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Ukrainian Security Service Concerned Over Rusyn Movement

Rusyns in traditional folk dress in Ukraine

Rusyns in traditional folk dress in Ukraine

KYIV – The chief of Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU), Valentin Nalivaychenko, says that the separatist movement of the Transcarpathian Rusyns has no chance of success in Ukraine.

Speaking to RFE/RL's Ukrainian service, Nalivaychenko said the SBU has just finished an investigation into the activities of an organization called the Congress of the Carpathian Rusyns, which, he said, has a separatist agenda.

Rusyns or Ruthenians, an ethnic group living in Ukraine, Slovakia, and Poland, are officially recognized as a minority in the latter two countries, but Kyiv considers them a Ukrainian subgroup.

Nalivaychenko says that the allegedly separatist organization does not represent the true Rusyn identity or projects for the preservation of the Rusyn language and culture. He added that all channels of financial support to the organization have been cut off, without specifying what those sources were.

At its gathering in the Ukrainian city of Mukachev last year, the Congress of the Carpathian Rusyns adopted a resolution on Rusyn statehood.