"Ukraine" Training Materials for Asylum Officers

by David L. Cleveland

US-CIS, in response to a FOIA lawsuit by the Louise Trauma Center, released 95 pages of asylum officer training materials. This article will quote some of the material. The pages are available on the “Asylum Officer Materials” page at www.louisetrauma.weebly.com, entitled “Ukraine June 2020.”

A map on page 3 of 95 shows the Soviet Union, as of 1991. Of the 7,000 registered Russian Orthodox Churches, 4,000 were in Ukraine. The KGB infiltrated and controlled most churches. Page 10.

The population of Ukraine was 52 million, of which 22% were “Russian.”

At page 16 is a map entitled “The Caucasus,” showing Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

February 2014: security forces kill protesters in Kiev; President Yanukovych flees to Russia. Page 21. Russia annexes Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian trained as a lawyer-millionaire, was elected President with 73% of the vote in April. A map at page 28 shows rebel-held areas, as of June 2015.

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) writes daily reports.

There are various Pro-Kiev militias. Some have a far-right political ideology and attack minorities.Some are neo-Nazi. Page 38.


Wagner Group: a Moscow-controlled private military company. Page 39.

Novorossiya Party: an umbrella organization, was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Russian Orthodox Army : contains Russian volunteers. Page 42.

Rapid Reaction Group “Batman” : reputation of looting and organized crime

Night Wolves : a biker gang; committed crimes, sanctioned by the Treasury Department. Page 46.


A chart on page 49 shows religions, as of 2015: Eastern Orthodox were 67%; Eastern Catholics were 11%; no religion were 9%.

Charts beginning at page 52 show the Ecumicial Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP)

In Donbass, armed men have halted worship meetings; seized buildings of Pentecostals and Baptists. Page 58.

LGBTI persons suffer hostility and discrimination in hiring and housing. Page 61.

The Zelenski administration has banned some media sites and attacked journalists. “Oligarchs still wield great influence, protect their interests.” Page 62.

Journalists and lawyers have been harassed in Crimea.

Beginning at page 70 are detailed charts of the Soviet Union Military Structure.

The Division Commander is over the Chief of Rocket Troops and Artillery.

The Regimental Commander is over the Chief of Motor Transport and Chief of Fuels and Lubricants. Page 73.

Charts showing insignias of “Conscript and Contract Serviceman Ranks” begin at page 79. Page 86 is a Table of Contents for the “Ukraine Military 2017 White Book.”

Forum18.org: “Excellent resource for religious freedom in the area.” Page 88.

The RAIO Research Unit publishes ECN Country Pages for individual countries, such as Ukraine, Armenia, Moldova. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) publishes daily reports.

Comments of the author

Forum18.org published these stories:

-May 5, 2023: Mr. Yavorsky, a 39-year-old Christian, is appealing his one-year jail term for refusing mobilization on grounds of conscience;

-May 18, 2023: Russia’s National Guard seized two Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests in Berdyansk, six months ago. As of today, there is still no information about them.

The Ninth Circuit noted there was “appalling” evidence of violence against Jews in Ukraine, but denied all relief. Zonova v. Garland, 2022 WL 1315308, at *2 (C.A.9, 2022)

About The Author

David L. Cleveland was the Chair of the AILA Asylum Committee [2004-05] and has secured asylum or withholding for persons from 48 countries. Based in Washington DC, he is available at <louise.trauma.ltc@gmail.com>

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.