Boris slams Russia’s ‘cultural vandalism’ in Ukraine

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Boris Johnson said the UK will fund “cultural heritage protection measures” as well as military and humanitarian aid, reports Asian Lite News

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned Russia’s “cultural vandalism” in Ukraine, saying invading forces are trying to erase Ukrainian culture in areas they have taken over.

The Prime Minister said the UK would fund “cultural protection measures” in Ukraine as well as continuing to donate civil and military aid, reports dpa news agency.

Mr Johnson made the comments on Friday in a video message to the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, which is being hosted at the Scottish Parliament or Holyrood.

“Throughout history, we’ve seen what happens when aggressors try to oppress and to eliminate culture. We saw it with the Nazis in the Second World War, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the Taliban in Afghanistan,” he said.

“Today, the world is once again witnessing unforgivable acts of cultural vandalism, this time in Ukraine. Much of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s twisted rationale for his invasion rests on the vile assertion that Ukraine is somehow not a real country.

“This is a lie that he seeks to make true by systematically erasing all traces of the centuries-old Ukrainian culture from the territory his troops occupy,” Johnson added

The UK will fund “cultural heritage protection measures” as well as military and humanitarian aid, he said.

A number of cultural figures from Ukraine also appeared at the summit, including author Oksana Zabuzhko and musician Maryna Krut.

To mark the beginning of the summit, a ceramic cockerel-shaped jug which was handed to Johnson in Kiev is going on display at Holyrood.

The Prime Minister and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky were handed matching jugs by a woman from Kharkiv while walking through the streets of the Ukrainian capital in April.

In Ukrainian folklore, cockerels are believed to have powers of protection.

This type of jug became emblematic of Ukraine’s strong resistance against invading Russian forces after photographer Elizaveta Servatynska captured an image of a similar jug sitting undamaged on a kitchen cabinet in a high-rise apartment block in March.

The building, in Borodyanka, had been torn apart by Russian bombing.

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