The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has voted in favour of a resolution entitled "Countering the erasure of cultural identity in times of war and peace". The document contains unprecedented provisions to support our culture and preserve Ukrainian identity.

This was stated by Yevheniia Kravchuk, the MP, Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Humanitarian and Information Policy, member of the Permanent Delegation to PACE, who authored the document.

"The resolution condemns the systematic state policy of russification implemented by the russian federation since 2014 in the occupied territories of Ukraine, including the denial of Ukrainian cultural identity, language, literature and history. It is clearly stated that the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage and the erasure of cultural identity in Ukraine are war crimes, crimes against humanity and indicate a specific genocidal intention to destroy the Ukrainian national identity," the politician said.

She stressed that the resolution calls on member states to:

ratify the Council of Europe conventions on the protection of cultural heritage;

strengthen sanctions for arbitrary military destruction not justified by "urgent military necessity"

expand the scope of their legal regulation to include violations against cultural heritage, including cultural cleansing;

provide for full reparation on the basis of international law, in particular through restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-recurrence of destruction;

strengthen the ability to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property, etc.

"In addition, the member states will assist Ukraine in: collecting, recording, documenting and preserving evidence of crimes committed by the russian federation against tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Ukraine, including for the purpose of assessing damage and obtaining reparations; digitizing cultural heritage sites and property; building institutional capacity to ensure the best use of funding, improve heritage management and reconstruction; developing projects for cultural heritage, supporting cultural life and livelihoods; and strengthening the capacity of the Ukrainian authorities to protect and promote cultural heritage.

According to her, the resolution is an important foundation for holding russia accountable for its encroachment on our identity.

"We are already starting to work on implementation! I am grateful to our team, all Ukrainian and foreign specialists and experts for the great work on the report and the resolution. This is our common success," summed up Yevheniia Kravchuk.

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