Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged his government to strictly control wartime spending. His call led, among other things, the Minister of Culture, champion of a series of high-profile and expensive projects, to tender his resignation. Whether this has been accepted is not yet clear.
“In wartime, most of the state’s attention, and therefore most of the state’s finances, should go to defence,” Zelensky said in a video address Thursday night, referring to a conversation he had earlier with Prime Minister Dennis Schmiehal.
He told the prime minister, among other things, that he must find alternative funding for projects that are “really needed”. As far as Zelensky is concerned, this concerns different sectors, including culture. “Museums, cultural centers, icons and TV series are important, but we have other priorities,” said the president.
Zelensky, himself a television actor, comedian and author before entering politics, said he appealed to local councils to exercise restraint so that people feel that budget resources are being used fairly and properly. Cobblestones, city decorations, and fountains have to wait. Victory first.
He also asked Shmyhal to “think” about replacing Minister of Culture and Information Policy Alexander Tkachenko. Within an hour, Tkachenko said he had quit without apologizing for his projects.
Tkachenko, who ran a TV channel before entering politics, wrote on Telegram: “Culture in wartime is important because this war is not only about land, but also about people – our memory, our history, our language and our creativity despite the war.”
“Private and state funding of war culture is as important as drones. Culture is the shield of our identity and our borders Tkachenko. (Reuters / Editorial)
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