The PACE Culture Committee recognises the erasure of Ukrainian cultural identity as an element of genocide

29 May 2024

On May 28, the PACE Culture Committee in Copenhagen unanimously supported the resolution “Combating the Destruction of Cultural Identity in War and Peace.” The Committee recognised the erasure of Ukrainian cultural identity as a tool of the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine and an element of the genocidal policy aimed at the destruction of the Ukrainian nation.

This was reported by the author of the resolution, the deputy head of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Humanitarian and Information Policy, and a member of the parliamentary delegation to PACE Yevheniya Kravchuk, the official website of the Verkhovna Rada informs.

“The PACE Culture Committee in Copenhagen has just unanimously supported my resolution “Combating the Destruction of Cultural Identity in War and Peace”. Many thanks to the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andrii Kostin for his speech at the committee, important legal explanations with a call to support the resolution,” the deputy wrote.

Among the key provisions of the document that will be voted on in the hall at the June PACE session:

– Ensure full reparation on the basis of international law, in particular through restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-recurrence of destruction;

– to raise awareness of how propaganda, colonial and neo-colonial practices, in particular the ideology of the “Russian world”, can create the basis for violations of international law, in particular with regard to cultural heritage;

– to provide for sanctions against anyone who carries out or facilitates the illegal transfer or trade of artifacts, conducts illegal excavations or uses artifacts for their own purposes (exhibitions, auctions, scientific publications), and to ensure that the authorities and state institutions involved are held accountable.

The resolution establishes that the Russian Federation uses cultural “purges” as a tool of war to deny the existence of other cultural identities and erase historical roots, values, heritage, literature, traditions and language. Such actions are war crimes and crimes against humanity and indicate a specific genocidal intent to destroy the Ukrainian nation or at least a part of it, in particular, by destroying Ukrainian identity and culture. This is part of the genocidal campaign that the Russian Federation is conducting against our people.

“I illustrated my speech today with a book by the writer Volodymyr Vakulenko, published by the Vivat publishing house. During the occupation, Vakulenko wrote a diary and hid it under a cherry tree in his native village in the Kharkiv region; the writer Victoria Amelina found this diary and wrote a brilliant foreword to the book. Both of them were killed by Russia. Vivat printed the book in Kharkiv at the printing house “Faktor Druk”, Russia destroyed the printing house with its missile attack, killing 7 of its workers and burning 50 thousand books. This tragic story, The New Shot Revival, is what my resolution is about. About how to preserve what Russia is trying to destroy, kill and erase. It is about Ukrainian culture, our heritage and our identity,” Yevheniya Kravchuk emphasised.

We will remind you that the manuscript of Volodymyr Vakulenko’s diary can be seen in the Holodomor Museum in the exposition of the “INTENT” exhibition.