Speaking on the TV marathon on Mar. 14, Olexander Tkachenko, Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine said his department is preparing changes to the procedures allowing male artists and journalists to travel abroad.

 In the future, those who want leave to travel will have to abide by the following:

·      Confirmation that their organization has maintained their military records;

·      That their reason for leaving is supported by a contract or other agreement;

·      They are to prepare a report covering their visit abroad if it was made for diplomatic reasons, for other formal promotion of Ukraine’s interests or for fundraising funds;

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·       Such departures would be authorized for no more than 60 days.

Why did the Ministry tighten restrictions?

 In a recent interview of the comedian Andriy Shchegel by TV journalist Roman Skrypin, Shchegel admitted that although he had received permission from the Ministry of Culture to leave Ukraine he had then remained in Turkey in spite of the fact that he had received a summons by the military police several times. As for the military who defend the country, Shchegel had said that it was their “choice to die.”

The comedian later apologized for his words, claiming the media had used his comments out of context, but did not confirm whether or not he intended to return to Ukraine.

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On Mar. 12, it appeared that the new rules would prevent the Ukrainian band Tvorchi from representing Ukraine at Eurovision in Great Britain.

 The musicians wrote on social networks: “We are united members of the cultural army of Ukraine. We have attracted millions of dollars in funding, have conducted educational work, have met with leaders from partner countries, told them the truth, asked for help and conveyed Ukraine’s gratitude.”

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In response the Ministry has promised to facilitate Tvorchi’s performance at Eurovision 2023 as much as possible. 

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