A hundred years ago in the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv the first professional Ukrainian puppet theatre was founded. But today this ancient Ukrainian city, which is more than 1300 years old is almost completely destroyed by Russian Federation. On February 24, 2022 Russia started the war and the Ukrainian people genocide: Russians are bombing and destroying cities, killing civilians, including children. Russian soldiers are demolishing theatres, schools, kindergartens, museums, historical and architectural monuments, Ukrainian people are suffering such terrible sorrow, and Ukrainian puppeteers, who are an integral part of the folk, are badly suffering as well.

However Russian puppeteers don’t show professional solidarity, and, obviously, share Putin’s desire to ‘finally solve the Ukrainian issue’. Russian UNIMA center has never opposed to Russian government’s actions, they have always supported the annexation of Ukrainian territories, they haven’t condemned Russian aggression and, even formally, haven’t called for peace. Russian puppeteers are the only exception from the worldwide extremely helpful community. UNIMA in Russia is financed by the government and absolutely shares the responsibility for their state’s actions. The world community imposed unprecedented sanctions on Russian Federation, they have been deprived of trade and financial instruments, it has been excluded from numerous worldwide cultural processes. Nevertheless, it is still a member of UNIMA and UNESCO. Do the Russian Centre of UNIMA actions and inactions meet the statutory requirements of the organization? Can Russian Federation be a part of UNESCO after bombing theatres, music, and general education schools, intentional demolishing the same UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

UNIMA-Ukraine GO insists on immediate suspension of Russia’s membership in UNIMA and UNESCO. We believe that for aggression, the murder of children and their parents, destruction of drama and puppet theatres, historical and architectural heritage, and other gross violations, of UNIMA principles alleged by Russia, and all the barbarism it has committed, this state must pay a much higher price.

UNIMA-Ukraine GO Council
Acting President of UNIMA-Ukraine

V. Fetisov