In 2014 Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then Russian authorities have illegally imprisoned at least 70 Ukrainians. Russia has ignored all demands from the international community to negotiate the freedom of these prisoners. Accordingly, the national Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union (SUSK) has initiated a campaign “Postcards for Political Prisoners” whereby postcards are sent to political prisoners in Russia as an act of solidarity.
As part of the campaign, the USUSA is leading this initiative on the University of Saskatchewan campus, visiting classrooms and spreading awareness of these and other human rights violations at various student and PCUH events. The campaign continues throughout the months of February, March, and early April.
Ukrainian Studies Research Showcase is a unique academic opportunity for
students enrolled in undergraduate Ukrainian Studies courses or undertaking
graduate study to share with their peers and the community at large their research
work. Organized by the University of Saskatchewan Ukrainian Students’
Association (USUSA) in association with the PCUH, this year’s showcase was held
on the evening of February 5, 2019.
Three undergraduate students delivered presentations: Tiana Kirstein, Matthew Selinger and Adrian Aquino. Ms. Kirstein, whose interest is in early modern European history, presented her findings on Cossack imagery during the Euromaidan and its importance in propagating the idea of national resistance.
Matthew Selinger delivered remarks on the historical tension that exists around the issue of Ukrainian nationalism and anti-semitism, which is being exploited by Russia in its conflict with Ukraine. He argued that by addressing the record of Ukraine’s turbulent past Ukrainian democracy and its modern nationalist ethic would be strengthened in its conflict with Russia.
Finally, Mr. Aquino examined the factors that have led to the recent Ukraine crisis, arguing Russia’s distorted perception of its national identity (linked as it is to an imperial past) and Vladimir Putin’s’ desire to restore Russia as a global superpower have placed it on a collision course with both Ukraine and the West. He further explored the issue of international sanctions and how Russian aggression will penultimately fail in an increasingly globalized political environment.
The evening ended with a reception organized by the USUSA, allowing the conversation to continue in an informal setting.