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European culture ministers join Ukraine’s fight against propaganda
 01 Jul 2022
Nine ministers of culture from Central Europe have agreed to jointly oppose Russian propaganda, a Radio Svoboda correspondent reports. Eight ministers arrived in Lviv, and one joined the conversation online to sign a declaration on cultural cooperation and, in particular, support for Ukrainian culture during the war.

According to the website of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, this cooperation includes:

continuing to impose or expand sanctions on Russian propagandists and television channels that support Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine;

financial support of the Ukrainian media as the main source of news and socially necessary information during the war for the citizens of Ukraine;

providing Ukraine with the telecommunications equipment needed to maintain a critical information infrastructure in working order during the war.

"Today we are on the cultural front, not only on the physical front, because Putin is fighting against the Ukrainian identity, which is represented by Ukrainian culture and language. It is important for us to show the world the solidarity of those who represent culture in Europe with Ukraine. We need help in the media sphere, propaganda, sanctions against Russian culture, as well as assistance in the restoration of Ukrainian culture and its promotion in the world," said Ukraine’s Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko .

The culture ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania said they support Ukrainian culture and would jointly oppose and fight Russian propaganda.

According to Polish Minister of Culture Piotr Hlynski, four projects are currently being implemented in Poland to help Ukrainian institutions currently located in his country. In particular, Poland is funding the work of three symphony orchestras that are preparing for a world tour.

"Russian TV channels should be replaced, where possible, by Ukrainian ones. Sanctions against Russia should be strengthened here. We must support Ukrainian culture. A memorandum concerning the funds was also signed. Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania have launched a fund for the digitalization of Ukrainian culture. Today, we are talking about a fund to support Ukrainian culture on a larger scale. This is an aid to Ukrainian artists in a difficult life situation, because not many groups can function in Ukraine, although many institutions have returned to life. But we are talking about the reconstruction of cultural institutions, more than 30 theaters were destroyed. The fund will ask for funds from wealthy countries that want to help," said Hlynsky.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion on February 24, Russia has destroyed more than 400 cultural sites in Ukraine.
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