Andy Warhol

















Paiting Art




Sing Song








Why has the Russian House been closed and how did it come to be the property of a foundation?!

How Did ’Four Musketeers’ ’Rob’ the Rusyn nation?



They want to deepen the contact with Rusyns and the Rusyn organisations





Russian Club – 1923


Why has the Russian House been closed

and how did it come to be the property of a foundation?!


These were the two main questions of the press conference convened with Fedor Vico’s initiation to the meeting room of the District Organisation of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists in Prešov by members of the Russian Club – 1923 (the chairman is Mgr. Gabriel Beskyd) on 27th April, 2006.


The main participants –  Fedor Vico, JUDr. Peter Krajňák, Ing. Demeter Kriško, Mikuláš Ľaš and Štefan Sekerák were welcomed and introduced by the presenter of the press conference Peter Krajňák Jr., who also welcomed the attending journalists. D. Kriško, the deputy of the Russian Club – 1923, was the first to speak. He briefly informed the journalists about the history of the club and the Russian House in Prešov, which is a property of the club. Afterwards, he brought everyone’ s attention to the fact that the Russian House has been closed for reconstruction for four years, which is ’a lie’ made up by Š. Sekerák. He said that the house is now even less available for public, as it has become the property of four people who, under the leadership of MUDr. Ing. Konštantín Barna, DrSc. have established a Foundation of the Russian House – 1923, by which they have broken the valid statute of the Russian Club – 1923. F. Vico pointed out that when, several years ago, they wanted to film a documentary about the Russian House for a Rusyn programme on Slovak Television, they were not allowed in for it was closed. Then, it was the property of the town. Although the house has been returned to the original owner (Russian Club – 1923), it is still closed. Nowadays, there are actually two Russian Clubs – 1923, two committees and the situation is insoluble and what is worse, the Russian House does not serve its purpose – cultural-educational work especially for the Rusyns of the Prešov region, which, in the end, is why it was bought in 1925 by Rusyns. P. Krajňák talked about the legal aspects of the transit of the property of the Russian House to a foundation and consequently its registration at the Realty Registry with its new owner – the foundation.


He emphasized that the leading group of the Russian Club – 1923 with its head G. Beskyd, the statute of which was registered on April 3rd, 2006 by the Slovak Ministry of the Interior, will sue the inclusion of the Russian House in Hlavna Street No. 62 in Prešov and the land belonging to it a property of the Foundation of the Russian Club – 1923 as well as the establishment of the actual foundation, which happened opportunistically and speculatively without informing the membership basis of the Russian Club – 1923. He pointed out that the first post-1989 statute of the Russian Club – 1923 followed the original statute from 1923 where it is clearly stated that the Russian House is supposed to serve the development of cultural-educational work among Rusyns who made every effort to put money together to buy the house and did not even dream about what would happen in 2006. The deputy of the Russian Club – 1923 M. Ľaš emphasized that Rusyns were not allowed to declare their nationality or anything Rusyn for 40 years and had no access to the Russian house. After the Velvet Revolution in 1989 we hoped to be able to return to our Russian house, but the old power, court delays and the people who got to lead the Russian Club – 1923 with Š. Sekerák as its head, got isolated and did not call meetings of the members for many years, which resulted in a long closure of the Russian House for Rusyns. This is why an initiative group of members of the Russian Club – 1923 called an extraordinary meeting of members of the Russian Club – 1923 on April 9th, 2005, where all the attending members stood up for the idea of removing the leading group with Š. Sekerák as its head. Consequently, a number of meetings of both groups in turn took place. New and new statutes of the Russian Club – 1923 were proposed, the Russian House, though, stayed closed and that is why we already wanted to use force to enter it. Then a number of meetings of both groups in turn took place and new and new statutes of the Russian Club – 1923 were proposed. However, the Russian House stayed closed and that is why we already tried to use force to enter it. And it is still closed, which is allegedly explained by its reconstruction in progress. How expensive the reconstruction has been, should be documented, if possible, by Mr. Sekerák, under whose leadership the house is being reconstructed. A member of the committee of the Russian Club – 1923, P. Krajňák Jr. proposed that both groups should be connected and should continue in the work of our predecessors as the historical continuity cannot be ignored. He mentioned a time when, not long ago, they were trying to enter the Russian House but when Mr. Sekerák found out, he immediately left and locked the building without any explanation. He showed the journalists a copy of his membership application to the Russian Club – 1923, which he sent to Mr. Sekerák on May 18th, 2005; however, never got a reply to it. When he demanded a reply in person, Mr. Sekerák told him they received his application but he cannot become a member as he is their enemy. It can be seen that the committee of the Russian Club – 1923 under the leadership of Š. Sekerák neither needs any new members nor wants the Rusyn Youth Association of Slovakia in the Russian House. What is its agenda?!



Some main participants in the press conference in the meeting room of District Organisation of the Slovak Journalist Syndicate in Prešov on April 27th, 2006 (left to right) : Mikuláš Ľaš, Demeter Kriško, Peter Krajňák and Štefan Sekerák.


The above mentioned speeches were pragmatic and involved no offence or invective. Š. Sekerák’s speech; however, was quite the opposite when he started to offend and attack his pre-speakers and in his incoherent speech there was no direct answer to the questions of his pre-speakers or the attending journalists. No question was answered directly and clearly, Š. Sekerák made the matter less and less clear; although it seemed he was trying to expain and excuse the most serious fact – the establishment of the Foundation of the Russian Club – 1923 and the transfer of the property of the Russian Club – 1923 (the Russian House and the adjoining land) to the foundation, which, as well as its property, is taken care of by four people, and not three, as we had known before. He said that the head of the foundation is Konštantín Barna and Pavel Birčak, Ján Cimbala and himself are its other members. What beat everything was his answer to a question by the journalists who asked how the finances from letting the building of the Russian House were invested. He said that most of the money is used for litigation. He pointed at me (the author of the article) and said: „We also spent 18 thousand Slovak crowns for a legal claim against Zozuľák for an article in his stinky newspaper about the foundation and for defaming such a significant personality as Mr. Konštantín Barna...“ The journalists took a note of it and the fact appeared in the press and electronic media; which means I now have the right to sue Š. Sekerák for insulting the Narodne novînky press (Народны новинкы) and I already have 15 witnesses, attending the press conference!!! Everybody can certainly imagine a better use of finances, the present committee of the Russian Club – 1923 under the leadership of Š. Sekerák has not organised a single national cultural or educational event. He was surely bathing in other people’ s glory , when he said he organised three academic seminars!? However, he was answered right away that they were organised by Mgr. Gabriel Beskyd who is the Head of the present leading group of the Russian Club – 1923, the statute of which was registered on April 3rd, 2006. We could say more about what Mr. Sekerák said but it is not worth mentioning.

At the end, let us just mention several gems:


1.      He said that their club has over 24 thousand members!!! (Author’s comment: That is the number of people who declared their nationality Rusyn at the latest census of residents in 2001 in Slovakia. He must have been exaggerating. It is hard to believe that the Russian Club – 1923 under the leadership of Mr. Sekerák accepted that many members in the „elité“ club?!)

2.      He also told the journalists that the property of their foundation will serve the nation (Author’s comment: This is a nice declaration; however, so far it has only been serving the four leading members of the Foundation of the Russian Club – 1923, maybe the committee of his Russian Club – as a place of meetings, but especially himself, as he got to use the house as his own.)

3.      He also declared that the door to the Russian House in Prešov is open for everybody. When he was asked by one of the attending journalists whether the gentlemen sitting at the head of the table are allowed in (Author’s comment: F. Vico, P. Krajňák, D. Kriško, M. Ľaš and P. Krajňák Jr.), he said: „No, these are not allowed in, they are our enemies“!!!

4.      The journalists kept asking the same question about when the Russian House will be open for public. Mr. Sekerák, having his arm twisted, answered: „On May 15th, 2006 the back tract of the Russian House will be open to public, you, journalists in attendance are also welcome“. They said they would surely be there on the day! (Author’s comment: Mr. Sekerák, however, forgot to say what the „opening“ hour was!)

5.      Saving the best till last: Š. Sekerák at the end of his ’excellent’ performance asked the journalists: „Please, do not publish anything that was said at this press conference “. (Author’s comment: What was really the purpose of this press conference if Mr. Sekerák directly asks the journalists not to do their job – to inform the public! He should stand by his every word, even though they are not always wise words, he would not have to be worried that what he said would be published. Mr. Sekerák could within the next few days see that his plea was heard neither by journalists nor by me. And I will not be silenced even by a potential court hearing against me...)

Alexander ZOZUĽÁK,

the pictures from the author’s archive


How Did ’Four Musketeers’ ’Rob’ the Rusyn nation?


Very easily and within the laws of the Slovak faulty legislation. What am I talking about? A group of three ’musketeers’, or rather, like in the novel by Alexander Dumas, four. And these ’speculators‘ wanted to cheat on the new leading group of the Russian Club – 1923, but actually ’cheated on’ all the Rusyns in the Prešov region, ’cheated on’ the whole Rusyn nation. Those Rusyns who paid their own money to buy the building in Masarykova street, now called Hlavna, No. 62 in Prešov for the needs of the cultural-national life development of the Rusyns in the Prešov area to make it the Russian (understand Rusyn) House for Rusyns; are now surely ‘turning in their graves’.


Let us hope that these ‘ne’erdowells’ will be punished one day for their sins. Well, they should be, if force majeur exists. People should not be allowed to do anything they want! However, it is quite easy to find some examples in the news on the radio and TV or in the newspapers and magazines, where we can learn what is possible in Slovakia. And if some Members of Parliament of the Slovak National Assembly are allowed to do anything, some members of the Slovak Government or the leading politicians – representatives of the Slovak people-voters, why could a foursome of ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ not afford a similar thing?

That is what could be metaphorically said about four people – ŠTEFAN SEKERÁK and JÁN CIMBAL from Prešov and KONŠTANTÍN BARNA and PAVOL BIRČÁK from Košice, still valid members of the Russian Club – 1923, who established a FOUNDATION OF THE RUSSIAN CLUB – 1923. To be able to do that, they had to pay in cash half a million Slovak crowns and pawn the building of the Russian House in Prešov including a large amount of land belonging to it (according to a legal appraisal worth 9.5 million Slovak crowns) – the property of the Rusyns from the Prešov area. The foundation was legally registered at the Slovak Ministry of the Interior and consequently, as four owners, they had the house filed as the property of a new subject – the Foundation of the Russian House – 1923 in the Property Register of Prešov. And, although they did not break the law, without feeling ashamed, the four people ‘robbed’ all Rusyns.


When the present leading group of the Russian Club – 1923, with Gabriel Beskyd as its head, arrived at the District Court in Prešov on the morning of April 10th, 2006; they learnt that Štefan Sekerák retracted the claim against Gabriel Beskyd which concerned the validity of the extraordinary meeting of the Russian Club – 1923 on April 9th, 2005. Well, why would he be bothered when the property is ‘in his pocket’ and he is allowed to handle it as he wants, also with the three other ‘bit-part players’. On the next day, he can sell it for several million Slovak crowns or get a ‘tiny’ loan of ten million from a bank as collateral on a bigger property of the new foundation. And if these ‘four musketeers’ do not pay the debt back, nothing bad will happen: the building of the Russian House with the land will be taken from them, but can keep the ten million!!!


As we can see, everything is possible and some people are capable of anything. Nothing will disturb their peaceful sleep at nights. But everyone will get their just desserts! At least we have to hope so; otherwise, there is no worth doing anything or working hard in this world. And this is how their words came true – they do not need membership, they do not need to do any cultural-educational work among Rusyns and for Rusyns, what they need is business. Now they showed everybody how to do it. Bravo, bravo ‘molodcy’ (youth men), that is the way to go, soon, maybe, you will ‘sell all Rusyns’ just as you have made their property yours. Actually, you ‘have already sold them’, and ‘sold yourselves out’!!!

Alexander ZOZUĽÁK






They want to deepen the contact with Rusyns and the Rusyn organisations


On March 25th, 2006 in Svidnik the 9th Assembly of the Rusyn Revival (Rusínska obroda na Slovensku – ROS) took place. The assembly was called over six moths earlier than its expected date, as the incumbent Head of ROS Anna Kuzmiaková resigned her position.


On the day, 50 participants of the assembly met in Svidnik, 23 of them were representatives with the right to vote, elected by their districts or local organisations. At the beginning of the meeting, by way of a minute’s silence, the participants paid tribute to Vasiľ Turok, the late significant representative of Rusyns in Slovakia, but also in international terms, a former Head of ROS, a dramatic adviser to the A. Dukhnovich Theatre. The session of the assembly was lead by Ján Lipinský, a member of the Executive Committee (Výkonný výbor – VV) of ROS. Ivan Bandurič. a member of VV ROS, gave a report on the work of ROS for the head of ROS A. Kuzmiakova, who, for health reasons, could not attend the meeting. A report on the work of the Supervision Committee (Dozorna rada – DR) of ROS was read by its Head Pavol Dupkanič. As we could learn from the reports, ROS had recently achieved success in several areas; however, some goals had not been achieved. That especially concerns the field of control and organisation, regularity of meetings of VV and Coordination Committee (Koordinačného výboru – KV) of ROS, the record-keeping of the members, developing the education of the Rusyn language and culture at primary and secondary schools, improving the quality of radio and TV broadcasting in Rusyn, as well as financing the cultural activities of ROS and using the grant programmes of the Slovak Ministry of Culture. The representatives approved the Programme Goals of ROS until 2011, when the next census of residents in Slovakia is done. One of the most serious tasks in the work of ROS is to resolve the requests for the establishment of the Museum of Rusyn Culture in Slovakia. Within their discussions, the representatives of the assembly expressed a need for deepening contacts with Rusyns and the Rusyn organisations abroad. Often, slovakization  of the liturgical ceremonies in the Rusyn parishes was criticised as well as the anti-Rusyn approaches of the Greek-Catholic Diocese in Prešov. The representatives also criticised the current situation of the Russian House in Prešov and by way of a solution, they proposed calling a joint meeting of the members of the Russian Club – 1923 with the participation of both groups – the one lead by Štefan Sekerák and Gabriel Beskyd’s group.


After the lunch break, the election of the new Regional Committee (KV) of ROS, VV of ROS and the head of ROS took place. The representatives of the regional and local organisations of ROS as well as the representatives of some existing Rusyn organisations in Slovakia became the members of KV RO. Vladimír Protivňák from Medzilaborce-Vydran was elected the new Head of ROS. With a majority of votes, he beat the second candidate for the position – Miloš Stronček from Svidník. 54-year-old V. Protivňák was born in Vydran, he works as an independent officer at the Department of Organisation, Municipality of Medzilaborce and he has been the head of the organisational committee of the Culture and Sports Festival in this town for many years. The following people were elected to be members of VV ROS: Teodózia Lattová from Prešov, Ján Lipinský from Bratislava, Miroslav Kerekanič from Humenné, Štefan Zima from Stara Ľubovna, Vlasta Ocetníková from Snina and Miron Krajkovič from Svidník. Pavol Dupkanič from Medzilaborce was elected the head of DR ROS. Another part of the extraordinary assembly concerned the approval of a change to the Statute of ROS, according to which local and district organisations will have the right to self-govern. It was decided at the assembly that Prešov stays the centre of ROS as well as the centre of InfoRusín editorial office. Anna Kuzmiaková has been authorised to be the editor-in-chief until the end of July 2006. Afterwards, according to the statute, a selection process for the position of the editor-in-chief will be started. At the end of the assembly, the head of the Proposal Committee Alexander Fecura from Humenné read the resolution.


We must hope that the goals and tasks that were discussed and accepted at the assembly will be achieved in the real life of the Rusyn movement and especially in favour of the Rusyns living in Slovakia.






Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Ukraine, United States



Rusyn Society of Nort Amerika

1596 Strasburg Road

Kitchener, Ontario N 2R 1E9


World Academy of Rusyn Culture

c/o Norstone Corporation – The Exchange Tower

130 King Street West, Suite 1800 – PO Box 427

Toronto, Ontario M5X 1E3



Društvo „Rusnak“

(Rusnak Society)

Bana J. Jelinčića 1

32 229 Petrovci



Společnost Rusínů a přátel Podkartaské Rusi

(Society of Rusyns and Friends of Subcarpathian Rus )

Petrohradská 9

101 00 Praha 10



Hodinka Országos Ruszin Értelemségi Egyesület

(Hodinka National Society of Rusyn Inteligentsia)

Rákoczi út. 69.III.52

1081 Budapest


Magyarországi Ruszin Tudományos Intézet

(Rusyn Scholarly Institute of Hungary)

Költő ut. 2-4a ép. I/7

1121 Budapest XII


Magyaroszági Ruszinok Szervezete

(Organization of Rusyn in Hungary)

Budapesti u. 54

2040 Budaörs


Ukrán és Ruszin Filológiai Tanszék

(Department of Ukrainian and Rusyn Philology)

Bessenyеi György Tanárképző Föiskola

Sóstói út. 31/6

4400 Nyíregyháza



Fundacia Rutenika

(Lemko Minorities Support Foundation)

ul. Ponikowskiego, 12b

00-707 Warszawa


Kierunek języka rusinsko-lemkowskiego

(Departament of Rusyn-Lemko Language)

Instytut Neofilologii Akademii Pedagogicznej

Ul. Studenska 5

31-116 Kraków


Stowarzyszenia Łemkow

(Lemko Association)

Zofii Kossak 5-6

59-204 Legnica


Stowarzysenie „Ruska Bursa“

(Ruska Bursa Society)

ul. Sienkiewicza 28

38-300 Gorlice



Uniunea Culturalǎ a Rutenilor din România

(Cultural Union of Rusyns in Romania)

B-dul. N. Bǎlcescu, nr. 5, bl. 3, sc. G, apt. 2

2700 Deva jud. Hunedoara



Katedra za rusinski jazik i književnost

(Department of Rusyn Language and Literature)

Filosofski fakultet

Stevana Vusića 24

21000 Novi Sad


Dom kulturi

(Cultural Center)

Rusinska 75

25 233 Ruski Krstur


Družstvo za ruski jazik i literaturu

(Society for Rusyn Language and Literature)

Vojvode Putnika 2

21000 Novi Sad


Ruska Matka

(Rusyn Cultural Foundation)

Maršala Tita 59

25233 Ruski Krstur


Ruski narodni teater Petro Riznić Djadja

(Rusky National Theatre „Djaddja“)

Rusinska 75

25 233 Ruski Krstur



Akadémia rusínskej kultúry v Slovenskej republike

(Academy on Rusyn Culture on Slovak Republic)

Duchnovičovo nám. 1

081 48 Prešov


Divadlo Alexandra Duchnoviča

(Aleksander Dukhnovych Theater)

Jarková 77

080 01 Prešov


Rusín a Ľudové noviny

(Rusyn and Narodny novynky)

Duchnovičovo nám. 1

081 48 Prešov


Rusínska obroda

(Rusyn Renaissance Society)

Levočská 9

080 01 Prešov


Ruský dom

(Rus  Cultural Center)

Hlavná 62 

080 01 Prešov


Ruský klub – 1923

(Rusky club– 1923)

Hlavná 62

080 01 Prešov


Spolok Alexandra Duchnoviča

(Aleksander Dukhnovych Society)

Hlavná 62 

080 01 Prešov


Spolok rusínskej mládeže Slovenska

(Union of Rusyn Young)

Duchnovičovo nám. 1

081 48 Prešov


Spolok rusínskych spisovateľov Slovenska

(Union of Rusyn Writers)

Olivová 13

813 01 Bratislava 37


Svetové fórum rusínskej mládeže

(World Forum of Rusyn Young)

Duchnovičovo nám. 1

081 48 Prešov


Svetový kongres Rusínov

(World Congress of Rusyns)

Duchnovičovo nám. 1

081 48 Prešov


Spolok sv. Jána Krstiteľa

(Union st. Ioann Krestyteľa)

Gréckokatolícky farský úrad

Kpt. Nálepku 36

068 01 Medzilaborce


Ústav regionálnych a národnostných štúdií Prešovskej univerzity

Oddelenie rusínskeho jazyka a kultúry

(Institute of Regional and National Minorities Studies

Department of Rusyn Language an Culture)

Nám. Legionárov 3

080 01 Prešov


Združenie inteligencie Rusínov Slovenska

(Society of Rusyn Intelligentsia in Slovakia)

Príbišova 8

841 05 Bratislava 4



Іnstytut karpatoznavstva

(Institute of Carpathian Studies)

Uzhhorodskyi natsionalnyi universytet

Universytetska 14

88 000 Uzhhorod


Оbshchestvo Aleksandra Dukhnovycha

(Aleksander Dukhnovych Society)

Pravoslavna nab. 20

88 018 Uzhhorod


Оbshchestvo Karpatskych Rusynov

(Society of Carpatho-Rusyns)

vul. Krynychna 7

88 000 Uzhhorod


Rusyns  ke naukovo-osvitnie tovarystvo

(Rusyn Scholarly and Enlightenment Society)

Universytetska 14

88 000 Uzhhorod



Carpatho-Rusyn Research Center, Inc.

7380 SW 86 Lane

Ocala, Florida 344476


Carpatho-Rusyn Society

125 Westland Road,

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15217


Lemko Association

555 Provinceline Road-Box 156

Allentown, New Jersey 08501


Rusin Association

1817 – 121st Ave NE

Blaine, Minnesota 55449