Ukraine’s culture minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, has resigned over the handling of government funds. “There was a wave of misunderstandings about the importance of culture in wartime,” Tkachenko said in a Thursday evening telegram explaining his move. After that, he was surprised by President Volodymyr Zelensky’s statement on the matter.
Zelenskyi said in his evening video address on Thursday that he had asked Prime Minister Denis Schmihal to consider replacing Tkachenko. Ukrainian media had previously reported that the culture minister wanted to spend around CHF 11.6 million to build a national museum in memory of Ukrainian victims of the Holodomor genocide in the 1930s.
On Thursday evening, on his Telegram channel, Tkachenko defended spending on culture even during wartime. “Culture is important during war because it is not only a war for territories, but also for people,” Takachenko wrote there. “Funding for culture is no less important than funding for drones during war because culture is our identity and the protective shield of our borders,” the politician said.
Zelenskyj criticized in his speech: “In times of war like this, the main attention of the state and state resources should be devoted to security”. Museums and other cultural areas are important, “but now we have other priorities”. After about 17 months of Russian aggression, the Ukrainian society understands that savings are now being made on things that are not urgently needed. Zelenskyj advised the government to create alternative funding options for cultural and other projects.
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”