PACE Committee recognized Russia’s eradication of Ukrainian cultural identity as element of genocide

The Committee on Culture of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has identified the eradication of Ukrainian cultural identity as a tool of Russia’s war against Ukraine and a component of genocidal policy aimed at eliminating the Ukrainian nation.

Yevhenia Kravchuk, a member of the Ukrainian delegation to PACE, reported this on her Facebook page.

Kravchuk stated that the PACE Culture Committee in Copenhagen unanimously backed her resolution, “Countering the Destruction of Cultural Identity in a Time of War and Peace.”

PACE will consider adopting the proposal during its June meeting. The document includes the following primary provisions:

  • to ensure full reparations on the basis of international law and to guarantee the non-recurrence of destruction;
  • to raise awareness of how propaganda, colonial and neocolonial practices, including the ideology of the “Russian world,”  can create the basis for violations of international law, including in relation 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);
  • to ensure that authorities and state institutions involved are held accountable.

The resolution acknowledges Russia’s use of cultural “cleansing” as a tool of war to deny the existence of another cultural identity and destroy historical roots, values, heritage, literature, traditions, and language.

Such activities, according to Kravchuk, are war crimes and crimes against humanity, and they clearly demonstrate a genocidal purpose to destroy the Ukrainian country or a part of it, particularly by destroying Ukrainian identity and culture, This is part of Russia’s murderous assault against the Ukrainian people, she explained.

Kravchuk illustrated her speech to the committee with a book written by Volodymyr Vakulenko and published by Vivat Publishing House, whose printing house in Kharkiv was destroyed by a Russian missile strike. 

The Russian invaders killed Volodymyr Vakulenko. The missile strike also murdered Victoria Amelina, the writer who discovered Vakulenko’s diaries during the occupation and wrote the book’s foreword.

“It’s a horrible story. My resolution is titled “New Executed Renaissance.” It is about how to protect what Russia is attempting to destroy, murder, and eradicate. “It’s about Ukrainian culture, heritage, and identity,” Kravchuk explained.

In January, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly endorsed a resolution on the status of Ukrainian children. The document provides important political confirmation that Russia is committing genocide by systematically abducting Ukrainian children.

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