EXAMINATION OF TYPES OF INFLUENCES OF THE UKRAINIAN DIASPORA, ASSESSMENT OF SPECIFIC EXAMPLES AND THEIR CHARACTERISTIC IN THE ASPECT OF CURRENT NEEDS OF UKRAINE
Keywords:Ukrainian diaspora, Ukrainian diaspora impact, influence of the diaspora, diaspora organizations, international assistance, international cooperation
This article analyzes the impact of the Ukrainian diaspora on Ukraine using an extensive survey of more than sixty opinion leaders, scholars, representatives of Ukrainian organizations in the diaspora, as well as data shared by these organizations and relevant scientific literature. The article attempts to identify the main types of influences by areas and nature of the activity of the diaspora. One type of influence of the diaspora is informational or propaganda influence. Through the Ukrainian media, literature, art, scientific works, petitions, actions, and protests, the Ukrainian diaspora promotes information about Ukraine, contributing to the creation of a positive international image for the country. During the massacres and imprisonment of Ukrainian dissidents worldwide, student and human rights organizations set up committees to defend political prisoners under the leadership of Ukrainian diaspora representatives. The struggle for the release of Ukrainian political prisoners was also waged by the Ukrainian media that published self-published works (samvydav), research, memoirs, and documents of many Ukrainian political prisoners, documents and bulletins of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, as well as many other materials about Soviet arbitrariness in Ukraine. Today, all Ukrainian diaspora organizations, to a greater or lesser extent, are fighting against Russian propaganda. Another type of influence of the diaspora is political influence, i.e., the ability of the diaspora to facilitate the adoption of political decisions beneficial to Ukraine by their host countries. Ukrainian diasporas are actively lobbying for Ukraine’s interests, which resulted in the proclamation of Captive Nations Week in the USA, recognition of the Holodomor as genocide of the Ukrainian people in 17 countries, the introduction of the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act and other bills to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, establishment of support groups for Ukraine in the US and Canadian Parliaments, adoption of numerous laws and political documents worldwide that condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, impose sanctions on the Russian Federation, and create a legal basis for providing financial, humanitarian, and military assistance to Ukraine. The economic or financial influence of the Ukrainian diaspora on the homeland is represented by remittances sent by representatives of the diaspora to their relatives who still live in Ukraine and by financial aid provided to Ukraine by diaspora organizations and patrons to achieve specific goals. Thanks to the diaspora efforts, millions of dollars in assistance were provided to Ukraine during the years of its independence. Significant results have been achieved in the field of cultural and educational impact. The most notable examples of educational and cultural influence are the return of Ukrainian folklore and traditions to Ukraine taken away by the Soviet oppression; the establishment or restoration of organizations such as Plast, the Shevchenko Scientific Society, the Ukrainian Youth Association; organization of internship programs for Ukrainian students and young specialists; creation of advisory programs for the Government of Ukraine with the participation of highly-qualified Western specialists; transfer of know-how; and creation of training programs for Ukrainian police and army. Specific examples given in the article can demonstrate the extraordinary efforts made by the diaspora to support and assist Ukraine.