Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to consider sacking the Minister of Culture, Oleksandr Tkachenko, Zelenskyy said in his July 20 evening address.
In his message, Zelenskyy underscored that this was related to the minister’s decisions on allocating state funds.
“I have proposed two steps to the head of government: to find non-state funding for projects that are genuinely necessary, as there are potential supporters around the world,” said Zelenskyy.
“Second: I have asked the Prime Minister to consider replacing the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine.”
Tkachenko is yet to comment on the president’s suggestion.
Earlier, the minister proposed allocating over UAH 500 million ($13.54 million) to finish the construction of the National Memorial Museum of Holodomor.
Tkachenko also mentioned that Ukraine plans to invest about UAH 400 million in the film industry, stating that "it is normal for the state to support the film industry (even) during a war."
Speaking about the allocation of funds for culture projects, Tkachenko stated, "I have cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, we must protect and promote Ukrainian culture, but on the other hand, we are not supposed to allocate state funds for this. We cannot rely solely on donors."
On June 23, activists staged a protest during Tkachenko's visit to Kyiv’s Book Arsenal, expressing their grievances with how the Culture Ministry deals with permits for Ukrainian artists to travel abroad under martial law, and poor communication with the public.
While Tkachenko conceded that "communication is not the best," he asserted that artists can still travel, and only those who haven't registered properly are refused permits. He also stated that the matter of artists' travel is not clearly legislatively regulated.
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