Logo by Jacques Hnizdovsky

From the Director

Momentous changes have taken place in the world in the years since the Ukrainian Research Institute was founded in 1973. Among the most important of these were no doubt the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union which led to the rise of an independent Ukraine, along with an independent Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, and all the other former Soviet republics.

In the vast spaces of the former USSR and the former "Soviet Bloc" men and women are engaged in a great historic project -- building democracy and establishing a market economy. If they are to succeed, it is essential for their countries to become full-fledged members of the international community. Especially for Ukraine, because of its previous isolation, to join the world as an independent nation also means becoming a member of the world community of scholars and students. Ukraine needs not only foreign economic assistance but also the knowledge and experience of others. For this to happen, its people need to know the world better -- and no less importantly, the world needs to know Ukraine.

These new realities and new needs make the mission of the Ukrainian Research Institute even more compelling than it was a quarter of a century ago. We support research on a wide range of subjects and we are eager to teach Ukrainian language, literature, history, politics, and economics to an increasing number of students. We never forget that to do our job well we must work with our colleagues in other centers and programs here at Harvard, elsewhere in the United States, and in other nations. This commitment to interdisciplinary and international cooperation has been the principle of the Ukrainian Research Institute from its very beginning. What is new, compared with the situation when the Institute was first established, is the presence of scholars and students from Ukraine at Harvard and the opening for American researchers and students of opportunities for study and work in Ukraine. This makes the work of the Institute more challenging and more difficult -- but that is what our founders could only dream about!

Roman Szporluk
Fall 1996

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