Lubomyr Luciuk presented with the Cross of Ivan Mazepa
December 24, 2019
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His Excellency, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko awarded Lubomyr Luciuk with the Cross of Ivan Mazepa, a state award of Ukraine, on 6 Dec. 2019.
Lubomyr Luciuk, 66, is a professor of political geography in the department of political science and economics at Royal Military College. He is the 103rd person in the world to be recognized with the Cross of Ivan Mazepa, the only person from Kingston, and one of only a handful of other Canadians or Americans.
“I first learned I had been awarded this medal on 23 August 2019,” Luciuk said in an email, “when I received information about a Presidential Decree (No. 622) signed by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.”
The Cross of Ivan Mazepa was instituted on Mar. 26, 2009 by then-President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko to honour citizens of Ukraine, foreign citizens or stateless persons for achievements in state, diplomatic, humanistic, scientific, educational and charitable activity.
Luciuk has defended Ukraine’s right to freedom and independence through the years through his many books, newspaper commentaries and public appearances on the subject. He has also organized dozens of projects across Canada and overseas focused on the political geography of Ukraine in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Ivan Mazepa (1639-1709) was a Ukrainian political statesman and military leader. He was also head of the Cossack State in Left-bank Ukraine. He fought for the independence of Ukraine and in the early 18th century led a revolt against Moscow.
“The cross being named after him really recognizes people who contribute to the ongoing struggle to preserve Ukraine’s independence, whether articulated or defended,” Luciuk told The Brantford Expositor. “This was a serious individual who recognized that Ukraine had to fight for its freedom.”
Read more: A stone sculpture commemorating Ukrainians in Kingston unveiled at Kingston City Hall.