In a recent meeting with members of his government, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West and Ukraine of pursuing a policy aimed at the destruction of Russian culture. The state news agency TASS reported on Putin's strong remarks as he discussed the integration of the annexed regions of Ukraine into the Russian cultural space.
Putin began by acknowledging the strong ties between the people of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia, and Kherson and the Russian cultural heritage. He noted that the inhabitants of these regions have steadfastly maintained their native language and displayed a profound interest in the works of great Russian literature. Despite the political complexities surrounding these regions, Putin emphasized the resilience of their cultural identity.
"Strictly speaking, the inhabitants of these regions have never left this space; they carefully preserve both their native language and a keen interest in great Russian literature. I know they love the works of our outstanding compatriots," Putin stated.
The Russian President expressed concern over what he described as the relentless attempts by the current Ukrainian authorities to suppress Russian cultural influences. He accused them of banning books written by Russian classics and contemporaries, removing them from sale, and even attempting to erase them from libraries. Putin further claimed that these actions were driven by the shared intentions of the Ukrainian authorities and their Western allies.
"These attempts to destroy Russian cultural artifacts and literature only highlight the broader agenda of those who seek to eradicate everything or everyone associated with the Russian language and heritage," Putin asserted.
While the situation in the annexed regions remains complex and sensitive, Putin's remarks have further escalated tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The accusations of cultural destruction by Ukrainian authorities and their Western supporters have drawn international attention and condemnation.
In response to Putin's statements, Ukrainian officials have strongly refuted the allegations, emphasizing their commitment to cultural diversity and freedom of expression. They maintain that their actions are driven by the pursuit of a sovereign and united Ukraine.