Russian flag in Bois de Boulogne. How can Ukraine resist the cultural expansion of the Russian Federation?

Russia is fighting Ukraine not only with tanks and missiles, but also with culture. Analyst Alexey Kopytko points out how the world-famous Hermitage supports the agenda needed by the state and how good it would be for us to learn from the enemy

Here’s a quick weekend story about how Russia is fighting us while tens of thousands of Middle East experts wonder what it is.

A new interview with the director of the Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky, one of Ukraine’s most qualified and dangerous (in fact) enemies, reveals exactly the level of warfare at which Ukraine not only loses, but rarely rises to protect its interests.

To understand. The annual budget of the Hermitage is 5 billion rubles, 3 billion of which is financed by the state (about 32 million dollars).

Total: The annual (!) cost of weapons like the Hermitage is 10 T-90 tanks. It is fashionable here to calculate the cost of Russian missile and drone strikes. The annual budget of the Hermitage is 3-10 rockets, depending on the type.

how does it work

Piotrovsky: “…we had these famous exhibitions of the Shchukin and Morozov collections that resonated throughout Paris (2016 and 2021 – Vedomosti). And then again the question was why we take our treasures anywhere. Not only did we show all of France that we had something, we showed that our wise merchants valued the future, bought what would rise in price, and thus, thanks to their investment, created a completely new French art. very important. And when February has already happened. [2022 г.]and the exhibition was still going on [в Париже], I said – this is the Russian flag over the Bois de Boulogne. That’s how it happened, that’s how it was perceived, even if not everyone liked it…”

It also reveals the nuances of threaded interaction:

  • Scientific contacts with the West continue; everything goes on an individual level and without exaggeration. So all of this is working against us right now, and when sanctions are eased there will be an explosion of Russian presence in the public sphere;
  • The Hermitage opens museum “corners” in target countries. For example, there is a moment of political friction with Armenia – the Hermitage forms a “corner” in the Erebuni Museum in Yerevan. A hook to which you can attach the links;
  • The Hermitage and other leading Russian museums emulate their presence in a global context; They create parallel exhibitions. For example, “…they’re holding a major exhibition of Flemish drawings in Oxford. We – both we and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts – are simultaneously holding a major exhibition of Flemish paintings and showing how we can create interesting things that are just fundamentally interesting, meaningful exhibitions from Russian collections.” ..”. There are (many) such exhibitions in Germany and China. This inevitably occurs with a signal in the information field of the target countries: it will be better to return to the Russian Federation;
  • The Hermitage is actively going digital to evade sanctions. Links with high-tech companies are developing in this field. Those mentioned were specifically South Korean;
  • Hermitage’s partners in spreading network projects on earth are… Rosatom (!), Rosneft and other sanctioned monsters.

And so on.

Like many Russian museum workers, Piotrovsky himself is, without exaggeration, war criminals. They not only support and justify the war of aggression, but also participate in the looting of Ukrainian museums in the occupied territories. This is officially part of Russian occupation policy and practice.

Piotrovsky clearly states that: promoting imperial discourse within the Russian Federation and abroad is one of the Hermitage’s priorities (the latter is a “dialogue of cultures” through the Hermitage, through which the Russian Federation can talk to both the West and the East).

The Russian Empire (later the USSR and the Russian Federation) invested in this universal weapon for three centuries. Like any imperial museum, the Hermitage is largely the result of plunder of the colonies/environment (especially Ukraine).

But this is exactly what makes Europe’s best museums natural allies, because their size is created in the same way. And many assume that the “conflict” will someday end, so why argue with influential people who have Rosatom and Rosneft in their hands?

Considering all this, it is incredibly difficult to extort such weapons from the Kremlin.

Symmetrical actions are impossible.

And the “decision-making centers” operate at the level where their residents live. As a result, a “glass ceiling” emerges that we face (it was possible to overcome it by directly addressing the societies of different countries to Ukrainian leaders in the spring-summer of 2022, but this tap has been systematically screwed open and tightened).

But even in these circumstances, there are many niches that I will not go into detail about.

The main thing to understand is that the repaving of 500 meters of paving stones is the annual “development budget” of any of the best Ukrainian museums, and this can stabilize and even change the perception of Ukraine in a single country.

The excuse that not everything can be spent directly on military spending does not work here – these are non-military expenses. However, actual investments in defense. Especially on a long road.

There are preliminary parallels here. In the spring of 2022, the Ministry of National Defense was transporting artillery ammunition from everywhere. However, part of the resource has been allocated to production, with delivery in the second half of 2023. This literally caused crises among those who like to control the defense without taking responsibility. Here it is. When the existing warehouses were empty, the bullets ordered a year ago began to arrive.

And it helped him survive (to the surprise and displeasure of many) at a time when Western aid was declining.

If we do not invest in long-term sustainability tools (microscopic in budget terms), we will more or less fail in the long term.

You need to learn a lot from the Russians; this will help you overcome them.

The author expresses his personal opinion, which may not coincide with the position of the editors. The author is responsible for the data published in the “Opinions” section.


Source: Focus


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