Those who go abroad should return home

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Aug. 25, 2011, 10:20 p.m. | Op-ed — by Bohdan A. Oryshkevich

Bohdan A. Oryshkevych

I have been reading the recent Kyiv Post series, "Ukrainian Voices From Abroad," with some interest. I have been reading the recent Kyiv Post series, “Ukrainian Voices From Abroad,” with some interest. All the profiles seem to have the same message. As an ordinary person, one has more opportunities abroad so almost everyone should leave Ukraine.

I would agree that Ukraine is not doing well and that a corrupt country run for the benefit of its newly moneyed elite is driving out hundreds of thousands if not multiple millions of its citizens to live abroad.

One could publish hundreds of thousands of such stories and we would not be more informed, know more or understand more about Ukraine.

More importantly, we would not be solving any of its problems. Not one of the people profiled in the series has shown himself to be a genuine observer of the big picture let alone of his own life. Not one is likely to make a contribution to Ukraine other than to send money back to poorer relatives back home.

There are many other kinds of people who have gone abroad. There are people who have gone away to study and bring back their newfound expertise and insights to Ukraine.

There are people who have gone to perform abroad and represent Ukraine. There are others who have gone to explore the world and bring some of that back to Ukraine.

Not surprisingly, there are even women who go abroad to get an education and not just to get married.

There are even Ukrainians who have gone abroad to become writers in their adopted countries. One, in America, has actually won a MacArthur “genius” grant.

He has written often for the New Yorker, a leading leading literary magazine. Another, an assistant professor at Columbia University, has worked on and been cited for Nobel Prize winning biomedical research.

We in the USA/USA Program have a student this year that has been accepted to Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

He has the talent and the character to become the president of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, or the Finance Ministry of Ukraine.
An education abroad should not be part of an exit strategy.

Two of the more promising young economics professors at Princeton University are from Ukraine.

One even did part of his higher education at home. I am certain that they would be willing to advise Ukraine or its businesses in economic matters.

A woman cinematographer won a full grant to attend New York University Film School, then a Cannes Film Festival residency fellowship in Paris to write a full-length film script, and will begin shooting her first US-Ukrainian full length movie production next year.

One of our USA/USA Program alumnae has won the same Tech Review Thirty Five under Thirty Five award in computer science as Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has.

She is a tenured professor at Brown University, funded by a Sloan Fellowship and has been invited to lecture throughout the Ivy League. She attended School NO. 57 in Kyiv. Yet, no one has invited her back to Ukraine to lecture.

No one has written about Kirill Dmitriev from Kyiv who went to community college in California thanks to an American host family; then went on to Stanford, McKinsey, Harvard Business School, IBS, Delta Capital in Moscow, founded and returned to Ukraine.

Successive presidents Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych squandered his presence in Ukraine. His increasing frustration on the Savik Shuster talk show was painful to watch.

He began looking for opportunities elsewhere. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation has recently named Dmitriev to found and head the Russia Direct Investment Fund.

This fund will comprise at least $50 billion of international investment tied to Russian government seed money.

It has, as its ambition, nothing less than the modernization of the Russian Federation, something that Dmitriev advocated for Ukraine numerous times on Ukrainian television! Ukraine’s inattention to this talented individual has led to Russia’s gain.

There are others like Kirill who have yet to return.

A lighter moment among students at the USA/USA seminar in 2009. The US-based program helps talented students from Ukraine earn full four-year college scholarships. (http://on.fb.met/jiWGAg.)

There are even cadres of talented Ukrainian bankers in London, New York, Hong Kong and elsewhere.

There are others who are persisting often against the odds within Ukraine.

Ukraine needs more such educated people. It needs to educate even more such people. It needs an active effort to re-engage those who are lost.

There are Harvard-trained political scientists who could write about events and policies in Ukraine if only they were invited to do so.

Interest and respect for this talent could not only enhance its prestige in Ukraine, but even make it even more interested and relevant to Ukraine.

Not least of all, our program has created a veritable brain trust for Ukraine. We have other talented students and alumni of Harvard, MIT, Yale, Princeton, Penn/Wharton, Dartmouth, Brown and elsewhere whose knowledge and expertise, if respected and tapped, might just make Ukraine a viable country.

Ukraine (I include the Kyiv Post in that) must respect its talent. Value it or lose it. It must also respect the transformative power of education abroad.

So, please think of writing something more enlightening and helpful that could actually make Ukrainians aspire to achieve rather than to emigrate for menial but regularly paying jobs abroad.

Ukraine as, perhaps, the most insular country in Europe, has no choice but to learn from abroad. How else will it modernize its industries, update its science, and bring genuine democracy and civil society back home?

By creating the impression that education abroad functions only as an exit strategy for average people does a great disservice to the future of Ukraine and of its citizens; the vast majority of whom cannot or will not emigrate.

The Kyiv Post should nurture a better vision for Ukraine. As an American-founded newspaper, it should understand that America was built by people who brought their dreams with them from abroad.

Talented people can bring their dreams back to Ukraine. We should help them to do so. Good ideas can take root anywhere.

Bohdan A. Oryshkevich is the co-founder of the USA/USA Program found at and on Facebook at
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Anonymous Aug. 25, 2011, 10:35 p.m.    

Wake up. What is the point of this story. Ukrainians are finding a better life in other countries. Just why should they return to Ukraine.

What does Ukraine have to offer them? Enough of this USAID claptrap.

If the US want to help Ukrainians go to the US and seek opportunities, great stuff, but do not expect them to return. Ukrainians are not stupid. )))) However, I notice that the Pinchuk Foundation makes it a condition that the people they fund overseas must return to Ukraine.

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 2:32 a.m.    

The USA/USA Program is a not for profit program. It receives no funds from USAID or any other US Government entity.

Students do return to Ukraine for a variety of reasons. We believe in freedom of choice and our students return to Ukraine without coercion and of their own free will.

In any case, one cannot force people to return to Ukraine. Mr. Pinchuk does not have the means to enforce that. His World Wide Studies provides only a fraction of the cost of the education of the selected students. His program is too new to be evaluated on this point at this point in time.

Here is more on our approach to freedom and responsibility:

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

Founder, USA/USA Program

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Yuliya Popova Aug. 26, 2011, 1:51 p.m.    

very admirable, Mr Oryshkevich. You should perhaps start with yourself. come live with us in Kyiv.

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 8:44 p.m.    

I am an American. I spent all of ten days in Ukraine in 1971.

I returned to America twice by choice.

That does not mean I cannot help educate students for Ukraine and help them return to Ukraine as I have returned to America.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 25, 2011, 10:55 p.m.    

&quot;Those who go abroad should return home&quot;

Indeed. Let see how TRULY PATRIOTIC the diaspora xoxols REALY are, heh, heh, heh :D

But everyone knows that the xoxol diaspra are nothing but nazi collaborators, common thieves and sex traffickers considering their history and whom they support in Ukraine. LOL :D

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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 2:40 a.m.    

Diaspora ate traitors for sure. Their only interest in Ukraine is to rob the country for their personal enrichment, much what the nazi collaborators did before the Ukraine people kicked them out of the country.

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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 7 a.m.    

Talking to yourself is a sign of mental instability. But of course thats obvious in your case.

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 9:39 a.m.    

As a member of the diaspora (both my parents were born and raised in Ukraine) and having majored in Soviet and East European Affairs while attending Carleton University in Ottawa I sympathize with most of the very well written article from Bohdan Oryshkevich. However, there are a few points that I believe should be qualified. First, during the cold war the diaspora did not develop an &quot;anti-Ukrainian attitude&quot;. It would be better described as anti-Soviet/anti-Communist. The major points of contention centered around colonialism, cultural suppression (russification), religious suppression etc. The second issue is in regards to Joseph Stalin. Yes, he did reunify almost all Ukrainian lands and yes he was instrumental in having a &quot;separate&quot; Ukrainian membership to the UN. However, he did not do this to benefit the Ukrainian people. In regards to the issue of unification he was adamant not to allow nationalist minded western regions the ability to snipe from behind. As for the UN it was an excellent opportunity to add an extra Soviet voice in that body (the same applied to Belarus). One should also not forget Nikita Khrushchev's declaration in his &quot;secret speech&quot; to the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 &quot;that Stalin would have deported the entire Ukrainian nation but there were too many of them and nowhere to put them&quot;. Finally, as to the diaspora's view on the current leadership there is a similar outlook in at least half of Ukraine (ie. central and western regions). Here again this revolves around cultural, language, judicial etc. issues. The mentioned regions and the Ukrainian diaspora have always been highly suspicious of the motives of pro-Russian elements and with good reason. No more misconception.

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 8:41 p.m.    

I agree with you. But let me explain myself a bit better and in greater detail.

First, the Diaspora did not have an anti-Ukrainian attitude as such. But I do well remember that it took years for the Diaspora to even believe that the Dissidents were for real. If something came from Ukraine, it was automatically looked upon with suspicion. In their own mind, they were anti-communist or anti-soviet or anti-Russian, but in effect they were anti-Ukrainian. They had thrown out the baby with the bathwater long before independence. This attitude left them totally unprepared for Ukrainian independence. Contemporary Ukraine is a continuation of the UkrSSR that Stalin unified and Lenin had created.

I am old enough to remember Pavel Virsky founder of the now eponymous folk dance group. He came out of the Metropolitan Opera in NYC in the late 1950s to the insults of what was then called the emihratsiya. What did he have to do with communism? He taught people how to dance well.

The Diaspora demonized everything that came out of Ukraine.

The Diaspora was also the biggest financial contributor to the KGB. By the thousands they traveled to Ukraine on Intourist tours in large packs so that they could be easily herded and watched by one minder. If all those people insisted on traveling to Ukraine individually and separately, the KGB and Intourist, would have had to have hired thousands of minders. In effect, the Diaspora never developed an analytic outlook on events in Ukraine. My father did. But he traveled everywhere in Ukraine during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s (ALONE or with my sisters or my mother). He returned in the early 1980s to NYC to tell us that what the CIA said about the USSR being the evil empire was a bunch of lies. The USSR was falling apart.

I traveled alone (with my sister) in 1971 and we had a minder part of the day and only on some days. We actually got to take a local bus and visit the village of my father. No trouble. We were discreet. My paternal grandmother was still alive and well into her eighties. She did not have a kind word for her seven children who had abandoned her and her husband. As I learned recently she named her chickens after the children who had left. She did this before she twisted their necks to make chicken soup.

Her son who was a Rome educated Greek Catholic priest had stayed. He worked in a factory outside of Kyiv until 1956 and then was permitted to return home to Oleshko. There he ran a parish out of his home. A Uniate parish for all to see. He had seven altars in the house he shared with his mother. He did this to spite the authorities. I counted them. This was all obvious to the authorities. All you had to do was look in through the windows.

Yes, they periodically came to requisition his supplies. But our family supplied him with regular money so that he did not lack for vestments

My grandmother made us a feast and sat at the end of the long table impassively looking at us as if we were alien creatures from the moon. I then realized that our family left Ukraine out of fear and out of opportunism and not out of bravery. The one person who had the greatest reason to flee was the one who stayed to minister to his flock.

Yes, Stalin unified Ukraine for his own purposes. I did not imply that he did this for Ukraine. Khrushchev also did not give Ukraine Crimea for its independence. But Ukraine inherited this largess and inadvertent generosity. I do remember Ukrainians being proud of the red and blue UkrSSR flag. They looked upon it differently from the Diaspora. In the end, this ended up for the benefit for Ukraine. Or did it? Yes, Stalin wanted the UkrSSR in the UN for his own purposes. But Ukrainians in the UkrSSR were undoubtedly proud of the fact that they were members of the UN. The Diaspora thought they were stooges of Moscow. Boris Tarasyuk was a Diplomat at the UN in the early 1980s. He IS proud of that legacy. It is on his resume to this day.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Ukraine is now saddled with lands that it never learned how to integrate. The boundaries could have been drawn differently. So the legacy of Stalin remains.

The reality is that Ukraine today is a direct continuation of the UkrSSR. Those Soviet apparatchiks wanted independence in 1991 so that they would not be purged by the Mr. Yeltsin. In my opinion Ukraine would have become independent anyway. The coup accelerated the process. The democratic forces were not YET ready for independence. Yes, Mr. Kravchuk, Mr. Kuchma, and Mr. Yanukovych are very much like Soviet apparatchiks. Mr. Yushchenko too, though because of his wife he dressed a bit better and his non-Soviet face belied his Komsomol and apparatchik mentality. He too was a Communist Party member. He took spoke Russian at home until it became advantageous to do otherwise.

Yes, Mr. Yanukovych has taste and feel of an apparatchik. But not visibly more or less than the other politicians in Ukraine. The Donetsk clan is the product of that unification by Stalin and the Bolsheviks. In my opinion, Mr. Yanukovych is the product of the Holodomor. He represents what was left after the decades of Ukrainian provincialism before the Russian Revolution and the industrialization and the repressions that came before and after it.

There is a saying that history repeats itself as farce. It is erroneous to think of Mr. Yanukovych as Donetsk Communist boss. He is something else and intrinsically Ukrainian. He is not pro-Russian.

He is a Ukrainian reality like it or not. Donetsk and Luhansk oblast are much larger together than all of western Ukraine. They have their own brand of local patriotism, culture, and humor which though insular is not pro-Russian.

I can only imagine how Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev treat Mr. Yanukovych the country bumpkin. I am certain that Mr. Yanukovych's Ukrainianized Russian does not persuade them of his &quot;pro-Russian&quot; intent.

The reality is that the Diaspora does not see that. They lump Mr. Yanukovych into the Medvedev and Putin camp. He is not that. The fact that the Diaspora does not like does not make him a Russian or pro-Russian. For better or for worse, Mr. Yanukovych is the reality of Ukraine today brought to you by the Komsomol generated Yushchenko-Tymoshenko soap opera. There was nothing more civil about Mr. Yushchenko and Mr. Tymoshenko.

Mr. Yanukovych is as much a part of the Ukrainian reality as the ultra-nationalists of Lviv oblast are. At the same time the vast majority of the wealth in Ukraine lies in the hands of the Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk industrialists if you can call them that. To call them Russian invaders is not realistic.

I am not saying that this is a good or healthy phenomenon. It is the reality. Neither the Diaspora nor the few genuine democrats in Ukraine have developed a vision for Ukraine.

Ukraine needs to integrate and absorb all the information that has flowed into it since independence so that it can become a normal state and not just a continuation of the UkrSSR. It needs a new generation of leaders. I would add that the Democratic forces in Ukraine are, in my opinion, just as incompetent and closed minded as the Party of Regions. Neither group is up to running a country. Nor is the so called ideology of the Diaspora capable of adding anything.

No wonder Ukraine has the worst demographic statistics in the world. It is down to forty five million people.

On the other hand, the Diaspora has access to the best universities in the world and it should work and help the USA/USA Program educate the future world class leadership of Ukraine.

Bohdan A. Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:55 p.m.    

Bohdan (If I may):

Yes, an excellent article. Yet you miss much (methinks) in regard to Yanukovich. His history may be Ukrainian, but his soul is Russian. He may be viewed as a bumpkin (and justifyably so); but it is the approval, acceptance and support of the Russians that he craves. His conflict is because the Russian villans are tougher than the villans that support him. It is in their interests he acts (as he must), and not the interests of Ukraine. Do not be surprised to see the Customs Union embraced if the EU project collapses, as long as there is protection for his backers.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 12:54 a.m.    

I agree with you.

My purpose in working on this program is to create a leadership for Ukraine that can take it to another level.

I would not be doing this if I were happy with the current leadership and situation in Ukraine.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 30, 2011, 11:59 a.m.    

building efficient smart technocrats/leaders to run yahukovych's dictatorship well is bad idea -- teach people to remove the corrupt mafia crooks so a democratic ukraine has chance to develop and survive ...

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Anonymous Aug. 30, 2011, 7:04 p.m.    

Education abroad led to the collapse of the USSR. That was one of the reasons the USSR seriously intellectual contact and education abroad.

The very few Soviets who went abroad to study were critically important in the design of perestroika and glasnost in the USSR.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

There are tens of people of people from Ukraine.

Most of the writing is in English

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 6:11 a.m.    

The truth hurts, hence the incohesive whine by xoxol diaspora criminals, heh, heh, heh :D

They do not concentrate upon the reality in message, but get mad about the messenger. What a bunch of retarded xoxl cretins. LOL :D

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 10:47 a.m.    

Do smile thinking of us not as Xoxol traitors but potential tourists with money to spend.

Do smile marking your wares and after we make our decision don't say &quot;Net hryvina; bucks!&quot;.

Do smile when we say &quot;Djackyou&quot; don't laugh because we tried to be polite guests.

Do smile as we order iced coffee and pay with a tip, or as you Soviet raised think of it, a bribe.

Do smile offering embroidered blouses and shirts with bigger necks than 14 inches.

Do smile with chilled carbonated beverages served with a glass full of ice even in the winter.

Do smile having to sale milk chocolate along with the bittersweet.

Do smile at Sunday Services with priests in Greek cut vestments and offer us the cross to kiss.

Do smile and stifle that thick unchristian attitude in our Kyiv's Pechersk Lavra.

Do smile even if thinking we're turning Ukraine into a prostitute.

Do smile remembering Russia raped Mom Kyiv in 1203 then complained about Venice in 1204.

Do smile we are brothers who studied Shevchenko.

Do smile, presentation is everything.

Do smile Ukrainian is an attitude not passport.

Do smile my Baba makes better vereneky then your selling.

Do smile God loves us, and them too.

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 10:09 a.m.    

Only some brainwashed sovok banyaks believe the diaspora were collaborators.

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 6:13 a.m.    

The diaspora left the land of genocidal, russochauvanist, soviet thugs behind for a normal life in a civilized world. And it did quite well for itself. It helped destroy the aforementioned thugs by exposing their lies for all the world to see, and it will continue to do so.... too bad for you!

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 7:10 a.m.    

As this last guest demonstrates, the Diaspora has a conflicted view of Ukraine. The article I wrote dealt with the return and attitudes of Ukrainian students abroad. The author of the last note confutes two issues. I did not write about Americans returning.

During the Cold War the Diaspora developed the habit of rejecting everything coming from Ukraine as communist. It in effect developed an anti-Ukrainian attitude other than what it was developing and preserving in the Diaspora.

The reality is that people in Ukraine led difficult but largely normal lives. They got educated, married, had low paying jobs, had children, and watched television and read books. They could not travel and learned to keep their mouths shut and how to game the system.

Life under the Poles before WW II was not much better. Certainly, life in Ukraine after World War II (when the Diaspora left) improved after the death of Stalin.

Yet tens of millions Ukrainians retained the Ukrainian language, the Greek Catholic Church in western Ukraine survived underground, and most hoped and some worked for a better future. They did not need the Diaspora to survive.

The Diaspora did help raise the issues of Ukraine after World War II. But it was the USSR and Stalin that lobbied for Ukraine's presence in the UN. It was Stalin who unified all the Ukrainian lands something that the Ukrainians failed to do for centuries.

The USSR did bring about nearly universal high school education, a crude form of egalitarianism, and the overdevelopment of certain fields such as music and physics. The society was overmilitarized.

When the USSR collapsed, many regretted the decline and loss of its uneven achievements. Yet, it remained home to all who grew up there. Ukrainians still for the most part celebrate victory over the German occupiers. They may not look back with affection on the USSR, but they do not have the visceral hate for it that most people in the Diaspora do.

I personally do not have a hate for the USSR since I never suffered under it. I was very active in the defense of Soviet dissidents. The USSR was certainly a dictatorship. But it did not affect me personally. I was grateful for being an American. At the same time, I realized that American missiles were undoubtedly pointed at Ukraine since in many ways it was the industrial heartland of the USSR.

After the USSR collapsed, I tried to understand Ukraine through the eyes of students from Ukraine. I had to to begin the program.

Their view of Ukraine is not that of the Diaspora's even though they may be educated in the USA. Their childhood memories are in Ukraine. Their family and their oldest friends are there. Some are more attached than others. Some see the need for their skills. Others see opportunity where people in the Diaspora see only corruption.

So to look at students from Ukraine as if they were similar to the Diaspora is a fundamental mistake. Their view of Ukraine is different.

Many people in the Diaspora still retain the image of Ukraine as a Soviet state. They see President Yanukovych as a Soviet apparatchik.

The vast majority of North Americans of Ukrainian origin do not relate to Ukraine as their homeland anymore. To them it is a land of song, dance, music, religious ritual, and ethnic food. If it reminds them of their American childhood in the Diaspora, they accept it. But the rest is alien to them as this guest points out.

As Americans who feel comfortable in America while watching Ukie boxers, or listening to Ukie folk, they believe all students from Ukraine will become like them and stay here. At the same time I do not think many Americans of Ukrainian origin think of the Holodomor on Thanksgiving day.

That is a misconception.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 1:51 a.m.    

Mr. Oryshkevich:

As a diaspora Ukrainian, living in Kyiv for many years, I can assure you that it is a complete waste of time to educate other diasporites who are frustrated and refuse to face reality of what Ukraine is and only offer millions of criticisms and no solutions on how to change anything. I agree with everything you wrote and hope you are successful. You are one of the few people trying to change Ukraine for the better and actual doing something concrete. Diaspora only knows how to criticize and attack.

God Bless You.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 12:57 a.m.    

Thank you.

I have thought of forming an organization of Diasporites who have lived and worked in Ukraine and who thus have a realistic view of Ukraine.

Ukraine can do better. Become our friend on Facebook.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 2:43 a.m.    

This sounds like a great idea. I will definitely look you up on facebook.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 3:24 a.m.    

Thank you.

Bohdan A. Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 2:24 a.m.    

None of the students in this program are from the Diaspora. They are all Ukrainians. Virtually all are Ukrainian citizens. We have even had two Ukrainians from the eastern Diaspora.

None of the students here is old enough to be a Nazi collaborator.

I was born after World War II.

Such commments make no sense and do no one any good.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich,

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 8:14 p.m.    

Well, it's a complicated topic. Even women who go to the States to study in Harvard, sometimes are driven and motivated only by the decision to get married abroad. You can never see insight. You see only the cover.

Yes, well-educated Ukrainians can come back if they are young and it's only their lives. Sometimes they already have kids and they are responsible for their kids and must guarantee them better opportunities which are not in Ukraine.

I could come back to Ukraine after my graduation of a top US university but I decided not to, because I have children. I prefer to teach ESL to illiterate African refugees or do some other professional jobs similar to this than to do something more interesting for me in Ukraine, because I am a mother and I must provide opportunities for my kids first. I do not want them to live in that eternal mess. Yes, it's a job for North American failures, to teach illiterate people who do not want to study how to write their addresses, but this opens much better doors and opportunities for my kids. And, honestly, this was the only reason I was fighting for a competitive US scholarship and university.:) This is a real life and not a theory. We are fed up with all that mess. Patriotism is an excellent idea. I was raised as a patriot of the USSR and where is it? People have the right to sacrifice their lives but not the lives of their kids.

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Anonymous Aug. 26, 2011, 9:29 a.m.    

Бог помагає Українії !

QUOTE: &quot;...a corrupt country run for the benefit of its newly moneyed elite is driving out hundreds of thousands if not multiple millions of its citizens...&quot; QUIT

Independence not only robbed the diaspora of their purpose being the self-supported and promoted Ukrainian State Department since the 1920's. Like rats fleeing a sinking ship some newgrant (new-emigrant) elements not only leave Ukraine with population holes to be filled by Soviet Russians as during past genocides, while in the diaspora these Soviets hoard every morsel of charity without thought for fellow Ukrainians. These Soviet trained ridicule what Ukrainian awareness is present suffocating their host's Ukrainian pride with mockery. A trusted international Ukrainian Trek staple is being replaced with chauvinistic Soviet pro-Russian alcoholics.

QUOTE : &quot;... Ukraine (I include the Kyiv Post in that) must respect its talent. Value it or lose it. It must also respect the transformative power of education abroad.

So, please think of writing something more enlightening and helpful that could actually make Ukrainians aspire to achieve rather than to emigrate...&quot; QUIT

No good deed ever gone unavenged. Some jaded Ukrainian Diaspora self promoting clergy did not like the Church (faithful / laity)l directing them during the Millennium of Rus' Ukraine' Christendom in 1988, despite the fact an Evil Empire crumbled. They set out to reclaim their controls promoting Radical-Orthodoxy abandoning pastoral care. The devoted crowds of the diaspora Ukrainian Orthodox Catholic Churches waned dramatically as excuses of language preference or working in a western culture with eastern gloves excused their hubris arrogance.

QUOTE: &quot;...Ukraine’s inattention to this talented individual has led to Russia’s gain.

There are others like Kirill...&quot; QUIT

Thee Ukrainian Diaspora showed concern of its historical legacy of 1988 for the accuracy of Kyivan Rus' Christendom. There were so many &quot;LETTERS TO THE EDITOR&quot; by every school student directed by Baba (Granny) the media, who started to investigate their same old same old Kiev Russian History. Vasyl Stus was martyred to punish their attempt for his 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature. National Geographic had several accurate articles on Kyiv Rus'. What are we to expect in 2013?

QUOTE: &quot;... So, please think of writing something more enlightening and helpful that could actually make Ukrainians aspire to achieve rather than to emigrate for menial but regularly paying jobs abroad.

Ukraine as, perhaps, the most insular country in Europe, has no choice but to learn from abroad. How else will it modernize its industries, update its science, and bring genuine democracy and civil society back home? ...&quot; QUIT

Well, the supportive Ukrainian diaspora who presented Embassies to Ukraine in 1991 without any self agenda besides FREE UKRAINE has all but been stomped out. The First Wave was stopped from retuning by WW1 but they organized. The Second Wave was shut out for supporting 1918/1919 free Ukrainian independence and unification instead of Russian Bolshevism promoted our Ukrainian perspective. After WW2 the Third Wave were displace not only due to UPA support for free Ukraine but kidnapped for slave labor by the nazis they are treated back home as treasonous traitors. What the Soviets could not do to stifle the Ukrainian Diaspora community Ukrainians have. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these pilgrims of Ukraine are too embarrassed not only by Ukrainian news reports but the narcissistic demeanor of the Fourth Wave's. Ukraine's disdain for the non Soviet raised diaspora and community promotion and acceptance was only emphasized by the defense Kyiv gave to John Demjanjuk's which hunt.

Happy Birthday Two (one being January 22, 1918) Ukraine. Good luck because you will need it.


Ukrainians are a nation, Ukraine is incorporated, Ukrainian is amongst us.

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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 12:12 a.m.    

Sorry, I made a mistake at the end of my post. Here's the correct version:


Ukrainians are corrupt, Ukraine is a backwater, Ukrainian is goat yodel.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 8:59 a.m.    



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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:28 a.m.    



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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 2:34 a.m.    

FIRST some of the diaspora had no choice but to flee when their families were murdered. But they instilled in their children a love for Ukraine which I do not see too many in Ukraine being as patriotic. I am one generation removed but my husband had to flee those &quot;peace-l0ving Russians&quot; who murdered his family and confiscated his beloved Amati violin after they first broke his fingers making sure his concert career was finished. With independence my husband and I were anxious to return and help build the new Ukraine as we are both academics and professionals in our fields.We were offered prestigious university posts and were beginning to finalize our careers here in the diaspora. HOWEVER before we could do so we began to meet some of the &quot;patriots&quot; from Ukraine and were cheated out of thousands of dollars which we willingly gave, as we thought, to universities and charities. Instead with investigation we found the money had gone into the pockets of these &quot;patriots&quot;. I know from reading some of the letters in Kyiv Post that there are some young people who are very patriotic and who have suffered delusions from the failed regime of Yuschenko. Going back to a failed state such as Ukraine is today is too late at our age but we can and do contribute funds for worthwhile scholars and charities. We also contribute to the universities here who are doing their part in writing true Ukrainian history and not Tabachnyk's version or Moscow's. This is important because our true history must be recorded as it will soon be lost in Ukraine. As it is not many young Ukrainians really know their country's history in Ukraine. And finally I would like to remind this author that not everyone in Ukraine is a Ukrainian. Ukraine is not a melting pot, sir!! I leave that for America and Canada. And the young so-called &quot;Ukrainian&quot; who ended up in Moscow, well, I do not think he is as no money on earth would tempt my husand and myself to work for the Russians.

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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 3:36 a.m.    

I sympathize with your pain and your disenchantment.

If you were one generation away from removed, were you not going to a country you did not know? Memory and love can be blinding and not realistic.

You state that you give money for universities here in the USA that write true Ukrainian history.

I would ask how many historians for Ukraine has the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute educated? Is it not important to teach history there? Who has written a history of the Donbass or Crimea in the Diaspora?

Like it or not Ukraine is a melting pot. It was set up on the principle of territory (jus solis) rather than ethnicity (jus sanguinis). It has since modified the law. But at the time of independence, a Ukrainian was defined as being as anyone living on Ukrainian territory. Not as one who was ethnically Ukrainian.

Professor Shevel is a Ukrainian with a PhD in government from Harvard:

She is affiliated with HURI.

Ukraine has decided to be a melting pot.

Bohdan A. Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 5:54 a.m.    

If Ukrainians leave they will only be replaced by Africans, Arabs, and Chinese.

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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 4:55 p.m.    

Well, Mr. Bohdan Oryshkevich, in your article and in your comments, you have very nicely summarized the situation in Ukraine - maybe going a little light on the fact that Ukraine is a &quot;melting pot&quot; because of the vast re-settlement of ethnic populations by Stalin and his successors in an effort to eliminate all nationalities (except for Russian), and to create the &quot;new Soviet man,&quot; homo sovieticus, in line with the internationalization of communism and the workers' paradise.

Personally, I don't think it's lack of knowledge, from within and without Ukraine, that is holding Ukraine back and down. After all, Kyiv Mohyla Academy is one of the oldest (and finest) universities in the world.

As Yushchenko said - it's lack of will power to do what needs to be done.

Yanukovych, Kuchma, Firtash, Kolomoisky, Akhmetov, Lyovochkin, Boyko, Chechetov, Ganna Goebbels German, Lytvyn, Kolesnikov, Chernovetsky, Taruta, and on and on, don't have the slightest interest in implementing democracy.

They know exactly what needs to be done, and they have for years - that's why they're going in exactly the opposite direction.

Pinchuk and Firtash may be putting on a show of donating to educational institutions, even to the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, in order to buy some public relations, but they are not going to let go of their place at the pig trough of government/oligarchy in Ukraine until they are forced to do so.

Which is not to belittle or denigrate in any way the fine work, the vitally needed work, that you are doing.

I once had a Ukrainian tell me that there is &quot;more democracy&quot; in Ukraine because the Rada has 20 parties in Parliament, and in the US Congress there are only 2.

I guess that along with that might go the boast that there are 185 or so &quot;political parties&quot; registered in Ukraine.

But when one looks at the substance, and not the form, one quickly realizes how laughable that is, with all the fake opposition, and the lack of any real political parties in Ukraine.

Ukraine does have educated people - but it has too many thugs who are willing to beat them up, like Roman Landyk, like Kalashnikov, who now screams Gestapo-style through loudspeakers in front of the Pechersky Court in Kyiv against Tymoshenko, like Chechetov, who screams with other sovoks on political TV shows, and on and on.

As far as a history of Donbass - there was one that appeared a few years back on the PORA web site.

It was quickly taken down, and its author was mysteriously forced to recant.

You are, of course, right - Ukraine must respect - and use - its talent.

Otherwise, there will be more and more like the little girl who appeared on the Savik Shuster show a while back, and said, when asked what she wanted to do in life:

я хочу бути кілером

&quot;I want to be a killer.&quot;

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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 7:53 p.m.    

Thank you Elmer!

Dear Elmer:

I agree with you.

First, there has been a huge migration of people and attitudes from other parts of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. That began with Khmelnitsky. Ukraine is NOT a homogeneous state. One can try a civil war oк make the best of it. The Ukrainian Studies department at Cambridge comes from the initiative of a Russian whose noble family emigrated to Kyiv around the time of the Russian Revolution. It did so to hide its noble roots.

I took a course at Harvard in which I had to write a paper on labor relations. I got an A+. The point of the professor was that labor relations is a marriage with no divorce. I had to illustrate the point. So it is with Ukraine.

I think that the Communist Party did something much worse. It developed a skewed concept of leadership. It did not select leaders. It selected bullies to bully the people. The concept of bullying as a leadership strategy is very destructive.

The tragedy of HURI, the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, is that it did not write the history of the Donbass. It has no interest in that since it does not consider the Donbass Ukrainian to the detriment of Ukraine. An intelligent history of the Donbass would be very helpful to understand that region.

I agree about the knowledge and willpower bit. Let me expand on what I wrote. Mr. Yushchenko was the last one to have willpower. Mr. Tymoshenko does, but in her case it does not deal with the ability to govern.

As I stated in my comments here, Ukraine has to absorb the knowledge that it has received in the last twenty years. Ukrainians are traveling and living abroad more than ever before. They have seen the world after centuries of underdevelopment and education. They have yet to apply it to their country.

Some elements of Ukraine are ineducable. Some have profited from the chaos. Some are just thugs.

Application to one's country requires knowledge, the ability to digest the information into bits, the ability to design an implementation strategy, the willpower to see it through, the persuasive skills to deal with resistance, a sponsor (meaning someone at home) who makes it possible, resources, and time. And twenty other things. Like luck.

On the other hand, there are others who do get involved. In effect by investing in something like the USA/USA Program you are investing in a team of people with different characteristics, all with knowledge of the world, superior skills, ambition and in some cases idealism. Facebook and Microsoft began as conversations among friends at Harvard. The ultimate success of the USA/USA Program will depend upon generating a quorum of such talented people and initiating the appropriate conversation.

An investor who comes into the country can do that. It is not easy. To internalize all those factors takes time. Even the brilliant students in our program often do not see the big picture. They see the wonders of other societies and do not feel that anything can happen in Ukraine. But they value broadly in that. Many have ventured home and work. They begin with top western companies: McKinsey, Bain, Credit Agricole, the UNDP, or in one case just to write, etc. A few have begun to work for local institutions.

It certainly helps to have people offshore. In this global world it is a terrific advantage that one can utilize. I would add that our USA/USA alumni now represent the plurality of the bankers in London. They are a potential counterweight to the oligarchs in Ukraine. Certainly, they are in a position to and are funneling money into Ukraine according to the demands of their jobs. They are not saints by any means, but the investments and M and As they make in Ukraine are corrective to some degree. They could do more. I have ideas about that but I would prefer to discuss that offline.

Also sending students abroad the way the USA/USA Program does means that some are going to be amazingly successful. One can turn into a Soros or a western oriented industrialist, financier who can independently provide a counterweight to the homegrown oligarchs. It is even possible that one of our students will go abroad, return, and become transformative to the situation in Ukraine.

If you invest in gifted human capital everything is possible.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 27, 2011, 8:52 p.m.    

You said...&quot;If you invest in gifted human capital everything is possible.&quot;

True, but what you do with that invested human capital is what counts and so far this illegal govt is not using it properly.

Besides, why would someone want to return home to Ukraine only to be stymied by the lack of opportunities, lack of democracy, lack of a judicial system that protects its people and businesses, etc.?

Ukraine is a beautiful country with many gifted people, but at some point, if one doesn't want to remain frustrated, one must move on and realize that the people currently in power do not value their knowledge, intellect or experience.

Besides, in most autocratic countries, it is the intellectuals that are prosecuted, not honored.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 11:03 a.m.    

Any history of Donbas would begin with how Ukrainians were mass murdered and replaced by Russians and would end with how those Soviet Russians control the masses of Ukrainains around them through their tyrannical control of government.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 12:33 a.m.    

Dear Gene:

Talent does return to Ukraine.

We do have an alumnus who is living in a city not far from Kyiv. He is a magna cum laude graduate of one Ivy League university; he has an advanced degree from another Ivy League school.

We have others in Kyiv and Kharkiv.

His daughter goes to the same Ukrainian school he did. He will be sending her abroad for education. If he made it to an Ivy League college then she can.

He does work for an international firm. So he does spend time abroad.

But there is no reason why he could not work as an adviser to a Ukrainian president, work for a new major corporation.

Our talent is of the caliber to be able to begin at a very high level.

Talent returns to Egypt; there is a Harvard Club in Syria. So, it is with Ukraine.

People who benefit from a top quality education often develop vision to solve major problems.

People do things against the trend or common perceptions.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:21 a.m.    

Nobody cares about your USA/USA program. Dumb name too. Nowhere is Ukraine mentioned. You seem like an old man soviet type. Ukrainian students are too smart to be brainwawshed by any &quot;program&quot; including the handfull that you help to obtain scholarships. They will take advantage of their education opportunities and will think for themselves. Whether they choose to support Ukraine from the diaspora or from within Ukraine is a personal choice. The diaspora needs occassional replenishment. The diaspora was influential in informing Western governments about the evils of Russia and has helped to inform about the evils of Yanukovych. I would rather be informed about real, legitimate organizations that do work to to support freedom in Ukraine. Such organizations can be found via the diaspora.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:26 a.m.    

Until Ukrainians can actually vote for every MP the same way that they vote for the President, and until immunity is removed, it does not matter much what the common person does, or who moves where. Fighting brain drain is a good idea, but there has to be a realistic good outcome that can be created other than masochistic punishment for returnees who will live a low standard of living compared to where they were living and building family lives. unless one has an opportunistic business opening here, or angle, ukraine has not made a good place to live for over 10 years. it is a very frustrating place that cannot be improved by the common man because the common man (or woman) is not empowered to do anything under the political system.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:34 a.m.    

And don't forget that Ukraine drops into third world development category when you leave Kiev or maybe 3 other cities. No roads, ho hospitals, no infrastructure. You get sick, you die. You do not know what is in your water or food from a chemical point of view because no consumer watchdog groups. Someone would leave London to return to Kherson or Cherksasy for instance? No way.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:33 a.m.    

Diaspora is a good thing. Who cares about USA/USA program. Dumb name too. Nowhere is Ukraine mentioned. The handful of Ukrainian students that obtain US scholarships through your dispersal of scholarship information assistance are quite capeable of thinking for themselves and of obtaining scholarship from many information dispersal sources. They will take advantage of opportunities and decide what is best for them. They will not succumb to brainwash. After all they survived Soviet Russian system. Individual can decide for themself what is best for them including how to support Ukraine. Diaspora was influential in informing Western governments about Communist Russia. And diaspora has helped to inform Western governments about the tyranny of Yanukovych.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:41 a.m.    

I think that the issue of brain drain needs to be firstly addressed at home (ukraine). If Ukraine improves, then people will return. But right now Ukraine is third world country when you leave Kiev, in terms of health infrastructure, cost of living, salaries, and development infrastructure. The change needs to happen from within, emigration is a lagging not leading indicator of social improvement. If you are smart and can make it anywhere, you go to the best place and build a family live. You do not stay somewhere that you have few good hospitals, doctors give dubious advice and are on the take, police are corrupt, and you are not earning a good living wage or getting good work mentors.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:54 a.m.    

Agree. Ukrainian patriotism is noble and admirable, and mostly due to the fact of birth location not any other reason. Similar to a child vigorously defending an alcoholic unemployed parent to outside critics. Ukrainian patriotism is a noble thing but it cannot be applied as a blind concept to implore people to return. If you are successful diapora, returning to Ukraine is an act of charity like Peace Corps or a pure desire to return closer to family living there. It is an emotional not a pragmatic decision based on reason.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 11:06 a.m.    

Freedom is about personal decision and choosing to take advantage of opportunity and choosing from where it is personally better for you to support your family and political views.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:36 a.m.    

Did not think my similar opinion below went through.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 12:48 a.m.    

The name began with the title Ukrainian Student Association in the USA.

We shortened it. It works well in Ukraine since it makes it clear that it deals with the USA. I welcome any better suggestions.

Our Ukrainian name is: УКРАМЕРЕЖА

First, for the last few years our students have been born AFTER the collapse of the USSR. So they could not have survived the Soviet Russian system.

Second, very few Ukrainian students enter the best universities in the western world. The process is much more complex than you think, the application process is expensive, and there is no preparation for study abroad in Ukrainian high schools. The US has many of the best universities in the world.

Other countries have special high schools geared for sending students abroad.

Ukraine does not.

Finally, getting the information to students who can actually win a scholarship is not that easy. Students have to know English, be very smart, hard working, and motivated. So our program does serve a purpose. I have seen many students fail in the process. There are virtually no other students from Ukraine at the colleges our students attend.

Last, by having students come to the USA in a group, one is building a tradition, and a group that can have an influence on Ukraine in the future. Our students beat any Ukrainian competition there is. As a result of our program, they submit better applications. They are better prepared. The colleges know that they have been screened.

Networks work.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

Founder, USA/USA

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 8:15 p.m.    

Well, it's a complicated topic. Even women who go to the States to study in Harvard, sometimes are driven and motivated only by the decision to get married abroad. You can never see insight. You see only the cover.

Yes, well-educated Ukrainians can come back if they are young and it's only their lives. Sometimes they already have kids and they are responsible for their kids and must guarantee them better opportunities which are not in Ukraine.

I could come back to Ukraine after my graduation of a top US university but I decided not to, because I have children. I prefer to teach ESL to illiterate African refugees or do some other professional jobs similar to this than to do something more interesting for me in Ukraine, because I am a mother and I must provide opportunities for my kids first. I do not want them to live in that eternal mess. Yes, it's a job for North American failures, to teach illiterate people who do not want to study how to write their addresses, but this opens much better doors and opportunities for my kids. And, honestly, this was the only reason I was fighting for a competitive US scholarship and university.:) This is a real life and not a theory. We are fed up with all that mess. Patriotism is an excellent idea. I was raised as a patriot of the USSR and where is it? People have the right to sacrifice their lives but not the lives of their kids.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 8:40 p.m.    

Yes, there is no reason to bring kids from the States back to Ukraine to that health care, job market when you pay under the table to get a job, and to the universities which teach knowledge which they will never be able to sell.

Moreover after 20 years of this life in Ukraine they will emigrate anyway, because they will remember the US for the rest of their life.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 8:33 p.m.    

Yes, it is not easy for over-educated people with PhDs do the job like teaching alphabet to the people who just laugh at North Americans and use them. They are paid their welfare, they get their free health care and they look at westerners as at idiots. They just use and abuse the system. Openly. They come to the ER with minor scratch on the hand because it's free for them. And free interpreters are also available.

I had a colleague, a US former elementary school teacher who lost her job, she hates them to the level I cannot even describe you. She thinks she is a well-educated teacher and now she is now like in the prison with mentally disabled people whom only the brain surgeon can help. I do not feel that way. Instead I am happy because this weird opportunity for me opened much better opportunities for my kids. This is a real life. Of course, after a few universities I graduated from it's a challenge for me, but for the sake of my kids I am able to survive. I do not work as a cleaner or a dishwasher, it's a clean job with decent pay.

And I knew Ukrainians with PhDs and M.A.s in the professions which are not marketable in North America (Ukrainian language, for example, or some narrow field) who became teachers of special education. They survive somehow all that level of their students and all that life in order their own kids become successful Canadian lawyers, dentists and university professors.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 8:36 p.m.    

Modern Diaspora Ukrainians are not NAZI collaborators, they are younger. Be realistic. If a Diaspora person celebrates his or her 70-year birthday today, s/he was born in 1941.


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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 8:49 p.m.    

In Ukraine, there are many ethnic groups. If you do research how many of those who go to study at the top US universities, are, in fact, ethnic Russians, Jews, Tatars, etc, why do you think they must really care with all that Ukrainian patriotism? May be their aunts immigrated to NY in 1973 as victims of anticemitism (and their cousins are working in Wall Street) or they were Communist Party leaders in Siberia in 1956?

Why do you name everybody a Ukrainian (against his will) if he has a Ukrainian birth certificate? It's stupid. Millions of Ukrainian citizens have nothing to do with all those Ukrainian embroideries, songs and Shevchenko's poetry.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 11:03 p.m.    

Your logic is flawed. They should (and many do) care because it is where they live, and an intelligent person is one who tries to understands his environment. That's generally how civilized people behave.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 8:51 p.m.    

And at the same time they can speak Ukrainian language much better than ethnic Ukrainians, because they just have better aptitude in terms of languages.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 12:37 a.m.    

Ukraine is a nation state of forty five million people.

Not everyone can leave. Not everyone wants to.

Many people see an opportunity whether others see nothing.

There are people who use education to emigrate. But that has diminished. Ukraine's borders have been open for twenty years and the pent up desire to leave is diminishing.

Ukrainians in Greece, Spain, and Portugal are suffering from the economic downturn and some are going back.

I do agree that you cannot build a country on embroidery, songs, and Shevchenko.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 3:57 a.m.    

Ukraine is not a state of 45 million. There are plenty of people who are still registered in Ukraine, have Ukrainian passport among other passports, they have apartments in Ukraine, but they left and they will never come back. And the statistics where they are does not exist.

They are officially in Ukraine. :) But they will never come back.

Many people did not want to leave Ukraine. I did not want, either. For me, in Ukraine I had much better life and professional opportunities, but my children must start their careers from zero, from scratch. It makes no sense to waste time and money into getting a degree after which you will never get a good job if you don't pay under the table.

And everything is getting worse and worse...

In Ukraine bribery became an absurd. Principals of the Ukrainian schools do not hire good teachers because it makes more sense to hire somebody who pays under the table for employment. It is always better for them to get something for themselves rather than for the school.

It is everywhere. Kids learn the arts and science of bribery in the elementary schools.

I do not want to waste time and money. It is better to have fewer opportunities for myself and open the doors for children.

I knew a PhD professor of Latin who got married to a US guy who worked in the store for 10 dollars an hour to get to the States. And she, of course, was a winner of all possible scholarships, etc. She does not see future in Ukraine. She had a good apartment, good job in a good university, but she escaped.

People are escaping from Ukraine, because it is a total mess. It is a criminal country where there are no human rights, no health care, no moral values anymore.

May be construction workers from Spain are coming back...

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 9:06 p.m.    

Ukrainian Diaspora believes in its own fairy-tales. The real life is that Ukraine lived in prosperity in the USSR in 1980s.

Shevchenko was printed in millions of copies. Free education, free dental care. Ukrainian theaters were funded by communists. Russian parents were required to pay for the tickets to the Ukrainian theater for their kids. They could trash the tickets but they had to pay.

Sometimes you could not find the novel of a popular Russian writer in the library but the novel was available in the Ukrainian translation. This is how Russians were pushed to learn Ukrainian.

What did the Independence brought? The Ukrainian language is being destroyed now because it is taught everywhere by teachers who never speak it at home. In the USSR the quality of the Ukrainian language was high. Now a Russian-speaking teacher teaches Math to the Russian-speaking children in so-called Ukrainian which he or she hates and does not want to know.

You are just raising the hate.

As a university professor of linguistics told me in Ukraine a few years ago, &quot;They will not rape us with their Ukrainian language eternally, we will survive and push them away&quot;. And she said she would vote for Yanukovych, because criminals are better than &quot;Banderovtsy&quot;.

That's it. Very simple. She is a well-educated professor and she prefers a criminal leader, but not all those idiots from Western Ukraine who ordered Russian-speaking teachers to teach Russian-speaking children Math and Chemistry in Odesa in Ukrainian language.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 9:15 p.m.    

Diaspora values only its own version of history. It does not care that people in Odessa selected Russian language as a means of intercultural communications before 1917.

They were Jewish, Greek, German, Russians and others, including Ukrainians. Bulgarian villages are around Odessa as well. This was their choice.

Now there are many Chechens, Armenians and others in Odessa. But people from Diaspora think they will invest more US government money and destroy all Russian in Ukraine. It is not Russian of Russians. It is a Russian which other ethnic groups selected and supported as well. And they do not want Ukrainians from Lviv and Washington to order them how they will speak in the bed with their wives and lovers, they selected this language to be RUSSIAN.

Moreover, all kids of wealthy people in Odessa go to the private schools where everything is in Russian and English and only poor people are supposed to become Ukrainian-speaking slaves.:))))

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 9:20 p.m.    

A good point. Ukrainian language is ordered in public schools, but rich parents send their kids to the private schools where the instruction is in Russian and English.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 10:47 p.m.    

Where the 2 rich people send their kids to school is irrelevent. Its the 98 normal people who matter. Sorry to dance on the bones of a dead empire, but use of Ukrainian language has grown consistently over the short 20 years of independance, and will continue to do so as rural populations move to cities. Don't worry, nobody cares if you speak to your wife in swahili. You'll fell better when youre older, wiser, less arrogant.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 3:26 a.m.    

Yes, Ukrainian surzhik is growing. We can boast now even Ukrainian linguists from Lviv who use plenty of Russian words in their speech. I know what I am talking about, because languages has been my job for my whole life, including teaching Ukrainian to Diaspora kids in the States. Yes, in that school I was shut up. I taught Diaspora kids the language I was paid for.

You do not understand. In Odessa it is not the situation when people do not know Ukrainian. They know. They can speak it. But you grow hate among them. When university professors in Odesa, speaking Ukrainian better than ethnic Ukrainians in Lviv, vote for Yanokovych, this is the result of all this stupid politics.

We do not want Ukrainian in our everyday lives and we do not keep it there.

The use of Ukrainian language does not grow in the real life. You cannot order anybody to speak it at home or think in it. Yes, I taught at the university for 10+ years in Ukrainian. And what's the deal? My attitude hasn't changed.

This mess in Ukraine push educated people to immigration and the place will never be empty. Instead of us, speakers of Russian, you will get people from Afghanistan, Somali and other stuff like that and teach it Ukrainian language.

Your rural population speaks awful Ukrainian, 50% of Russian words. In the Soviet schools it was not acceptable, even though we spoke Ukrainian only at the Ukrainian classes.

Anyway, it's a useless conversation, because Diaspora consists of people full of fanatism. They get married to an Asian wife and teach her Ukrainian. :)))

Good luck with turning Ukraine into the mixture of Afghanistan and China. You will get what you want.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 3:37 a.m.    

Kids in Odesa have always known 2 languages. Soviets invested tons of money into that bilingualism. We had TV programs for kids in Ukrainian, theaters, etc.

Soviets never tried to kill the Ukrainian language, at least, in 1970-1980s. I do not know what was before that, but in 1980s it was the time of prosperity for the Ukrainian language.

Current power is trying to give Ukrainian a better status if they destroy using of Russian. Yes, I am from a Russian family, but I speak Ukrainian better than many people from Lviv. And I was taught Ukrainian in the Soviet school against my will. And I will never use Ukrainian in my real life.

What do you expect from average people, who are not linguists and who just hate Ukrainian language?

Fanatism and bribery will turn Ukraine into the desert. Jews immigrated, Russians immigrated, Ukrainians immigrated, patriots are working on the construction sites in Chicago. :)))

Good luck with those slow people who are still in Ukrainian villages. Private agricultural companies will destroy all those villages. Villages could be successful only with Soviets. Now people do not want to work in the fields. If you can go somewhere else, what is the idea to work in the fields?

Now the borders are open. Even a stupid female peasant can go to Canada and work at some household for 2 years and get permanent residency rather than milk cows for the rest of her life. Then she will get married and milk some guy until the rest of his life.:)

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 3:44 a.m.    

Yes, rich kids always matter. It is the example. This is what people want for their kids.

When in 1972 2 Jewish neighbors lived in Odessa, a professor and a hairdresser and hairdresser immigrated and professor stayed in Odessa, because the professor had a good life and did not want to go to the refugee camp in Vienna. Now such hairdressers' kids are US lawyers, dentists and revenue agency's employees and Wall Street financial analysts. And professors' kids are pieces of trash with Ukrainian citizenship. It does not matter what you are now in Ukraine. If you have only Ukrainian passport, you are nobody.

People look at real life examples. Where in this world you will be paid for the knowledge of Ukrainian? In Diaspora household for illegal work in the household.:)))

English and Russian are required in many other places. Much better paid and more interesting.

People always see what more successful people do.

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 11:13 p.m.    

Your statement that the people of Odessa &quot;selected&quot; the russian language is absurd. It was the language of the empire at the time. Now the empire is dead, and Odessa is in Ukraine. So now Odessan children will have to bear the terrible burden of understanding two languages instead of one. I realize that ignorance is the preferred state of the typical russian chauvanist, but unfortunately you now live in a world where you're forced to know something. Don't worry I'm sure you can still order a vodka in Russian... Oh wait, its the same word... too bad for you!

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Anonymous Aug. 28, 2011, 9:25 p.m.    

Real Ukraine is a melting pot. There are plenty ethnic Ukrainians who grew up in Russia and they really love everything Russian much more than everything Ukrainian and there are plenty of mixed marriages. People with Ukrainian last names are Russians, people with Russian last names are Ukrainian, etc.

Western patriotic Ukrainians are working illegally in Toronto or Moscow. They go to any place where they are paid more. That's real life.

You will never &quot;ukrainize&quot; this real Ukraine.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 6:14 a.m.    

It all depends how you define Ukrainianization.

It also depends what happens in terms of world, regional, and local events.

There are certain irrefutable differences between Ukraine and Poland and Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

Ukrainianization is taking place in a manner that is not satisfying extreme nationalists or inveterable Russian Imperialists.

But it is taking place.

People in Donetsk may never support UPA; at the same time people in Lviv may never be appreciative of Donetsk politics.

But at some level that convergence is taking place.

Time will only tell.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 6:35 a.m.    

Ukrainization is the practice to push Russian language out of Ukraine. It is not developing Ukrainian language because Ukrainian language was taught much better by Soviets than now.

Teachers were highly qualified, not C-graders who are not able to learn something else and that is why they are teachers of Ukrainian. Too many speakers of Russian became teachers of Ukrainian and it destroys the language. Surzhik substitutes Ukrainian.

In the USSR, to get a good grade in Ukrainian, you had to learn it and now you just buy any grade. And not necessarily with money, sometimes much cheaper, for a few chickens and a bottle of wine.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 3:47 p.m.    

Nice story... look, botton line if you are so filled with hatred for the native language of the country you live in, there's a huge country to the east that you'll be much happier in. I think they're still paying bribes to get your type to move there. Since the article is about immigration, perhaps you ought to consider it. That way everyone is happy... Except maybe those who pine for the bygone days of the great russian empire,.. too bad for them.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 6:50 p.m.    

Sorry, I was born in Ukraine. I have nothing to do with modern Russia. It is a foreign country for us. My motherland was the USSR, but it does not exist anymore.

I do not hate anybody. And yes, I immigrated but not to Russia. I am now one of &quot;Diaspora Ukrainians&quot;. New wave of immigration. And I am doing pretty well in North America.

And my kids are North Americans. Ukrainian is not a native language of Odessa. Odessa has nothing to do historically with Ukraine. It was created by Russians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Jews and others.

I do not want Ukraine to become a part of Russia. I do not want Ukrainian kids to die in the war in the Caucasus. Why should I go to Russia? I just want Ukrainian government to stop raping us with Ukrainian language and respect our rights. I even taught Ukrainian. Moreover, I even taught it to Ukrainian Diaspora kids. So, don't teach me. I have seen many different countries and many different cultures.

Ukrainian government has no right to order Russian-speaking teachers to teach Russian-speaking kids in Ukrainian. It is everyday abuse.

I am sorry, in Canada, French-speaking minority struggled and got its rights. And we will get one day.

In the meanwhile, I prefer my kids to be North Americans. And have nothing to with Ukrainian and Russian mess.

We prefer to value Russian culture but enjoy living far from all that.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:04 p.m.    

Dear Guest:

I wonder what you think of American culture and of American ways.

Many of the people like you who come here from Odesa also dislike the USA. They have developed a generation to generation dislike of the country they live in.

If you dislike a place, you can always migrate to another place. Or you can improve the place you are in.

In our program we deselect for students who dislike Ukraine. We want people to leave with a positive attitude towards to Ukraine.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:31 p.m.    

People who dislike Ukraine play their roles of people who admire Ukraine much better than people who really love it.

They play this role professionally and prepare to the performance very carefully.

And why did you decide that I dislike Ukraine? I had been working in it for about 15 years after graduation from the university before I made my decision to immigrate. I did not take bribes for the grades of my students. I worked very well. But my kids have no future in Ukraine.

I must invest into their education, health care, pay bribes for their first jobs. Why should I go through this hell if I can bring them to the North America and the wealthy government will help me?

I am sorry, I worked as a teacher for about 15 years in Ukraine. That's enough for Ukraine. It used me enough for almost free.

There are many other places in the world and teachers can find jobs everywhere. It may be better paid or less paid, be more or less creative, but the opportunities for children are incredibly different.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:46 p.m.    

Dear Guest:

If you genuinely loved Ukraine you would have stayed at home, sent your kids abroad, and told them to come back with their knowledge to make a better place.

Yet, you have come to America to live, teach your children to make money so that they can cynically contribute for the benefit of homeless dogs.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 11:40 p.m.    

OK, I do not like dogs. I would not teach my kids to donate exactly to the dogs. The only thing I would donate is teaching Russian language either in Russia or in Ukraine.

However, my child really loves them and I am sure will donate to the needs of dogs and cats.

If you walked a little bit in the neighborhoods of Odessa close to the beeches, you would know how dangerous homeless dogs are.

US charities are doing a lot of important work when they organize all that work. I do not like pets. I do not have them and I do not throw them to the streets as many people, who like them, do.

Every society desperately needs people who donate money for the homeless pets.

Not for the homeless people. Homeless people must work.

OK, why am I supposed to love Ukraine as a separate country? I was born in the USSR. I was raised as a patriot of that country which was betrayed and destroyed by traitors with the help of the stupid idealists.

I have no obligations in front of Ukraine. I have already done too much for it. I spent my best years in it and even got married to the Ukrainian husband. He speaks Ukrainian much worse than I, I would say cannot speak it really.

It's enough. Ukraine did not give me anything. Soviets and Americans gave me free education. What did Ukraine give me?

My Russian ancestry did not come to Ukraine voluntarily. They were sent there and settled there. They were professionals whom Ukraine needed at that time.

Ukraine used half of life of my grandparents, the whole life of my Dad, and more than 35 years of my life. It's enough.

People can easily afford to be idealistic at 24 years old. Later they suddenly learn that ER in some Ukrainian cities is more expensive than in NY, they know that the mothers-in-law want money, parents need funerals and children need good education.

What is the idea to suffer through all of that in the country which does not even respect our right to use Russian and value Russian culture?

Russia gave everything to Ukraine, built universities, sent engineers, etc. Yes, you will tell me about Holodomor.

People died from famine in Russia, too. Ukrainians did not want Communism and they were punished.

Communism was the only solution at that time. It was a crisis of the empire. Those who were obedient mostly survived.

I have spent many years in North America, but with every year I respect the ideas of communists more and more.

I have generations and generations of teachers in my family. All of them survived. They obediently taught Math and Russian at schools and nobody made them any harm. Nobody was arrested, nobody was done anything bad.

People in Ukraine are so fed up by those Holodomor stories... Western politicians just use those dead bodies again and again. Yes, they died. We can not revive them. Let's put flowers onto their graves and stop talking about it.

Ukrainian schools do not teach anything nowadays. They only teach stories about Holodomor and sell grades. This is the result of Perestroika, Independence and all stuff like that.

Communists who created Holodomor were saint people comparatively to those who are in power now. Those communists did not steal anything for themselves. They built new schools and printed new textbooks. They sacrificed millions of life to give free education to the people like me. Well, I have already worked in Ukraine for so many years and I owe nothing to that country.

Ukraine will soon become a place which only refugees from Afghanistan will select. And Diaspora will continue to teach them... However, I do not think those wild people will care...

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Anonymous Aug. 30, 2011, 12:56 a.m.    

My recommendation to you is to forget about Ukraine and make certain that your children learn to maintain and improve America so that your grandchildren, ... for many generations will benefit from the prosperity that America offers.

Do not worry about the Holodomor.

Look forward and not backward.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 6:47 a.m.    

Over 80% percent of Ukraine is Ukrainian. It is only natural that in time Ukraine will be de-Russianized and re-Ukrainianized. &quot;Diversity&quot; is a Russian/Soviet code word for continued Russianization. Yanukovych and his Russian pals Azarov and Tabachnyk were a fluke,an accident. Next time Ukrainians vote it will not be for an authoritarian.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:18 a.m.    


80% are Ukrainians. :))) Why not 99.99% ? You can invent whatever, but the reality is different. In some regions Ukrainians are obvious minority. And even that minority is often represented by Jews who are officially registered as Ukrainians.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 2:43 p.m.    

hee, hee, hee

Talk about making things up,.. your post is a doozy!

The 80% figure is consistent with census as well as numerous unofficial polls conduted over many years. The only region where Ukrainians are a minority is Crimea... sorry, those are the facts.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 6:38 p.m.    

Ha-ha! 90% of my Jewish friends have &quot;Ukrainian&quot; documents until they leave the country for good. My own child is written &quot;Ukrainian&quot; but she has not much of Ukrainian blood and zero of the Ukrainian culture. All those results of those polls depend only on the fact who paid for those results.

Also, yes, in every mixed marriage people prefer now to say &quot;Ukrainain&quot;. There is a half-million of Bulgarians in Ukraine, they used to register kids as Russians, now they say &quot;Ukrainian&quot;. It can be switched any moment into another direction.

And of course, all kids in the orphanage are registered as Ukrainians, even if their Dads are from Somali.:)

We are a family who left Ukraine plenty of years ago and are not coming back, but all of us are registered in Ukraine. I have no idea who answers the questions about us. Probably, they write &quot;Ukrainian&quot; because they should fill out all the pages. I would not allow this if I were in Ukraine, but I am not there. I am sure that our registration is also used in that fake statistics.

Did you take statistics at the university? I did. So, don't teach me.

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Anonymous Aug. 30, 2011, 5:26 a.m.    

Ho, ho.

I did take statistics thank you very much,... and I can tell you that years of consistent statistics from numerous sources (which is the case with Ukrainian demographics)are more reliable than one mans anecdotes.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:02 a.m.    

Excellent well-developed writing. However, the fact is that the most patriotic Ukrainians from Lviv and Ternopil left Ukraine first to work in Diaspora households and renovating Ukrainian churches in the States. They dreamed to destroy Soviet Union but as soon as &quot;the Ukraine&quot; became &quot;Ukraine&quot; they left it immediately.

And now all those cool guys, Western Ukrainians, Diaspora and the US State Department expect somebody else like Russian native speakers to start adoring Shevchenko, Ukrainian language and work hard in Ukraine.

Isn't it ridiculous? It's much easier and more profitable for us to exchange Russian into English than into Ukrainian. Into North American stability than to ubiquitous mess in Ukraine.

Why do you expect us to be more patriotic than people from Lviv? Yes, we love mother Russia but we have never lived there, we were born, raised and educated in Ukraine. We are Russian Diaspora in Ukraine.

We do not want to have anything in common with all those eternal wars in Caucasus, either, so, immigration to Russia is not an option. It is a far and cold country for us.

We want a good life of Ukrainian diaspora and that is why there is such a long waiting list to Canadian immigration and that is why US colleges are full of Ukrainian brides. Just pay for a few months in ESL schools and you are in any city of the USA. :)))

Very easy, by the way. And after some challenges and issues everybody who wants to overcome them is successful one day and s/he already is a member of a new wave of Diaspora. :)

Of course, the easiest immigration is for unmarried people, but those who have kids also often manage to do this.

I met once a woman who alone with 3 children came to the States as an ESL student. Her kids became F-2 dependents and got to the universities in a few years, while she worked at a bunch of low-paid jobs making a good attendance in ESL school. Then she brought her niece to the US. The niece brought her husband. Then that niece delivered a baby, applied for a green card and brought her husband's sister. Then the mother of 3 kids finally left the US because she fulfilled her mother's duty. She brought her family to a new life. I do not know how she survived all that, but she was the inspiration for the whole ESL school because looking at her everybody thought, &quot;I can do it, too.&quot;

The ESL school still tells new students about her and explains them that they will be successful because they do not even have 3 kids.:)

Long live ESL schools! :) What was I doing there? Of course, teaching ESL, which nobody needed, because they just needed visas and open doors... It was an interesting page in the book of my life...

People are tired from mess, people are tired from the lack of stability. People used to live well under Communists. We still remember how good it was. You can tell fairy-tales to those who do not remember but we do remember...

What is the idea to come back after US universities and many years in the stable society?

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 6:58 p.m.    

Dear Guest:

I am familiar with your phenomenon. You are not telling me anything that I do not know.

I am familiar with western Ukrainians who are all to eager to use patriotism to emigrate. The farther away they are from Ukraine, the more patriotic they are. I am all too familiar with western Ukrainians who under Mr. Yushchenko asked for and got political asylum from the US Government.

We have been very successful in not selecting such characters.

We have a Russian speaker who graduated summa cum laude from a top college in America and is finishing up her PhD thesis at a very major university on corruption in higher education in Ukraine. She even went undercover to do so. She was 'crazy' enough to try to do that in Belarus.

Her mother probably thinks that she is wasting her free education in America.

But such people do exist and they are the ones who bring about change.

I think that you will have trouble understanding that.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

Founder, USA/USA Program

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:22 p.m.    

I do not have trouble understanding this.:) I had enough idealists in my own family, including myself when I was much younger.

One day we have children and we are responsible for them. That's it. We cannot afford idealism any more. That's very simple. One day we want our child to become a US dentist or US plastic surgeon and what is bad with this?

We have a choice either to do something for the sake of ideas which will never work. Never. Or just create a happy life for our kids.

I had relatives who taught Russian in the mountains of the Caucasus 50+ years ago. And where is the Russian culture in that region? And where is the USSR? It was waste of the life time of young people.

I have the right of choice for myself, but my children should not be accountable or responsible for my idealism.

Moreover, I play the role of an idealist very well, because I know too well, unfortunately, what it is and how much it costs.

Anyway, you are doing a very important job, you help Ukraine and people who were destined to be born there in your own way. And even in more important way than you think.

Who cares about the research of corruption this woman did? The most important thing is her children. They will become US lawyers and will donate money for the charities of homeless dogs. And they will improve this world and make the difference. May be her grandchildren will invent something useful.

You plant the seed. You never know when and where it will grow.

God bless you.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:43 p.m.    

Dear Guest:

You obviously have a very cynical view of America.

You think that America is country where people waste money on homeless dogs.

America does not need plastic surgeons.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich, MD, MPH

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:33 a.m.    

Ukrainian employers do not need people with Western education.

In Ukraine, it's simple. One buys every other grade at the university and finally gets his degree. Then s/he pays under the table to get a job. Then s/he has to charge somebody that they pay him under the table and he will share with his bosses.

Where in this scheme are you going to insert the guys who graduated from Harvard? The system does not need them.

To become successful in this scheme, one needs to learn from childhood how to bribe successfully. Or, to say more politically correct, how to network.:) In the Ukrainian way.

And I do not believe that US companies deal in different ways when they compete in the Ukrainian market.

Let's say, you are a big boss and you need new computers, what's the deal which computers to buy? All of them are the same. You will buy only those who will give you cash back. This is Ukraine. May be in 100 years it will change into something else. However, I will not be alive at that time, so, it's wiser to select some other place to live.

This is how young people think today.

Even a principal of a school in the village does not need those who graduated from Harvard. He will hire somebody who will bring some cash back.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 6:50 p.m.    

Dear Guest:

I am totally aware of the phenomenon that you describe so well. That is why I am continuing the program.

Corruption is everywhere. But people return to their countries.

We select a small number of highly intelligent, well motivated super talented individuals some of whom will be changemakers. They are ambitious and many have rebelled against the corruption that you describe. That is one of the reasons that they are proud of the USA/USA Program.

One in fact, is doing a PhD at a very top university in the USA on corruption in higher education in Ukraine. She is doing a PhD in criminology/sociology. I was first surprised as to why a summa cum laude graduate of a top college in the USA would want to study and dedicate herself to corruption in Ukraine. She even went underground in Ukraine and taught in a Ukrainian 'university' to observe the process first hand. She even tried to do that in Belarus.

In college, she did her senior thesis on Tatars in Crimea.

Why would someone do that if they could work in a bank and make $200,000 or much more and then come home and show off her wealth? Her parents and you probably think that she is crazy.

I know how this process works and no one can fool me. I have people who would love to find a way to bribe me to take their child.

One of our alumni is working in a Harvard/Princeton created program for rural education in China. There is corruption there also.

One day we will bring this expertise of corruption free education to rural Ukraine from China and around the world.

When I began this project, I realized that this was a project for 150 years.

You can watch my video at: in Ukrainian on this very subject.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich,

Founder, USA/USA Program

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:12 p.m.    

Well, as a person with huge experience in exchange programs, I will tell you why to select the topic about corruption.

The author will have a job eternally. She will get into some US international non-profit and the salaries and benefits are really good there. She will not be paid 200K, but she will make 75-90K + frequent travels all around the world to the conferences.

And life will stress-free. She will work from home twice a week, have a vacation any time. It is not business, in non-profits people enjoy relaxed life-style. For females with kids it is a perfect job.

Non-profits can make H1B working visa any moment. Not on the certain day as IT companies, once a year. Microsoft cannot do it, but non-profits can. As soon as they want you, they issue H1B.

She can make a PhD on that stuff and her salary at the university will be 100+K. I mean, it has nothing to do with the desire to fight corruption. I know professional winners of those grants and they get M.A. after M.A. from different programs. They just do not list all degrees in their resumes.

I know a female who has &quot;Specialist&quot; in engineering, &quot;Specialist&quot; in foreign languages and then she got M.A. in the US top journalism school and then M.A. in the political science from another top school. She is unmarried, she travels around the world this way. She is not going to work and nobody is going to hire her in Kyiv. She just gets one grant after another. Last time I heard about her, she was learning French. :) Probably, she is applying for Quebec immigration. I am just guessing. There are certain trends in these exchange programs and people who are insiders know them pretty well.

You program is excellent, however. It helps people to immigrate one day or another and save their kids from all that mess. And the kids of such people are also talented and they really need help to get out from Ukraine. God bless you.

This is something you really do and this is something we are thankful for. Nobody needs a researcher with that research about corruption. OK, US think tanks need, but not the Ukrainian society. In the think tanks they get tons of money and they must spend it before the deadline. They need new topics.

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:40 p.m.    

Dear Guest:

I am all too familiar with the culture of cynicism among Ukrainians.

It is esepecially prevalent among those who emigrated.

In American business management, that is the subject of a separate study: exit interviews.

Perhaps, one day she will be a Minister of Education.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 11:08 p.m.    

To become the Minister of Education, a candidate should, at least, work a little bit in that system as an educator, not to be an eternal A-student student with excellent aptitude, but does not have any understanding what she is going to do with that knowledge.:) Knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Ukrainian education already offers too much knowledge which nobody can use after graduation.

Ministers of Education should have experience not only from Ivy League but also from the washrooms in the schools in the villages.

Anyway, you would, probably, like her. She speaks only Russian in real life but she is a crazy patriot of Ukrainian language at the same time. She claims her Ukrainian ancestors suffered in 1930s and everything in Ukraine must be in Ukrainian. Why does she speak only Russian at home? Well, exchange programs select talented people with high aptitude. All too talented people are a little bit weird...

And her Mom is even more wonderful ethnic Ukrainian. She visited the Ukrainian church, praying for Yushchenko's victory during the Orange Revolution, but, at the same time she worked for the team of Yanukovych, because she needed money to support her family.

I would never be able to invent such a story. Real life presents us so many unique plots... May be Ukrainians and Russians just have exactly what they deserve?

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Anonymous Aug. 30, 2011, 12:51 a.m.    

I agree that Ministers of Education need experience not only in the washrooms but also in the toilets of the villages.

That is how one Japanese company trains its executives. It requires that they begin with a tour or duty cleaning toilets in their branches. That gives them the sense of where the work begins.

One has to try. One has to start somewhere.

But first, you have to have the person get the education.

One could be like you, and say I will never try because it will not succeed. So by not trying, I am saving myself a lot of unnecessary work.

If Sergiy Bubka had said, I cannot jump that high because no one has done it. The pole may break and I may permanently injure my arm. Jumping is a dead end job. Then he will most certainly not have won a gold medal or represented Ukraine.

You, sir, are not Sergiy Bubka.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 31, 2011, 7:06 a.m.    

Many sportsmen really break their bones and do not win anything. And who cares about that Bubka today? Moreover, he was a Soviet champion. In the independent Ukraine he could probably be nothing, or won US scholarship and disappeared for good from Ukraine.

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Anonymous Aug. 31, 2011, 8:21 a.m.    

He became quite wealthy and is now on the board of directors of the IOC.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Sept. 1, 2011, 8:46 p.m.    

A person cannot build all his life on the idea to become a champion of the Olympic Games. It's more realistic to become an average professor of Math in the average US university in the average suburb of Washington, DC. It's more simple. And you do something intellectual, not jump as an idiot who cannot learn an alphabet. Some people have brains, they cannot just jump, jump, jump.

If they are not able to learn Math, they can learn Spanish and enjoy the same life.

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Anonymous Sept. 1, 2011, 8:59 p.m.    

I wrote that to demonstrate that Ukrainians are risk averse. They want to survive.

We do not take on jumpers.

Our program takes on gifted students who think big.

Even a scientist takes on risk since research does not guarantee success.

The situation in Ukraine is complicated. So, one needs to take on people who are willing to take on a risk.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:39 p.m.    

Many people after exchange programs come back because they cannot find how to stay in the States. Then they immigrate in 4-6 years anyway. You see them in Ukraine in 3 years and have excellent statistics. However, in 5 years this person is already an apartment manager in Vancouver, in 7 years a research assistant in Toronto, in 9 years he is already a program officer in a NY non-profit. And his wife opens a boutique next door to that non-profit and everybody is completely happy.

Do you keep statistics &quot;after 7 years&quot;, after &quot;15 years&quot;?

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Anonymous Aug. 29, 2011, 7:54 p.m.    

I have statistics for nearly twenty years. We know where every alumnus is out of 54 except for one.

If you do not try you will never succeed.

You seem to be arguing that one should not try because one will never succeed.

We do have such an alumnus. Sad to say that is holding Ukraine back.

Many Ukrainians work harder for things to fail rather than for things to succeed. It is a real phenomenon.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 30, 2011, 3:53 p.m.    

The message I get from the Voices from Abroad series is that Ukrainians are concerned about the lack of freedom, democracy and lack of rule of law in Ukraine. Currently in Ukraine Yanukovych and the Party of Regions decide who gets a cut of the Ukrainian economic pie and who gets to work for those who have a cut. Lack of freedom goes hand in hand with lack of honest opportunity in Ukraine. Often Ukrainians can do more for Ukraine, for themselves and for their families from within the diaspora. I am not advocating for everyone to immigrate out of Ukraine but I do advocate for freedom of personal choice within the law.

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Anonymous Aug. 30, 2011, 7 p.m.    

Your point is well taken.

However, it all depends upon how one immigrates. There are plenty of professionals from Ukraine in NYC and undoubtedly in Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, Lisbon, Rome, Madrid, Prague, Warsaw, etc who are doing menial jobs.

One has to look on the return on investment. That varies greatly by strategy taken.

Sending students is the most promising. They are able to adapt, learn, and acquire skills. Older people spend much more time adjusting and depressed because of the skills that they lost.

Immigration also depends upon one's psychic makeup. Some people leave with great resentment to Ukraine others are trying to take a creative approach to a difficult situation.

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Anonymous Aug. 31, 2011, 7 a.m.    

People with brains and English do not do menial jobs for a long time. And many of them never do.

Yes, they cannot get the position of a university professor right from the plane but they can get something more simple but still intellectual and in the clean office. Of course, if they do something for this non-stop. There are too many local people who want the same university positions and government jobs and those who came 15 years ago are in front of the waiting list. Yes, economic crisis is another factor now, but still, professional jobs exist. Sometimes it's necessary to commute longer, sometimes -- to take 5 jobs with 10 hours a week each and jump between them on public buses, but those who manage to do it non-stop overcome everything.

Finally, what do Ukrainians expect if official unemployment rate in Ontario, for example, is 7%+ ? People who were born in Toronto have challenges and go to teach English to China and Middle East. Good for them! Saudi don't charge taxes.:))))))))))Hee...hee

I met once 2 families from Cuba, nothing unique, average engineers, within 2 years from 2 married couples (which is 4 persons in total) 3 of them got professional jobs. Why? Because they are real communists: they work non-stop. The 4th was really unlucky, because he is a musician, too complicated profession to make it marketable. And he has no English. Yes, he is working in the kitchen.

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Anonymous Aug. 31, 2011, 6:43 a.m.    

When Ukraine became independent and the management of universities started to harass and humiliate the professors who could not or did not want to teach in Ukrainian, Ukrainian universities lost the best professors in Math, Engineering, Science, etc.

When teachers of Russian were losing jobs they became teachers of Ukrainian or English. Some of them became psychologists. When professors of engineering were told to teach in Ukrainian they just bought the train tickets and left for Russia.

Ukraine lost those who had advanced degrees from the universities in Moscow, Siberia, etc. They were substituted by average teachers. Compare the level of Akademgorodok in Novosibirsk and some local Ukrainian colleges.

And now you are telling us that you gave the opportunity to 50+ students to study something like political science. Go to the public hearings on the Capital Hill about education. Does the US Congress care about such professionals for your country? No, they discuss the lack of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professionals in the USA and the low level of the US students in these fields.

In 1992-1994 the best professors were escaping to Russia in the quantity of crowds because they did not want Ukrainian language.

The Ukrainian &quot;patriots&quot; insisted on instruction in Ukrainian and destroyed the Ukrainian science and now Ukraine is being helped to get a few high top professionals in political science, journalism, marketing, conflict resolution and other fields which are mostly about talking about nothing.

Ukraine got 1 political science major educated in the States instead of 500 STEM teachers. Decline, decline, decline is ubiquitous.

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Anonymous Aug. 31, 2011, 7:09 a.m.    

Dear Guest:

Your points are well taken. Yes, Ukraine suffered decline with independence. The transition has not been easy. Ukraine has not yet fully recovered.

The Soviet system did not collapse from without but from within.

Yes, the transition to Ukrainian independence has been costly and not been easy. But the Soviet system was deeply flawed and based upon control from the top.

At the same time the language of science is now English and Soviet science even before the collapse of the USSR was in decline.

Biomedical sciences were in particular decline or had not developed.

Our program has top students in physics at Yale and Princeton, students in biomedical sciences at Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, and MIT. Students (2) in chemistry at MIT. Students in computer science at the U of Pennsylvania and in robotics/engineering at Duke.

We are very small. You can criticize us for being that. I am not the USA.

We can be the start of something much bigger.

That is why I wrote here to start a process of understanding, communication, and knowledge transfer to Ukraine.

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Anonymous Sept. 1, 2011, 5:50 p.m.    

I did not mean to undermine the value of your program, I am sorry if it sounded that way.

I just wanted to highlight that even if you or the US Department of State will provide Ukraine with 50 professionals of the level of Stanford in biomedical science every year it will not solve any problems on the large scale. The country is run by criminals. These PhDs do not have power to arrest the criminals.

Soviets had orders. According to those orders best A-students in linguistics were sent to the Caucasus to teach Russian culture to those kids and according to those orders teenagers from the Caucasus were selected for the boarding schools with advanced studying of Math or something else in Russia. Russian army was keeping that region in order. And teaching young generation the Russian culture to unify somehow those tribes with their ancient conflicts. Now Russia is in trouble.

Ukraine cannot be something separate in Europe. It exists in the real global world and in this global world it is just a small part. Ukrainian Diaspora created a myth of a fairy-tale country which was exploited by evil Russia.

The evil Russia printed books by Taras Shevchenko in millions of copies and funded and renovated Ukrainian theaters which kids did not want to attend. In difference from my classmates I attended those empty Ukrainian theaters in 1980s. This is your evil Communist Russia. When the communist Russia collapsed the criminals took the power everywhere, both in Russia and in Ukraine. While highly educated people talked their theories about communism and education they just stole everything. They are practical guys.

Moreover, those ethnic regions in the Caucasus turned into the land which is very attractive to terrorists, etc. That region creates a danger for the whole civilization now.

In this modern world the territory of the former USSR turned into the mixture of criminal and unmanageable world. Soviets were not perfect, but they were managers. They managed all that empire somehow.

I visited the Urals in 1980s a few times. Russians did not have enough butter and even high quality bread was available not everywhere. Ukraine had everything. In 1970-1980s Ukraine lived in prosperity, comparatively to Russia outside from Moscow. Russians from the Urals came to Ukraine in 1980s and were amazed, saying that this is a happy world of capitalism. Butter was unlimited, sausages were unlimited.

In this totally unmanageable today world US-educated PhDs in statistics or health care will not be able to help Ukraine. To create order in Ukraine and Russia it is necessary to have 1917 again. To kill millions of people again and bring up new generations with new ideology. However, who is going to die for the sake of this? Ukrainians are not going to for sure.

It is much easier to leave the country. Young people who have no money and no job experience just hire a French tutor, in a half a year they can go through the immigration interview to Quebec, then they land in Quebec and go to Toronto next day where the government teaches them English for free and sometimes even some professions for free. This is a tendency. They find jobs, pay 5% downpayment for a house and live in the country with free health care and stability. They are not going to fight for the bright future as in 1917. Of course, there are other tendencies as well.

Real Ukrainian patriots in Toronto get up early on Saturdays and bring their kids to the Ukrainian schools. And many teachers in those schools are in the reality ethnic Russians taught Ukrainian by Soviets years ago.

Ukraine has already received so much funding from the US and where is it? The idealists who were 20 years old in 1991 are already 40 years old and they are realists. Kids who were born in 1991 were raised in the criminal country without moral values and they are not idealists.

And the birth rate around the world demonstrates that the world is slowly becoming not-white, not-Slavic and definitely not-Ukrainian.

Those people have passion and their own ideology much stronger than the ideology of communists. They will build their own world with their own rules. We already see how in North America employer can sometimes get into trouble if they cannot provide such employees with the space for praying, etc as soon as there are a few of them. This is a future of the world very soon.

Idealists can be useful in ideology, in planning the revolutions, but to execute the revolutions, you need millions of people with weapons and without brains and very hungry, like in the Arab Spring. In Ukraine everybody has some education and they are not hungry. They are still living in good Soviet apartments, and they are not living in the streets.

For the last 20 years the US government funded all those ideologists helping them to study political science, journalism, anthropology, etc. They are educated people. They just study all this stuff for free and move somewhere else. Even those failures who are apartment managers in Vancouver do not want to come back.

And it is very dangerous that in the immigrant countries like Canada a politician to win the elections must please different diasporas. The government listens to the Ukrainian Diaspora and the Arabic Diasporas too much. The government must build its strategies without all those ethnic groups with all their history.

I remember about 10 years ago a famous columnist in Canada wrote something bad about Russia and the whole immigrant community wrote to government and it pressed the newspaper to issue apology. It's outrageous. There is too much pressure of different ethnic groups onto policies.

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Anonymous Sept. 1, 2011, 9:09 p.m.    

You make many excellent points.

You clearly see Ukraine from the valuable perspective of the average person.

The oligarchs of today will not live forever. Unless they prepare their children to run their empires, they will lose them. They do not want their children to live their lives. They are sending them to Sardinia to enjoy the good life or to second rate Swiss schools so that they learn how to spend money and live luxuriously. Their children will not be like them. Lenin and Stalin were ruthless. But their successors were milder, and the fourth generation of Soviet leaders came up with perestroika and dissolution.

Ukraine today reminds me a bit of Alexander the Great and his conquests. When he died his conquests fragmented into many parts. The children of the oligarch may well prefer to sell their assets, deposit the money in Swiss banks, and live in Monaco. Some are already doing that.

Who is going to buy these assets? Multinational corporations from the EU, the United States, India, China, Japan, and Korea.

I am not the only one who thinks that. Others are building on such a strategy.

In addition, other sociological processes are going to take place.

Bohdan A Oryshkevich

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Anonymous Aug. 31, 2011, 3:45 p.m.    

Good riddance to Russian intelligentsia in Ukraine. The more of Russian extremists who leave the more Ukrainian intelligentsia, who were murdered by the tens of thousands by Russia, will progress. Ukraine is not Russia. 85% of Ukraine is Ukrainian. &quot;Multiculturalism&quot; and &quot;diversity&quot; are code words for continued Russianization of Ukraine.

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Anonymous Sept. 1, 2011, 5:58 p.m.    

Intelligentsia is always a minority. Both Russian and Ukrainian. Intelligentsia talks and criminals steal the resources while the intelligentsia talks.

I observed how the best teachers of German &amp; Engineering were leaving for Russia in 1990s and they were substituted by C-graders who could speak Ukrainian.

People who learn English in Ukraine just leave the country. They are not going to learn English for the sake of learning engineering. Where have you seen those who would learn English for the sake of improving Ukraine?

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