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#ARTvsWAR | Borodyanka Shevchenko


Monuments to Taras Shevchenko – one of the most celebrated Ukrainian poets – are present in most of the cities, towns and villages of Ukraine. There is one in Borodyanka too.

Situated 50km from Kyiv and 25km from Bucha, Borodyanka was home to 13,000 inhabitants until it severely suffered from the Russian occupation. Shevchenko’s statue witnessed the atrocities of the invasion and on the 2nd of April Russian shelling damaged the monument. Standing in the middle of an almost fully ruined town, the statue now bears even more symbolism than ever.

 Shevchenko’s poem dating 1860 resonates like a message through centuries: 

And in our land, by faith retrieved,No foemen shall be brought to birth,Mothers and sons shall show their worthAnd love shall reign throughout the earth.

After the liberation of Borodyanka, locals wrapped Shevchenko’s wounded head in symbolic bandages as an act of artistic documentation of Russian war crimes. There are suggestions to keep some scars of war unconcealed as a reminder for future generations, like Gedächtniskirche in Berlin.

Meanwhile, in Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities targeted by Russian missiles, Shevchenko’s monuments are protected with piles of sandbags, which often look like an art manifesto.

Join our campaign on social media: share evidence of Russian war crimes related to cultural heritage destruction in Ukraine and stories of protecting Ukrainian culture. #ARTvsWAR #StandWithUkraine