December 5, 2004
NEW YORK – The Shevchenko Scientific Society in America (NTSh) reacted with a number of initiatives in response to the widely reported falsification of the presidential election in Ukraine on November 21, 2004, and to the massive popular demonstrations in Ukraine protesting the fraudulent election results.
November 22: Individual responses. Members of the society’s Governing Board contacted their Senators and Congressmen individually, urging them to intervene in support of a fair election result in Ukraine.
November 23: A letter to President George W. Bush. The Executive Board of NTSh composed a letter to Pres. Bush, calling upon him to intercede in defense of democracy in Ukraine by pressing the Ukrainian government to arrange “for an honest RECOUNT in the presence of international observers”. (See the text below).
Every effort was made to obtain the widest possible participation in the signing of that letter, and by 5 p.m., 1301 individuals affixed their signatures to it. As the names were arriving at email@example.com, they were faxed or e-mailed to the White House in batches of several hundred at a time, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Subsequently, other Ukrainian-American groups picked up the NTSh letter to President Bush and reportedly collected some 1500 additional signatures
63 Fourth Ave.
New York, N.Y. 10003-5200
Tel. (212) 254-5130
Fax. (212) 254-5239
President George W. Bush
The White House
Dear Mr. President,
During your recent re-election you shared your dream of spreading freedom throughout the world.
On Sunday, a presidential election took place in Ukraine. However, that very cherished aspect of democracy — the right to vote and to have one’s vote counted — encountered insurmountable roadblocks.
Senator Richard Lugar reported on Monday: “It is now apparent that a concerted and forceful program of election-day fraud and abuse was enacted with either the leadership or cooperation of governmental authority.”
According to Senator Lugar, the Ukrainian presidential election on Sunday was a fraud. It was a mockery of the democratic voting and election process. The Ukrainian people who wanted to taste that freedom that you, Mr. President, are willing to help the world achieve, — were not given that chance.
As concerned Americans, we ask that you do everything diplomatically possible to have the Ukrainian government arrange for an honest RECOUNT in the presence of international observers.
November 24: A “Thank you for your signatures” letter was posted on the Internet by Dr. Onyshkevych on behalf of the Executive Board, noting the favorable response from the White House: “We are happy to report that by 7 p.m. (November 23) it became known that the White House issued a statement in reference to the Ukrainian elections, supporting “efforts to review the conduct of the election” and urging “Ukrainian authorities not to certify results until investigations of organized fraud are resolved”. The White House also reminded the Ukrainian government that it “bears a special responsibility not to use or incite violence” and that “The United States stands with the Ukrainian people in this difficult time””.
November 26: A letter to Ukraine’s Parliament. The Executive Board of NTSh faxed a letter to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, care of its chairman, Dr. Volodymyr Lytvyn, expressing its concern about the official results of the recent presidential elections in Ukraine, citing their condemnation and rejection world-wide. The NTSh board called upon Ukraine’s Parliament to review the election results of November 21, 2004 and to do everything in its power to ensure that the will of the Ukrainian people is heeded (in Ukrainian).
We were happy to learn the following day that the Verkhovna Rada voted to declare the disputed presidential election invalid.
November 27: Statement by NTSh on elections in Ukraine.
The Executive Board of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in America applauds the Ukrainian Parliament for rejecting today the fraudulent results of the November 21, 2004 presidential election in Ukraine.
We admire the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who have been demonstrating peacefully in many Ukrainian cities, protesting these falsified election results, demanding that the will of the people be heeded. We support their struggle for democracy, civil rights and the rule of law in Ukraine.
We support the peaceful participation in this struggle of our academic colleagues, scholars and students, and express our solidarity with their principled stand.
We are confident that the just struggle of the Ukrainian people for freedom, democracy and a transparent and fair presidential election in Ukraine will prevail.
Roman Andrushkiw, Ph. D., First Vice-President
Swiatoslaw Trofimenko, Ph. D., Vice-President and Learned Secretary
Yuriy Slusarczuk, Ph. D., Vice-President and CFO
Orest Popovych, Ph. D., Vice-President
November 28: The Executive Board of NTSh issued a similar statement on the elections in Ukraine in the Ukrainian language for promulgation on the Internet, to selected newspapers in Ukraine, and especially to our academic colleagues in Ukraine.
December 4: Roundtable in Pittsburgh. The NTSh chapter in Western Pennsylvania, chaired by Prof. Jaropolk Lassowsky, organized a roundtable discussion held at the University of Pittsburgh titled “Ukraine’s Choice: TAK! The Orange Revolution or Eastern Separatism”.
Throughout this remarkable peaceful revolution, which for weeks has placed Ukraine on the front pages of the world’s mass media, NTSh has served as a conduit for the many announcements, statements and appeals from Ukrainian universities and institutes, while a number of its individual members have provided publicity on behalf of the Ukrainian cause with their articles, lectures, interviews, video-recordings and photographs.
At least two NTSh members travelled to Kyiv as supporters and witnesses to these historic events. Prof. Roman Voronka went to Kyiv in advance of the run-off election of November 21 and remained there afterwards to provide support to the demonstrating students at the beginning of their protests. Dr. Vasyl Lopukh visited Kyiv at the height of the demonstrations there, where he provided support to the students and conducted a number of interviews, bringing back a collection of stories, videos and photographs that immortalized the “orange revolution”.
Prof. Alexander J. Motyl published in the International Heral Tribune the article “Ukraine II: EU Hypocrisy Must End”
Prof. Vasyl Makhno composed a poem about the demonstrations in Kyiv’s Independence Square and then recited it at the Ukrainian demonstration in New York near the U.N. on November 27. On December 1, members of NTSh participated in a roundtable on Ukraine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Swiatoslaw Trofimenko was one of four Ukrainians who gave an interview on the current situation in Ukraine to the Wilmington News Journal (Delaware), which was presented in an article with his picture on December 2.