Ukraine, Minister of Culture’s alarm: “Russia steals our masterpieces”

“We have verified data from the occupied territories, from cities such as Mariupol or Melitopol, the Russians take away our masterpiecesTo sound the alarm, through an exclusive interview with Adnkronos, is Ukrainian Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko: “Russia has declared war not only against the territory, but also against the Ukrainian culture – he warns – they want to erase our country’s culture and artistic heritage”. The Minister quotes some data he is in possession of: “To date, according to verified information from this ministry, there are already approx. 400 cultural values ​​damaged or destroyed of the Russians since the beginning of the war. This happened on the entire front line: from Donetsk to Luhansk, there are cases of destruction and damage, no matter where the enemy has been occupied “.

Of these 400, “more than 150 are churches or religious institutes “, explains the Minister. Who reveals to Adnkronos:” We also know that two museums were deliberately destroyed: a museum in the Kiev region, which contained the paintings of a famous Ukrainian painter, Maria Prymachenko, where the works were fortunately hidden , and the Hryhorii Skovoroda Museum, which we would have celebrated 300 years since its birth this year. Four rockets landed on the first, two on the second. “How do we know that the destruction was deliberate? Both are located in two small towns, and it is impossible to get the wrong target because they are far from the large inhabited centers.”

Surprisingly, “many monuments to Soviet soldiers have also been damaged – says the Minister of Culture. World War II is just propaganda. They do not care, their statements do not go hand in hand with their actions.” Tkachenko’s appeal is therefore to the West: “We need help in three directions: first financially, then help for independent artists in Ukraine, and finally help to preserve and restore our cultural heritage”. Currently “some theaters, museums and cinemas are slowly reopening, some are slowly starting to visit them again. But it is important to support the Ukrainian media, because since the beginning of the war we have seen a 97% drop in advertising, and therefore their livelihood” .

Russia and Ukraine ‘sisters’ from a cultural point of view? “Talking about the same roots is at least an exaggeration – the Ukrainian Minister of Culture points out to Adnkronos – the history of Ukraine and Russia is very different. They have grown up in different terrains, they have different traditions. Ukraine is based on principles. Democrats “. The country “has much more in common with the Poles and Lithuanians than with the Russians – Tkachenko is sinking – Music is closer to Europe than to Russia. Since the Tsarist Russian Empire, they have always tried to destroy our. Culture and impose their own, starting with the language”.

Just these days, Unesco has declared the preparation of a World Heritage Site typically right, the
Borscht, which triggered Russia’s anger. “They saw it as a gesture of extremism or Nazism,” said Tkachenko. “We have folders and dossiers that bring the evidence, why don’t they have the same thing? Nobody asks who the pizza is: leave Borscht to the Ukrainians,” he added.

Finally, a remark regarding russophobi“to the Russian artists and intellectuals who seem to have influenced part of the West:” I believe that at this moment we should not make room for Russian intellectuals who somehow carry on Russian propaganda. And then they even go on holiday in Italy or France to make their appearances: why do they not do the concerts in distant Siberia and bring their matryoshkas there? “, He concludes.

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