70 Stories: Denis Monastyrsky, Ukrainian Youth and Government

A Legacy of Building Lasting Relationships

How has Global Ties KC Strengthened U.S.-Ukraine Relations Since 1954?

Since 1954, the Global Ties KC community has hosted hundreds of visitors and leading professionals from Ukraine; supporting and building lasting relationships between the breadbaskets of the US and Europe. In the last two years, many of our leadership program alumni have tragically lost their lives, following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Leaders like Denis Monastyrsky, who spent four weeks living with a host family in Kansas City in 2009 and later became the Interior Minister of Ukraine. The Kansas City community was deeply saddened by the tragic helicopter crash that took Monastyrsky’s life on January 18, 2023, as a result of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, after his profound impact here and on Ukrainian youth.

Who Was Denis Monastyrsky? A Supporter of Ukrainian-American Relations

Who Was Denis Monastyrsky, and How Did His Legacy Impact Kansas City?

Denis Monastyrsky was a proud Ukrainian and a strong proponent of relations between Ukraine and the United States. He committed his career to ensuring the Ukrainian youth had strong cultural foundations, bringing this same philanthropic spirit with him when he ventured to Kansas City as part of the Community Connections Program, facilitated by Global Ties KC (at the time, the Kansas City International Visitors Council).

What Is The Community Connections Program?

How Does It Empower Professionals from Ukraine?

The Community Connections Program is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and has positively impacted countless professionals in post-Soviet countries, including Monastyrsky. The program specializes in providing tailored and intensive professional development exchange programs to help these countries transition towards more democratic and free market-oriented societies.

What Was Denis Monastyrsky’s Experience in Kansas City, and How Did It Shape His Leadership Journey?

Volunteering in Kansas City: What Was Monastyrsky’s Experience?

While in Kansas City, Monastyrsky lived with a host family, experiencing the warmth of a Midwest home, and was immersed in our community’s vibrant ecosystem of businesses and nonprofits. He filled his days volunteering and learning—engaging with organizations everywhere from Ronald McDonald House to Bridging the Gap.

After an enriching experience interacting with Kansas City locals, visiting organizations, and building bridges between our communities, he returned to Ukraine. Upon arrival, he directed a culture-first youth program and taught law and government history at Khmelnytskyi University. Monastyrsky later became one of President Zelenskyy’s closest advisors and an essential leader in the development of Ukraine’s wartime strategy.

How Can You Contribute to Shaping Future Leaders with Global Ties KC?

Learn how to host an international visitor through Global Ties K

Monastyrsky’s legacy lives on through those he touched both in Ukraine and right here in Kansas City.  By opening your home to an international visitor through Global Ties KC, you become an integral part of shaping future world leaders and changemakers who will never be forgotten.