St Maksim Sandovich (1886-1914), New Martyr of Lemkovshchyna, Confessor of the Orthodox Faith, murdered by the Hapsburgs in 1914. His spiritual descendant is Fr Dmitri Sidor, who is persecuted by the Orangies in Kiev
The Ukrainian leadership of Viktor Yushchenko has again demonstrated that there exists a wide gap between its democratic rhetoric and its practical policies. This gap is especially evident in official Kiev’s national policies. The Russian language and culture are still being driven from the Ukraine’s cultural, educational, and informational space. The regions and ethnic groups that refuse to regard themselves as Ukrainians have to face forced Ukrainisation. These include both the Russian south-east and the Carpathians, whose indigenous residents include Rusyns and Hungarians.
The Soym [parliament] of the Carpatho-Rusyns is an NGO that has long been fighting for the civil rights of Rusyns (Carpatho-Russians), primarily, for their right to be referred to by their own name, rather than as Ukrainians. The present-day Ukrainian authorities refuse them even that, regardless of numerous personal pledges of President Viktor Yushchenko (and Leonid Kuchma before him) to recognise Rusyns as a separate nation. A number of acts of international law have recommended that the Ukrainian authorities halt the harassment of national minorities on its territory, including the harassment of the Rusyn minority.
Reports from information agencies state that, on 26 November, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) in the Carpathians sent files to the regional authorities demanding that the associations the “Soym of the Carpatho-Rusyns” and the “People’s Council of the Carpatho-Rusyns” be disbanded . The position taken by the SBU is questionable from the legal point of view.
The activity of the Soym of the Carpatho-Rusyns is based on the results of the 1 December 1991 referendum, where 78 percent of Carpathians spoke in favour of forming an autonomous region within the framework of the Ukraine. Let us emphasise this detail, it is all about autonomy, rather than secession from the Ukrainian state. This is clearly stated in the memorandum of the 2nd European Congress of Carpatho-Rusyns that took place in Mukačevo on 25 October 2008.
The fact that the leaders of the Soym of the Carpatho-Rusyns are called “separatists” is a foul legal frame-up, as they are dedicated champions of autonomy fighting for the cultural and civil rights of the indigenous residents of the Carpathians. The authoritarian and assimilationist Ukrainisation polices of the Kiev leadership have resulted in a rekindling of separatism, thus, radicalising the positions of the Ukraine’s national minorities. Therefore, it is not out of the question that, following the steps of Rusyns, other nationalities living in the Ukraine shall begin to speak about their autonomy (cultural or national and territorial), including ethnic groups in the western Ukraine.
Kiev can resolve the so-called problem of Rusyn “separatism” easily, without resorting to any sort of repressions. What it would take is to satisfy the legal and moderate demands of the Rusyn movement. But, to all appearances, Kiev is stubbornly preparing to launch a large-scale attack on the rights of minorities. Smothering the problem this way would give only a short-time effect, for the only response to that would be coming up with more radical demands, by both Rusyn associations and organisations of other national communities in the Ukraine.
28 November 2008
Strategic Culture Foundation
This is the true face of Galician Uniate nationalism. Fr Dmitri Sidor, the courageous leader of the Carpatho-Russian people, has been harassed by Yushchenko’s CIA-trained SBU goons. Do not forget that some of the secret torture facilities run by the CIA were in the Ukraine, with Yushchenko’s blessing. America should step back and leave this sickly successor-state to its fate.
A note on terminology: The original document uses “Rusyn”, whilst the preferred usage amongst the Orthodox population of the region (and in its Orthodox diaspora) is “Carpatho-Russian”.
The following is from Wikipedia and states the Galician Uniate nationalist spin on events:
“The Svoboda Party released following statement: “Zakarpattian separatists led by the Moscow Patriarchate priest Sidor are issuing an ultimatum to the Ukrainian authorities today. Tomorrow, armed with Russian passports and money from the Kremlin, they will implement the ‘Georgian scenario’ in the Ukraine”. The party called on President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yuliya Timoshenko to issue a political assessment of the actions in Zakarpattia and the Crimea, called on the National Security and Defence Council to draft a plan for preventing separatist actions, and called the Foreign Affairs Ministry to declare all the citizens that participated in the 25 October congress as persona non grata in the Ukraine. The prosecutor’s office of Zakarpattia region has filed a case against priest Dmitri Sidor and Yevgeni Zhupan, an Our Ukraine deputy of the Zakarpattia regional council and chairman of the People’s Council of Ruthenians, on charges of encroaching on the territorial integrity and inviolability of the Ukraine”.
There one has it. Kiev has declared war on the Carpatho-Russian people, their culture, their language, and their Orthodox faith. It is in their own words. May God help and preserve the brave Carpatho-Russian people in the face of Galician persecution.
I thank Timothy Connelly for alerting me to this story. Ochen spasibo! Pray for the persecuted Orthodox people of Carpatho-Russia!