ISSUE 5 - FEBRUARY 7, 2019
USUF Meets with Representative Bill Flores

Roman Popadiuk, Rep. Bill Flores and Robert McConnell (l to r) 

Ambassador Roman Popadiuk, Chairman of the Board of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, and Robert A. McConnell, the Foundation's External Relations Advisor, met with Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX) on January 23rd to discuss the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. They emphasized the need for increased international and U.S. funding, particularly since according to the Financial Tracking Service of the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs only 38% of the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine has been funded.  Ukraine currently has Europe's largest displaced persons challenge since World War II, with about 3.5 million people requiring humanitarian assistance as a result of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.   

Popadiuk and McConnell also emphasized the need to provide Ukraine with the capability to deal with the landmines issue in the conflict zone. Ukraine is currently viewed as one of the countries of the world most affected by landmines. Congressman Flores was presented with a Friends of Ukraine Network initiative that calls for utilizing Department of Defense (DoD) logistical capabilities and military personnel to assist in ameliorating the humanitarian crisis and for helping in de-mining operations. The initiative has been shared with other congressional offices as well as DoD officials. Representative Flores stressed his great interest in Ukraine, referencing a trip he made to Kyiv in 2016, and agreed to be helpful in any way possible regarding the situation in Ukraine and to stay in contact regarding developments.

Rep. Quigley Appointed Co-Chair of Congressional Ukraine Caucus

Rep. Mike Quiqley (D-IL) was recently appointed to serve as Co-Chair of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, joining fellow Co-Chairs Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Andy Harris (R-MD) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).  The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation looks forward to working with Representative Quigley in his new role as Caucus Co-Chair in support of strengthening U.S.-Ukraine relations and Ukraine's democratic and economic development.
Congressman Quigley's office issued the following press release in conjunction with his appointment to the Caucus:
"As a proud longtime member of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, I am honored to begin the 116th Congress in the new role of Co-Chair," said Rep. Quigley. "Through several visits to Ukraine, my position on the House Intelligence and Appropriations Committees, and my representation of a prominent and active Ukrainian-American community, I've seen firsthand the importance of a strong U.S.-Ukraine relationship. I look forward to working with fellow Co-Chairs Kaptur, Harris, and Fitzpatrick in our shared mission to fortify Ukrainian sovereignty and democracy."
Founded in 1997, the Ukraine Caucus' mission is to organize an association of Members of Congress who share a common concern for building stronger bilateral relations between Ukraine and the United States. With the cooperation with the Ukrainian American community, the Caucus serves to lend support for Ukraine, beginning with democratization efforts and market-oriented reforms, and functions as a source of information for Members of Congress regarding events in Ukraine.
"It is my great pleasure to welcome my friend and colleague, Rep. Mike Quigley. As a Member with a significant Ukrainian-American community in his District and as a fellow Appropriator, he has championed Ukraine's forward democratic progress free from Russian aggression," said Rep. Kaptur. "I join thousands of Ukrainian-Americans in Northern Ohio and across the region in welcoming his leadership. I look forward to working with him and the Caucus in our strong support for a more democratic, prosperous, and free Ukraine."
"I am honored to welcome Rep. Mike Quigley to the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus," said Rep. Harris. "His efforts to resist Russian aggression against Ukraine have shown his strength and passion for the region. As a fellow member on the Appropriations Committee, I look forward to working with him both in committee as well as in this caucus."
"I'm proud to welcome Congressman Mike Quigley as the Democratic co-chair of the Ukraine Caucus," said Rep. Fitzpatrick. "Congressman Quigley has been a tireless advocate for Ukraine's territorial integrity and increased U.S.-Ukraine cooperation. I look forward to serving with him and the entire Ukraine Caucus this Congress to support and strengthen the Ukrainian democracy against increased Russian aggression."


OUR APOLOGIES ... due to some "technical issues" in the distribution of our last two issues of Update, all of our readers did not receive their copies!  You can click below on the links to catch up in your reading of these two issues!




Rada secures Ukraine's course for EU, NATO in Constitution
Ukrinform.net, Feb 7, 2019
The Verkhovna Rada has adopted the law introducing amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine (regarding the strategic course of the state for acquiring full-fledged membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
A total of 334 MPs voted for a respective law, with at least 300 votes required to make such a decision, an Ukrinform correspondent said.
President Petro Poroshenko, who initiated the adoption of the law, delivered a speech before the vote in the Verkhovna Rada ... CLICK to read more


Ukrinform.net, Feb 5, 2019 

The Cabinet of Ministers will appeal against a ruling by Kyiv's District Administrative Court to ban Ulana Suprun from serving as Ukraine's acting health minister, Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Oleksandr Sayenko has told Ukrinform ...  CLICK to read more

Through Its Work, IRI Honors McCain's Legacy
By Orest Deychakiwsky 

Orest Deychakiwsky, Jonathan Katz and Stephen Nix at the German Marshall Fund (l to r) 

Six months have passed since the death of Sen. John McCain, a true American hero and one of the most consequential American political figures on foreign policy and national security matters of the last three decades.

Ukraine has had few stronger supporters in both defending Ukraine's sovereignty and in promoting democracy. Lest we forget, Sen. McCain spent one of his last New Year's eves - December 31, 2016 - together with two other U.S. senators accompanying President Petro Poroshenko on a visit to Ukrainian troops at the front-line town of Shyrokyne in Donetsk Oblast. I can't resist being provocative in wondering how many leading Ukrainian politicians have done the same.

Sen. McCain was a key sponsor of pieces of bipartisan legislation impacting Ukraine, often being the lead with one of my former Helsinki Commission chairmen, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), on bills supporting Ukraine and sanctioning Russia for its aggression towards Ukraine. Notably, he was co-author with Sen. Cardin of the Magnitsky Act, which Vladimir Putin has railed against more than any other. As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he took the lead in advocating and, through his sponsorship of key bills, ensuring military and security support for Ukraine.

In a way that few others did, Sen. McCain understood that we were more secure in a world where democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law were the norm. As chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), an organization that has played a key role in advancing democracy around the globe, he was a tireless advocate for human dignity, freedom and justice. He was especially highly respected in the countries that once constituted the Soviet Union, including Ukraine.

Much of Sen. McCain's commitment to Ukraine came from his involvement with IRI. Indeed, it was Michael Kostiw, a Ukrainian American who grew up in Elmira, N.Y., who got John McCain involved with IRI and elected as that important organization's chairman in 1993. Mr. Kostiw, who first met Mr. McCain back in 1985, was his vice-chairman at IRI for 10 years from 1993 to 2003, and also served as his Senate Armed Services Committee staff director in 2007-2011. Mr. Kostiw encouraged Sen. McCain to engage with Ukraine and traveled with him there twice.

It should be noted that in addition to these key positions, Mr. Kostiw's lengthy and illustrious career with the federal government has included service in the CIA, the U.S. Army and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He currently serves as advisor to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. He also did a stint in the private sector, as an executive at Chevron. Mike Kostiw may not be a household name in the Ukrainian American community, but he has done a lot.

In a tribute to his friend, Mr. Kostiw described Sen. McCain as a leader of "profound honor, honesty and belief in the dignity of man. Belief in democracy and the rule of law was at the core of his being. He believed it for all humanity. He believed it for Ukraine as he watched, supported and encouraged Ukrainians to realize their democratic dreams."

Someone else who has known and worked for John McCain ... CLICK to read more

Orest Deychakiwsky is Vice Chair of the Board of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.  This article also appeared in The Ukrainian Weekly.


Promoting Travel to Ukraine at Annual NYC Exhibition
By Adrian Karmazyn

Thousands of visitors at this year's New York Times Travel Show had the opportunity to learn about Ukraine as a thrilling tourist destination with the help of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's (USUF) Travel to Ukraine initiative.  The Foundation organized a booth at the exhibition featuring the Vacanture Ukraine travel company, the Agency of Regional Development of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, which includes the magnificent and magical Carpathian Mountains, and Ukraine International Airlines.
The event was held January 25-27 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.  This was the third year in a row that USUF has organized a Ukraine booth at the show, considered the largest and most prestigious annual travel exhibition in the Unites States.
The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation has long seen travel and tourism as a relatively straightforward way to boost Ukraine's economy as well as its image on the world stage. 

John Kun (Vice President, USUF) and Lida Beskrestnova (Ukraine International Airlines). Photo by Adrian Karmazyn.
Regarding her company's decision to join USUF's Travel to Ukraine booth (#478) at the New York event, Iryna Dudynska of the Kyiv office of Vacanture said that "the goal of our participation in the show was to raise awareness about Ukraine and, naturally, to increase the number of visitors to our country" adding that "it was especially gratifying to see the enthusiastic interest in Ukraine." Many of those who stopped by the stand have roots in Ukraine, she noted.

Another Ukrainian newcomer to the New York Times Travel Show this year was the Agency of Regional Development of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast.  The region is famous for its beautiful mountain ranges and authentic  hutsul folk art and culture.  Representing the agency at the show was Mariana Zaklinska.  

Speaking about her group's mission, she said: "The main messages which we wanted to convey to exhibit visitors were that Frankivsk is not a little spot on a map of the world, not a place on the margins, but a land with well-preserved, colorful character, genuine traditions, pristine nature, where its safe and peaceful, like home.  The Frankivsk region is a place where you don't need to rush, where you relax and take in the strength and energy of the Carpathian  ... "  CLICK to read more

Adrian Karmazyn is a Special Advisor for Strategic Communications and Development at the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.  He also serves as Vice Chair of the Friends of Ukraine Network Democracy and Civil Society Task Force, a USUF initiative.

2018 Emerging Biotech Leader Olha Brovarets 
at Biophysical Society Forum in Baltimore
By Chrystia Redko

Olha Brovarets , a researcher at the Department of Molecular and Quantum Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv), presented the poster "Novel Conformationally-Tautomeric Properties of the Biologically Important at DNA Base Pairs" at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore, MD, on March 2-6, 2019 

Olha was one of 24 young scientists recognized last year by the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's Biotech Initiative as an Emerging Biotech Leader of Ukraine and received a travel grant to participate in a biotech forum in the US.

"I found out my poster was accepted for the conference the day before I received the news that I had been awarded a travel grant - the timing couldn't have been more perfect," she said. "Travel budgets at Ukrainian research institutes are very low and so I am grateful to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation for this opportunity."

Olha's research focuses on the investigation by quantum-chemical modeling of the geometrical and tautomeric transformations of the DNA molecule, that could potentially lead to gene mutations. These challenges could be applied in the future for gene therapy and creation of models of human diseases.

At just 32, Olha is already the main author of 135 scientific publications, including two chapters in the international books " Quantum Chemistry - Molecules for Innovations" and " Mitochondrial DNA - New Insights," a member of the international editorial advisory boards of  Cambridge Scholars Publishing, the international scientific journal " Innovative Biosystems and Bioengineering," " Biophysical Bulletin" and also a guest associate editor of " Frontiers in Chemistry" journal. She has received numerous prizes, grants and scholarships, and was the youngest person to become a Doctor of Physico-Mathematical Sciences (DrSci) in Ukraine.

You can read more about Olha's achievements here:  CLICK
Chrystia Redko is USUF's Biotech Coordinator in Ukraine. 

Under the radar:  New breed of Ukrainian tech entrepreneurs 
seek success in global markets (part 1)
By , / January 10, 2019

Although enjoying a growing reputation as a global powerhouse for IT outsourcing and software development, Ukraine has a tech startup scene that is relatively unknown.  For years, young Ukrainian entrepreneurs have willingly traveled to Silicon Valley, Krakow, London, Dubai in search of funding and fertile markets.

Several major successful ventures have sparked the acquisition of Ukrainian-led startups by Western tech industry giants:
  • In 2012 Google's Motorola Mobility acquired Viewdle, a mobile-focused facial recognition product company for a reported $30 to $45 million. The company had offices in both Ukraine and Silicon Valley.
  • In 2015, Snapchat acquired Looksery, an AR technology company, for $150 million in the largest acquisition of a Ukrainian tech startup to date.  The company had offices in Odessa, Ukraine, and San Francisco.  
  • Juniper Networks, an American company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California known for its networking products, acquired Cyphort in 2017 for more than $53 million. Cyphort was a cyber security firm founded by a team including the Ukrainian-born entrepreneur and angel investor Nick Bilogorskiy.  
The tally of Ukrainian startups operating beyond their national borders includes ... CLICK for more 

Mike Buryk is a member of USUF's Board of Advisors.


  MadeinUkaineTechStartupEdition  is a monthly podcast series produced and hosted by Mike Buryk, a member of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation's Board of Advisors, a long-time Foundation supporter and business development advisor.    Start listening today ... go to  https://soundcloud.com/ukrainetech/.

Preply is a global, online place for language tutoring founded in 2012 with offices in Boston and Kyiv. CEO and cofounder Kirill Bigai talks about the establishment of the company with its focus on learning language for business.



USUF at Combined Federal Campaign Event

Adrian Karmazyn and Maryna Baydyuk 

Maryna Baydyuk of United Help Ukraine (UHU) and Adrian Karmazyn of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) attended a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) "global health and cultural experience" event hosted by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Office of Global Health.   A number of non-profit organizations and countries were highlighted at the January 10th gathering. Federal employees can donate to UHU and USUF through the Combined Federal Campaign program.  (USUF's CFC number is 53914)

As described by the Office of Personnel Management: "CFC is the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with almost 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country and overseas raising millions of dollars each year. Pledges made by Federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season will support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world."  


Mourning the Passing of Nadia Diuk  

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation mourns the passing of our dear friend and colleague Nadia Diuk.  Nadia was a vice president at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she spent three decades directing programs in support of democracy and civil society around the globe, including in Ukraine.
Barbara Haig, NED's Deputy to the President for Policy and Strategy, who worked hand in hand with Nadia for decades, said, "Nadia's contribution to NED, Ukraine, and the democracy world writ large cannot be measured.  With her calm grace she fought the good fight, finding and nurturing younger generations of democratic activists throughout Eurasia, and helping them to define and find constructive ways to work toward achieving their dreams..." 
To read more about Nadia Diuk's legacy: CLICK


Did you know your purchases can make a difference? AmazonSmile donates to US-Ukraine Foundation when you do your holiday shoping at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-1778729.




USUF will be representing Ukraine's Biotech sector in June 2019 ...
Join us in Philadelphia! 

Contact Information

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