One of the most significant upcoming events for the Ukrainian diaspora in the Russian Federation is the census scheduled for October 2002. The last census was conducted in 1989 during Soviet times and resulted in a finding of 4.6 million Ukrainians residing within the Russian Federation. However, even government officials in Russia, without disparaging, ridiculing or criticizing the methods of the 1989 census, acknowledge privately that the Ukrainian community in Russia was severely undercounted. Many reasons have been suggested for this undercount ranging from a lack of national awareness on the part of the Ukrainian minority to subtle psychological pressure exerted in the form of "we are all brothers." While the USSR undermined the national aspirations of all Soviet citizens, it had particular success among Slavs.
Today's Russia purports to be a democratic state. We can recount certainly its deficiencies in this regard, the most obvious of which is its law on religion which recognizes only four- Russian Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. Particular discrimination is leveled against Ukrainian Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Most regions in the Russian Federation follow the prescription of the legislation on religion quite loosely, allowing for the registration of Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. However to date not a single Ukrainian Orthodox Kyiv Patriarchate or a Ukrainian Catholic Church has been sanctioned. Ukrainians even by the flawed 1989 census are the second largest ethnic group in Russia. Ukrainian ethnics find themselves in prominent, yet invariably subservient government positions which misleadingly suggests that Ukrainians influence government structures and policy. Russian law permits access to government radio and television for ethnic minorities, yet little in that regard is implemented on the local levels. Russian law permits ethnic language classes where 25 parents in a school request same. Once again little is carried out. Unfortunately, much of the fault lies with the Ukrainian ethnic minority itself, which does not avail itself of these entitlements. Why do Ukrainians fail to exercise their rights? Because their psyche as little brother has become ingrained. Russia fosters this policy and reacts at attempts to stir national awareness, by branding ethnic activists as nationalists and chauvinists.
In particular, the formation of an independent Ukrainian state fostered recognition that Ukrainians are not Russians. The Ukrainian World Congress(UWC) is striving to establish a network of a global Ukrainian diaspora numbering some 20 million people, enhancing national awareness. The time has come for all Ukrainians in Russia to be recognized as a separate nationality and to join the world Ukrainian community in their capacity as law abiding citizens of the Russian Federation.
The UWC with membership in the United States, Canada, South America, western and eastern Europe, Asia and Australia urges our brothers and sisters in the Russian Federation to recognize that they are an integral part of the world Ukrainian diaspora. That their emotions and loyalties dare run to both countries, the one where they reside and raise their families and the one which is their ancestral homeland and which is now free and independent. Almost two hundred countries in the world have recognized Ukrainian distinctness by establishing diplomatic relations with Ukraine. All western countries with Ukrainian minorities including the United States and Canada acknowledge that their populations are a wonderful mosaic of nationalities in which the Ukrainian contribution has been and will continue to be significant. Russia becomes that much more democratic when its recognizes its citizens as loyal individuals with distinct characteristics. We encourage Ukrainians in Russia to make sure that they are counted as Ukrainians.

For the Ukrainian World Congress

Askold S. LozynskyjViktor Pedenko
PresidentSecretary General

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