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Culture minister Tkachenko resigns

by Olena Goncharova July 21, 2023 1:08 AM 2 min read
Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko at a briefing in the Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War on July 13, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The issue of replacing the Soviet coat of arms with the coat of arms of Ukraine on the monument's shield has been repeatedly raised. If all deadlines are met, the decommunization of the monument should be completed by Independence Day 2024. (Photo by Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko announced on July 21 that he had submitted his resignation.

"Tonight (on July 20) I brought a letter of resignation to the prime minister because of a wave of misunderstanding about the importance of culture during the war," Tkachenko wrote. "Later I was surprised by the president's statement on the same issue."

In his July 20 evening address, President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that he had asked Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to consider replacing Tkachenko.

Zelensky stressed that this was related to the minister’s decisions on allocating state funds. Earlier, the minister proposed allocating over Hr 500 million ($13.54 million) to finish the construction of the National Memorial Museum of Holodomor.

“I have proposed two steps to the head of government: to find non-state funding for projects that are genuinely necessary, as there are potential supporters around the world,” the president said.

"I would also like to appeal to all local authorities in our country: people should feel that budget resources are used fairly and properly," Zelensky added. "Everyone understands what we are talking about. Paving stones, city decorations, and fountains can wait till after the victory."

In his post, Tkachenko said that "culture is important in times of war" because it is a war not only for territories, but "for people, and people are our memory, history, language, creativity despite the war, heritage, and the past for the sake of the future."

"Both private and budget funds are no less important during the war for culture than for drones, because culture is the shield of our identity and our borders. And this is my principled position against others."

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Key developments on July 20: * Syrskyi: Russian forces in Bakhmut ‘semi-encircled’ * Washington Post: Ukraine deploys US-provided cluster munitions * Defense Ministry: Vessels heading to Russia-controlled Black Sea ports to be considered military targets * UK Defense Ministry: Russia’s Black Se…
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