On Dialogue While Bombs Are Falling: PEN Ukraine Addresses the Global Intellectual Community 

On Dialogue While Bombs Are Falling: PEN Ukraine Addresses the Global Intellectual Community 

As members of PEN Ukraine, writers in a variety of languages and representing a number of nationalities, and recognizing that, in a time of war, all who work in cultural fields bear a special responsibility both to culture itself and to the lives of those under siege, we would like to address the international intellectual community.

Ever since February 24th, when Russia launched a full-scale war against our country, we’ve been receiving daily requests to engage in dialogue with Russian intellectuals on the question of reconciliation. At the same time, a number of our colleagues abroad have reacted harshly to our call for a boycott of Russian culture. This reaction only serves to distract the world’s attention from the war crimes being committed daily by Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Our concern is that, in Russia’s totalitarian society, culture is an instrument of influence and propaganda, and can be used to obscure the countless war crimes being committed by Russia against Ukraine. Today, in the name of "Russkiy Mir", Russian soldiers are murdering civilians, bombing hospitals, elementary schools, theaters, libraries, and universities, destroying not only Ukrainian culture as a whole but also the diverse cultures of the many minority communities living in Ukraine.

We remember those few individual representatives of Russian culture who, eight years ago, when Russia occupied Crimea and a part of our eastern territories, stood up in defense of Ukrainian territorial integrity. We also value the support of those who speak out against the war today. While we ourselves have often expressed our support for those writers, scholars, and human rights advocates who’ve openly opposed the Kremlin, we have to assert that, as long as bombs and missiles are falling on us, dialogue about reconciliation is impossible.

Today, and until that moment when the last Russian soldier has left Ukrainian territory, the only appropriate subject for our discussions with the international intellectual community must be about the need for an immediate cessation of Russia’s war crimes, not about the merits of its culture.

Appeals signed:

01. Andriy Kurkov
writer, President of PEN Ukraine
02. Myroslav Marynovych
publicist, Honorary President of PEN Ukraine
03. Hnatyuk Olya
Vice President
04. Zhadan Serhiy
Ukrainian poet, novelist, translator, public activist.
05. Isichenko Ihor, Archbishop
06. Kozlovsky Ihor
Scientist, theologian
07. Riabchuk Mykola
Honorary President
08. Slyvynsky Ostap
Vice President
09. Hundorova Tamara
Member of the Executive Board
10. Herasymiuk Olha
Journalist, author and producer of TV and radio projects, TV presenter
11. Koval Oleksandra
Director of the Ukrainian Book Institute
12. Aliev Alim
Member of the Executive Board
13. Starovoyt Iryna
Member of the Executive Board
14. Prokhasko Taras
Writer, journalist, radio host
15. Melnyczuk Askold
16. Titarenko Maria
Poet, essayist, journalist, media researcher, lecturer
17. Luchuk Taras
Literary critic, translator, poet
18. Dnistrovyi Anatoliy
19. Teren Tetyana
Executive Director
20. Luchuk Olha
Literary critic and translator.
21. Krueger Váno
Sings, author of books.
22. Protsiuk Stepan
Writer, literary critic
23. Coynash Halya
Teacher, interpreter, publicist
24. Kotsarev Oleh
Poet, novelist, journalist, literary critic, translation
25. Nikitin Alexei
26. Romanyshyn Romana
Ukrainian illustrator, author of children`s books
27. Lesiv Andriy
Illustrator, author of children`s books, art critic
28. Bondar Andriy
Poet, novelist, translator, essayist
29. Amelina Victoria
Ukrainian writer, author of novels and short stories
30. Bespalov Maksym
31. Yatsenko Petro
Journalist, writer
32. Kalytko Kateryna
Ukrainian poetess, translator, author of poetry collections and prose works.
33. Prokhasko Yurii
Germanist, translator, essayist, publicist
34. Voznyak Taras
Editor of "Yi" magazine
35. Makhno Vasyl
Poet, novelist, essayist, translator
36. Vikyrchak Iryna
Ukrainian cultural manager, poet and translator
37. Savka Maryana
Poet, children`s writer, literary critic, publicist
38. Falkovych Hryhorii
Ukrainian Jewish poet
39. Ilchenko Oles
Poet, novelist, screenwriter.
40. Slavinska Iryna
Member of the Executive Board
41. Panych Oleksiy
Philosopher, translator and public figure
42. Forostyna Oksana
Publisher, co-founder of Yakaboo Publishing.
43. Chruślińska Izabela
Polish journalist
44. Klochko Diana
Art critic, exhibition curator, editor, translator
45. Mukha Olha
Culturologist, scientific editor and compiler
46. Morozov Viktor
Ukrainian translator, musician.
47. Matevoshchuk Yuriy
Poet, translator, cultural project manager
48. Volvach Pavlo
Poet, novelist
49. Kolomiychuk Bogdan
50. Vdovychenko Halyna
Ukrainian writer, author of novels and short stories
51. Snyadanko Natalka
Ukrainian writer, translator, publicist
52. Chernetsky Vitaly
Literary translator, literary critic, film critic
53. Vovchenko Anna
Literary translator from English and Spanish
54. Mikhalitsyna Kateryna
Ukrainian poet, children`s writer, translator, editor
55. Natalia Beltchenko
Ukrainian poet, translator.
56. Botanova Kateryna
Cultural critic, journalist, curator
57. Rusina Olya
58. Andryczyk Mark
Writer, translator, teacher of Ukrainian literature
59. Andrusyak Ivan
Poet, children`s writer, novelist, literary critic, translator
60. Kruk Halyna
A poet, literary critic, translator
61. Puchkov Andriy
Ukrainian architect, culturologist, historian
62. Vahtel Andrij
63. Mamchenkova Oksana
64. Musakovska Yuliya
Ukrainian poet, translator
65. Shyyan Halyna (Haska)
Writer, poet, translator
66. Korobchuk Pavlo
Writer, translator, musician.
67. Haleta Olena
Literary critic, culturologist, poet, translator
68. Vadym Karpiak
Journalist, TV presenter
69. Kiva Iya
Ukrainian poet, translator and journalist
70. Tatarenko Alla
Slavic literary critic, translator, literary critic
71. Solovey (Honcharyk) Eleonora
Literary critic, doctor of philology, professor
72. Maljartschuk Tanja
Writer, essayist, publicist
73. Rykhlo Petro
Literary critic, teacher, translator
74. Lushchevska Oksana
Children`s writer, translator, publicist
75. Semena Mykola
76. Pavlyshyn Andrii
Translator, historian, journalist
77. Khersonsky Borys
Poet, publicist and translator
78. Bilotserkivets Natalka
79. Oleksiy Sinchenko
Literary critic
80. Levkova Anastasia
Writer, editor
81. Kutsenko (Rozumna) Oksana
Poet, author of children`s books, philosopher.
82. Kebuladze Vakhtang
Philosopher, writer, translator
83. Rafeyenko Volodymyr
Prose writer, poet
84. Chupryna Yevheniya
Poet, translator, actress, punk singer
85. Povaliayeva Svitlana
86. Sytnikov Maksym
87. Korobchuk Pavlo
Writer, translator, musician
march 18, 2022
Support our work

We need your help to create projects and materials aimed to defend freedom of speech, popularize Ukrainian culture and values of independent journalism.

Your donation means support for discussions, awards, festivals, authors’ trips to regions and PEN book publications.

Support PEN

We recommend viewing: