A Welcome from the Founder

‘It is time for us to live for Ukraine’.

With these defiant lines by Ivan Franko I would like to welcome to the society friends, new members, old members, students and academics whom, as a co-founder, it has been my pleasure and honour to serve and guide for the past 15 years.

The OUUS originated with a handful of Ukrainian students supported by prominent politicians, and public figures including President Leonid Kravchuk, university scholars, and the Ukrainian Embassy in London. The Society was formally accepted by the proctors in 2004.

Over the past few years it has provided a detailed insight into the long and turbulent history of the Ukrainian people, their struggle to achieve freedom and then to defend it, to preserve its independent statehood, and to portray the formative years of its national identity. With a series of debates exploring significant current issues and major historical events, besides traditional and folk celebrations of Ukraine’s rich heritage, well-known speakers and prominent activists have fascinated our members.

The inauguration of the Society was in November 2004. At the first event, the winner of that year’s Eurovision Song Contest Ruslana Lyzhychko, performed live in Oxford, at a dynamic concert which captivated the audience. Other highlights have included a tenth anniversary lecture delivered by the prominent singer, composer, scholar and politician, Svyatoslav Vakarchuk. In June 2018 we were addressed by President Vikor Yushkenko and the talented sportsman and Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klischko. In March 2017 we held a panel discussion on the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Among the speakers were the signatories of Belovezh Agreement Leonid Kravchuk, Stanislav Shushkevich, Gennadiy Burbulis. In a wide-ranging debate topical issues were discussed by Ukrainian MPs, ambassadors, journalists and Oxford scholars.

We have also held many cultural events: Ukrainian food fairs with varenyky, poetry readings – on with the prominent poet and translator, Vera Rich -  numerous film screenings with Q&A with film directors. On several occasions committee members united with their Cambridge counterparts and members of Ukrainian societies in London universities to form a choir which delighted Oxonians with recitals of Ukrainian folk songs and lyrical ballads, as well as some exuberant performances of folk dances which were taught to unsuspecting British and international students present.

This year has begun with a significant development for Ukraine: the issuing, by the Patriarch of Constantinople of a Tomos of Autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; this established the Church’s independence for the first time since the introduction of Christianity in the Kievan Rus’ by Volodymyr the Great. In March the Ukrainian people will vote in presidential elections the outcome of which will surely bring about further transformations for the country’s young democracy, as it travels along its hard path towards democratic government, the rule of law, freedom and justice.

Our Society aims to work together with Ukrainian ministries, cultural centres and organisations. We will invite important and interesting speakers to address the Society: artists, musicians, diplomats and politicians, and people who have raised the profile of Ukraine internationally and contributed towards the many positive changes already seen in Ukraine.

Eleonora Suhoviy


About the Society

The society promotes Ukrainian culture and intellectual heritage within Oxford Uiversity. The society was established by two Ukrainian students from Lviv, Eleonora Suhoviy and Roman Zaviyskyy in the winter of 2004.


Jan 14, 2019
Sviatoslav Vakarchuk Talk: 'Real Changes in Ukraine - a Must for a Successful Future'.

Date: Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Time: 7pm - 8pm

Venue: the Atkee Suite, Porticullis House, Bridge Street, Westminster, SW1A 2LW

To attend RSVP to secretariat@britishukrainiansociety.org

The British Ukrainian Society is delighted to host a talk by Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, lead singer and founder of Okean Elzy, social activist and philantropist, in which he will discuss the necessity of new leaders and a new political culture in Ukraine, the rule of law and justice.

Nov 4, 2018
Serhiy Zhadan: Ukraine's Enfant Terrible

Date: Monday, 12th November 2018

Time: 7pm - 8.15pm

Venue: Knowledge Centre, The British Library,

96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

Fee: £10

Book here

An evening with one of Ukraine's most iconic contemporary writers: poet, intellectual and ska ban frontman Serhiy Zhadan.

Chaired by Eastern Europe specialist Uilleam Blacker of University College London.

Organized by the British Library in partnership with Ukrainian Institute in London.

Sep 17, 2018
Sheptytsky and Holocaust

Date: Thursday, 4 October 2018
Time: 7pm - 9pm
Venue: Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile, 22 Binney St, Mayfair, London W1K 5BQ
Admission: £10. 
Book here

Hosted by Ukrainian Events in London and Ukrainian Institute, London.

Andrei Sheptytsky, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, is an extraordinary figure among Christian church hierarchs of the 20th century. Presiding over the Church under the Nazi occupation of Galicia during WW2, he was put into a situation where difficult compromises had to be made while struggled to remain true to the idea of a sovereign Ukrainian nation and to protect Jews during the Holocaust.

This event will bring together a Jewish academic studying Sheptytsky’s legacy and a Jewish Holocaust survivor who knew Sheptytsky and was saved by him.