UNESCO on Friday inscribed the art of cooking Ukraine’s “borscht”, a type of soup, on its list of cultural heritage in danger, a move pushed by Kiev but vehemently opposed by Moscow.
“Ukrainian borscht preparation culture was inscribed today on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which requires urgent safeguard measures,” the organization said.
“The existence of this soup (…) is not in danger in itself, but it is the human and living heritage associated with borscht that is at immediate risk, because the ability of populations to practice, to transmit their intangible cultural heritage is seriously disturbed. because of the armed conflict, in particular because of the forced displacement of communities”, explained Pier Luigi Petrillo, rapporteur of the evaluation committee.
Ukraine presented in April the request to include the culture of this soup in the list of intangible cultural heritage in danger, considering that the invasion of the country on February 24 by Russia and the months of bombing that followed threatened the “viability” of the tradition that surrounds the dish.
Because of the war, “the population is no longer able to prepare or even grow the local vegetables that are needed,” Petrillo noted.
The Ukrainian government welcomed the decision to recognize this beetroot soup, which Russia also claims as a national dish.
“Victory in the ‘borscht’ war is ours,” Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko commented on Telegram, adding that Ukraine “will win both in the ‘borscht’ war and in this war”, referring to the Russian invasion.
“Ukraine will share the recipe for this beetroot soup with all civilized countries, and even the uncivilized ones, so that they have at least something light, tasty and Ukrainian,” he added.