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Dec-09-2009 19:34printcomments

Letter to Judge: Ukrainian Immigrant Child Abuse Illustrates Tragic Past

Copy of a letter sent to local judge by an east coast historian, in the recent Salem, Oregon child abuse case involving a Ukrainian immigrant family.

Soviet era propaganda poster
Soviet era propaganda poster
Photo courtesy:

(SALEM, Ore.) - Dear Honorable Judge Hart,

I have the feeling I can help. I am an Historian of Russian History and Culture and my goal is to save the world from ever experiencing Cold War again by helping our two cultures understand each other better. As you know Russia is still 3 times the size of the US and the Slavic speaking nations account for 1/6th of the global landmass.

First, I in no way advocate child abuse. However, in this case extenuating circumstances advocate the expression of knowledge otherwise hidden from the view of very important people to be revealed for very important purposes.

I feel that this unfathomable behavior comes from trauma inflicted through the poverty of radical Communism and the tragic inhumane treatment of entire populations for more than 70 years in their society. Under Communist (Radical Socialist Dictatorial) rule anyone that didn’t follow the party line could be executed by a gunshot through the back of the head. (anytime) The dire need for children to understand the consequences of not yielding to authority was accepted by their entire society because if they didn’t learn from strong discipline as a child they would certainly be shot or sent to the Gulag Prison Camps and worked to death by the government at the first sign of non-compliance. (most never to be seen again and denied the right to communicate) A historical consensus of 60 million people were affected (killed) just by Stalin 1927-1953. That is 10 times as many as Hitler killed in WWII. (see: Gulag Archipelago by Alexander Solzhenitsyn). The USSR existed from 1922-1991.

Now these Ukrainian children here in the US have freedom and they cannot understand why they can’t enjoy it so, they rebel harder than any of our own children ever have just as their parents fight them not to so much stronger than we would. If one adds the complication of left over extreme alcoholism the likes of which our country has never known and running into the arms of Religion having been denied that for more than half a century with worries of what they did wrong to lose God; one can see that this issue is not so small as us Americans would like to think. This is what the Ukrainians have been trying to express through their religious gestures. Discipline is tolerated by our system but abuse is an entirely different matter. I agree with the verdict but I would ask for the court’s understanding and help in sending the right message. This is not blind abuse. This abuse has a legacy that will not be erased until we address it properly. The parents should still be punished but because of the circumstances; they and their community should be educated lest this become common practice and create deeper fissures between our two societies. Some thought must be given to the background that led to this tragedy. These people believe in America, God and justice. They came here to become a part of what we symbolize to the world. Shall we allow the injustices of that horrible time continue or show the world that we remember history and will not repeat it?

Thank you sincerely for your consideration,

From my heart,

Captain Johnathan H. Cannon, U.S. Merchant Marine Officer #1123418 and Permanent Member of the National Slavic Honor Society, Dobro Slovo.
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S S December 11, 2009 5:40 pm (Pacific time)

There is a big difference between discipline kids and abuse them. In this case parents were discipline, not abuse their children. On the video I heard, that Lyudmila said she loves her kids.

Anonymous December 11, 2009 3:58 pm (Pacific time)

Point proven. Church has nothing to do this. I wasn't referring to the story but rather your responses to those who comment. You grow in power but it does not mean its achieved via the right methods. Indeed, its the righteous who are mostly powerless. I must agree with that. Had you no smart-alak response you would not be approving my comments.

Editor: Please understand that I wish everything in this world was right, that no parents were in trouble and that no kids had been hurt.  It is difficult to see so much support for the parents with so little support for the kids.  I wish we were having a better conversation, and maybe that will happen. 

This is tragic all the way around, we are not missing that.  I thought the letter we ran recently from the historian on the east coast would help, by showing how hard life was for people in the old country, but that seemed to anger everyone also, and I can't understand why.  I do not think he was trying to do anything except help people understand why this took place. 

People who move to the U.S. should be educated and made aware of how things work here, and how it can work for them but they have to make certain agreements and concessions also.  I assume that these parents were probably treated the exact way they treated their kids, and that is a natural pattern that will repeat over and over without intervention and education.  I think the sentence sounds very excessive, there seems little doubt in that. 

Somebody, one or more of you, must contact these parents and try to get them to cooperate with the system.  I hate to say it that way, but it is the case.  They have to understand the ways in which they can help themselves.  I think that if they are in denial of what they have done, and they actually are saying that the photos are fake, that they are making this much more difficult and they are the ones who are paying the biggest price.  Finally, please don't state that the church has nothing to do with this, the church has had a lot to do with what has taken place.  The minister testified, wrote comments, and almost every person standing up for the parents has invoked God's name over and over.  

Thanks for your comment. 




Anonymous December 11, 2009 8:49 am (Pacific time)

Editor: You and your Salem News organization are some of the most biased, ignorant bunch of reporters. You can't be considered a reputable news organization with the type of responses you post to readers. It's unprofessional, unmerited, and certainly very, very biased. You shame our country's media, you shame the Constitution and it's through mediums such as yours that media across the country loses its credibility. Your coverage of this story, from the very beginning, was a fight against the Kozlov family and Biblical principles. Very shameful.

Editor: You're right, I'm a real pain in the ass for people who hurt defenseless little kids and we aren't much for for their advocates, but otherwise we are doing well and our power grows daily.  Also, we didn't ask for this story.  You should go to a church that does not advocate this type of behavior, only the most pathetic and cruel people stick up for those who hurt little kids, so where does that leave you?  

S S December 11, 2009 1:06 am (Pacific time)

Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them. Proverbs 13:24

Editor: That is not from the Bible.  "He who hateth his child and abuses him shall burn in the eternal fires of Hell"  That isn't in the Bible either.

Anonymous December 10, 2009 9:30 am (Pacific time)

This letter is about the child abuse case in your county today. Whatever Stephen is is speaking of seems to have no relation. My letter merely provides an explanation why families from the former USSR tend to dicipline more harshly than American families. I'm simply relating Soviet history which most Americans do not have access to. Where Stephen misunderstood me I dont understand but my apologies for being unclear. I just hope this helps stop future child abuse through education and friendships in your community. No political connotations meant by any of my words. This is solely for your comprehension of why the abuse may have happened and how to prevent it behind closed doors.

stephen December 9, 2009 8:14 pm (Pacific time)

Great letter Captain Jonathan..but sorry, we are too busy fighting wars in the middle east, to gain world domination and complete control of all things, to take time for such things as you mention. We will take it under advisement and get back to you. Let us finish our plan to take over all food distribution, health care, education, and even the air people breathe, then we will deal with the situation you brought forth. We are somewhat busy at the moment, and people are finding out we have been not telling the truth, so we kinda have our hands full here ok? Thank you for your understanding.

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