Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune joined Sioux Falls resident Viktor Vozniuk to applaud Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko at a speech before a joint session of Congress today.

Yushchenko led Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution” this winter to become President of Ukraine, a major victory for democracy and a landmark event in the history of liberty.

“President Yushchenko is an inspiration to all who love freedom and believe in the power of democracy,” Thune said. “His speech to Congress is an affirmation that freedom is on the march. It was an honor to hear his story and stand next to a modern-day champion of peace and freedom.”

Thune attended the speech with Vozniuk, a Ukrainian immigrant to South Dakota who traveled to Washington, D.C. to hear the speech.

“Yushchenko’s speech was even more powerful because I could listen with my Ukranian friend from Sioux Falls,” Thune said. “Viktor understands firsthand the power of freedom. I’m thrilled he could be on hand for the Ukrainian President’s historic speech.”

Vozniuk immigrated to South Dakota in 1999 from Ukraine for political and religious freedom. He called Yushchenko’s speech before Congress an important moment for his homeland.

“Joining Senator Thune to watch President Yushchenko’s speech was a proud moment,” Vozniuk said. “It was an important speech. President Yushchenko is determined to bring Ukraine closer to the United States.”

Yushchenko overcame a near-fatal dioxin poisoning last year and won office after a popular uprising labeled the “Orange Revolution.” The new Ukrainian President told Congress that he hoped to keep Ukraine on the path of freedom.

“Our goal is to place Ukraine among prosperous democracies," Yushchenko said. “We do not seek only a thaw in the frosty relations of the past. We seek a new atmosphere of trust, frankness and partnership.”