Ukrainian official to visit area Wednesday
WATERVLIET Ukrainian-Americans are inviting their neighbors to meet with a member of Parliament in Ukraine, an eastern European country teetering on the edge of revolution.
About two months of protests in Ukraine turned deadly last week, a topic Oleh Medunytsia is deeply involved in.
The activist and protest organizer will be in the Capital Region as part of a U.S. tour leading a visit with President Barack Obama.
Unrest in Ukraine led to the resignation of the Ukrainian Prime Minister Wednesday, but Myron Swidersky, a Ukrainian-American Amsterdam resident, said the move will do little to allay the fears of Ukrainians concerned with falling under the grip of Russia.
Protests began in November after Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade agreement with the European Union, opting instead to tie its economy with Russia — a country many in Ukraine feel subjected their people to tyranny that included a forced mass-starvation some 80 years ago.
The protests grew in size and ferocity after the country’s Parliament approved laws considered restrictive, such as requiring a permit in order for five or more people to gather publicly.
Swidersky said he thinks six protesters have been killed in Ukraine so far.
Medunytsia will meet with the media today at 5 p.m. at the Ukrainian-American Citizens Club in Watervliet, 402 25th Street, followed by a 6:30 p.m. town hall-style meeting. He will be accompanied by a translator.
On Thursday, Medunytsia is scheduled to participate in local radio talk shows, meet with New York state legislators and speak with the media at the Davis Auditorium at Skidmore College from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
People can learn more about the issue on the website of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.