Putin’s actions threaten the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people

Ukrainian immigrants living in Connecticut say Russian President Vladimir Putin is waging a culture war against their home country as well as a military war.

Conflict is escalating in Ukraine after Putin ordered Russian forces to enter parts of the country held by pro-Russian rebels.

“Russia has basically officially introduced its regular forces into Ukraine under the guise of protecting Russian-speaking populations,” said Professor Olena Lennon of the University of New Haven.

Lennon says that near his family’s home in eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian forces are blocking men under 50 from evacuating.

“What we are experiencing now is really a forced mobilization of occupied territories to fight on behalf of the occupier. This is a flagrant war crime,” Lennon said.

She says the Russian president will not stop at rebel-held areas.

Stamford Ukrainian Museum and Library curator Lubov Wolynetz says friends of Ukrainian museums are struggling to preserve priceless art and culture.

“If he goes even further, the first thing they do is destroy cultural heritage,” Wolynetz said.

She says Putin’s view that Ukraine is culturally part of Russia is belied by the hundreds of years of recorded arts, crafts and history.

“It presents proof that we are what we say we are, not what Putin says we are not,” Wolynetz said.

Lennon will speak as part of a virtual UNH panel titled Russia’s War on Ukraine: How Far Will Putin Go? Friday at 12 p.m.

About Bobby F. Lopez

Check Also

At the Capitol, Connecticut Latinos celebrate heritage and set priorities

Sandra Ferreira-Molina said that when she was 6 years old and her family immigrated from …