Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Ukrainian writer Andrei Kurkov, author of Diary of an Invasion, shared his thoughts on the war with Patrice Roy at Téléjournal.

« The war will last as long as Putin is in power » | War in Ukraine

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Ukrainian author Andreï Kourkov won the Prix des libraires du Québec for his novel “The Gray Bees”.

  • Catherine Bérubé (Consult the profile)Catherine Bérubé

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Andreï Kourkov, who will be at Montreal Book Fair Saturday and Sunday, is one of the most read Ukrainian authors.

He made himself known with global success < em>The Penguin, published in 1996. His novel The Gray Beeswon the Médicis Étranger Prize in 2022.

Born in 1961 in the Leningrad region, Russia, Andrei Kurkov moved to Kiev, Ukraine, as a child.

My Russian origin is not very important to me, the author emphasizes in an interview. I am not attached to Russian culture or Russian history. For me, I'm Ukrainian.

In his most recent book Journal of an invasion, he writes that he has often been made to feel ashamed of [his] Russian origins.

Interview with author Andrei Kurkov

War in Ukraine

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With Diary of an Invasion, Andreï Kourkov takes us into his daily life and his thoughts on the war. His story begins a few weeks before the invasion of February 24, 2022.

According to him, Vladimir Putin sees this invasion as the last possibility.

He wants to stay in Russian history as a tsar who managed to recreate not only the Soviet Union, but the Russian Empire, he explains.

The war will last as long as Putin is in power.

A quote from Andreï Kurkov, writer

Even if he refuses to give up the hope of peace, Andreï Kurkov does not see a solution through negotiation. With Putin, I don't think we can negotiate, because he promised a lot of things before the invasion: he said that Russia was not going to attack Ukraine. […] Putin's words mean nothing, he says.

He also believes that even if a peace deal were reached, Russia would not hesitate to attempt an invasion again within 5 to 10 years.

The writer explains that the war aims not only to integrate Ukrainian territory into the Russian Empire, but also to destroy the country's national identity and culture in order to assimilate Ukrainians.

[Russians and Ukrainians] are different: the Ukrainian mentality is an individualistic mentality, while the Russian mentality is a collective and loyalist mentality, he explains.

According to him, for Russians, stability is more important than freedom. For the author, this is a marked difference with the Ukrainians.

Culture is [a component] very important to national identity. […] If there is no culture, we can assimilate people very easily.

A quote from Andrei Kurkov, writer

The Ukrainians' desire for freedom is at the heart of Andreï Kourkov's story. He writes: Either Ukraine will be free, independent and European, or it will simply cease to exist.

Ukraine is a mixture of ethnicities and languages, but all Ukrainians are united by the desire to be and remain free, he adds in an interview.

War sows death, but it also awakens the humanity in us, we can read in Diary of an invasion.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">It reveals that material goods lose their value in this kind of context. I have accepted that I can lose my house, my books and my computer, he said. You have to think about family and you have to think about yourself.

He also notes that Ukrainians have been particularly supportive since the beginning of the year. invasion. He mentions as an example a woman who gave him the keys to her apartment so that he could take refuge with his wife and two children.

She didn't want us to pay for electricity, it was total solidarity, he says.

Andreï Kourkov affirms that if today 'Today 75% of Ukrainians support President Volodymyr Zelensky, many of them criticized him before the invasion on February 24, 2022. I am also very critical of his activities before February 24, he admits.

The Ukrainian author believes that it makes sense to postpone the presidential election scheduled for March 2024. If there are 8 million Ukrainian refugees abroad and 600,000 to 800,000 soldiers on the front, how can we really have legitimate elections?, he raises.

When asked if he still has hope of dislodging the x27;Russian army, the author answers in the affirmative. I have hope, but it's very difficult, because the front line is 1,300 km long, he says. The territory of the war is immense, 30% of the country is destroyed.

I hope that the West will continue to give military aid to Ukraine because without this aid it is impossible to predict the consequences of the war, says Mr. Kurkov.

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