Who We Are
The Ukrainian Institute London is a centre for Ukraine-related educational and cultural activities. We work to highlight important contemporary and historical issues affecting not just Ukraine but also the wider world, facilitating public dialogue through our projects, events and online resources. The Ukrainian Institute London is a charity registered in England and Wales and is an affiliate of the Ukrainian Catholic University.
What We Do
We hold events in London and online to educate and inspire audiences in the UK and worldwide about Ukraine. Our events include talks by prominent experts on challenging issues and topics ranging from Ukrainian current affairs and politics to history and culture. We also run a Ukrainian language school, a book club and larger-scale cultural events and projects.
The Ukrainian Institute London was founded in 1979 by Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, head of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, following his release from the Soviet Gulag.
In the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church was suppressed, and Josyf Slipyj was arrested alongside many other members of the Church in 1945. The Lviv Theological Academy (predecessor of the Ukrainian Catholic University), of which Josyf Slipyj was the first rector, was also disbanded.
After enduring 18 years of hard labour in Soviet camps, Josyf Slipyj was released following pressure from Pope John XXIII and President John F. Kennedy.
Free but in exile, Josyf Slipyj, now Cardinal and Confessor of Faith, returned to his life’s work of strengthening UGCC ecclesiastical and educational structures.
In 1963, he resurrected and transformed the disbanded Lviv Theological Academy into a new Ukrainian Catholic University based in Rome, and established affiliates of the university in Europe and America. In 1979, Patriarch Slipyj acquired the building at 79 Holland Park to house the London affiliate of the university.
Nearly 20 years after his death, Patriarch Slipyj’s dream of creating a fully developed university in Ukraine was realised. In 2002, the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) opened in Lviv.
Today, UCU is Ukraine’s leading independent university, and is open to students of all faiths. It continues to maintain strong links with its affiliates in America and Europe, including the Ukrainian Institute London based at 79 Holland Park, now a registered charity dedicated to broadening knowledge about Ukraine in the UK.
Giving Ukraine a voice in the UKhttps://ukrainianinstitute.org.uk/about-us/
Since 1979 when it was established, the Ukrainian Institute London has been led by its directors – Prof Petro Cymbalistyj 1979–2004, Marta Jenkala 2004–2008, Andy Hunder 2008–2015, Marina Pesenti 2015–2020 and Olesya Khromeychuk 2020-present. In 2016, the Institute was registered as a charity in England and Wales, a board of trustees was formed and the executive team was expanded. In recent years, the Institute has grown to be a major actor in giving Ukraine a voice in the UK and beyond.