Vail Symposium presents Ukraine at a tipping point |

Vail Symposium presents Ukraine at a tipping point

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/NATO

EDWARDS, Colorado ” Vail Symposium’s Active Minds Programs will kick off the winter season with an in-depth look at the history of Ukraine and the current challenges it faces. The lecture will be given by Instructor John Dunlavy in the Singletree Community Center at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Like all Active Minds programs, this event is free.

In the streets of New York City in one special weekend in May, the historically Ukrainian neighborhood of the East Village closes off 7th street to celebrate its independence from the 70 years of Soviet control. The festivities mark the cessation of suffering of the Ukrainian people who experienced extensive famines, deportation of citizens, and repopulation of their country by ethnic Russians.

During this important weekend the streets are vibrant for days with traditional Ukrainian dances in front of the St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church while European techno-music plays only a block a way. The diversity of the community is evident. As the European Union and Russia move into new frontiers of leadership, Ukraine is caught in the middle.

“Does Ukraine look East or West for partnership and leadership in this changing world?” John Henderson, founder and principal instructor of Active Minds said. “It depends which Ukrainian you are talking to.”

Since independence, Ukraine has aligned more with the west, resulting in the escalating tension between ethnic Russians and Ukrainians. Russian president Medvedev warned ominously of “serious consequences” if Ukraine joins NATO. To add to the intensity of the situation, the European Union is also becoming critical of both Russia and Ukraine’s inability to enforce an agreement to resume delivery of natural gas, amid heat and cooking gas shortages and sub-zero temperatures endured by millions of people. Join us as we explore this very delicate situation.

As a part of the Vail Symposium’s mission to offer educational opportunities to the Vail Valley community at large, the organization has offered the Active Minds series since summer of 2006. The program is designed to introduce impartial, wide-spectrum of understanding to historical, timely, and sometimes controversial subjects. The Symposium partners with Denver-based Active Minds for Seniors and Eagle County for these free programs.

Call the Symposium office at 970-476-0954 to inquire about or sign up for a program, or visit

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