• PEN Ukraine

Open letter released by PEN Ukraine





Dear friends, thank you so much for your help and support!
 We are still fighting with Russia and the biggest part of the country sleeps in bomb shelters. Some of our authors were forced to leave their homes because Russian missiles have ruined their cities and villages. Around 40 PEN Ukraine members are still in Kyiv now. 5 authors of PEN Ukraine decided to defend Ukraine with weapons in hands.
 PEN Ukraine members, men and women, are also contributing, fighting on cultural, informational, diplomatic and voluntary frontlines.


What's going on?

The Ukrainian Army continues to defend every piece of the Ukrainian territory, every civilian, and the very spirit of freedom and democracy. Ukraine resists and strives for peace. By 1 March the Russian army had already killed 352 civilians, including 16 children, 1684 people, including 116 children, have been injured. On 27 February Russian forces burned down the Ivankiv Historical-Cultural Museum that was home to dozens of works by prominent Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko. The biggest transport plane Mriya was destroyed by Russia in Hostomel airport. In light of Russian war crimes, Ukraine called for the immediate EU membership via a new special procedure. Earlier Ukraine declared its will to join NATO. Please urge your parliaments and governments to support the Ukrainian will for the European and Euroatlantic future.


What can you do for Ukraine now?

We really need to make Ukraine a No fly zone to go out from shelters. Please support us and invite colleagues and friends.

·  Sign the petition: https://bit.ly/3ICdgVy;

·  Join the campaign on social media and tag the head of your government;

·  You as well can join peace protest in your city or organise your own;

·  Write a letter to your PM and head of the government.


#BoycottRussia

We call to boycott the Russian state now, until it completely withdraws from Ukraine and is held responsible for its war crimes:

·  Suspend Russian participation in international cultural events such as festivals, biennials, exhibitions, art and literature fairs, including the Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale;

·  Boycott events organised by Russian institutions as well as international foundations that are directly and indirectly linked to or funded by Putin’s regime and Russian capital;

·  Cancel any cooperation with Russian artists, no matter how great or famous, as long as they openly support Putin’s regime, silence its crimes, or do not publicly and directly oppose it;

·  Remove representatives affiliated with the Russian state or Russian capital from supervisory and advisory boards of your organisations;

·  Refuse any donations, funding or sponsorship from Russian organisations, their proxies and affiliates based in other countries.


Help Ukraine by stopping any cooperation with Russia and communicate your decision publicly to encourage your peers to follow your example. Use the hashtags #BoycottRussia, #StandWithUkraine, #StopRussia.


Join petitions

Russia is effectively a totalitarian state, and too often it uses culture tool picked from its state propaganda toolbox. For the sake of Ukraine, and to uphold and preserve the principles of peace and order, we are calling for the international cultural community to sign these statements and petitions:

· Petition on imposition of cultural sanctions on the Russian Federation;

· Urgent Call for Arts Organizations to Sever Ties with Russia’s Aggressive Expansionist Project at the Venice Biennale.


Share materials

· Nobel Laureates, writers and artists worldwide condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in unprecedented letter signed by over a thousand (PEN International);

· The Baltic Countries call on the Frankfurt, London, and Bologna Book Fairs to support Ukraine and sever contacts with organizations in the Russian Federation (Lithuanian Culture Institute);

· Marci Shore. Why Ukrainians Are Prepared to Fight (The Wall Street Journal);

· Chapeye Artem. A Short Letter to Some Western Intellectuals (Consequence Forum);

· Halya Coynash. Putin miscalculated. Russia is fighting “an army of 40 million Ukrainians” (Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group);

· Ukraine invasion: Award-winning filmmaker Iryna Tsilyk caught up in desperate escape from Kyiv (Sky News);

· Andrey Kurkov: A Humorous Ukrainian Writer, With Nothing to Laugh About (The New York Times);

· Ilya Kaminsky on Ukrainian, Russian, and the Language of War (Literary Hub);

· 'We will never give up': A father prepares to leave his kids and fight for Ukraine (USA Today);

· “Bleed — My Heart — Bleed”: Ukrainian Poems of War by Boris Khersonsky, Iya Kiva, and Vasyl Makhno (Los Angeles Review of Books);

· Ukrainian artists: 'Stop Putin now!' (Deutsche Welle).


Dialogues on war

In order to comprehend the events of the last days, we launched a series of conversations #DialoguesOnWar. Ukrainian and foreign intellectuals will talk about the experience of the war and share their own observations:

· Dialogues on War: Andriy Kurkov and Philippe Sands;

· Dialogues on War: Volodymyr Yermolenko and Marci Shore (March 3, 6 pm Kyiv time, online).


Translate a book

Considering the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the world wants and needs to understand what this war is really about. Over the last decade, numerous important nonfiction works, novels, memoirs, plays and even children’s books were published in Ukrainian to explain the reality of the situation. Here you can find a selection of these books which we would recommend to be translated into other languages in order for the world to gain the better understanding.


Way of financial support

· PEN Ukraine together with PEN Belarus, PEN Poland and Open Culture Foundation organized a public fundraiser to support the creative community of Ukraine: https://bit.ly/35EIdtV

· Humanitarian: http://helpukraine.center/en

· Support army (main foundation in army support): https://savelife.in.ua/en/donate/


Official sources where you can find fair information about the situation in Ukraine:

· Official website of the President of Ukraine (in English) https://www.president.gov.ua/en

· Minister of Defence of Ukraine (in English) https://www.mil.gov.ua/en/

· Armed Forces of Ukraine https://www.zsu.gov.ua/en

· The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (in English) https://www.rnbo.gov.ua/en/

· Joint Forces Operation (in Ukrainian) https://www.facebook.com/pressjfo.news

· Official site of the ArmyInform news agency (in Ukrainian) https://armyinform.com.ua/

· Centre for Strategic Communication (in English) https://spravdi.gov.ua/en/


Ukrainian media whose information can be trusted

· The National News Agency of Ukraine or Ukrinform (Russian, English, Spanish, German, French and other versions) https://www.ukrinform.net/

· Mill.in.ua (in English) https://mil.in.ua/en/

· NV (in English) https://english.nv.ua/?utm_content=set_lang

· Ukrayinska Pravda (in English) https://www.pravda.com.ua/eng/

· The Kyiv Independent (in English) https://kyivindependent.com/

· Suspilne (Public broadcasting) (in Ukrainian) https://suspilne.media/

· Hromadske (in Ukrainian) https://hromadske.radio/

· RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service (known locally as Radio Svoboda) (in Ukrainian) https://www.radiosvoboda.org/

· BBC News Ukraine (in Ukrainian) https://www.bbc.com/ukrainian

· European Pravda (in English) https://www.eurointegration.com.ua/eng/

Thanks for your solidarity and support.





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