Cultural and humanitarian cooperation
19 July 2022 14:19

Cultural and humanitarian cooperation between Ukraine and Serbia s realized based on the Intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the sphere of education, culture, and sport (1997), Program of cooperation in the cultural sphere between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Ukraine and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia fro 2009-2011. The Agreement on Cooperation between the State Committee of the archive of Ukraine and the Archive of Serbia and Montenegro (2004), Agreement on Cooperation between the National Library under I. Vernadskyi and the National Library of Serbia (2005), Agreement on Scientific Cooperation between the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (2006), the Working protocol between the National Association of Writers of Ukraine and Association of Writers of Serbia for 2006-2010 (2006), Agreement between Kyiv regional state administration and Autonomous Region of Vojvodina on Trade and Economic, Scientific and Technical and Cultural Cooperation (2006) are still valid.

Thanks to a significant increase in funding under the budget program 1401110 for the part of Ukrainians abroad and the introduction of a part on image projects, in recent years there has been an expansion of cooperation in the cultural, educational, and scientific spheres of bilateral relations.

An important event in the cultural life of Ukrainians in Serbia was the holding 2016 of the Tourist Festival "Visiting Ukrainians" on August 20-30 in the center of Belgrade at the Kalemegdan Fortress. In parallel, an operator tour to Serbia was organized. As part of the celebration of Independence Day, two tourist operators from Ukraine spent a week in Serbia.

In 2017, the large-scale Days of Ukraine were held in Novy Sad, where 33 events were held in 12 locations over 10 days - round tables and conferences on the topic of historical and cultural ties between Ukrainians and Serbs, exhibitions of the outstanding Ukrainian artist Shuplyak, Ukrainian ethnic designers - "Murashka" clothing and the young master of Petrykiv painting and carving Olesya Vakulenko, a parade of embroidered women was held, 2 concerts in the premises of the People's Theater of Serbia with the participation of groups from the diaspora and ensembles from Ukraine.

In addition, during 2016-2018, the following projects were implemented in the field of cultural and humanitarian cooperation:

- exhibitions: "Life and activities of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytskyi" in Greek-Catholic parishes in the centers of residence of the Ukrainian-Rusyn community in Serbia, in particular in the cities of Vrbas, Kula, Novi Sad; "Vladimir the Great - Baptist of Ukraine-Russia" in Belgrade; "25 years of Chernobyl - the world remembers" in Arandzhelovac, Mladenovac, and Racha; "Grandfathers and grandchildren" in Belgrade; exhibition of Easter cards "Spiritual Code of Ukraine" in Belgrade;

- events in the educational sphere: the Ambassador's lectures at the Faculty of Politics and Security of the University of Belgrade; at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade; traditional meetings of the Ambassador with first-year Ukrainian students and the opening of a Ukrainian language class renovated thanks to the support of the Embassy.

Projects aimed at expanding the number and quality of Serbian-language books about Ukraine have been implemented. Thus, with the support of the budget program 1401110, the first Serbian translation of O. Subtelno's book "Essays on the History of Ukraine" and the translation of Ilchenko's works "The City of Chimeras" have already been published. In parallel, during 2018, the campaign "100 books as a gift" took place, as part of which books in Ukrainian and Serbian were transferred to all leading libraries in Serbia.

An important mechanism for the popularization of Ukrainian culture is the active participation of Ukrainian book publishers and translators in the International Book Fair in Serbia. For the first time, the Ukrainian stand at this fair was opened in 2017, and in 2018, modern Ukrainian authors arrived at the Ukrainian stand, and the first book "History of Ukraine" translated into Serbian was presented.

The year 2019 for Ukraine in Serbia began with the image project "Ukraine Tourist", which included a round table as part of the Belgrade Tourism Fair, where Ukraine was presented for the first time, and a temporary exhibition in the city of Belgrade, Serbia. It is especially important that the promotion of Ukraine's tourism potential took place against the background of the opening of a direct Belgrade-Kyiv flight.

The Serbian event company "Color Press" together with the Ministry of Social Policy, Labor, Employment and Veteran Affairs of the RS initiated the project "Persons with disabilities who changed the world". In an official presentation in Belgrade, the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for the Rights of the Disabled, the Chairman of the Paralympic Committee of Ukraine, and the Chairman of the National Assembly of Persons with Disabilities V.M. Sushkevich presented information about the state of human rights in Ukraine, about the current situation for the general Serbian public, primarily for young people

In May 2019, a public discussion was held under the title "The Trial: The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov". The event drew the attention of the Serbian audience to the trials of political prisoners in Russia in general and the case of Oleg Sentsov in particular. The fact that Serbian viewers were presented with a film about the case of Oleg Sentsov by Russian director A. Kurov, who held a discussion of the same name after the screening of the film, added to the objectivity of the judgments expressed in the film and at the discussion.

25 years of diplomatic relations were marked by a bright cultural project "Musical Ukraine", which included a concert by the musical group "G-Art" and the holding of master classes in Belgrade, Serbia. In parallel with the concert, an exhibition of children's drawings on the theme "How I see Ukraine" was held, which aimed to encourage Serbian children to learn something about Ukraine in general. Also, to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Serbia, the Embassy of Ukraine held an exhibition of Ukrainian national costumes and an exhibition of holograms "The Golden Wealth of Ukraine" in the Skupshtyna premises of the Grotska municipality. As part of this project, three thematic master classes were held for schoolchildren of Grotska, in which they got acquainted with the rich culture and traditions of the Ukrainian people.

In 2019, a Serbian translation of I.Frankо's story "Boa constrictor" and the story of the resettlement of Ukrainians to Vrbas was published. Also, a press tour to Ukraine of the "RTS" film crew was organized to prepare a cycle of programs about modern Ukraine.

On New Year's Eve, January 14, 2020, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia Oleksandr Alexandrovych spoke in front of the Church of Saint Sava and spoke about Ukrainian Christmas traditions. All those present could enjoy delicious kutya and listen to Ukrainian carols and shderіvka.

The coronavirus has made its adjustments and online events have become our new reality. So, thanks to online means on National Flag Day, the Ukrainian flag flew high in the Balkans. Also in 2020, a grandiose and large-scale online marathon was held for the Independence Day of Ukraine.

Before the opening of the monument to Taras Shevchenko in the city of Novi Sad, the Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia, with the support of the National Museum of Taras Shevchenko, opened an exhibition of reproductions of Kobzar's paintings - "Shevchenko - Ukrainian Poet and Painter" from December 1 to 6. From December 18, 2020, to January 17, 2021, an exhibition of illustrations by Oleksandr Grekhov "Shevchenko's Quantum Leap" was held on the premises of the Novi Sad Cultural Center.

On December 10, 2020, the Ambassador of Ukraine Oleksandr Oleksandrovich joined the humanitarian action "Green Serbia" (an initiative of Color Media Communications) and together with the Mayor of Surchyn Stevan Shusha and Chief of Staff of the Director of SRBATOM Predrag Ivanovych planted green seedlings in the Belgrade Municipality of Surchyn.

February 10, 2021, became an extremely important day in the life of the Ukrainian-Rusyn community in Serbia - the Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia Oleksandr Oleksandrovich together with the mayor of the city of Novi Sad Milos Vuchevych opened a monument to the Ukrainian Kobzar - Taras Shevchenko. The city of Lviv handed over the work of the famous Ukrainian sculptor Volodymyr Tsisaryk to the city of Novi Sad, its residents, and the Ukrainian-Rusyn diaspora in Serbia.

In April 2021, a press tour of SkyUp Airlines, Ukrainian travel bloggers, journalists and representatives of travel companies took place in Belgrade. Also, the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Serbia joined the global initiative "Greening the Planet", when all participants plant 1 million trees in 1 day in 100 countries of the world. The Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia Oleksandr Alexandrovych planted a plum tree and lilac bushes on the territory of the Embassy.

On Monday, April 26, the Directorate for Radiation and Nuclear Safety of Serbia (SRBATOM) organized an online conference "Nuclear Safety Today: Chernobyl 35 Years Later" on the occasion of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the nuclear accident, one of the most significant disasters in human history, which affected on nuclear energy and security in the world. The conference was opened by the Director of SRBATOM Sladzhan Velinov and the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Serbia Oleksandr Alexandrovych. The purpose of the event is to acquaint the general public with the accident itself, as well as to discuss the mitigation of its consequences, the decommissioning of the nuclear power plant, the rehabilitation and reclamation of the site, as well as the reaction of Serbia and the world to this nuclear accident.

On May 8, on the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, the Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia together with the Ukrainian-Rusyn diaspora in the city of Indzhia laid flowers at the monuments to the fallen soldiers and Ukrainian pilots who gave their lives in the liberation of Indzhia.

On the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Crimean Tatar People, May 18, 2021, the exhibition "Loyalty to oneself is not a crime" was opened in the premises of the Embassy. The photos of the exhibition depict the children of Crimean activists who tried to tell the truth about the occupied Crimea, because of which the Russian Federation illegally imprisoned them.

On May 24, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia Oleksandr Alexandrovych received at the Embassy the director of the TV program "Serbia in the rhythm of Europe" Ihor Karadarevich, and the executive director of "Serbia in the rhythm of Europe" Davyd Makevych.

During the meeting, the support of the Embassy of Ukraine to the children of Serbia, who will represent Ukraine and other European embassies on Prva TV, was confirmed.

"Serbia in the Rhythm of Europe" presented His Excellency with a gift on behalf of the children of the Beocin municipality, and the ambassador expressed his great desire to meet the children of the Beocin municipality and wished them luck in their future appearance on television.

According to previous agreements, on June 23, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia, Oleksandr Alexandrovych, paid an official visit to the municipality of Beochyn, where he met with two representatives of the municipality, who will represent Ukraine on First Serbian Television on September 5.

The President of the Beocyn Municipality, Mirjana Maleshevych Milkich, welcomed the Ambassador of Ukraine and representatives of Serbia in the Rhythm of Europe, Executive Director Davyd Makevych and Head of Protocol and Organization Lazar Veselinovych. Contest participants received interesting gifts from the Embassy and good wishes from the Ambassador.

On August 23, a 30-meter flag was unfurled near the monument to Taras Shevchenko in the city of Novi Sad together with the Ukrainian-Rusyn community in Serbia. This is how our community celebrated Flag Day. Before Independence Day, an online marathon was held together with the Ukrainian-Rusyn community in Serbia.

On Monday, August 23, the Kyiv summit of first ladies and gentlemen took place in the capital of Ukraine. The goal of the event was to create a platform for international dialogue that will help solve humanitarian problems around the world. The idea of holding the summit was initiated by the First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska. The summit gathered more than 20 participants - wives of foreign presidents, as well as international and Ukrainian experts. The first lady of the Republic of Serbia, Mrs. Tamara Vučić, was among the guests of honor.

She expressed her view on the development of soft power policy, spoke about her experience, and emphasized the importance and relevance of the issues discussed during the summit. Tamara Vučić spoke about how the pandemic changed life in Serbia and called on everyone to unite to overcome common disasters.

The summit launched an international platform that will become a place for sharing experiences, coordinating efforts, and implementing joint projects in the new reality. The result of the summit was the signing of an open international declaration, which calls for the cooperation of all first ladies and gentlemen of the world. The first step toward decisive action was a general statement on the protection and support of women and children living in the aftermath of armed conflict.

At the beginning of September, a project was implemented under the budget program 1401110 - the participation of Ukrainian directors in the activities of the separate program "Focus Ukraine" within the framework of the BelDox International Documentary Film Festival. This project helped the general public to get acquainted with modern Ukrainian films and to talk with the directors during the question session after the films. Director Alina Horlova with her film "This Rain Will Never Stop" won the award for the best film in the international program of the festival.

As part of the First International School Sports Competition in Serbia, a meeting of the State Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia, prof. Dr. Neboysha Rangelovich with a delegation from Ukraine headed by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Artur Seletsky.

Also on this day, a meeting was held at the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Serbia between Assistant Minister for International Cooperation and European Integration Uroš Pribičević and Assistant Minister for Sports Darko Udovići and a delegation from Ukraine led by Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Artur Selecki.

The 130th anniversary of the resettlement of Ukrainians to the territories of the former Yugoslavia was marked by the holding of the International Scientific Conference "Resettling Ukrainians to the Territories of the Former Yugoslavia" and the European Forum of the Ukrainian Diaspora "Novy Sad 2021" in Novy Sad.

On this occasion, the leadership of the European Congress of Ukrainians, together with Mykola Lyakhovych - the head of the National Council of the Ukrainian National Minority in Serbia, symbolically planted a viburnum and an oak near the monument to Taras Shevchenko in Novo Sad.

November 27, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. Kyiv time (3:00 p.m. Belgrade time) in the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Serbia together with representatives of the Ukrainian-Rusyn diaspora in Serbia, candles were lit in memory of the victims of the Holodomor-genocide of the Ukrainian people in 1932 as part of the annual campaign "Light a candle of memory" - 33 years - one of the worst crimes of the Stalinist regime against Ukrainians. Counselor of the Embassy Martynyuk Mark and head of the National Council of the Ukrainian National Minority in Serbia Mykola Lyakhovych addressed the audience. The memory of the dead was honored with a moment of silence and prayer. On the Day of Remembrance of the Holodomor Victims, the National Flag of Ukraine was flown at half-mast on the Embassy premises.

On January 6, the daily newspaper "Danas" published an article about Ukrainian Christmas traditions - Christmas Eve and 12 lean dishes.

On January 12, the Ivan Franko National Literary and Memorial Museum in Lviv received the first international award - a special award "For leadership" of the International Živa Award!. At the same time, the House of Franko became the first among Ukrainian museums to be included in the list of winners of this prestigious international award. After the award ceremony, the museum delegation visited the Embassy to meet the Ambassador and discuss cultural projects.

February 24, 2022. This date changed the vector of cultural and humanitarian cooperation. Protest actions, rallies, information campaigns to inform about Russian aggression, collection of humanitarian aid - this has become a daily activity of the Embassy.

On March 11, a charity concert by Sasha Polovynska aka Bad Sasha took place in Belgrade.

On March 26, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Serbia attended a panel discussion entitled "Media in Serbia and aggression in Ukraine", organized by the Regional Academy for the Development of Democracy in the city of Novi Sad

On May 8, employees of the Embassy, together with military attachés and representatives of the Ukrainian community, honored the memory of those who died in the Second World War by laying wreaths and flowers at the memorial complex at the Cemetery of the Liberators of Belgrade.

On May 9, Deputy Ambassador Marko Martyniuk took part in the forum "Rat i brat: Koja je tvoja crvena linija?" on the occasion of commemorating Victory over Fascism Day and Europe Day in Novi Sad. Key messages: "Ukraine protects not only itself but also Europe and Serbia's European future. Currently, the army of the Russian Federation is repeating the Nazi atrocities in Ukraine. Putin's Russia has lost any moral right to claim the legacy of victory over Nazism. The world must stop Putin. We count on the support of the fraternal Serbian people."

At this year's BelDox documentary film festival, which took place in Belgrade from May 11 to 18, a special screening was organized in honor of Mantas Kvedaravičius, a Lithuanian director, archaeologist, and anthropologist who was killed by the Russian military in Mariupol in early April during the filming of the second part of the documentary. . The 2016 film "Mariupolis" is a powerful visual tribute to a coastal city facing war and destruction through its portrayal of the daily lives of its residents.

"This is a very special film about the siege of Mariupol in 2014. We are all watching live the destruction and agony of this city," said Deputy Ambassador of Germany to Serbia Dorothea Giselmann. Deputy Ambassador of Ukraine Marko Martyniuk thanked them for their interest in his country and the film about it. "Three months ago, 450,000 people lived in this city (Mariupol), the same number live in Novi Sad and Kragujevac. Now the Russian army has almost destroyed this city," he added. The international festival was also marked by several excellent Ukrainian films, and it ended with an award ceremony and a screening of the film "Outside" by Ukrainian director Olga Zhurba. Every year on May 24, the memory of Saints Equal-to-the-Apostles Cyril and Methodius - Slavic educators, leaders of Christianity, and creators of the Cyrillic alphabet - is commemorated. This is the day of unity of Slavic peoples related by literacy and culture. Employees of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Serbia, together with representatives of the Serbian authorities and public organizations, together with their colleagues from Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, North Macedonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Croatia celebrated this holiday by laying wreaths at the Cyril and Methodius monument in the city of Belgrade.

100 days since the beginning of a new wave of brutal Russian aggression against Ukraine. Almost 7 million citizens of Ukraine, mostly women, and children left their homes, fleeing from the horrors brought to our land by Putin's hordes. On June 3, together with the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, Ambassador Volodymyr Tolkach visited our citizens who have found temporary shelter on the hospitable Serbian land - in the center of the city of Vranje. Ukraine appreciates and will always remember the sincere support and help from the people of Serbia!

On July 7, the Minister of Culture and Information Maia Gojkovych met with the Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia Volodymyr Tolkach, where the possibilities of cultural cooperation in difficult conditions were discussed. Cultural cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels is one of the most important segments of general relations. In this context, the modalities of cooperation and support of Ukrainian artists and institutions were considered.

On July 8, the conference "What consequences should be expected in the Western Balkans region due to Russia's war against Ukraine" was held on the premises of the Media Center.

This event was jointly organized by scientists and experts from Ukraine and Serbia with the support of the Embassy. In three panels, experts from the two countries discussed the various consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine in Europe, especially in Serbia.

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