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Minister of Culture of Ukraine Tkachenko Resigned. He Was Criticized for Budget Spending During the War

Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko announced that he had submitted his resignation. This came as he was criticized for spending on cultural projects, particularly films and TV series, during the war.

Thus, 10 million hryvnias (more than $270,000) of public funds were planned to be invested in 4 episodes of the New Year’s comedy series Nezabudka Sanatorium, and 33 million hryvnias (more than $900,000) were allocated for the series SMT Inhulets. Yuriy Gorbunov, the owner of the Prototype Production tender winning company, explained that the film was being shot primarily for the Ukrainian military, “so that they don’t feel sad.” In total, the Ministry of Culture pledged 400 million hryvnias (more than $10 million) for the Ukrainian film industry within 50 films.

Tkachenko explained his decision by the difference of views with Zelensky and other top leaders of Ukraine regarding the importance of culture during the war: “This is a war not only for territories, but for people.” According to the minister, spending on culture during the war is no less important, because “culture is a shield of Ukrainian identity and borders.” “And people are our memory, history, language, creativity despite the war, heritage and the past for the sake of the future,” Tkachenko wrote in his Telegram channel.

Prior to this, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that he had spoken with Prime Minister Denys Shmygal, including on the issue of budget expenditures, which, according to him, should be “considered, in particular, through the prism of justice.” He suggested that the head of government replace Tkachenko.

“Museums, cultural centers, symbols, TV shows – all this is important, but now there are other priorities. Find extra-budgetary funds. Not state ones. I suggested two steps to the prime minister. The first is to find extra-budgetary funds for projects that are really needed now. There are people in the world who can help. And second: I asked the prime minister to consider replacing the minister of culture and information policy of Ukraine,” Zelensky said.

Other decisions of the Ministry of Culture, including the decision to replace the Soviet coat of arms with the Ukrainian trident on the shield of the sculpture “Motherland” in Kiev, and to complete the construction of the National Museum of the Holodomor-genocide (it is planned to spend more than 500 million hryvnias from the state budget on the museum) caused a stormy reaction from the society. The statement of the ministry on the conclusion of contracts with the winners of the competition for the production of serials of various genres for more than 150 million hryvnias was also criticized.

Oleksandr Tkachenko has been Minister of Culture since June 2020. In June, on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers, a petition calling for the dismissal of Tkachenko gained 25,000 votes necessary for its consideration. It was created in March of this year. However, at the time Shmygal said that he did not see “clear grounds” for his dismissal. On June 21, a second petition for the dismissal of Tkachenko appeared on the government website .

Source : currenttime.tv