News from Russia: Moscow's officials block work of Ukraine's Cultural Centre

12:12 Aug. 10, 2016

Moscow's officials block work of Ukraine's Cultural Centre

Ukraine's Cultural Centre in Moscow. Photo courtesy - Wikipedia,

Russian authorities continue destructing cultural facilities connected with Ukraine

Russian authorities prevent Ukraine's Cultural Centre in Moscow from functioning, while similar Russian centres continue operating in Kyiv and Lviv.

Taras Dudko, head of the company Provisnyk (Harbinger), reported on that to UNIAN's correspondent in Moscow. 

He said the Ukrainian community in Russia's capital is concerned over the situation around Ukraine's Cultural Centre. He added that in recent years Russia eliminated the Union of Russia's Ukrainians and the Federal Ukrainian National Cultural Autonomy of Russia's Ukrainians. The Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow has been suffering a crackdown and KGB raids since last October.

Read also Russia's FSB raids Ukrainian Literature Library

"It has been almost five months since Russia blocked the work of Ukraine's Cultural Centre. The Russian government does not register the Centre's new Director appointed by Ukraine to take over this post. The Centre's employees have not been receiving their salaries for the second month in a row," Dudko said

"The Ukrainian diaspora is convinced that Russian authorities attempt to sabotage the Centre, whereas similar Russian centres continue to function in Kyiv and Lvov," Dudko said.

Dudko said that the Centre performs its activities under the intergovernmental agreement between Ukraine and Russia, signed in 1998. According to the document, the Centres are registered as legal entities in accordance with legislation of the host country.

Read also Thugs attack Ukrainian consulate in Russia

Dudko said that Ukraine's Cultural Centre for many years has been carrying out its activities as a non-profit organisation, however, Russian authorities, referring to some changes in their law, now refuse to register the Centre's new director.

"Well, the new director therefore is not authorised to sign documents both in banks and any other institutions which, in turn, does not allow him to perform financial and economic activities, pay salaries and utility bills," said Dudko.

On March 3, 2016, Ukraine's State Administration of the President appointed Volodymyr Ionov a new director for Ukraine's Cultural Centre in Moscow. On March 1, Russian radicals attacked Ukraine's Cultural Centre in Moscow, they tore the country's national flag off the rooftop and burnt it.

In May, prior to the Victory Day, Russian police also tore Ukraine's national flag off the rooftop of the Cultural Centre in Moscow.

The Centre is Ukraine's state-run property and operates in Moscow in compliance with a bilateral agreement with Russia.

Russian authorities continue destructing cultural facilities connected with Ukraine.

Russia began prosecuting the staff of the Ukrainian library in Moscow in October 2015. Police detained the library's director Natalia Sharina after searching her house. "Anti-Russian" documents were allegedly found there, among them were the texts dedicated to Stalin's 1930's Holodomor Famine in Ukraine. Sharina is accused of inciting extremism and ethnic hatred as well as embezzlement. If found guilty, she faces 10 years in prison.

Read also Director of Ukrainian library in Moscow faces new charges

This investigation has been slammed by human rights groups. They called on the Russian authorities to immediately release Sharina. Russian human rights centre Memorial acknowledged her a political prisoner.

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