History of the Society

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.


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Mar 20, 2019
Event Series: "Depicting Donbas: Creative and Critical Responses to the War in Ukraine".

Date: Thursday, 25 April 2019

Time: 6pm - 7.30pm

Venue: UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Date: Friday, 26 April 2019

Time: 10am - 4.45pm and 7pm - 9pm

Venue: Birkbeck School of Arts and Centre for Contemporary Theatre

The Birkbeck School of Arts and UCL SEES will host a series of three events over two days exploring how artists across genres are responding to the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.

Register here.

Feb 20, 2019
Marci Shore Talk: "The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution".

Date: Friday, 1 March 2019

Time: 1.30pm - 2.30pm

Venue: Deakin Room, St. Antony's College, Oxford, OX2 6JF.

Join us to hear Marci Shore discuss her newest book. Marci Shore is an Associate Professor of History at Yale University, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Human Scienes in Vienna. She focuses on intellectual history of Central and Eastern Europe, and is the author of several books and articles published in the New York Times, the Neworker, the Economist and others.

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.