Life over Death
Last week the western Christian rite believers celebrated Easter. The Eater in the forthcoming week is celebrated by Orthodox rites. Easter has always been a very bright holiday. Even though it’s firstly addressed for religious one, every human knows the idea of this ancient Bible telling – the victory of life over death. For Ukrainians now, this story – about a life under constant threat of death and destruction, which are very close – is real and obvious. And it is important for us that life and hope win in this modern, very painful story of Ukrainians and all mankind.
From our cities
At the beginning of this week, more than 900 bodies of civilians were found in Kyiv region. Most of them had gunshot wounds. Thus, in the Bucha community during the occupation, Russian troops killed more than 400 people. Police find the bodies of murdered Ukrainians both on the streets of villages and towns and in temporary burials. After exhumation and identification, the bodies of the dead can be buried. Cases of abuses and killing of civilians have been reported in other regions of Ukraine that were occupied by Russian troops and have now been released.
Last week, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine stated the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine on February 24 as genocide of the Ukrainian people. And today, on April 21, the Estonian Parliament Riigikogu adopted a Statement on Russia’s war crimes and genocide in Ukraine. Estonia became the first country to make such a decision. In addition, in 1993, the Estonian parliament was the first in the world to recognize the Holodomor in Ukraine, committed by the Stalinist regime, as genocide of the Ukrainian people. Also the Latvian Saeima adopts statement on Russia’s aggression and war crimes in Ukraine, recognising it as genocide against the Ukrainian people.
“Latvia and its people have shown their unwavering support, loyalty, and solidarity with Ukraine and its people. By adopting this Statement in a unanimous vote, we continue to do so. Moreover, we must not forget the most important priority at this time, namely, protecting the people of Ukraine from further crimes against humanity and helping Ukraine free its land from occupants,” noted Rihards Kols, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, after the adoption of the Statement.
The entire territory of Ukraine remains under threat. The shelling continues in Mykolayiv, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi, Dnipro, Zaporizhia, and Lviv… The situation in Luhansk and Donetsk regions is difficult. We observe a real tragedy in Mariupol in the Donetsk region, which has been under siege by Russian troops since early March 2022. The city is destroyed, bombed, burned down. Nevertheless, there remain about 100,000 civilians, children, women and the elderly. Some are under rubble, in basements, as well as on the territory of the Azovstal plant. There are hundreds of dead, mass graves revealed in Manhush near Mariupol, the Russian occupiers are using mobile crematoria to hide traces of their crimes. Meanwhile, Russia rejects Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General’s proposal for humanitarian “silence” in Ukraine for Easter to organize humanitarian corridors and evacuate civilians.
Hiding from Russian bombs, a local resident Vanda Obiedkova died in Mariupol, who survived the Nazi occupation, stated in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum Twitter. “Mama didn’t deserve such a death,” says Obiedkova’s daughter, Larissa, through tears, just hours after arriving with her family in a safe location. Read the full story of Mrs Obiedkova family: https://bit.ly/37sdjGt. Earlier in March, 96-year-old Boris Romanchenko, who managed to survive World War II in several Nazi concentration camps, died from shelling in Kharkiv. This and many other stories shows the cyclical nature of life and how quickly generations forget about the traumas and cruelty of the past – so that someone has to survive this hell again and again during their whole lives.
Ukrainian contemporary art and culture in a world
- The program “Decolonising Art. Beyond the Obvious” of the Ukrainian pavilion will take place at the 59th La Biennale di Venezia. “Decolonising Art. Beyond the Obvious” focuses on a decolonial view on Ukraine and Eastern Europe as a response to the ongoing russian aggression in Ukraine, but also the broader perspective on the global art scene in the current shift in geopolitical and cultural environment. The opening discussion is titled “How Russian war against Ukraine” changed the [art] world. It will take place on 22 April at 15:00 UTC+2.
- “Ukraine – the beating heart of Europe” – is a slogan for the Ukrainian stand on the Festival du Livre de Paris. The readers will be able to find publications by Ukrainian authors in recent years – Yuri Andrukhovych, Stanislav Aseyev, Artem Chapay; modern drama of Natalia Vorozhbyt “Bad Roads”, translated works of Ukrainian classics, as well as books for children. Also you can look through the book “Ukraine. Food and History” in French and discover the history, culture and customs of Ukraine through its gastronomic traditions.
- The programme “Ukraine in Focus” within the The Cannes Film Market (The Marché du Film) will take place on May 21-22. The program will provide Ukrainian cinematographers and producers with the opportunity for networking, pitching and co-financing. This year, the Ukrainian Institute will present six Ukrainian producers as part of a special presentation “Ukrainian Producers under the Spotlight” and more! Find out more: https://bit.ly/3LgeXJy
Call for Kyiv as European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022!
The Ukrainian Institute calls on the Council of the European Union to grant Kyiv the status of European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022. This gesture will emphasize Ukraine’s full membership in the European family, testify to the European Union’s intention to deepen cultural relations with Ukraine and support Ukraine’s territorial and cultural sovereignty.
A letter on granting Kyiv the symbolic status of the European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022 was submitted by the Ukrainian Institute to the President of the European Council Charles Michel. The call was signed by more than 2,000 representatives of culture, science and civil society from all over Europe. Petition to grant Kyiv the status of European Capital of Culture and Peace 2022 remains open for signature at change.org: chng.it/pSV85Q6gNM
The European Capital of Culture is one of the EU’s best-known and most successful cultural policy instruments, launched in 1985 to celebrate Europe’s cultural wealth and diversity. Each year, the European Council grants this status to 2-3 EU cities, which implement a wide program of cultural events throughout the year. The title of European Capital of Culture allows the city to promote itself in other EU countries, attract investment, build cultural infrastructure and develop tourism potential.
The list of co-signatories and more info: https://bit.ly/3rHun1L.
Here is a concert fragment of Kyiv Soloists, National Chamber Ensemble, at the Stockholm Philharmonic on March 27, that was broadcast on the SVT Swedish channel. The song Plyve Kacha po Tysyni, translated for orchestra by Viktor Rekalo.