In his video address at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Ukrainian President underlined the importance of information and knowledge in the fight for peace and freedom. In Europe, many public figures continued to encourage understanding Russia and ignoring the terrorist policies of states like Iran.

“How can this happen?” asked Zelenskyj – and suggested an answer himself: “The only answer is a lack of knowledge”.

Ignorant people are easier to manipulate. It is therefore all the more important that people are informed “about the terror that Russia has brought to Ukraine”. Zelenskyj called on the industry to write, publish and distribute books “about those who weaken Europe”.

Finally, the President invited authors and publishers to come to Ukraine and bear witness to the war. The audience in the packed exhibition hall responded to his speech with standing ovations.

Following the broadcast, Oleksandr Afonin, President of the Ukrainian Association of Publishers and Booksellers, took the podium in Frankfurt. He called for the creation of a cultural fund that could finance Ukrainian translations.

In addition, the money could enable purchases in Ukrainian libraries and support Ukrainian publishing houses that had suffered from the Russian war of aggression. In his speech in Frankfurt, Afonin suggested the German Book Trade Association and the European Publishers Association as possible founders of such a fund.

In his speech, Afonin sharply condemned the Russian publishers who are not represented at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year: Not a single publishing house has condemned the war or expressed its support for Ukraine, according to Afonin.

Zelenskyj said in his speech about Russia and Iran, which also does not take part in the fair, that they no longer export culture, only death. “They are less present in the cultural sphere and at the same time more present where everything is destroyed.”

The Ukrainian president was referring to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the drones used by the Russian government for airstrikes. According to the USA, these should come from Iran. According to the Book Fair, Zelenskyi’s speech in Ukrainian was recorded the day before.

Ukrainian book publishers and institutions are exhibiting at this year’s book fair on a large joint stand with its own stage.

On this podium, the Ukrainian author Yuri Andrukhovych said in a conversation after his president’s speech: “We need heavy weapons and good books.”

Andrukhovych is one of the most important representatives of Ukrainian literature. His novels, including “Moscoviada”, “Perversion” and “Carpathian Carnival”, have been translated into many languages. He himself works as a translator, has translated Shakespeare and Rilke into Ukrainian and positions himself in his essays as pro-European.

His efforts to advance relations between Ukraine and the European Union earned him several prestigious awards in Germany, including the Goethe Medal and the Hannah Arendt Prize.

In addition to Andrukhovych, many other well-known personalities from Ukraine will appear at the fair, including the wife of President Volodymyr Zelenskyj. First Lady Olena Selenska, most recently honored with a Vogue cover, will come to Frankfurt in person on Saturday (October 22, 2022) and have a conversation with Brigitte Editor-in-Chief Brigitte Huber from 5:30 p.m. on psychological help for those traumatized by war.

Author: Christine Lehnen

For half a year, the village of Kupyansk in the Kharkiv region was occupied by Russia. However, after the liberation by Ukrainian troops, all is not well – some citizens remember the occupiers positively.

The war in Ukraine is at a turning point, says military expert Carlo Masala. Ukraine is now under a lot of pressure and Putin is using drones because missiles are too expensive, according to the politics professor. The Kremlin boss could now open a second front and then offer a ceasefire, says the expert in a “Stern” podcast.

Russia now recruits its soldiers in prisons. One of these fighters has now been taken prisoner by the Ukrainians. He tells how he was recruited, what empty promises he fell for and what the situation is like for men like him at the front.

Russia has called 300,000 men to arms. Most of them are poorly trained, poorly equipped and brought to the front far too quickly. A deadly endeavor sparked by Putin’s chaos.

The original of this article “Zelenskyj on Russia supporters in Europe: “The only answer is a lack of knowledge”” comes from Deutsche Welle.