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JURI SHYMKO


Secondary School Teacher; M.P.; M.P.P.; Public Service (Federal and Provincial);
Self-Employed Consultant

Date and Place of Birth: 1940 in Cosel, Germany


Date of Interview: July 19, 2016

Place of Interview: Toronto, Ontario

Interviewer: Anastasia Leshchyshyn

Length of Interview: 1:30:50 (raw)



(Excerpt):


“…When I was an MP, I presented a document to the United Nations General Assembly and its President called the “Decolonization of the USSR.” This was in 1978, the 23rd of November – 12 years before the Soviet Union was dissolved. And so, this sort of created a reaction that…obviously my ethnicity was involved that…I was Secretary General of the Ukrainian World Congress, I worked with the Belarusian World Congress, the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian…and for two years we worked on this document. And it went to the fourth committee of the United Nations on Decolonization, because at that time they were decolonizing Africa and Asia from the French and British Empire, and so this committee was very strong. And the committee had a resolution that any NGO outside of the country in question can make presentations and submit, make submissions to the committee. I got a hold of that and we worked on it.  And so as an MP I had the support of all three parties – the NDP, Liberal, and Conservative – to go to the United Nations. I presented this to the President of the United Nations General Assembly, I sat in the United Nations with the Canadian delegation. The Soviets were furious, I mean, 128 members with this 88-page document that the Soviet Union is an imperial structure with these 15 republics, indeed colonies. And so they wrote an article, that I am a war criminal. They should have checked that I was 5 years old when the war ended, so that I could not have been a war criminal, but you know, you lie the way you do doping and other things – that’s the standard KGB…and I lost because of that.


And following that incident, when I lost, Joe Clark came in at the time…they had a reception for Joe Clark, for the Conservative victory, and those who lost were invited to the reception as well, in Ottawa. And I was approached by three gentlemen – representative of Novosti, Izvestia, and Pravda. These three journalists came…ah we understand you’re Yuri Shymko…we are telling you: guys like you who are enemies of the Soviet Union, who spread hatred and so on, will never be in politics, that’s why you lost. And I said…I shall return, I will be back. When I told Diefenbaker that story he said why didn’t you just – you know, you had a glass of wine or champagne, why didn’t you just throw it in their face?”



CROSS REFERENCES:


  1. Wikipedia Contributors, “Yuri Symko,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia


  1. Yuri Shymko, President’s Message, International Council in Support of Ukraine, 2015


  1. Yuri Shymko, MPP Member page, Legislative Assembly of Ontario


  1. Yuri Shymko awarded Solidarity Medal of Gratitude (Poland)



The interviews can be accessed at the UCRDC. Please contact us at: office@ucrdc.org

excerpt from the Interview with JURI SHYMKO
ORAL HISTORY OF UKRAINIAN CANADA