Boris Johnson denounces the “cultural vandalism” of Russia in Ukraine
London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned Russia’s “cultural vandalism” in Ukraine, saying the invading forces are trying to erase Ukrainian culture in areas they have taken.
The prime minister said the UK would fund “cultural protection measures” in Ukraine and continue to provide civilian and military aid, news agency dpa reports.
Mr Johnson made the comments on Friday in a video message to the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, which is being held at the Scottish Parliament or Holyrood.
“Throughout history we have seen what happens when aggressors try to oppress and eliminate culture. We saw it with the Nazis in World War II, 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 justification for his invasion rests on the vile assertion that Ukraine somehow isn’t a real country.
“It is a lie that he seeks to make true by systematically erasing all traces of centuries-old Ukrainian culture from the territory occupied by his troops,” Johnson added.
The UK will fund “cultural heritage protection measures” as well as military and humanitarian aid, he said.
A number of Ukrainian cultural figures also attended the summit, including author Oksana Zabuzhko and musician Maryna Krut.
To mark the start of the summit, a ceramic jug in the shape of a rooster that was given to Johnson in Kyiv is on display at Holyrood.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister and President Volodymyr Zelensky received matching jugs from a Kharkiv woman as they strolled the streets of Ukraine’s capital in April.
In Ukrainian folklore, roosters are believed to have protective powers.
This type of pitcher became emblematic of Ukraine’s strong resistance against invading Russian forces after photographer Elizaveta Servatynska captured an image of a similar pitcher sitting undamaged on a kitchen cabinet in an apartment building. great height in March.
The building, in Borodyanka, had been destroyed by Russian bombing.