Ukraine’s Independence in the Destiny of Ukrainians Abroad

  • Post category:Issue XXII

Stanislav Lazebnyk
Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Member of the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine

DOI: 10.37837/2707-7683-2021-9

Abstract. The article analyses the peculiarities of ethnic and cultural relations between
Ukraine and its diaspora in the 20th–21st centuries. The first part of the text outlines the beginning of relations between Ukraine and the foreign Ukrainian community, which started with the formation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR) and the emergence of Ukrainian non-governmental organisations in the post-Soviet space that helped to spread information about the country. The article deals with the long-term struggle of Ukrainian immigrants in the West for the restoration of independent Ukraine and joyful reception by all foreign Ukrainians of the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine. It is revealed that the relations between Ukraine and the diaspora before and after Ukraine gained independence are fundamentally different.
The author deals with the conflict of views among foreign Ukrainians on the support of already independent Ukraine. Moreover, the article describes the ethnic and cultural changes that took place following the dissolution of the USSR and the new problems that confronted Ukraine at a crucial juncture of its development. The author also mentions and analyses the problem of Ukrainians renouncing their own roots. Besides, the material proposed describes the abundant growth of the foreign branch of the Ukrainian ethnic group in the world and briefly analyses the current existence of the diaspora. The domestic experience of the implementation of Ukraine’s state policy towards foreign Ukrainians is examined separately.
It is concluded that in the geopolitical conditions of the 21st century the diaspora, though often lacking coherence and consent between ‘old’ and ‘new’ generations, is increasingly becoming an agent of public diplomacy, which can not only strengthen bilateral relations between countries but also improve the international image of Ukraine in different parts of the globe that have become their new homes.
Keywords: independence of Ukraine, Ukrainian diaspora, assistance of overseas Ukrainians to Ukraine, state policy of Ukraine towards foreign Ukrainians.

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