev, a Sovietofficer talked to Mr. Medvid. Theseaman became even more fright–
ened,
observers
said,
and he onceagain dove into the water and swamto shore.in his commentary, Rep. Eckertwrote: "Soviet officers and the twoU.S. shipping-company employees,grabbed:htm, Mr. Medyid^creamed,Ric)cW,f?tiriched and bit, blithecouldn't get free. They handcuffed
him,
with handcuffs that had beenturned over to these private citizens- and, it turns out, to Soviet author–ities, too - by the U.S. Border
Patrol.
Mr. Medvid then began tobang his head against rocks alongthe shore. He was overpowered
again.
Finally, he was returned tothe Marshal Koniev."Around 4 p.m., on October 25,after U.S. officials in Washington -had allegedly been allerted to theMedvid case, the U.S. Border Patrolbegan watching the ship at therequest of the State Department.Last visual contact of Mr. Medvidwas made by a U.S. authority around6:30 p.m. At 10:30 p.m., that sameday. State Department officialsarrived on the Marshal Koniev. Ne–gotiations continued between theSoviets and U.S. officials on Satur–day, October 26.On that day, a series of medicaland psychiatric exams were taken ofMr. Medvid. The final analysis wasthat Mr. Medvid had been injectedwith two of the strongest mind-altering drugs used by the Sovietauthorities, halidol and thorazine,according to the ship's doctor, itappeared to the American psychi–atrist that Mr. Medvid had beenthreatened with violence to hisparents if he did not return to theSoviet Union, and he was sufferingsubstantial wounds to his left armwhich was bandaged from the wristto the armpit. However, blood orurine tests - standard proceduresin any physical examination - werenot taken by American doctors.it also appeared that Mr. Medvidwas hesitant to talk to authorities,according to the Russian translatorwho had been assigned to interpretdiscussions between Mr. Medvidand U.S. authorities. When laterspeaking on the phone with Mrs.Padoch, the interpreter said Mr.Medvid was reluctant to answerquestions posed to him.On October 29, Mr. Medvid signeda statement in Russian and Englishwhich stated he wished to return tothe Soviet Union of his own freewill.On November 6, the Commissionon Security and Cooperation inEurope, known as the Helsinki Corn-mission, called on President RonaldReagan to take immediate action todetermine if Mr. Medvid was seekingpolitical asylum in the United States.
Sen.
Alfonse D'Amato (R.-N.Y),chairman of the commission,
said,
"We cannot stand by and let thehuman rights of this individual beviolated. Allowing the Soviet ship toleave U.S. waters without deter–mining exactly what Mr. Medvid wasseeking when he jumped into theMississippi River in search of Ameri–can authorities would be regret-table."On November 7, the Senate
Judi–
ciary Committee's Subcommitteeon immigration and Refugee Policyheld hearings on the U.S. govern–ment's handing of the Medvid case.The government contended thatthe case was closed in light of Mr.Medvid's document stating hewant–ed to return to the Soviet Union.
Sen.
Gordon Humphrey (R.-N.H.)however, insisted that Mr. Medvid beinterviewed in an atmosphere free ofSoviet coercion.Alan C. Nelson, director of the
lNS,
also testified and defended hisagency; He stater) that althoughhuman error had initially caused Mr.Medvid to be returned to the Mar–shal Koniev (he said the borderpatrol had misunderstood Mr.
Med–
vid's desire for political asylum), hewas proud of how the lNS sub–sequently had handled the situation.To which New York Democratic
Rep.
Gary Ackerman replied, "Asproud as you are of the case'shandling, the Senate, the House andthe American people are ashamed."The Subcommittee on Europeand the Middle East of the HouseForeign Affairs Committee held itsown hearing two days later.On November 8, in an 11th hourattempt to save Mr. Medvid, Sen.Jesse Helms (R.-N.O), the powerful chairman of the AgricultureCommittee, issued a subpeona tothe Marshal Koniev to have Mr.Medvid appear before the commit–
tee.
The ship's captain receivedorders not to do anything and waitfor Soviet authorities. The sub–peona was not honored, and thenext day the Marshal Koniev wasallowed to sail out of U.S. waterswith the" Ukrainian seaman on boara.While the U.S. Congress wasdoing its part on behalf of the youngsailor, the Ukrainian American com–munity turned to legal means to tryand prevent the departure of theSoviet grain freighter with Mr.
Med–
vid abroad. The case was taken tothe Supreme Court by attorney An–drew Fylypovych, but the highestcourt of the
land,
like the lowercourts, refused to issue an orderbarring the ship's departure. Manyof the Ukrainian American demon–strators gathered in Louisiana tostage protest actions openly wept asthe ship set sail on November 9.On December 6, Sen. Humphryintroduced a resolution that wouldcreate a seven-member Senate pa–nel to investigate all aspects ofasylum procedures. As of last count,the bill had 60 co-sponsors, it isexpected to be voted on in theSenate early in 1986.Meanwhile, new information
indi–
cated that there may actually havebeen two Medvids: one that jumpedship and another who was inter-viewed by U.S. authorities severaldays later.One of the hopes which has beenexpressed for the Humphreyresolution is that the legislativebranch of the U.S. government willinvestigate what really happened inthe Medvid case and why so manyblatant violations of governmentpolicy were made. While it may betoo late to save Myroslav Medvid,observers say a thorough review ofprocedures and an independentinvestigation into the entire Medvidincident may prevent tragedy inother asylum cases.
Ukrainian Churches
Metropolitan Mstyslav speaks. Cardinal John Kroll, President RonaldReagan, and National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane listen.
1985 was the year that prepara–tions for the commemoration ofUkraine's Christian Millennium
offi–
cially got under way with the esta–blishment on March 23 of the Na–tional Committee on the Millenniumof Christianity in Ukraine.The ad hoc group, which wascreated on the initiative of thehierarchs of the Ukrainian Catholicand Orthodox Churches, is chairedby Dr. Yuriy Starosolsky of Wash–
ington.
Though the committee encom–passes all segments of the Ukrainiancommunity, it was the subject of aboycott when representatives of theUkrainian Liberation Front refusedto attend one of its meetings simplybecause the meeting was being heldat the headquarters of the UkrainianNational Association.The committee met several timesduring the year to chart a course ofactivity leading up to 1988, the yearof the MillenniumMany community leaders fearedthat the millennium would be usedby the Soviet government and theMoscow Patriarchate of the RussianOrthodox Church to further theirown ends, giving the millennium anall-Russian character and denyingthe legitimacy of Ukrainian celebra–tions in the West. Sovietologist Dr.Bohdan R. Bociurkiw said that eventhough Pope John Paul ll had placedhimself firmly on the side of theUkrainian bishops on this issue, hisposition was being actively
chal–
lenged by those within the vaticanwho would rather see the RomanCatholic Church side with the Mos–cow-sponsored celebration of theMillennium.Both the Ukrainian Orthodox andCatholic Churches "have been viciously attacked by the Soviets andby the Moscow Patriarchate, which,after a period of persecution, has ina sense been rehabilitated by theKremlin as an integrating institutionthat bears close relationship to theRussian national cause, to the im–perial legacy and to the imperialaspirations of the Soviet system,"Dr. Bociurkiw told an audiencegathered to hear his lecture in Wash–
ington.
1985 was also the year the Ukrai–nian Catholic Church was accordedthe honor of having its spiritualleader named a cardinal by PopeJohn Paul ll. Major ArchbishopMyroslav lvan Lubachivsky was oneof 28 men elevated to the College ofCardinals in an outdoor ceremonyheld in the vatican on May 25. Thehierarch thus became the fifth U–krainian Catholic cardinal in history.Soon after his consecration, Cardi–nal Lubachivsky visited numerousUkrainian Catholic communities inthe United States and Canada.The new cardinal also met withPresident Ronald Reagan on June
20.
The two reportedly discussedthe state of the Church in the dias–pora,as well as the continued perse–cution of believers in the Soviet
Union,
where the Ukrainian Catho–lic Church has been outlawed since1946. The prelate was accompaniedto the White House meeting byMetropolitan Stephen Sulyk of theUnited States.in 1985 Ukrainian Catholics mark–ed the first anniversary of the deathof Patriarch Josyf Slipyj throughspecial services in Rome, as well asmany memorials worldwide. Over500 faithful gathered on September7 at St. Sophia Sobor in Rome toeulogize the late primate and reaf–firm their belief in his pastoraltestament. The Rome memorialobservances continued throughSeptember 10.Two weeks later, Ukrainian Ca–tholic bishops from around the
 
No. 52^THE
UKRAINIAN
WEEKLY
SUNDAY,
DECEMBER
29,1985
: -. ;" ;
,;'7
1985:
A LOOK BACK
world met
at a
two-week Synod
to
focus
on the
needs
and
concernsfacing their Particular Church,among them, the approaching
Mil–
lennium,
the persecution
of
faithfulliving in Ukraine under Soviet
domi–
nation,
a
new code ofcanonlaw forthe Eastern Churches, the beatifica–tion of Servant of God Andrey
Shep–
tytsky, vocations tothe religiouslife,and the election of new
bishops.
Thebishops also had
an
audience withthe pontiff,
who
spoke
to
them
in
Ukrainian,
showing
his
vast know-ledge
of
the concerns and needs ofUkrainian Catholics worldwide.Two months later, the head of theUkrainian Catholic Church, Cardi–nal Lubachivsky made
an
impas–sioned plea
for the
granting
of a
patriarchate
to
his Church when
he
addressed the Extraordinary Synodof Bishops
of
the Catholic Churchon
the
first
day of its
meetings,November 25.Speaking during the general
ses–
sion that day, Cardinal Lubachivskynoted that
the
Ukrainian Catholic
Church,
as an Eastern Church withits own laws, wishes
to
preserve
its
distinct identity.
The
status
of the
patriarchate
for the
Church
is in
keeping with Eastern traditions, andit serves
the
spiritual needs
of the
Ukrainian Catholic Church's faithfulnow and in the future, he
said.
The
prelate also spoke
of the
under-ground Ukrainian Catholic Ohurchin Ukraine, where no clergy or laityare permitted
to
function
in any
religious capacity.The Ukrainian Orthodox Churchin 1985 ordained a new bishop for itsfaithful
in the
United States. Archmandrite Antony Scharba was elevated
to the
episcopate
by
Metro–politan Mstyslav Sulyk
in
elaborateceremonies
at
St. Andrew's Memo-rial Ukrainian Orthodox Church
in
South Bound Brook, N.J., on Octo–ber
6.
Bishop Antony thus becamethe newest member of the Sobor ofBishops
of
the Ukrainian OrthodoxChurch
-
and
at
age 38, probablythe youngest.Metropolitan Mstyslav, accom–panied
by
Bishop Antony,
was
among the 18 religious leaders whomet
for
more than
an
hour withPresident Reagan on November
8.
The churchmenandthe presidentreportedly exchanged views
on
human rights and other issues
Mr.
Reagan planned
to
raise
at the
summit meeting with Soviet leaderMikhail Gorbachev. The situation
in
Ukraine and
the
Baltic states
was
among the issues specifically mentioned at the luncheon meeting.
Political
activities
it was
the
year
of the
first
U.S.–
Soviet summit meeting since 1979,and the historic event did not passby unnoticed by the Ukrainian
Ame–
rican community.in New York City, the Plast sorori–ties of Pershi Stezhi and
v"erhkovyn–
ky initiated
a
fund-drive
to
raisemoney for a full-page advertisementin The New York Times on the eve ofthe summit. The ad called on Presi–dent Ronald Reagan
to
rememberpersecuted Ukrainian human-rightsactivists
in his
talks with GeneralSecretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
The
ad,
which cost 327,000, appeared
in
the November 10 issue of the paper'sSunday edition, which has a circula–tion
of 1.6
million.in Philadelphia,
the
UkrainianHuman Rights Committee raised32,700
for a
full page
ad in The
Washington Times.
The
advertise–ment was published
in
the Novem–ber 20 isi ue
of
the newspaper, that
is,
on the
second
day of the
U.S.–Soviet summit
n
ating.
it
urgedPresident Reag.
to
demand
the
release
of
Ukrainian human-rightsactivists ana noted that the Kremlinis pursuing
a
policy
of
genocidedirected against
the
Ukrainianpeople.in Ghicag
г
week before thesummit
a
torn Sovietpolitical prioon^r, victor borovsky,and
a
soldier
who
deserted
the
Soviet Army in Afghanistan, Mykola
Movchan,
appealed on behalf of theUkrainian and Afghan people. Theydirected their appeal through lettersto
two
first ladies, Nancy Reaganand Raisa Gorbachev. The two menspoke
at a
press conference
on
November
12
sponsored
by the
Ukrainian American Justice Com–mittee
and the
illinois chapter
of
Americans
for
Human Rights
in
Ukraine.Meanwhile, in Washington, on theday President Reagan left
for
Ge–
neva,
Ukrainian Americans gatheredoutside the south gate
of
the WhiteHouse
to
urge
the
president
to
raise the case of would-be defectorMyroslav Medvid.
A
large placardreading "Remember Medvid"
was
laid
out on the
ellipse
so
that
it
would be visible from the president'shelicopter which took
him to
Andrews Air Force Base. The rally wasorganized
by the
Ukrainian
Con–
gress Committee
of
America
and
The Washington Group.1985
was
also
the
year duringwhich
the
first secretary
of the
Communist Party
of the
UkrainianSSR, volodymyr Shcherbytsky,headed
a
high-level Soviet delegation
on a
trip
to
the United States.Ukrainian American groups urgedmembers
of
Congress
to
raisehuman-rights issues with
Mr.
Shcherbytsky,
and
several groupspicketed the party secretary duringhis stay in Washington on March
4-7.
On March
4,
during a Capitol Hill
reception,
Rep.
Mary Rose Oakarpresented
a
letter protesting Soviethuman-rights violations
to Mr.
Shcherbytsky.
As
she handed
him
the letter, Rep. Oakar said that it washuman-rights abuses like the onesoutlined
in the
letter that madeimprovement in East-West relationsdifficult. The letter was the same asthe
one
sent
to all
members
of
Congress by Americans for HumanRights
in
Ukraine.
A
senior aide
to
the congresswoman, Ukrainian An–drew Fedynsky, also had
a
chanceto speak with Mr. Shcherbytsky forsome five
minutes.
Among the topicsraised by Mr. FedynskywasRussifi–
cation.
in
New
York City,
16
Ukrainianswere arrested
on
March
8
whileprotesting
the U.S.
visit
of Mr.
Shcherbytsky.
The
group had
at–
tempted to stage a sitdown demon–stration
in
front
of the
Soviet Mis–sion
to
the United Nations.Later
in the
year,
on
September
27,
Ukrainian and other East European protesters "greeted" SovietForeign Minister Eduard Shevard–nadze with
a
rally
in
front
of the
White
House,
where the Soviet
func–
tionary was
to
meet with President
Reagan.
The demonstration wasorganized
by a
group sarcasticallycalling itself the Committee to
Wel–
come Eduard Shevardnadze
to
Washington,
a
venture co-spon–sored by the Washington offices
of
the Joint Baltic American NationalCommittee and the Ukrainian
Con–
gress Committee
of
America.During
1985.
members
of
Con–
gress sent
at
least three lettersexpressing their concern aboutUkrainian political prisoners
to
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.On April 17,135 representatives andone senator urged that Yuriy
Shu–
khevych,
the "eternal prisoner,"
be
released from internal exile and
be
allowed
to
travel
to the
West
for
much-needed medical treatment.On August 5,132 members of theHouse
of
Representatives sent
a
letter asking for the release of octogenarian Oksana Meshko from
her
term of exile in the remote Ayan areaof the USSR.
Then,
on
November
1,
151
con–
gressmen asked
Mr.
Gorbachev
to
release Ukrainian Catholic activistYosyp Terelia, who had been
sen–
tenced
to a
12-year term
for
"anti-
Soviet agitation and propaganda."All three congressional letterswere the result of lobbying efforts byAmericans
for
Human Rights
in
Ukraine.During the year, several appoint–ments were made by the Congressand
the
executive branch
of
mem–bers to the U.S. Commission on theUkraine Famine.
On
February
12,
President Reagan named SurgeonGeneral
C.
Everett Koop,
De
partment
of
Health
and
HumanServices, Gary
L.
Bauer, Depart–ment
of
Education,
and
HowardEugene Douglas, Department
of
State;
as the three executive branchmembers
of
the commission.On March 28, the House speakerappointed
the two
DemocraticHouse members to the commission:Dan Mica
of
Florida and Dennis
M.
Hertel
of
Michigan. Rep. Mica wasnamed
the
commission chairman.Republicans William
S.
Broomfieldof Michigan and Benjamin Giimanof New York were named on May 15.Republican
Sen.
Robert Kasten ofWisconsin
and
Democratic Sen.Dennis DeConcini were selected asthe
two
Senate members
of the
commission. The announcementcame on June 20.The
six
public members
of the
commission have yet
to
be named.Meanwhile,
the
Congress
and
President Reagan
in
December ap–proved 3400,000
in
funding for thefamine commission. The funds willbe available until expended.
Nazi
hunt
in
Canada
"There have been statements.,.thatthere
are
indeed within Canada
a
considerable number
of
(Nazi war)criminals who may have escaped tothis country in order to avoid prose–cution
for the
crimes they havecommitted
or to
avoid punishmentfor such crimes...The governmenthas concluded—that we must go
to
the very depths
of the
questionsposed
so
that
we
may
be
assuredthat
we
are not, unknowingly, har–boring within our midst some of theindividuals guilty of committing thehorrible Nazi
war
crimes
of
WorldWar
ll."
With these words, Canadian Justice Minister John Crosbie rose
in
the House of Commons to announcethe creation
of a
commission
of
inquiry on Nazi war criminals.(?The February
7
announcementcame after weeks of speculation thatthe government
of
Prime MinisterBrian Mulroney would yield to pres–sure from Jewish groups and launchan investigation into
how
manyalleged war criminals live in Canada,how they
got
into the country andhow they might
be
brought
to
jus–
tice.
While Jewish groups and Canadian editorial writers applauded thegovernment's decision, Canada's600,000-member Ukrainian
commu–
nity feared
the
worst:
a
McCarthyera witch hunt
to
find East European immigrants who fought againstthe Soviets during World War ll andmay have seen
the
Germans
as
liberators."The Ukrainian Canadian com–munity has had to endure frequentallegations of criminal collaborationwith the Nazis in the exterminationof the Jewish population in Ukraineand Eastern Poland..The allegedcriminal activity of a few individuals(has been) generalized and project-ad over
a
whole community,"
the
Ukrainian Canadian CommitteeTo go or not to
go.
That was the
ques–
tion.
Justice Jules Deschenes
de
cided
his
commission
of
inquirywould travel
abroad,
including to theUSSR,
to
gather evidence
for his
probe on war criminals.said
in a
statement released
at a
spring conference in Toronto.in announcing
its
decision,
the
federal government said
it
wouldappoint one
of
Canada's most res–pected jurists to head the one-manwar criminals commission: JusticeJules Deschenes
of the
QuebecSupreme Court.
The
commissionwas given
a
31 million, budget,
the
freedom to travelwherever t choosesand
a
December 31 deadline.Thanks to the help of the vienna–based Simon Wiesenthal Center andthe Soviet Embassy
in
Ottawa,
the
Deschenes Commission didn't haveto do a lot of homework to come upwith
a
list
of
suspects.Sol Littman,
a
Toronto spokes-man
for the Los
Angeles-basedSimon Wiesenthal Center
of
Holo–caust Studies, went public withnews that he was able to track downthe names
of 28
suspected Ukrai–nian
war
criminals
by
using
the

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